Why study biodiversity in Panama?
Panama’s diverse ecosystems and species are among the most threatened on the planet. In this small country, where you can travel from one coast to the other in an hour, you’ll spend extensive time studying ecosystems of both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, including mangrove forests, tidal marshes, coral reefs, and seagrass beds.
You will study carbon accumulation and marine ecology in spectacular settings, including Coiba Island UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and Guna Yala indigenous territory. You will snorkel in one of the world’s top 10 diving sites and conduct research guided by renowned marine biologists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Bocas de Toro.
You’ll also contribute to ongoing research by completing a two-week independent field project on a topic of your choice related to the program theme. To complete this project, you will use scientific methodologies, apply field research techniques, gather and analyze data, and present your research results.
- Examine the emerging field of blue carbon and its role in climate change.
- Spend six weeks in the field learning about coastal ecosystems and more.
- Contribute to ongoing research with a two-week independent research project.
- Snorkel in one of the world’s top 10 diving sites while conducting research.
Previous college-level coursework and/or other preparation in environmental studies, ecology, biology, or related fields, as assessed by SIT. There is no language prerequisite. You will spend most of the time in the water and must be able to swim well.