Bocas del Toro, Panama, Central America
In January, students travel to Panama on the Caribbean Sea to study tropical biology at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s Bocas del Toro Research Station on Isla Colon. This lab is operated by the Smithsonian Institute and located in Almirante Bay, within walking and swimming distance of lagoon, seagrass, and mangrove habitats, providing unlimited access to these marine habitats. Nearby fringing coral reefs provide superb diving and snorkeling. Coral reef ecology, ocean and coastal processes, as well as tropical terrestrial ecology are taught using Panama’s diverse tropical ecosystems and unique geographical location as classroom and laboratory on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. Students also have the opportunity to begin an independent research project.