The Rainforest Connection is an interactive journaling project run through email from Panama by a scientist on the staff at Montclair State University. Dr. Jacalyn Willis, an ecologist with expertise in tropical mammal populations, works at MSU as director of programs for K-12 science teachers. She also runs a research project sponsored by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute that involves an annual census of rainforest mammals on an island in the middle of the Panama Canal lake system. For the past four years, Dr. Willis has combined her interest in helping teachers and their classes with her interests in the tropics by writing home about her field experiences. Those who sign up for the webmail list will receive the regular postings of Dr. Willis' journal entries, as well as the correspondence from participating classrooms. Her past journal entries, the students' responses and questions, a curriculum unit on rainforest, interviews with other researchers, background resources, links to related sites, and many photos are all posted on a MSU website for use in classrooms around the world.
Visit MSU's website on rainforest wildlife and researchers at www.csam. montclair.edu/ceterms/rainforest.
This year she will again travel to Panama and begin posting messages in January. She will also lead a field trip to the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon in August 2001, sponsored by the Global Education Center at MSU. Many teachers have joined Dr. Willis in travel courses to Belize and the Pacific Northwest of Canada. The website for the Belize trip, where you will find teachers' journal entries, is www.csam.montclair.edu/ceterms/belize.