Celebrating a Century of Tropical Science and Looking Forward to the Next 100 Years


Gamboa Rainforest Reserve

BCI Alumni Reunion: June 16, 2024
Science Symposium: June 17 –20, 2024

Registration is now open

You can now register for the symposium as well as field trips, workshops and more.

Registration dates

Early: March 15th – April 26th
Regular:
April 27th –  May 31th
Late:
June 1st – June 13th

Building on a Century of Tropical Science

Join us in Gamboa, Panama, for a milestone event: the Barro Colorado Island field station is turning 100!

  • Share and discover the science being done at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and our Panamanian partner institutions today!
  • Reunite with old friends and colleagues and make new connections in our vibrant scientific community!
  • Help us jointly envision the next 100 years of tropical research and education, with presentations on the potential of new technologies, debates on the most promising avenues for future research, and discussions of how we can contribute to a more diverse and inclusive future!

Centennial Science Symposium, June 17-20

The symposium will feature three days of invited and contributed scientific talks, poster presentations, and discussion panels.

Following an opening reception on day one, day two will focus on the legacy of the first 100 years of BCI, a keynote by Lissy Coley, and sessions on long-term studies, the educational legacy of BCI, and the conservation value of field stations.

On day three, we will showcase the diversity and depth of tropical research at STRI and other academic and research institutions in Panama today.

On day four we will look toward the future and the potential of new technologies, the most promising avenues for research, and how best to advance diversity and inclusion.

The call for abstracts is now open.

Registration is now open. The schedule of registration fees is here


BCI Alumni reunion, June 16

We warmly invite BCI alumni to join us on BCI and in Gamboa to reconnect with old friends, revisit old haunts, and make new connections as part of STRI’s first-ever alumni reunion. Join us on BCI on Sunday, June 16, for forest walks with current researchers and to rejoin the longest-running conversation in tropical biology in the BCI cafeteria. Note that space on the boat is limited, so don’t delay in signing up! There is also limited capacity for alumni overnights on BCI.

Bioblitz: June 15 and June 17

Everyone is invited to join Gamboa’s first ever Bioblitz! A standard Bioblitz is a community science activity to find and ID as many species as possible using smartphone apps. Our enhanced Bioblitz will also include more systematic data collection on some taxonomic groups. Data collection will take place in Gamboa throughout the day and night. Anyone with a smartphone can assist with data collection on Saturday, June 15. People with expertise in species identification are needed to help assign taxon names to photos and sound recordings on Monday, June 17.

Workshops

Learn a new skill through interactive instruction and hands-on training in a scientist-led workshop on June 14, 17 or 21. Workshops are open to symposium attendees and BCI alumni. Space is limited! Space is limited!

Field Trips

Symposium attendees and BCI alumni are invited to sign up for scientist-led field trips on Monday, June 17 and Friday, June 21. Explore a field site, learn about current research on-site, and perhaps consider possibilities for your own future research there. Space is limited!

Schedule

Workshop: ArcGIS Field Maps: An Introduction

Schedule: 7:15 AM – 3:00 PM

Location: Earl S. Tupper Training Room

Learn more

Bioblitz Field Day

Community activity to inventory local biological diversity, by collecting as many field observations as possible using a cellphone app, and identifying them to species.  BCI (based out of conference room) and Gamboa (based out of Gamboa lab 1st floor conference room).

For more information please contact Steve Paton patons@si.edu.


BCI alumni overnights on BCI

Your tropical walk down memory lane will begin with an evening boat to BCI, an evening activity, and overnight on the island. In the morning, you will participate in the alumni reunion day and return to Gamboa in the late afternoon.

Estimated cost: $280

To request your overnight visit to BCI, please complete this form.

Workshop: Fleshy Fungi of Gamboa

Schedule: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Location: Gamboa

Learn more


Alumni Reunion Day on BCI

Join for a day of walks in the forest, a BBQ celebration, special scientific conversations and time to socialize with friends old and new. You can request to stay overnight, participating in additional activities, and returning to Gamboa the following day.

Estimated cost: $180 (day trip only) or $280 (overnight)

To request your overnight visit to BCI, please complete this form.

Bioblitz Analysis Day

Community activity to inventory local biological diversity, by collecting as many field observations as possible using a cellphone app, and identifying them to species.  Gamboa (based out of Gamboa lab 1st floor conference room).  


