Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
SAF Archives  search ask the scientists in the classroom cool science
message for educators


meet the team

on the islands
cyber field trip
for students
for teachers
web resources
galapagos homepage
Destination: Galapagos Islands Cyber Field Trip

A Special Welcome for Educators

A Message from Alan Alda

A Message from Sherri Steward

Photo of Alan Alda Dear Educator:

A trip to the Galapagos Islands is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study some of the world's most interesting and exotic wildlife. Animals there have never learned to fear humans -- meaning visitors to the islands can get close-up views of creatures like the Galapagos tortoise, blue-footed booby, Galapagos penguin, marine iguana and others.

The Galapagos is a place I've always wanted to visit. This trip with Scientific American Frontiers is especially exciting for me because it gives educators and students in the Frontiers School Program a chance to go behind the scenes in the filming of an episode of Frontiers for next year -- and to experience this fascinating environment where Darwin made his own great voyage of discovery. I hope you will come along.


Alan Alda's Signature

Alan Alda
Host of Scientific American Frontiers

Photo of Sherri Steward Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Welcome to Scientific American Frontiers' cyber field trip to the Galapagos Islands, the birthplace of Charles Darwin's legendary biological theories. Join a team of scientists, myself and biology student Mandy Williams as we embark on one of the most exciting scientific journeys in the history of science education. It is truly one of the greatest honors of my life to serve as your representative and Scientific American Frontiers' teacher ambassador in the Galapagos Islands!

Our challenge as science educators is to seek creative and innovative ways of bringing science to life in the classroom. Instilling an understanding of our Earth and the interdependencies of all its inhabitants is, perhaps, one of our most important and difficult roles. In the hands of today's educators lies the fate of our beleaguered Earth and all its precious biodiversity.

Thoreau once said that "our lives are frittered away in detail." As science educators, our impact is often masked in an envelope of detail -- laboratories to set up, papers to grade and lectures to prepare for. We must, however, continually remind ourselves that our impact is as earth-shaking as the creation of new land forms in the Galapagos. Thirty-two years ago, a science teacher made an incredible impact on my own life by captivating me with tales of a young scientist studying man's closest living relative, the chimpanzees of Africa. The teacher was Ms. Margie Sandlin, and the scientist was the legendary Dr. Jane Goodall. Together, they changed the direction of my life.

Through the magic of computers and the Internet, the universe and many of its mysteries are now available to science teachers and students. Through the Scientific American Frontiers expedition to the Galapagos, we become time travelers, rediscovering the world of Charles Darwin and his landmark scientific discoveries aboard the H.M.S. Beagle.

The role of science educators exceeds the boundaries of any text. In bringing science to life, we hold the key that unlocks the mysteries of Earth and that ultimately allows us to become better caretakers of our planet. In the words of Dr. Jane Goodall, "Only when we understand can we care."

I hope to "see" you and your students in the Galapagos this December for the Destination: Galapagos Islands cyber field trip!


Sherri Steward's Signature

Sherri Steward
Scientific American Frontiers School Program Ambassador


Scientific American Frontiers
Fall 1990 to Spring 2000
Sponsored by GTE Corporation,
now a part of Verizon Communications Inc.