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Upcoming (Panamá time)

June 21st: 9am - 12pm

Building Equitable and Inclusive Forest Research Programs in the Tropics

Led by keynote speaker Dr. Alex Trillo and guided by expert-led breakout sessions, our workshop is designed to cultivate collaborative approaches and foster inclusion within forest research initiatives. Delve into practical strategies for effective mentorship across diverse research settings, identify and tackle barriers hindering underrepresented groups’ participation, and explore practices for promoting inclusivity and diversity within research environments. Join us in advancing equity and collaboration in forest research programs.

Location: Gamboa Rainforest Reserve (Guayacanes Room)

Organizer: Ernesto Cole (

Registration deadline: June 20 (free)

** lunch to follow **



Pronoun Workshops. Commemorating Pride Month, the STRI Diversity Office invites you to participate in a Pronoun Training workshop. The training aims to create a work environment that is inclusive and respectful of all individuals, regardless of gender identity or expression. The Pronoun Training provides a platform to ask questions and engage in discussions to enhance your understanding of gender identity. The session will be interactive, instructive, and engaging and will be facilitated by Hombres Trans Panama, experienced professionals in this topic. Registration link:

June 28, 2023 at 8am. Pronoun workshop in Barro Colorado Island. In Spanish.


June 29, 2023 at 9am. Pronoun workshop in Gamboa. In English.


July 5, 2023 at 9am. Pronoun workshop in Tupper. In English.


July 5, 2023 at 1pm. Pronoun workshop in Tupper. In Spanish.

July 1, 2023 at 2pm

Join us for Panama’s LGBTIQA+ Pride Parade! Starting from 13th Street in Casco Antiguo and ending at Plaza V Centenario with a celebratory festival ‘United We Are Stronger’ from 12pm to 2am.

More info here!

June 13, at 2pm

Karen Warkentin, Professor of Biology and of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies at Boston University and Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, will present a talk entitled 'Plasticity, modularity and cross-sexual transfer – a nonbinary framework for sexual diversity'. All welcomed, please join!

Apr 25, at 11:30am

Joint meeting between the organizing committees of STRI-IDEA, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) Women in Science, and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Senate of Scientists, 60 year-old grassroots group that represents and advocates for the museum's science community. The groups will meet to continue their conversation about cultural climate, the effectiveness of anti-harassment efforts to date, and the steps that should be taken going forward.

Feb 10, at 2:30pm

STRI-IDEA is happy to welcome Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the Smithsonian Institution, Meroë Park, to our next meeting. We will start the meeting by giving Meroë a brief overview of STRI-IDEA and its initiatives, which will also serve as an update for all of our community on how our many task forces are doing. And then we’ll open the floor to questions. Because Meroë oversees operations, security, and facilities at the Smithsonian, this is a great opportunity to raise outstanding concerns STRI-IDEA has expressed over the past years. If you have questions you’d like to include, please post them on our chat or email them to

Oct 19, 2022 (2:30 pm)

Join us for a discussion of personal pronoun use, and how and why this has received increased attention in recent years. We’ll host a group of panelists who will lead a community discussion. All are welcomed, please join! Recommended reading first:

Sep 19, 2022 (3 pm)

Please join us for a roundtable discussion of how to strengthen efforts at STRI to promote a multilingual inclusive work environment and to up our interactions and engagement with local communities here in Panama.

Aug 22, 2022 (3 pm)

Numerous reforms are on the horizon to shift both policy and culture at the Smithsonian to address misconduct. Please join a panel discussion and question/answer session with key players in this process. Discussion leaders will include Paola Gómez (Head of STRI Anti-harassment Task Force), Shadella Davis (Smithsonian Ombuds), Amanda Jones (Coordinator of Smithsonian Civil), Rocio Atencio (Director of STRI Human Resources), and Ron Cortez (Smithsonian Under Secretary for Administration).

Jul 7, 2022 (3 pm)

In October 2021, STRI conducted its first cultural climate survey, to assess the incidence of harassment and other types of behavior that may contribute to an uncomfortable, unwelcoming, or threatening environment for STRI personnel and visitors. The primary goals were to assess how well STRI is meeting its goals of being an inclusive, equitable, accessible, and diverse community, and to get a baseline sense of the incidence of harassment and other unacceptable behaviors. A total of 787 individuals completed the survey. STRI leadership together with Smithsonian Organization and Audience Research (SOAR) will hold a Town Hall on June 2 at 2pm (Panama time) to present and discuss the survey results. Both the full report (>150 pages) and an executive summary will be shared on STRI’s website. We encourage everyone to attend the Town Hall and to read SOAR’s reports. A month following the Town Hall, we’ll hold a STRI-IDEA meeting to further discuss the survey results, the actions that have been taken, and those that are still needed. Because the Town Hall presentation will be in English with simultaneous translation to Spanish, we’ll do the reverse for the July 7th STRI-IDEA discussion: this meeting will be conducted in Spanish with closed caption translation to English.

Jun 6, 2022 (3 pm)

Dr. Joseph L. Graves Jr., Professor of Biological Sciences and the Associate Director of the Triangle Center for Evolutionary Medicine, North Carolina A&T State University, will speak about racism and science.

May 16, 2022 (3 pm to 5pm)

McGill University’s Peer Support Centre ( has offered to train our group so we can better offer peer-to-peer support going forward here at STRI. McGill’s peer support team will teach us active listening skills, and coach us using role playing practice in small breakout rooms. All are welcomed to join.

