Research Opportunities

Photo: Guillermo Duran
Photo: Guillermo Duran

The Azuero Eco Foundation supports students, scientists, and educators doing research related to our mission by providing opportunities for field work on the Azuero. The students and their post-graduate and PhD counterparts are able to see their findings applied and tested in local communities and shared with a growing network worldwide. These visitors form a very important part of our community and make incredible contributions to our organization’s work.

We invite interested students, scientists and educators to inquire regarding opportunities for independent research projects and participation in Azuero Eco Foundation programs.

For those individual volunteers, interns, and students interested in pursuing an independent research project with the Azuero Eco Foundation, it is preferable that you have:

  • An ability to converse in Spanish
  • A faculty advisor or mentor that will collaborate with you on your project
  • A minimum length of stay on the peninsula of 2 weeks. In general we find that it takes at least this long to begin to understand environmental issues on the peninsula and complete a finished academic work (thesis, project report, etc.) that will be valuable to both yourself and the Azuero Eco Foundation.
Photo: Guillermo Duran
Photo: Guillermo Duran

Possible topics for research projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Tropical Organic Agriculture and Reduced Agrochemical Use
  • Economic Research into native Panamanian timber species’ markets
  • Economic Research into creating local organic produce markets
  • Panamanian Environmental Law
  • Digital mapping of environmental priorities for our GIS Database
  • Waste management and recycling
  • Dichotomous key for plants native to the Azuero Peninsula
  • Marine Management and Sustainable Fisheries
  • Sea turtle conservation
  • Population Surveys of Endemic Azuero Wildlife
  • Environmentally Sustainable Development and Town Planning
  • Environmentally Sustainable Building and Design
  • Environmental Health Research

Working with the Azuero Eco Foundation provides the unique chance to ensure that your academic work has meaningful and practical applications in local communities. We encourage our volunteers and collaborators to share their work with the community through presentations, interactive activities, gathering participatory feedback, and inclusion of local community members in academic investigations. When you visit the Azuero Eco Foundation you become part of a community! We are delighted that students have subsequently decided to follow up their field experiences with further academic or field work based on their experiences with the Azuero Eco Foundation.


The Azuero Eco Foundation assists its researchers in finding lodging in the local area. There are several options. The Azuero Eco Foundation has a limited number of researcher rooms available for a fee at its Pedasí office. Home-stays can also be arranged within the Pedasí community and are often preferred by Spanish-learners because of the immersion experience. We also have a partnership with the Achotines Laboratory, located near our Pedasi office. The lab is owned and operated by the Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) and is associated with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). It offers accommodation to researchers and students at reasonable rates.