Tom and his son Thomas, Jr. (a Master Naturalist) traveled to the fabled Galapagos Islands in 2012 to study the exquisite flora and fauna and prepare for an upcoming educational expedition.
In the Galápagos, the first protective legislative action was in 1930 and supplemented in 1936. However, it was not until the late 1950s that positive action was taken to control and truly protect native flora and fauna. In 1959, the centenary year of Charles Darwin’s, The Origin of Species, the Ecuadorian government declared 97.5% of the archipelago's land area a national park. UNESCO recognized the islands in 1978 as a World Heritage Site and in 1985, as a biosphere reserve. In 1986, the 27,000 square miles of ocean surrounding the islands were declared a marine reserve, which is only second in size to Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Four years later, in 1990, the archipelago became a whale sanctuary.
Tom and Thomas toured the islands extensively and enjoyed diving with the marine life including the famed hammerhead sharks, which are often seen in the waters surrounding the islands.