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New Panama Smithsonian Laboratory. The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) has recently inaugurated a new Laboratory in the area of Gamboa, Panama. This research laboratory represents a $20 million investment by the U.S. government and private donors. It is the newest of a dozen laboratory and field research facilities that STRI operates in Panama.
The laboratory was inaugurated on Wednesday, September 21, by STRI Director, Matthew Larsen, along with Panama’s Minister of the Environment, Mirei Endara Heras, and Scott Miller, the Smithsonian’s Under Secretary for Collections and Interdisciplinary Support.
The three-story, 4,000-square-meter laboratory, adjacent to Panama’s Soberanía National Park, will complement the Smithsonian’s original tropical research station on Barro Colorado Island, founded in 1923, by consolidating long-term terrestrial research on animal behavior, forest ecology, evolution and climate-change biology.
The lab is also at the center of the Panama Canal Watershed, where information about ecosystem function and ecosystem services are vital to global commerce and where protection of the forest is directly linked to the security of the water supply for the canal and for half of Panama’s population.
This laboratory will satisfy the need of scientific information to create a more informed and environmentally conscious society.
STRI is a unit of the Smithsonian Institution in Panama that promotes understanding of tropical nature and its importance to human welfare, trains students and promotes conservation through public awareness.
For more information visit www.STRI.SI.edu