Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation



I was part of the ITEC faculty during August 1998. The ITEC field station at Boca del Drago on the island of Bocas del Toro, Panama is an outstanding location for learning neotropical entomology. There is ready access to primary and secondary forest, coastal scrub, as well as extensive mangrove stands. In short, diverse habitats are conveniently close to the laboratory facilities. I was particularly interested in the tree buttress habitat in order to collect phlebotomine sand flies. Mature buttressed fig and Ceiba were easily located and studied. Laboratory facilities include a small library of reference books and reprints, microscopes, drying cabinet and 110 A. C. for charging batteries. Internet connectivity , including e-mail, is available. Accommodations were comfortable "A" frames located just a few meters from the Caribbean shore. The ocean breeze was very refreshing after a day in the forest!

ITEC is particularly well suited for biology undergraduates who desire neotropical experience. The next ITEC program is scheduled for June, July, and August of 1999. The month-long summer courses are cost effective and an advantage of the broad program is that you are encouraged to exchange ideas with other students exploring the neotropics. Another advantage is the international faculty with extensive tropical biology experience.

A major plus for the ITEC program is its location in Bocas del Toro Province in the Republic of Panama. Situated on the Caribbean coast, far from urban centers, ITEC offers access to diverse neotropical habitats. During 1997 and 1998 summer courses were based at Boca del Drago on the northern tip of Bocas del Toro island. Bastimentos National Park was an easy boat ride away. Field trips of several-days duration to mainland locations such as montane forest at Fortuna and the coffee-growing regions of Boquete and Costa Rica were included in the ITEC courses.

ITEC is an excellent educational experience for the undergraduate!

Dr. Peter Lahanas is the Director of the ITEC program.

For complete information, visit the ITEC website at

Or write to:

Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation
P. O. Box 140564
Gainesville, FLORIDA 32614-0564

Tel.: (352) 337-394

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