Scientists are on the Biological Survey of the Panama Canal Zone. Smithsonian staff were in Panama with the Institute for Research in Tropical America, a group of private foundations and universities under the auspices of the National Research Council, who first established a research laboratory on Barro Colorado Island, Panama Canal Zone, now known as the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, in order to investigate the flora and fauna of tropical America.
Albert S. Hitchcock was a botanist with the United States Agriculture Department's Bureau of Plant Industry and Honorary Curator of Grasses at the United States National Herbarium at the Smithsonian.
The negative number #1081a is Hitchcock's negative number. The original photograph is located in Hitchcock's travel album. For other views of the site for Gorgas Memorial Institute see Negs. SIA 2010-0705, SIA2010-0706, SIA2010-0707, SIA2010-0709, and SIA201-0714.
Bay near the Gorgas Memorial Institute in Panama, showing part of a site for the proposed Marine Biological Laboratory, which was never built. Smithsonian scientists visited Panama after a field station was created on Barro Colorado Island, now the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, in the Panama Canal watershed.