Valeria Tamayo – Cañadas is a first year MESM student from Ecuador pursuing the coastal and marine resource management specialization. Valeria has an undergraduate degree in International Relations from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador 2009, and a certification in Designing, monitoring and assessing social development projects from the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences 2011. Her passion for nature and education led her to take further studies in outdoor education. Valeria has worked for more than 7 years in various capacities in the Galapagos Islands.
As the former head of the Education and Social Participation Department at the Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve, she realized how having the community involved in the management of their natural resources is key to achieving sustainability. Her experience includes citizen science, developing communication strategies and campaigns for marine reserve zoning, responsible fisheries and plastics. Her work led to the development of a new legal framework that banned plastic grocery bags from the islands. She then accepted a new challenge, serving as ecology educator with Ecology Project International. Valeria developed ecology curricula for different audiences in the community.
Valeria works enthusiastically to overcome challenges by creating private and public partnerships with the goal of supporting an environmentally conscious culture through education strategies.