BFI brief history
Since 2006, Universidad Tecnológica Oteima (UTO) and Batipa Field Institute (BFI) have been developing a global engagement concept through multiples activities and projects, which have become consolidated in more recent years.
This UTO-BFI alliance improved a step further in 2014 with Dr. Russ Mullen, a Fulbright specialist from Iowa State University. He was the first to envision an “institute for research and educational programs in conservation and sustainability”(click here) to become established at BFI.
Also in 2014, Biologists Seth Hopkins and Jolie Colby from UCLA designed an Eco-Agro Educational Center for Batipa, which eventually turned into an establishment of Alouatta Sanctuary (click here), a primates rehabilitation station, which in 3 years (2014-2016) hosted more than 200 volunteers from all over the world:
In 2017 Dr. Guillermo Castro from the City of Knowledge-Panamá, proposed a renovated plan for BFI, giving it a more ample scope to emerge as a Center for research, education and entrepreneurship in sustainable development (click here). This latest characterization of BFI has enhanced relations with many foreign universities (Worcester Technology Institute, University of Nebraska, University of Tulsa, Texas A&M University, Iowa State University). These materialized through many students exchanges, courses and projects held at BFI, that continue to this day. Projects with worldwide known organizations such as Conservation International (Conservación Internacional) and visits of faculty-researchers (Dr. Victor Rivera-Monroy and Dr. Samuel D. Snow) from Louisiana State University have been occurring and these are developing into new partnerships/collaborations. At present (2019-2020), Dr. Bruno Borsari of Winona State University, joined our team as a Fulbright Scholar, to assist with the conservation programs, while introducing agroecology in our management practices at BFI and in our curricula at UTO.