Workshop on Cyberinfrastructure for International Biodiversity Research Collaboration
City of Knowledge, Panama
January 10-13, 2006



BCI Excursion

Dear Participants in the Panama Cyberinfrastructure Workshop:

We have arranged for a field trip to visit Barro Colorado Island on Friday, January 13th, after the workshop. BCI is a biological research facility and tropical forest reserve of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Here is a brief introduction to BCI:

We will have two trips to BCI on Friday. One that leaves from the Workshop hotel at 6:30 AM, and returns back to the hotel at 1:00 PM. The second trip leaves the hotel at 12 PM Noon on Friday and returns to the hotel at 6 PM. We are working on the option of going at 6:30 AM and returning at 6 PM--if there is interest in staying all day on BCI.

We will ask you to indicate your interest in either trip when you register at the hotel upon arriving, there is no charge for the visit.

If you are interested in getting into the field for a look at the biodiversity on the island, you should know something about what to wear, the weather, and the arthropods you are likely to encounter.

As of this week, the dry season has not arrived in Panama, it's late this year, so we will likely be dealing with rain showers next week. Bring an umbrella in your luggage.

What to bring for the field trip to BCI (from the BCI web site):

  • T-shirt or light, long sleeved shirt that you will not mind getting wet and muddy
  • Long pants for field wear
  • Hat
  • Cédula or passport and student ID
  • Ticket issued by STRI (The workshop will take care of these.)
  • Socks, walking shoes or hiking boots--be prepared for MUD!,
  • Bottle of water and rain jacket (recommended between April and December) AND January 2006!
  • Optional: pencil, notebook, binoculars, camera, change of clothes, insect repellent and masking tape (to tape socks over pants).

I am told that the ticks on BCI are abundant (thus the taping of socks over pants to keep the ticks out), and that the researchers typically bring extra tape into the field to pull the very small ticks off clothes and skin. Not to worry, we will supply some tape for the ticks and some repellent for the insects.

We will be accompanied by a guide, and we have several field biologists at the workshop who can demonstrate to their field knowledge!!

BCI is a world renown tropical research site, this will be an interesting and informative visit.

See you soon and safe travels!

Jim Beach
Julio Ibarra