Barro Colorado Island Research Facilities
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama
Three million years ago, the Isthmus of Panama rose from the sea and changed the world. The linking of two continents sparked one of the earth’s greatest natural experiments in evolution as species of animals and plants migrated between North and South America across the newly formed land bridge that divided an ocean and created two vastly different marine ecosystems.
The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI), as it has been known since 1966, was created to expand and share knowledge about the past, present, and future of tropical ecosystems and their relevance to human welfare. That work began in 1910 when the Smithsonian led one of the world’s first major environmental impact studies, which surveyed and catalogued the flora and fauna of the lowland tropical forests that would be flooded with the creation of the Panama Canal. More than a century later, the Smithsonian in Panama is a standard-setting global platform for groundbreaking research on tropical forests and marine ecosystems and their astounding biodiversity.
Join Linette Dutari, associate director of communications at STRI, live from Panama for an informative and engaging program that moves from the skies to the depths of the seas as it covers all the places where STRI scientists seek answers to the questions that motivate their daily research. Why Panama? That story is as rich as the tropics, one that chronicles the evolution of a field station where only men were allowed, to today’s vibrant, diverse community of researchers and students that make STRI a world-class research platform.
Get a look at STRI scientists at work and learn some of the the questions their research sets out to answer in this brief video.
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