Panama Canal and Costa Rica Cruise
Explore Costa Rica's natural wonders and cruise the mighty locks and waterways of the 100-year-old Panama Canal.
- Smithsonian Travelers Discover Machu Picchu's Sacred Spaces
- A Tailor-Made Journey to India and Nepal
- The Forbidden City: Official Spaces and Private Quarters
- Journey from Bangkok to Bali: Following the Spirits
Matthew C. Larsen is the director of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama City, Panama. His 80+ publications are in the fields of natural hazards, water resources, climate change, and marine geology. Dr. Larsen has led research projects throughout the United States, as well as in Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. From 2005 to 2014, he served as Chair of the US National Committee for UNESCO International Hydrological Programme. Dr. Larsen looks forward to welcoming you to STRI and sharing some of the research projects his team is working on.
Bob Szaro grew up fascinated by nature and started bird-watching while in grade school. He has an enthusiastic passion for different cultures, architecture, art, natural history, and photography. His extensive travels and studies have taken him to more than 100 countries. From the warmth of African plains to the frigid Arctic he has had the opportunity to enjoy and study an incredible variety of animals and plants and their interaction with the human cultures dependent upon them.
His research has included, biodiversity conservation, bird community dynamics, climate change, forest stresses on mountain ecosystems, ecological approaches to natural resource management, desert and riparian plant ecosystems, and fish, wildlife, and forest resources throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Bob retired in 2008 as Chief Scientist for Biology for the US Geological Survey in Reston, Virginia. Bob received a Dual Bachelors Degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from Texas A&M University (1970), a Master’s Degree in Zoology from the University of Florida (1972), and a Doctoral Degree in Ecology from Northern Arizona University (1976). He also completed the Senior Executive Fellows program at Harvard University (1993). Bob currently serves as a consultant to the Smithsonian Institution on biodiversity, climate change, and tiger conservation.