The Charles Darwin Research Station – Now Better Connected Than Ever Before!
Do you take your internet connection for granted? Can you remember what it was like in the days of slow dial-up connections? That's a bit like how it is in Galapagos now.
Our internet connection has to make the 600-mile journey from mainland Ecuador and then get through cabling and connections that suffer from minor earth movements, salty environment, and marauding wildlife. So we are really grateful to the incredible efforts of a team of experts from the Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC), in collaboration with the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP). Thanks to them, the CDF now has a re-wired and re-configured IT network at the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS), as well as improved wireless connectivity.
All this work means improved network performance and communications for the visiting scientists and support staff, working in this incredibly remote part of the world where good Internet is hard to come by.
The NSRC funded the travel costs and time for the team to work at CDRS for an entire week, and donated 300 kilograms of new networking equipment, fiber optic cables and connectors for the CDRS network. CDF staff couldn’t spend five minutes walking outside without seeing one of the team members run or zoom by on their bikes working between the buildings of the research station. From the marine biology lab on the sea shore to the invertebrates lab at the top of the hill, this remarkable team worked incredibly hard in every corner of the CDRS, their only aim being to improve the physical infrastructure of our station’s connections and improve our Internet services.
The team that carried out the infrastructure improvements included from NSRC Carlos Armas, David Teach, Jeff Hite and Ermanno Pietrosemoli (ICTP), experts with extensive experience helping build Internet infrastructure all over the world to improve scientific capabilities, particularly in remote areas such as the Galapagos.
The international team worked closely with CDF staff members Jesús Jiménez, Israel Castro, Luis Cobos and Francisco Martínez, now with Galapagos Endemik Technologies. CDF Geographic Information Systems, Jesús Jiménez says: "The IT team worked very well, covering access to most of the campus of the station. The internal network is much better now, and I see an improvement in web browsing and internal administration. With this investment and proper maintenance of equipment, CDF can ensure some stability to improve the quality and range of services offered to scientists."
Without a doubt, this endeavour is appreciated by all CDF staff, visiting scientists, collaborating scientists, and anyone who in the future shall work at the CDRS. Improving our connections allows us to continue our vital work that aims to protect and conserve this gorgeous Galapagos Archipelago.