Ecometabolomics Workshop: A bioinformatics training workshop to bring a chemical perspective to ongoing research at STRI

Schedule: 7:15 AM – 3:00 PM

Location: Earl S. Tupper Training Room

Learn more


Field Trip: Bradley Family Canopy Crane and Forest at Parque Natural Metropolitano (Group 1)

Schedule: 7:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Location: Parque Natural Metropolitano

Learn more


Field Trip: Bradley Family Canopy Crane and Forest at Parque Natural Metropolitano (Group 2)

Schedule: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Location: Parque Natural Metropolitano

Learn more


Field Trip: Agua Salud

Schedule: 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Location: Agua Salud

Learn more


Gamboa Lab Open House

Schedule: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Location: Gamboa Campus

Learn more


Centennial Symposium Opening Reception

Gamboa Rainforest Reserve 

Centennial Symposium Day 1:
The Legacy of Barro Colorado Island

(preliminary program – subject to change)

Opening words

Opening words by Josh Tewksbury, Ira Rubinoff Director, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Keynote talk

The ecology, evolution and conservation potential of anti-herbivore defenses in rainforest trees, by Lissy Coley, Distinguished Professor Emerita of Biology at the University of Utah, and member of the National Academy of Sciences

Organized oral session

Insights into the basic biology and global change responses of tropical forests from very long-term studies

Contributed oral session

Lessons from long-term studies and research programs at Barro Colorado

Poster session

Long-term and historical studies at Barro Colorado and associated datasets

Discussion panel

Building on the training and educational legacy of BCI and STRI within and beyond Panama, organized by Omar López, Secretario Técnico, SENACYT (Sistema Nacional de Investigación de Panamá)

Discussion panel

The great and largely overlooked value of long-term field stations for conservation, organized by Russ Mittermeier, Chief Conservation Officer of Re:Wild. 


Bat Night

Join us Tuesday June 18 from 7pm to 8:30pm at the Gamboa Lab for Bat Night. We’ll share current research, discuss bat sensory and cognitive adaptations, and talk about bats’ diverse range of social systems and foraging ecologies, and the critical roles bats play in maintaining balanced ecosystems. You’ll have the opportunity to join us in the adjacent rainforest to see how we untangle bats from mistnets, and visit STRI’s Gamboa Laboratory, where we’ll take a look at a variety of different bat species up close.

For more information, contact Rachel Page (PageR@si.edu) or Gregg Cohen (coheng@si.edu).

Learn more

Centennial Symposium Day 2:
Research in STRI and Panama Today

Note: the 2024 STRI fellows symposium is integrated into this day of the centennial symposium.  Talks and posters by STRI fellows (in any area of research at STRI) will be included in the program.

Organized oral session

The effects of climate change on tropical organisms, communities, and ecosystems

Organized oral session

The role of plant-enemy interactions in shaping tropical forest communities across environmental gradients

Organized oral session

Ecological processes and forest ecosystem functions in dynamic socio-ecological systems: a view from Agua Salud

Concurrent contributed oral sessions

Featuring current research at STRI and in Panamanian tropical forests

Poster session

Current research at STRI and in Panamanian tropical forests

Centennial Symposium Day 3:
Looking to the Future at BCI and Beyond

(preliminary program – subject to change)

Organized oral session

The potential of modern technologies to advance tropical forest research

Contributed oral session

Looking to the Future at BCI and beyond – future research directions, multi-site studies, education and outreach

Poster session

Looking to the Future at BCI and beyond – future research directions, multi-site studies, education and outreach

Organized oral presentations and discussion panel

The Next Big Plot: what new massive data collection campaign can transform tropical forest science?

Conversation with Cristián Samper

A conversation with Cristián Samper, Managing Director and Leader of Nature Solutions at the Bezos Earth Fund

Centennial Symposium Closing Dinner 

Workshop: Botanical Illustration with an emphasis on pen and ink

Schedule: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Location: Gamboa Lab

Learn more

Workshop: Building Equitable and Inclusive Forest Research Programs in the Tropics

Schedule: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Location: Gamboa Rainforest Reserve (Jacaranda Room)

Learn more

Call for abstracts

You’re invited to contribute your talk and/or poster to the centennial symposium!

June 18: we welcome presentations on long-term and/or historical studies and datasets at Barro Colorado and/or other Panamanian forests. 

June 19: we aim to showcase the breadth of research in Panamanian tropical forests and/or at STRI today, and thus welcome presentations on current and recent studies.  

June 20: we look to the future and welcome future-oriented presentations including those on emerging research directions, the potential of new technologies, multi-site studies, education, outreach, and more. 

Lodging

Gamboa Rainforest Reserve hotel

The Gamboa Rainforest Reserve offers special group rates until May 24, 2024.

Availability is limited.

BCI dorms

A limited number of spaces and shared rooms will be available for alumni to spend an overnight on Barro Colorado for a tropical walk down memory lane. More info to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Got a question? Please refer to our FAQ. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please contact us at stribci100@si.edu.

Donate

We hope to make this event as accessible as possible. Support the BCI 100 Symposium and help inspire the next generation of researchers that will expand Barro Colorado’s legacy. 

You’re invited to the scientific symposium of the century!

As we honor the remarkable 100-year legacy of Barro Colorado, we extend a warm invitation to you to be part of this historic celebration. This event is not just a reflection of past achievements but a beacon for future scientific explorations.

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