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Galeta Teacher training, funds For Jaguar Conservation, Boná, Erased and more

April 30, 2019

Panamá

Funds For Jaguar Conservation

More than 40 jaguars were killed in Panama in 2018, usually because they threatened livestock. Jaguars need well-protected habitats to survive. Ricardo Moreno, founder of Fundación Yaguará Panamá who is also a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and a STRI research associate, received $200,000 from the Global Environment Fund (GEF) to stimulate ecotourism, environmental education and adaptation of cattle ranching to support jaguar conservation in Panamá. Funds will be managed through the Small Donations Program of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).


Boná

Conservationists proposing a new reserve, used data from staff scientist Héctor Guzmán and research associate George Angehr to underscore the importance of Boná, an island in the Bay of Panama destined to become an oil terminal, as seabird nesting habitat.


Erased

Telling “the most splendid of ghost stories,” about the displacement of hundreds of people and the “destruction of a centuries-old commercial culture,” STRI research associate Marixa Lasso presented her new book, Erased: The Untold Story of the Panama Canal, Harvard University Press, sponsored by the Centro Internacional de Estudios Politicos y Sociales AIP and SENACYT.


Congratulations Jae Choe

The new editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior is Jae Choe, a former STRI post-doctoral fellow from Ewha Women’s University in Seoul, Korea.


Save the Harpy Eagle 2019

On Sunday, April 14, guides Omar Gómez and Matías Diéz from the Galeta Point Marine Laboratory represented STRI at the annual Festi Harpía at Summit Nature Park, celebrating the declaration of the Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) as Panama’s national bird in 2002. STRI is a member of the Friends of the Harpy Eagle, which continues to teach the importance of conserving eagle habitat. Thanks to Jorge Moisés Herrera, Barro Colorado Guide for organizing, Lina Gonzalez for the stand, Ailene Saenz for t-shirts, etc., Jairo Castillo and Martha Messia for educational materials and folks from the Traffic department for transportation.


Congratulations Luis Carlos Rodríguez!

Luis Carlos Rodríguez Castrejón studied barnacles as an intern in Rachel Collin’s lab. He recently defended his undergraduate thesis at the University of Panama, receiving excellent marks for his project titled: Morphometry and Abundance of Cirripeds (Crustacea: Cirripedia) in the Cyprid Developmental Stage at Different Sites and Depths


3rd March for Science

Science lovers from all walks of life wore bright green t-shirts from Panama’s office of science and technology (SENACYT) as they gathered on the Amador Causeway at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal to March for Science on Sunday, March 31st.  Scientists and educators organized marches around the country to underscore the role of science in good decision making and public policy development. Workshops like The Biochemistry of Love and Coffee or Chocolate? organized by a broad range of science groups sparked the enthusiasm of kids and adults alike. STRI Director, Matt Larsen was spotted at STRI’s Q?rioso stand where Karina Hassell entertained kids with activities developed for our Q?Bus.


Hot Climate Science Talks

As all of Panama sweltered through sauna-like conditions as the first rains of the season evaporated, STRI’s director of physical monitoring, Steve Paton, was busy explaining how the weather works in Panama and warning people of the dire consequences of climate change by the end of the century.

Paton spoke at the Cultural Center at Via Argentina on April 24th and at a Science Café organized by Panama’s office of science and technology (SENACYT) on April 25th


Q?Bus joins Ministry of Education Forum

As consciousness-raising about the environmental health disasters caused by plastics, STRI participated in a forum organized by Panama’s Ministry of Education (MEDUCA) on Friday, April 26 for teachers from several Panamanian provinces. Karina Hassell and Raimundo Gonzales presented activities designed for the Q-Bus about the Agua Salud reforestation project in the Panama Canal watershed. They gave away posters and answered questions from teachers who would like the Q?Bus to visit their schools.


RedPop

According to event organizers seats on the bus scheduled to take RedPop conference participants to Culebra Point Nature Center in a post-conference field trip were in high demand. STRI took advantage of the brainpower of journalists, museum professionals and educators gathered for the yearly meeting of the Science and Technology Popularization Network in Latin America and the Caribbean (Red de Popularización de la Ciencia y la Tecnología en America Latina y El Caribe/Redpop) to present information about STRI and ask for help brainstorming ways to better reach the public. Linette Dutari, associate director for communications and public programs took part in pre-conference panel discussion and STRI staff scientist Aaron O’Dea joined another panel about Panama’s prehistory. A former STRI fellow, now a geologist at Colombia’s Universidad del Norte, presented Carlos Jaramillo et al.’s book Hace Tiempo and Emily Zhukov from Estudio Nuboso presented art projects inspired by STRI science.


Galeta’s 12th Teacher Training

Thanks to the Candeo Fund and the International Community Foundation, the staff at STRI’s Galeta Point Marine Laboratory on Panama’s Caribbean coast hosted their 12th annual teacher training course. Near the city of Colón a and the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal, the station, directed by Stanley Heckadon Moreno, has received more than 100,000 school children and has inspired more than 400 teachers to do hands-on science in their classrooms.  


National Library Week, from Afar

STRI Librarian Carrie Smith encouraged the staff to visit the STRI library during U.S. National Library Week, tempting us with archival materials that is usually under lock and key in the stacks. 

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