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Most visitors to the Smithsonian Institution's museums in Washington, DC may not be aware of the activities of their Tropical Research Institute, which may have something to do with the fact that it is located in Panama. The Institute's history stretches back to the early years of the 20th century, when one of its prime directives was to survey the flora and fauna of the area for the purpose of controlling diseases such as yellow fever and malaria. In 1946, the Institute came into the fold of the Smithsonian Institution, and since then it has conducted research in the areas of archaeology, behavioral ecology, environmental monitoring, and other topics. On the site, visitors can learn about the institute's diverse research projects, international activities (such as the Center for Tropical Forest Science), and fellowship opportunities. Finally, visitors can also look at the two webcams operated by the Institute, including one that looks over the island (Barro Colorado) where they are located off the coast of Panama.
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