Tropical Ecology Summer School, Latin America
In February 2016 World ORT brought together 30 outstanding students aged 15-17 from across Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Spain and Uruguay. This regional summer school, which run in Spanish, is aimed at students who are passionate about Ecology and are intending to specialise in Ecology or a related field in their post- high school studies. Participants are expected to have academic knowledge of Ecology and experience of field investigations.
The two-week Summer School took place on the edge of the rainforests of the Soberanía National Park, Panama. Scientific advisors and teachers assisted students to develop their investigative skills through carrying out independent field projects ranging from studying leaf-cutting ants, hummingbird behaviour, agouti diets, and butterfly colour preferences. Students interacted with researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in topics such as amphibian decline, bird mist-netting, plant physiology, and bat research at night. Students also conducted field studies to investigate ecological differences between the two great oceans found in Panama: the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
This project will allow students, who are passionate about the natural environment and have a good level of background knowledge about the scientific study of Ecology, to more and to develop new skills in this area.