Skip to content

Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
  • Locations: Bocas del Toro, Panama; Gamboa, Panama
  • Program Terms: Winter
  • Budget Sheets: Winter
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:

**Applicants must have a passport by early October.  Resources can be found on the Office of International Education website.


groupPanama means "abundance of fish and butterflies," panama tree reflecting the extensive biodiversity and unique geography of this isthmus country.  Panama is home to the largest neotropical rainforest outside the Amazon Basin, and the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans are only 80 km apart between the economically important Panama Canal.  During this research-oriented trip, students will visit Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute facilities at Gamboa near the 22,000-hectare Soberania national Park.


Program Design

kayakingThis course is designed for undergraduate students with an interest in tropical biology and ecology. A previous course in biology or environmental science is recommended but not required. We will spend several days at Bocas del Toro Station on Isla Colon in the Caribbean, studying basic marine biology and geology. We will spend the rest of the trip at Gamboa on the Panama Canal near Gatun Lake. You will participate in an ongoing coral reef research project with STRI scientists will provide you with a unique experience collecting meaningful scientific data. We will take excursions to Barro Colorado Island and other national parks, as well as museums and zoos near Gamboa and in Panama City. 

We will be spending several days each at Bocas del Toro archipelago on the Caribbean coast and at Gamboa on the Panama Canal, with day trips to Barro Colorado Island, and Soberania and Altos de Campana National Parks.   

You will be introduced to basic marine biology and learn about some of the threats to healthy coral reefs. We will also learn about the paleobiology and geology of Panama by observing ancient coral and geological formations. Special events include a traditional New Years Eve celebration in Bocastown. We will be collaborating with STRI scientists to evaluate the effects of burrowing organisms in dead staghorn coral with STRI scientists.  We will visit dry, wet, and cloud forests and use a variety of techniques to gain a better understanding of forest biodiversity and ecology. We will take a guided tour on Barro Colorado Island to see old growth forest and visit the field station.  

**Note:  This travel course involves transportation in small boats and research activities that will require the students to snorkel in large bodies of water.  These components are required to satisfy the academic portion of the course and participating students are encouraged to be comfortable in and around water and boats or must be willing to use safety equipment and follow Smithsonian and UW-Green Bay safety regulations in order to participate in the course.

Program Dates: December 27th, 2017 - January 10th, 2018


Comfortable lodging is included for the duration of the program.  Most meals are provided. starfish

This program is currently not accepting applications.