Tropical Ecology in Panama

Classroom Curriculum for Teachers and Students

Family Connection

Hello Families!

Thank you for taking the time to visit our site and talk with your children about tropical ecology and science in general. We hope that you will find our content informative, interesting, and perhaps even entertaining.

During the summer of 2010 two teachers from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sarah Oszuscik and Dana Thome visited Barro Colorado Island (BCI) in Panama. Thanks to UWM Professor Stefan Schnitzer, who was awarded a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Teachers grant, Dana and Sarah lived and worked in the field for one month. In the summer of 2011 the project continued with two additional teachers, Sara Wroblewski and Marcel Piatek.

The ultimate goal of the project is to deliver high quality, current science instruction to our students. We believe that the best way do this is to help teachers become more familiar with doing and teaching science. We know that when teachers are more prepared and passionate about the subject, students benefit.

You are invited to browse the photo albums and learn more about the plant and animal life on BCI and other places in Panama, or explore some of the history and culture of the country in pictures. Feel free to download the Rainforest Species Interaction Cards on the Curriculum page and explore the different ways to organize and play games with them to learn about food webs. Also, take some time to watch some of the video interviews with scientists that we met in the field.

We hope that you enjoy exploring with your children and learning about tropical ecology and Panama together.

If you have questions or comments, please contact us at


Sarah Oszuscik
Dana Thome
Sara Wroblewski
Marcel Piatek

Research Experience for Teachers participants