Great American Biotic Interchange Research Experiences for Teachers Project (GABI RET)

Gabi Red LogoFor five years (2012 to 2016) more than 30 scientists and 44 K-12 teachers worked together collecting fossils along the Panama Canal to better understand past life in the ancient Neotropics. This project coincided with the major “once-in-a-century” expansion of the Canal.

After these authentic field experiences, the teachers developed the lesson-plans compiled here based on what they learned during these experiences. Most of these lesson plans are aligned to learning standards (e.g., NGSS) and have been vetted in the classrooms.

This project was funded by NSF 0966884 (Panama Canal Project), including two supplements (1237203, 1321453) and NSF 1358918 (GABI RET).

people in safety vests and hard hats waling along a canal
University of Florida Scientists and teachers hunting for 20-million-year-old fossils along the Panama Canal, 2013. Florida Museum photo courtesy of Joe Kays photo

Lesson Plans


Not currently available

  • Dissecting “Battle of the Americas” (coming soon)
  • Engage & Explore Science Practices Through Fossils (coming soon)
  • Explain & Elaborate Science Practices Through Fossils (coming soon)
  • Explaining Snail Shell Designs (coming soon)
  • Exploring Great American Biotic Interchange Biodiversity (coming soon)
  • How big was Megalodon (coming soon)
  • Pre-Columbian Americas (coming soon)

Additional resources