The Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation (ITEC) is a thriving, well-equipped field station in Bocas del Toro, Panama. ITEC provides future ecologists and naturalists an opportunity to do field work as they pursue their degrees. Students, guided by Dr. Peter Lahanas and a rotating staff of specialists, spend their days tracking howler monkeys in the forest canopy, or marking out study transects on the reef, or finding snakes and lizards in the rainforest. ITEC is quickly becoming one of the premier field stations in the Neotropics.
I have stayed at ITEC several times, both on my own and when classes were in session. On one occasion a dozen high-spirited high school kids and their dedicated teachers arrived. It was amazing to watch as they dealt with the down-to-earth accommodations, planned their own research projects, snorkeled the reef, and climbed trees into the rain forest canopy. And that was the first two days.
I cannot recommend a stay at ITEC enough.
For much more about ITEC, start at their web site: http://itec-edu.org/