Immerse yourself in the dynamic community of Bocas del Toro. Snorkel and hike through diverse environments – from coral reefs and mangroves to cloud forests and rainforests – and study the impacts of tourism on the island system and its people. Meet the local residents who depend on both tourism and natural resources and learn about current approaches to sustainable tourism in Bocas.
SFS students live and study at the Center for Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies, a onetime beachfront hotel that sits among the slender palms and warm sands of Isla Colón lies the Center. At this idyllic field station, you’ll take your classes in the waves of the Caribbean and the surrounding rainforests. The laidback tourist hub of Bocas Town is a short taxi ride away, with access to shops, restaurants, and a vibrant culture that is as unique as the mix of people who live here.
- Embark on a cross-country road trip from Panama City to Bocas del Toro to experience the full breadth of Panama’s culture, biodiversity, and sustainable practices.
- Practice environmental assessment techniques to identify drivers of human-induced stress in natural systems (snorkeling and swimming skill level dependent)
- Visit the Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the archipelago to determine how tourism can support protected areas
- Develop field skills including: Species identification, tourism impact assessment, Spanish language, research design, data collection, scientific writing and presentation