Gamboa, located 30 km north of Panama City, is a small town located on the east bank of the Panama Canal, north of the Chagres River. In the early 1930’s, the Panama Canal Company constructed Gamboa at the confluence of the Panama Canal to house its Canal Maintenance (Dredging) Division. At the Gamboa Field Station, STRI provides laboratories and accommodations for researchers who work at the 22,000-hectare Soberania National Park. The park is a protected area containing a wide variety of forest and freshwater habitats, administered by Panama’s National Authority for the Environment (Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente, or ANAM).

No Pets Allowed in this facility, thank you.

The main buildings in Gamboa are the school building and building 183.

Gamboa and the Panama Canal

Gamboa and the Panama Canal

Building 183

Building 183 currently provides housing quarters, desk or bench spaces and some laboratory facilities, as well as some general-use equipment and supplies, including an oven, refrigerator, computers, scopes, balances, a copier machine, a scanner and a fax machine. Connections are also available for portable computers. An e-mail account is assigned to each STRI apartment and house in Gamboa. A 4-wheel drive vehicle is required for working in Soberania, and STRI has three of these available for visitors living here. There are also three bicycles for general use.

One large common room –without air-conditioning—contains a table, sink, counter, drying ovens, shelf space, freezer, refrigerator, a work bench and a small stock of hand tools. One small room contains an observation chamber with padded walls that reduce echoes, designed to test female choice of acoustic signals in frogs. It is currently in use by Stanley Rand and Mike Ryan, but can be occupied by others who make special arrangements with them.

School building

In this wooden former school building STRI has furnished a dormitory facility for field courses that use Soberania National Park and nearby forested sites. Four large classrooms have been turned into sleeping quarters, each with six single beds. There are two bathrooms with showers. A washer and a dryer, as well as a fully equipped kitchen, are available. Two additional classrooms function as a dining room and a projection facility (a slide projector, a screen and an overhead projector are available). The facility has three phone lines. Underneath the building are lab space and a storage area.