Hancock Pacific-Galapagos Expeditions (1933-1935)

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The Hancock Pacific-Galapagos Expeditions were a series of expeditions sponsored by, and under the guidance of Cpt. G. Allen Hancock aboard his ship, the Velero III, to conduct a zoological survey of the Galapagos Islands. The outings included visits to Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, and Costa Rica, with the Galapagos as the primary objective. The expeditions were equipped for scientific work on land and sea, and had a staff representing several branches of zoology. The teams also interacted with various Utopian settlers on the Islands. The second in trip in this series departed Terminal Island, California on December 29, 1932 and returned in March of 1933. Major collecting sites included Tenacatita Bay, Jalisco after crossing the Gulf of California. Gulf of Tehuantepeo and Bahia Honda, Panama. Balboa, Canal Zone. Malpelo Island. Bay of Santa Elena. Ancon (ecuadaor) Salango Island. La Plata Island. Hood Island. Scientific staff included Dr. Waldo Schmitt of the U. S. National Museum, Dr. Harold W. Manter of the University of Nebraska (sponsored by the Carnegie Institution of Washington), H. M. Wegeforth, San Diego Zoological Society, C. B. Perkins, herpetologist, J. S. Garth, zoologist University of Southern California, Fred C. Ziesenhenne, zoologist, University of Southern California, and the 17 crew members of the ship. During the expedition, the teams collected reptiles, fish, and other specimens with a focus on shore collecting. The following year, Hancock led another expedition in the same region. Departing San Pedro, California on December 30, 1933, the expedition team again consisted of Dr. Waldo L. Schmitt, Dr. Harold W. Manter, and was joined by Dr. C. McLean Fraser from the University of British Columbia, and Dr. Wm. Randolph Taylor from the University of Michigan. The focus of this trip was dredging, in order to make collections of invertebrates from intermediate depths between the shore and the continental shelf. This allowed for the collecting of algae and hydroids, and provided a richer collection than the previous expedition. In total, dredging occurred at 106 locations including Braithwaite Bay, Socorro Island, Wenman Island, Charles Island, and Post Office Bay. Snakes and porpoises were also collected along the journey. The group returned home in March of 1934. The next outing to the region began in November of 1934 and concluded in April 1935. This time, the Hancock and his ship departed Cedros Island and sailed directly to the Galapagos. On the return journey, they made stops in the vicinity of Ecuador, Falklands Islands, Guayaquil, and Independencia Bay collecting mollusks and other marine life. This expedition stood out for its visit to the Bird Islands and Bird Rocks along the Peruvian coast. Joining Hancock on this trip was R. W. Craft, Dr. Waldo Schmitt, John S. Garth, and Fred C. Ziesenhenne.


Allan Hancock Foundation. (1940). Allan Hancock Pacific Expeditions. Vol. 2, 1935-1940. Retrieved from http://archive.org/details/allanhancockpaci02alla

Date Range

1932 - 1935


  • Zoology
  • Ichthyology
  • Plants
  • Invertebrates
  • Carcinology
  • Botany


  • Colón, Archipiélago de
  • Ecuador
  • Guayaquil
  • Panama
  • Mexico
  • Bahía Braithwaite
  • Bahía de La Independencia
  • Isla Socorro
  • Jalisco
  • Bahía Honda
  • Balboa
  • Costa Rica


Expedition name