Writings about my experience doing fieldwork on behavioral ecology
I’m walking in a tropical rainforest on a small island in central Panama. The sound of suction my muddy boots make with every step mixes with the sounds of raindrops hitting the tree canopy, and toucans singing, and monkeys howling in the distance, my constant companions as I make my way up another hill. That is the typical midafternoon symphony around here. Suddenly, those noises are interrupted by the loudest and longest ship whistle I have ever heard. On the top of the hill, through a break in the trees I see it: a big transoceanic ship approximately 3 miles away, moving slowly through the Panama Canal. On its hull I can read “MONROVIA” (the capital of Liberia in West Africa). Such daily sightings are a constant reminder of the non-stop human activity literally surrounding this small tropical island.