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To Tropical Biology Organizations

For boilerplate on BCI, visit For a more personal angle on the investigations of scientists currently working on BCI, and pictures of the island, go to . To access material from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute's Tupper Tropical Science Library, one of the most comprehensive resources in the world for tropical biology and conservation, go to

For pictures of large, guilty-looking mammals that have been camera-trapped on BCI, go to For the tapir obsessed (or merely intrigued), check out of the nonprofit Tapir Preservation Fund. Excellent tapir photos and information on all four tapir species.

To Visit BCI

Civilians are welcome to make day trips to BCI, but you'll have to join an official group and ride the island launch from the Panama Canal town of Gamboa. If you're doing this on your own, you must go through the Smithsonian: If you're planning on visiting other natural areas in Panama, you might consider visiting BCI through an adventure travel specialist that will work the BCI visit into a larger itinerary. Three that do this are Ecocircuitos (, Lost World Adventures (, and Latin American Escapes (

To Hang with Scientists in the Field

Earthwatch Institute and Audubon Expedition Institute both facilitate this desire.

For a Vicarious Thrill

Click here for a manageable list of botanical gardens and arboreta in the United States, and some in Australia and England:

For an enormous list of natural-history museums (think dioramas) around the world, go to:

If You Want to Become a Field Station Junkie

The Organization of Biological Field Stations ( provides links to OBFS member stations (180 of them), primarily in North and Central America. They publish a newsletter about field research and a directory. The Organization for Tropical Studies ( is a nonprofit consortium of 58 universities and research institutes from the U.S., Latin America and Australia. To strengthen education and research in tropical biology, OTS conducts graduate and undergraduate education, facilitates research, and maintains three biological research stations in Costa Rica. The program sends hordes of students through BCI a couple times a year.

If You Want to Do the Right Thing

An international nonprofit, the Rainforest Alliance ( develops and promotes economically viable and socially desirable alternatives to rainforest destruction. In addition to education and research, it establishes cooperative partnerships with businesses, governments, and indigenous folk. The Amazon Conservation Team ( addresses rainforest conservation by helping to ensure survival of indigenous people's traditional culture, focusing on indigenous medicinal and botanical wisdom. The venerable (est. 1985) Rainforest Alliance Network ( is an action-oriented conservation group, heavily oriented toward grassroots projects. The Rain Forest Foundation, ( of Sting and Trudie Styler fame, is big on securing indigenous rights in Brazil, and beyond.

Conservation Hubs and Activism

A very busy umbrella site for numerous other rainforest resources, with rainforest facts, news, and action alerts is The Tropical Rainforest Coalition (, builds coalitions between individuals, corporations, businesses, learning institutions and nongovernmental organizations who want to save the rainforest. The tree hugger's rolodex is, with links to everything from birdwatching groups to the Herpetologists League to the Pesticide Action Network.

Here are URLS for the major environmental groups, most of which have a presence in Washington as well as local chapters, and all of which take strong pro-rainforest positions. Each has a slightly different focus but all are good groups in which to invest your hard-earned cash. Are you carrying your card? It's not just whales and water; does tropical forest conservation, too. Natural Resources Defense Council Used to be called Environmental Defense Fund, now just Environmental Defense National Wildlife Federation. Conservation International Friends of the Earth Defenders of Wildlife - Wildlife Conservation Society - aka The Bronx Zoo Earth Island Institute The Wildlands Project, started by defectors from Earth First!

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