For the fourth class, I switched from the evolution track to the people and politics track. The class was strategic planning for natural resource management, which sounded very useful, especially compared to the evolution class, which was plants of the Galapagos. As interesting as that sounded, I did not foresee that ever coming up in life again and I’m really glad I switched. Esteban, who taught our first class taught the class and he’s awesome. Plus, we only had about a weeks worth of classes and the rest of the time we were on our own to do interviews and write our proposals. In our few classes, we learned the common conceptual model for natural resource management, and then we chose a natural resource problem in San Cristobal and interviewed some residents and did a bit of research and then came up with an idea to fix it and wrote a proposal about our idea. My friend Danielle and I did our project on water quality on the island. There are sufficient fresh water stores on the island, but they lack a treatment plant to make it potable so people pay for tap water and bottled water. Plus, they are charged a flat fee per person per household rather than for how much water they use. So we proposed getting monitors to put on the houses and charge people for the amount of water they used, but if they went over a predetermined standard, they would be charged a fee that would go into an account to fund a treatment plant.
Then, for our final, we took a field trip to Punta Pitt- the eastern point of the island (we live on the western point and the rest of the island is the national park and is off limits without a naturalist guide). We took an hour and a half boat ride out there and got to go snorkeling, see red-footed boobies, and just hang out for a while. It was absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to go on shore. Then, we stopped at Kicker Rock on the way back and got to go snorkeling with sharks and after then we stopped at a beach where we got off and hung out for a bit. It was an awesome day and way better than taking a final exam J