Apr 26, 2022 (10 am)

Join us as we share updates from the STRI-IDEA community on where we are at on our different initiatives. We have invited Beth Ziebarth to join us in this meeting. On April 4, 2022, Beth was appointed Deputy Head Diversity Officer of the Smithsonian Institution. She is also currently serving as acting Head Diversity Officer while the search for a permanent Head Diversity Officer continues. Beth is based in Washington DC and is tasked with bringing together IDEA cohorts from across the Smithsonian to build a community, serving as a lead advisor and participant in the implementation of Smithsonian strategic initiatives, and developing opportunities to bring IDEA resources into the Institution. We are looking forward to welcoming Beth to the STRI-IDEA community and talking with her about her plans to come.

Mar 14, 2022 (3 pm)

We have been piloting a peer support network through STRI-IDEA, and are excited to be hosting leaders from McGill University, who have successfully implemented such a program there. During the first half of the meeting, program coordinators will share peer support resources they have developed at McGill ( During the second half of the meeting, the Smithsonian Palmer Leadership Development Program (PLDP) team will share their anti-harassment strategies work. We’ll end with an open conversation on how these resources could help shape reform efforts here at STRI.

Feb 14, 2022 (3 pm)

Discussion of science communication in relation to time. Bill Wcislo will lead a discussion on the temporal challenges imposed by ever-shrinking time windows (lightening talks; twitter feeds; elevator spiels) and how these shifts affect the science we communicate, and the challenges imposed on those with less access to temporal flexibility – for instance those communicating with speech impediments, in a second language, etc. Recommended listening: This American Life:

Jan 19, 2021 (3pm)

Una conversación sobre la conducta inapropiada en STRI, los factores que lo permiten, los pasos que se han tomado para cambiarla y el trabajo crítico que aún debe realizarse. Esta reunión será completamente en español. (A conversation about misconduct at STRI, the factors that enable it, the steps that have been taken to change it, and the critical work that still needs to be done. This meeting will be entirely in Spanish.)

Dec 16, 2021 (3pm)

Discussion of sexual misconduct at STRI. Open discussion of BuzzFeed article published Dec 9, 2021:

Dec 13, 2021 (12pm noon)

Mixer with the Women in Science group at SERC (Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Maryland). SERC recently hosted climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe. Her SERC seminar, From Global Change to Local Action, can be viewed at The mixer includes a general discussion of the seminar, followed by smaller group discussions in breakout rooms on the topic of how climate change impacts us, what we can do, and how we can better communicate climate change issues with friends and family as we head into the holiday season.

Nov 22, 2021 (2pm)

Invited speakers: Invited speakers Todd Doane, Kelsey Wiggins, Andrew Rondinone, and Molly Engelman give an introduction to Smithsonian Pride Alliance, and introduce STRI’s first representative to this group, Sonia Tejada. Together they give an overview of what the Pride Alliance is and how we can plug in here at STRI

Nov 1, 2021 (2pm)

Group discussion: Part 3 of discussion on decolonizing science. Invited speakers Drs. Danny Haelewaters, Tina A. Hofmann, Adriana L. Romero-Olivares discuss their recent publication, ‘Ten simple rules for Global North researchers to stop perpetuating helicopter research in the Global South’; Oris Sanjur, Jimena Pitty and Adriana Bilgray speak about STRI initiatives already in place, and how the community can help to support this work

Oct 18, 2021 (2pm)

Group discussion: Part 2 of discussion on decolonizing science; open discussion

Sept 27, 2021 (2pm)

Group discussion: Part 1 of discussion on decolonizing science; updates from the STRI-IDEA bilingual/decolonizing science task force; leads: Amanda Savage, Nicole Smith-Guzmán and Bruno de Medeiros

Aug 23, 2021 (2pm)

Group discussion: Update from leads on anti-harassment working groups at STRI, comments from Josh Tewksbury and Wendy Jimenez, open discussion

July 19, 2021 (2pm)

Invited speaker: Dr. Julie Velásquez Runk, “Community-Based Research and Socio-Environmental Knowledge Co-Production: Twenty Years of Experiences with Wounaan in Panama”

June 22, 2021 (2pm)

Invited speakers: Dr. Katrina Lohan and Jennifer Schneider discuss Sparking Change, a 2021-2022 Smithsonian-wide initiative to address gender equity in the sciences

June 14, 2021 (2pm)

Group discussion: Update on task force progress, call for new members of the STRI-IDEA organizing committee, discussion of the documentary 'Picture a Scientist'

May 18, 2021 (2pm)

Invited speaker: Ana Spalding, University of Oregon, US; “Shifting our value system beyond citations for a more equitable future”

April 30, 2021 (11am)

Group discussion: Continuation of discussion of sexual misconduct at STRI and proactive steps for change

April 20, 2021 (10am)

Invited speaker: Dr. Catherine Potvin, McGill University, Canada; discussing the interaction between scientists and indigenous communities in Panama: "Halting Deforestation: Walking the Road Together"

April 16, 2021 (3:30pm)

Group discussion: Discussion of sexual misconduct at STRI and proactive steps for change

March 23, 2021 (10am)

Invited speakers: Dr. Ricardo Rozzi and Kelli Moses, Universidad de Magallanes, Chile; discussing biocultural conservation and environmental ethics

Feb 22, 2021 (2pm)

Group discussion: Discussion of new organizational structure for STRI-IDEA; discussion and group input on design and implementation of STRI cultural climate survey

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