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STRI’s physical monitoring program began in 1972 on Barro Colorado Island and the Punta Galeta marine station. Today, the program includes nine automated weather stations, two weirs, a network of remote ocean temperature sensors deployed along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Panama, and multi-parameter ocean water quality monitoring in the Bay of Panama and Bocas del Toro. The goal of this program is to provide STRI’s scientific researchers with the high quality meteorological, hydrological and oceanographic data needed to support their research.

Since then, the program has grown and currently includes ten permanent climate monitoring stations, an array of remote ocean temperature sensors deployed in the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Panama, multi-parameter water quality measurements in the Bay of Panama and salinity measurements in Gatun Lake.

The purpose of this program is to provide high quality environmental monitoring data in support of STRI’s scientific mission. All data have been made publicly and freely available on this website.

Data quality statement

We provide these data on an “as is” basis. Most data series have been subjected to at least some quality assurance procedures – some more extensively than others. We continue to strive to improve the quality of the data, but recognize that, like virtually all large databases, there will always be errors. The metadata included with the data describes the quality assurance procedures that have been applied. In all cases, we provide copies of the original data along with a curated version so that the user may apply their own proceedures.

If you have any questions about the fitness for use of a given data series, please contact us at Extensive metadata for all stations is available upon request.

Data Use Provisions

All data collected by the Smithsonian and made available on this website are in the public domain and may be freely used for any non-commercial activities without the need for prior consent. We request that any published use of these data includes the following accreditation: Physical Monitoring Program, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

This site also hosts data from the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and the Empresa de Transmisión Eléctrica SA (ETESA). Any use of these data should credit the relevant institution.

For a more detailed description of our data use provisions, click on Data Usage Policy.


This program operates under the following research collecting permit: Ministerio de Ambiente, Permiso Científico No. SE/O-18.

The following Google Earth file provides a list of all STRI and ACP physical monitoring locations. KMZ Monitoring Locations.