Community Science Projects
LAVA, or Laboratorio para Apreciar la Vida Ambiental, is a series of community science initiatives that address issues at the intersection of poverty, ecology, conservation, and educational inequality. They are designed, refined, and executed jointly by members of the Galápagos community and by students and researchers from our university team. The projects are based in the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the island of San Cristóbal.
LAVA takes a three-tiered approach to community science. At the first tier is the science project itself, investigating issues of interest to the community of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. The second tier is an assessment of the impacts of this project and how it shapes the knowledge and attitudes of the people involved in carrying it out. The third tier is a philosophical reflection on how this model of doing science with a community can inform questions about the epistemology and ethics of science.