Faculty Application Cost Itinerary Outline Requirements Description Overview Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Penn State Lehigh Valley
 

Leader: Dr. Jacqueline McLaughlin, Associate Professor of Biology, Director, CHANCE, Penn State Lehigh Valley

Co-instructor: Dr. Kathleen Fadigan, Assistant Professor of Science Education,
Coordinator - Childhood and Early Adolescent Education Program

Co-instructor: Dr. Karen Kackley-Dutt, Instructor of Biology, Penn State Lehigh Valley

Co-instructor: Darin Munsell, Graduate Student, Illinois Institute of Technology

Trip (practicum) Includes: All instruction and guide services; all meals and lodging as stated in the itinerary; all ground and water transportation within Panama; all entrance fees to National Parks and other sites; round-trip international airfare to Panama.

Trip Does Not Include: Passport fees; Penn State mandatory HTH Worldwide Study Abroad insurance (~ $2.00/day); gratuities to guides, drivers, or transfer personnel; laundry; telephone calls; or any other expenses of a personal nature.

Field Lectures:Daily presentations on key environmental, conservation, and educational topics educational will be given by: researchers and scientific collaborators; Drs. McLaughlin, Fadigan, and Kackley-Dutt, and Mr. Darin Munsell; and 497-level CHANCE participants.

* This experience will be rigorous and challenging. Please review physical requirements before considering to participate.



2012 ITINERARY**

** Final destinations and events are subject to change.

 

Day 1 - July 6th
Gamboa
Flight Itinerary Date Time Location
Depart: July 06, 2012 5:14 PM Newark Liberty Intl Airport, Newark NJ - U.S.
Arrival: July 06, 2012 9:30 PM Tocumen Intl Airport, Panama City Panama

ARRIVAL - Gamboa, Panama

Transfer to Gamboa School House (GSH) in Gamboa.

Meals: Dinner

Day 2 - July 7th

GamboaGamboa, Panama

Introduction to Panama, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and tropical biodiversity. Presentations and walks around Gamboa and Pipeline Rd.

Presentation Topics:

  • Tropical Diversity
  • Environmental Services and Watersheds
  • Carbon Storage in Tropical Forests
  • Amphibian Worldwide Disappearance
  • Global Climate Change

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 - July 8th

Miraflores LocksPanama

In the morning, visit an Indigenous village nearby Gamboa community. The village of San Antonio de Gamboa host two communities of indigenous people known by their basket and wood carving handcraft. The visit includes traditional dances and watch women working on baskets. Afternoon Field trip to Miraflores Locks, Casco Viejo and Canal Museum. Miraflores Locks houses a Visitor´s Center from where the functioning of the Panama Canal can be seen.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 - July 9th

Galeta Marine LaboratoryPanama

Field trip to Galeta Marine Laboratory. K-12 environmental education exchange with Panamanian educators as part of the
"CHANCE INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP - OPEN INQUIRY IN SCIENCE EDUCATION (Day 1)."

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 - July 10th

Culebra Nature CenterPanama

Field trip to Culebra Nature Center. K-12 environmental education exchange with Panamanian educators as part of the "CHANCE INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP - OPEN INQUIRY IN SCIENCE EDUCATION (Day 2)."

Farewell get-together.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 - July 11th

Travel to Bocas del Toro, PanamaResearch Problems

Travel to Bocas del Toro by bus.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 - July 12th

Boat rideBocas del Toro, Panama

Boat ride from Almirante to Colon Island to Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Station. Settle in and lectures on coral reef and coastal systems. Afternoon field trip to surrounding mangroves and seagrasses.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 - July 13th

Coral Reef biodiversityBocas del Toro, Panama

Field problem on coral reef biodiversity.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 - July 14th

Coral Reef biodiversityBocas del Toro, Panama

Field problem on coral reef biodiversity data analysis.

Flight back to Panama City in PM.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 - July 15th

Panama

Barro Colorado Island

Research problems with scientists.

Barro Colorado tentative topics:

  • Lianas and climate change
  • Tropical tree biodiversity

Gamboa tentative topics:

  • Color pattern in neotropical butterflies
  • Leaf cutter ant-plant-endophyte interactions

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 - July 16th

Insects at Barro Colorado IslandPanama

Research problems with scientists.

Barro Colorado tentative topics:

  • Nocturnal bees
  • Ecology of bats (evening field problem)

Gamboa tentative topics:

  • Leaf cutter ant-plant-endophyte-interaction II
  • Ant fungus gardens-epidemiology studies

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12 - July 17th

Panama

Research problems with scientists.

Barro Colorado tentative topics:

  • Insect-plant interactions
  • Fig-wasp mutualism

Gamboa tentative topics:

  • Frog ecology 1

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13 - July 18th

MonkeyPanama

Research problems with scientists.

Barro Colorado tentative topics:

  • Brown food web
  • Neotropical monkey

Gamboa tentative topics:

  • Frog Ecology II
  • Chemical ecology of endophytes

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14 - July 19th

Panama

Research problems with scientists.

