Bocas del Toro

Help Bocas del Toro Research Station Realize Our Vision

Over its short history, the Bocas del Toro Research station has grown into a world-class field station and marine laboratory, supporting researchers from over 40 countries and training over 200 students every year. We have a vibrant local outreach program active in training local teachers in environmental education, hosting local K-12 and university field trips, and organizing various community activities (learn more).

With your help we can do more…


  1. Help a K-12 student visit the BRS: The low income of residents in the Bocas del Toro region means that school groups often do not have the funds available to reach the BRS and participate in educational activities. We send our public programs coordinator to visit the schools, but there is no substitute for the hands-on experiences on-site at the BRS. Only $5/student can help bring a class from a local school for a visit.
    K-12 students at Bocas del Toro Research Station

  2. Help an undergraduate or graduate student get trained: The Training in Tropical Taxonomy program is a one-of-a-kind program that aims to counter the growing crisis in the loss of expertise in taxonomy and the study of biodiversity. We bring experts and students from around the world together for intensive training workshops (learn more). Donations to this fund will help provide fellowships to help a needy student participate in this competitive program.
    Students at Bocas Research Station Labs

  3. Director’s Discretionary Fund: Let station Director Dr. Rachel Collin decide where your donation can do the most to help outreach, education, public programs or science at the BRS. Supporting this fund will help improve equipment available to the visiting scientists (for example to improve, acquire or replace boats or scientific equipment like microscopes) or to supplement programs supported by the other funds.

STRI is a registered charitable organization in both the United States and the Republic of Panama and donations may be deductable from the donor’s income taxes.

How to donate:

By Gifts of Stock, Planned Giving & Bequests:
Contact Lisa Barnett at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s Development Office for gifts of stock, planned giving, or bequests.

Lisa Barnett: / Phone: (202) 633-4014

You can volunteer in any of the BRS public programs! Simply contact our public programs specialist Marlon Smith, to see how you can participate.

To donate by check:
Checks should be made payable to “Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute”. Please print and fill out this form and send it together with your check to one of the following addresses:

  • To mail from the US:
    Lisa Barnett
    Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
    P.O. Box 37012, MRC 705
    Washington, DC 20013-7012
  • To mail by courier to Panama:
    Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
    Att: Accounting/Bocas Donations
    MRC 0580- 03
    Phone: (507) 212-8047
    Earl S. Tupper Center - Edificio Tivoli – 413
    Balboa, Ancón
    Panamá, República de Panamá
  • To hand deliver:
    In Bocas del Toro:
    To Rachel Collin at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Bocas del Toro Research Station found in El Istmito, Bocas Town, Isla Colon. Any local taxi can take you, just ask for the Smithsonian.