background image for sidebar

Images from our 2003 trip to Puerto Piña, Serranía de Sapo, Darien Province, Panama

During this trip I was sponsored by an NSF International Programs Postdoctoral Fellowship, and hosted by the Bermingham Lab at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Click on the thumbnails below to see the larger images. Or go back to
Most recent update: Monday, June 12th, 2006.

None of the pictures below are mine. I was shooting exclusively slide film on this trip, and I have not scanned any of them yet. I believe all the pictures below were taken by Andrew and Beth Coates.

Photo of Beth Coates, commmandos, and porters.

Beth Coates and her entourage. — Beth Coates, our co-organizer, is accompanied here by two commandos from the Panamanian National Police and a variety of porters helping move supplies from the Tropic Star Lodge to our campsite 6.2 km up river.

Photo of Royal Flycatcher, in the hand.

Royal Flycatcher. — This expedition also included a Bird Team, lead by Matt Miller with special guest ornithologist, George Angehr. Matt and team caught this handsome bird in their nets.

Photo of STRI crew relaxing at night.

The camp at night. — Here's a portion of the STRI team relaxing at night while the real field biologists are out all night looking for frogs! From left to righ are (facing us) Andrew Moeser, Luis Fernando, Chris ang Margarita, then Jesus "Don Chucho" Mavarez and Oris Sanjur. With their backs to us are Biff and George. Who's in the blue hat?

Photo of STRI & Tropic Star crew evacuating a wounded commando.

Tragedy befalls the expedition. — One of the commandos accompanying our crew fell down a dry portion of a waterfall, from a height of about 10 meters, I would say. He was right behind me and Carolina Polanía when he fell. I was sure he was a goner, but "luckily" he managed to fall on leaves and not on rocks. When we found him, he was alive but in excruciating pain and unable to move. Thank god the fish crew was also nearby to help carry him out. And thank god Andrew Coates brings a cot to the field, which we used to make a stretcher. And thank god we had Matt cuz that guy can carry some weight!

Photo of STRI & Tropic Star crew evacuating a wounded commando by canoe.

Evacuation by canoe. — Without my notes, I can't remember the commando's name. After he went by canoe then by airplane back to Panama City, he spent a month in the hospital, then another few months walking with a cane.

Photo of A. Moeser and A. Coates.

Los Andrews (2 out of 3). — Andrew Moeser (right), the sucker who carried an electric fish shocker up a mountain (where there were no rivers, no streams, not even a creek. Andrew Coates and that kid in the background formed the deadly duo. The kid could spot any bird in the forest, and Coates with his training in the British military could hit any birdie with that gun. Poor little birdies.

Photo of Chris, Margarita, and Andrew Moeser.

The Heliconius Team is ready to go home. — This photo was taken on the way out. Chris Jiggins and Margarita Beltran are ready to go, but poor Andrew Moeser doesn't want to leave.

Back to top.