Originally from Wilmington, North Carolina, Alexandra Vasquez, graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a BS in Marine Biology. Upon graduation, she spent the following three years working in both mainland Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands. While on the mainland, Alexandra worked in a small fishing village engaged in research projects focused on fisheries and coral reef ecosystems. She then relocated to the Galápagos to work with the Charles Darwin Research Station in Galápagos, as an intern for their shark research project. Alexandra later became the international programs coordinator at the University of San Francisco de Quito’s Galápagos Campus on San Cristobal Island.
Alexandra is the co-founder of an organization called Experiencia Galápagos! which works facilitates international volunteers to work on social and environmental projects in the Galápagos Islands. Experiencia Galápagos! collaborates with local institutions on the islands, including the Galápagos National Park, the Ministry of Education, the Galápagos House of Culture, and the Ministry of Culture to implement meaningful, lasting projects that benefit communities of Galápagos. While in Galápagos, Alexandra also worked for the MitiGal Foundation, which focused on bringing environmental education to Galápagos communities through art and culture expositions.
Alexandra’s experience in the Galápagos Islands cultivated professional interests in management of ecosystems, fisheries science, and marine reserve design. As a LAFF fellow, Alexandra dedicated her Masters thesis project, directed research, and graduate internship to marine resource management solutions in the Galápagos.
Following her tenure at the Bren School as a LAFF Fellow specializing in coastal marine resources management, Alexandra returned to Galápagos with the goal of improving the current state of small scale fisheries and livelihoods of Galápagueños, while working to maintain the ecological integrity of the islands.