Friday, June 8, 2018

Count down to Panama!
Follow us as we begin our STEM expedition June 28, 2018

Joyce Tugel and I (Page Keeley) are leading the second annual STEM Expedition put together for us by Holbrook Travel, specialists in combining travel with unforgettable firsthand experiences to learn about the natural world. We will do our best to post summaries of each day (as long as the Internet is accessible), along with photos.  We will keep a biodiversity list of species we spot (see column on the right). A brief description of our itinerary is listed below. We hope you will join us virtually for this exciting expedition!

Day 1 (June 28) - Arrival in Panama City

Day 2 (June 29) - Orientation; visit to the Brader School; visit to the Biomuseo; visit to the Miraflores Locks at the Panama Canal; evening lecture on Overview of Panama

Day 3 (June 30) - Boat journey to Barro Colorado Island in Gatun Lake to explore a humid tropical rainforest and meet with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute; Head to Gamboa

Day 4 (July 1) - Birdwatching neotropical bird species at the famous Pipeline Road; visit Rainforest Discovery Center in Soberania National Park; Visit Summit Botanical Gardens and Zoo to learn about local conservation efforts; afternoon ride on aerial tram in Gamboa

Day 5 (July 2) - Board small boats at Lake Alajuela to travel up the Rio Chagres River to visit the Embera Indigenous Village; spend a full day with the Embera

Day 6 (July 3) - Flight to Chiriqui Provence. Spend day in Bouquet; evening lecture on pollination and biodiversity in Bouquet

Day 7 (July 4) - Travel to Volcan Baru National Park to explore Panama's geologic past; visit local market in Bouquet; tour local coffee plantation and farm to learn about sustainable farming

Day 8 (July 5) - Depart for Bocas del Toro; Free time at Tranquil Bay for birding, kayaking, snorkeling

Day 9 (July 6) - Travel to Bocas del Toro Smithsonian Field Station to learn about ongoing research

Day 10 (July 7) - Meet with sea turtle researchers and travel to Zapatilla Keys research site; afternoon walk to spring creek for hummingbird watching

Day 11 (July 8) - Return to Panama City; visit Metropolitan Park with aerial view via Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Canopy Crane; head to Casco Antiguo historic district for walking tour; dinner with folkloric dancing at Las Tinajas

Day 12 (July 9) - Depart for home