Biological Survey of the Panama Canal Zone

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Summary

Prior to the environmental disruption of the construction of the Panama Canal, Smithsonian scientists coordinated and led a Biological Survey of the Panama Canal Zone, from 1910 to 1912. The purpose of the field work was to identify the native flora and fauna of the isthmus and surrounding marine environments before construction damaged the region and before any Atlantic and Pacific floras and faunas could mix in the Canal. The scientists also searched for a field station site which eventually led to the creation of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on Barro Colorado Island.

Subject

  • Panama Canal Zone
  • Barro Colorado Island Biological Laboratory
  • Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI)

Category

Chronology of Smithsonian History

Notes

Explorations Organized by or Participated in by the Smithsonian Institution for 1910-1911, Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 59, No. 11, City of Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1912, pp. 14-26; Explorations Organized by or Participated in by the Smithsonian Institution for 1912, Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 60, No. 30, City of Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1913, pp. 62-74.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu

Date

1910-1912

Topic

  • Scientific expeditions
  • Panama Canal (Panama)

Place

  • Panama
  • Barro Colorado Island (Panama)

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