Pre-departure Simulations, Photos, and Lists

Ella Fornari
August 18, 2014

Hello, my name is Ella Fornari. Junior, Occidental College. Human, Earth. This semester I will be traveling 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador to study evolutionary biology and ecology in the Galapagos islands. As a New York City native I look forward to the transition from concrete to Amazon jungle (for 1 week) and to the volcanic rock of the Galapagos.

Me in the jungle of the American Museum of Natural History

In my final week in NYC before departing for Ecuador I said my goodbyes to family and friends, had some bagels, and found time to visit a few favorite spots. Today I went to the American Museum of Natural History where I walked through the rainforest (Dzanga-Sangha) and celebrated shark week by seeing a 3d imax movie on great whites.

Some pre-departure shots of my home town:

Content from NYC from LIC

I enjoy lists and thus to mentally prepare for my semester in the Galapagos have devised 3 lists entitled “Excited,” “Not Excited,” and “Indifferent.” I will list these lists starting with “Not Excited” in order to build rather than deflate excitement.

Not Excited:
  • Haven’t taken Spanish in 5 years, in for a rude awakening
  • Giving invasive species a free ride to the Galapagos
  • Ice-breaker games
  • First time in 2 years living in same time zone as my family
  • Altitude sickness (while in Quito)
  • Not being able to drink tap water
  • Study evolution in the biologist’s equivalent to mecca
  • Birds (Frigates, Boobies, Finches, etc.)
  • Tortoises
  • Snorkel for class
  • Trip to Tiputini (Amazon region)

Looking forward to updating you on my adventure as it unfolds,


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Ella Fornari

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Ella Fornari is a biology and media arts double major at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA and hails from Brooklyn, NY. Her interests include but are not limited to zoology, film, digital design, coffee, natural history, photography, scientific media, KenKen puzzles, bicycles, and the third person. She has an encyclopedia-like knowledge of the NYC subway system which will prove useless while she is studying evolution and ecology in the Galapagos Islands</span></p>

Home University:
Occidental College
Biological Sciences
Film Studies
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