Barro Colorado tentative topics:

  • TBA

Gamboa tentative topics:

  • TBA

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15 - July 20th

Panama

Research problems with scientists.

Barro Colorado tentative topics:

  • TBA

Gamboa tentative topics:

  • TBA

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16 - July 21st

Panama

Research presentation day at Tupper (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute facility). Morning data analysis and preparation, and afternoon presentation.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17 - July 22nd
San Jose aerial view
Flight Itinerary Date Time Location
Depart: July 22, 2012 10:05 AM

Tocumen Intl Airport, Panama City Panama

Arrival: July 22, 2012 4:27 PM Newark Liberty Intl Airport, Newark NJ - U.S.

Panama, DEPARTURE

Depart to USA. Trip to airport at 7:00 a.m.

Gamboa

Located at the confluence of the Chagres River and the Panama Canal, Gamboa once housed Panama Canal Commission engineers. Gamboa is now home to several STRI programs, including the effects of atmospheric conditions on plant growth, the defenses tropical plants develop against disease, and a reforestation program. In addition, Gamboa serves as the staging area for STRI research in Soberanía National Park and the Barro Colorado Nature Monument.

In October 2007, STRI purchased 17.5 acres of land in Gamboa from the Government of Panama. This was the first step in STRI's long-term strategic plan to establish a new campus in Gamboa that will support advanced research on plant physiology and global climate change, as well as studies on the role tropical forests play in providing ecosystem services such as clean water and carbon storage under changing environmental conditions. In addition, the Republic of Panama has granted custodianship to STRI of 156 acres of adjacent forest.

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Barro Colorado Island

BCI is a biological reserve under the custodianship of STRI. The island is part of the Barro Colorado Nature Monument and, since 1923 has been an international center for tropical forest research. Each year, more than 250 scientists come to study ecology, evolution and the island's extraordinary flora and fauna. Here young scientists from universities around the world conduct research and are trained in research techniques. The 16 km2 island, has a greater plant biodiversity than all of Europe and over 500 species of vertebrates including 384 species of bird, 5 species of monkey, 74 species of bat and 30 species of frog. Studies conducted on Barro Colorado Island have been key in improving knowledge of biological processes in the tropics.

The original large (50 hectare) tropical forest dynamics plot was established on BCI in 1980. Over the past 30 years, STRI has developed a global network of compatible forest plots known as the Center for Tropical Forest Science, and since the network has recently expanded to the temperate zone, the network has changed its name to the Smithsonian Institution Global Earth Observatories (SIGEO); a large data set is available to all on the web. This system is uniquely positioned to investigate key indicators of global environmental change.

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Culebra Nature Center

A former military base with a breathtaking view of the Canal and coast, Culebra Point has been converted by STRI into a center for environmental outreach and marine education. At Culebra, with support from HSBC Panama, we introduce 25,000 Panamanian schoolchildren a year to their marine heritage and the role of science in understanding and conserving nature and natural resources. Annually, the Nature Center hosts 70,000 visitors. Culebra has a mix of habitats including rocky shore, sandy beach and dry forest environments, with wildlife such as shorebirds, sloths and iguanas.

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Galeta Marine Laboratory

Galeta was a US Navy installation part of the famous Coco Solo Naval Station. In 1959 STRI began research in Galeta on local tropical coastal habitats-coral reefs, mangrove forests and sea grass beds. In 1973 the marine scientific monitoring program of the Caribbean started. In 2000 Galeta began its marine environmental education program linking its research to the Panamanian classrooms. In 2008 the Laboratory received 10,000 students from Panama, hosted by its 16 nature guides and volunteers. In 2003 the outreach program aimed at local fishermen began and in 2007 the teacher training program to improve the teaching of the sciences.

This Center is an oasis of natural beauty in the heart of Panama's most impoverished and industrial region, and is having a strong impact on education and quality of life in Colon. Meet the staff of the Center and enjoy the exhibits, including the mangrove boardwalk. Your host will be Stanley Heckadon, director of facility and STRI's Public Programs.

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Bocas del Toro

The Bocas del Toro Research Station (BRS), a field station of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) on Panama's Western Caribbean coast, is an ideal platform for both marine and terrestrial research. The station hosts a diverse group of Smithsonian scientists, their colleagues and students.

Activities at the station contribute to the Smithsonian Institution's primary mission: the increase and diffusion of knowledge. BRS visitors are engaged in research on the biodiversity, ecology, paleontology and archaeology of the Bocas del Toro region. Educational and outreach activities range from hosting K-12 school groups, to specialized training for international graduate students.

Founded in 1998, the BRS campus has provided field accommodation since 2002 and a fully operational research laboratory since 2003. Subsequent development of a running seawater system, a new dock, boat ramp, and additional support facilities, as well as two houses to accommodate visiting researchers, soon followed. The BRS now boasts the most up-to-date research facilities among the preeminent field stations in the Caribbean.

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Bocas del Toro Gamboa Galeta Marine Laboratory Barro Colorado Island Culebra Nature Center