The Amazon: A Natural History Tour

Offered by the New York Botanical Garden
June 19-29, 2003

Leaders: Scott Mori & Carol Gracie (NYBG)
with Amy Berkov (CUNY)

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We will travel on the Harpy Eagle (in the foreground).  © S. A. Mori, 2001. 
Since 1987, the New York Botanical Garden has been leading small, natural history tours to the Brazilian Amazon.  Our knowledge of the flora and fauna of the area, combined with our love of the rain forest and our appreciation for the culture of the caboclo people who live along the river, permit us to offer a trip unlike any other.  Our trips combine informal natural history instruction with a myriad of other activities swimming in the tea-colored waters of the Rio Negro, hiking in the rain forest, fishing for piranha, early morning birding by canoe, nocturnal trips for alligator spotting, occasional cookouts, and visits to the famed Opera House and colorful markets in Manaus.  We will spend time on both the Amazon and the Rio Negro to learn about the differences between the two ecosystems.  Our 2003 trip is planned to take advantage of the good weather of the dry season when the river level is high, thus allowing us to explore many of the small tributaries by boat.

In our motorized canoes, we will travel through the seasonally flooded forest, stopping frequently to investigate plants and birds that we encounter along the river.   We will sometimes be able to go ashore for short hikes in the forest when we reach areas with higher ground.  Well also visit with the friendly caboclos who live along the river.  These resourceful people have adapted to life in a region that requires marked changes in their lifestyle as the river rises and falls (by a difference of up to 40 feet annually).
We will make excursions in small, motorized boats.
© C. Gracie, 1991.

Dr. Scott Mori and his wife, Carol Gracie, have extensive research and guiding experience in the tropics and have led 29 previous tours for The New York Botanical Garden.  They are authors of A Guide to the Vascular Plants of Central French Guiana, among other publications.

Carol and Scott are delighted to have their friend and professional entomologist, Dr. Amy Berkov, with them this year.   Amy has collaborated with Scott on insect/plant relationship projects and spent a year living in the rain forest of French Guiana.  She will share her enthusiasm for and knowledge of the six-legged creatures that we encounter.  Amy is an Assistant Professor at City College of the City University of New York and an Associate at the American Museum of Natural History.
Parkia discolor, a bat-pollinated member of the mimosoid legume family.
© S. A. Mori, 2001

Special Addition:  We have been selected to hide an Infinity Planet, designed by glass artist, Josh Simpson, during this Amazon trip.  More info at:

For additional information, call (718) 817-8647 or e-mail to Carol Gracie at

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