UH Hilo receives permanent membership in prestigious Organization for Tropical Studies

The international program will allow UH Hilo graduate and undergraduate students enhanced opportunities to take courses and conduct research in Costa Rica.

OTSThe University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is now a permanent member of the Organization for Tropical Studies, an international organization comprised of more than 50 universities in the U.S. and abroad involved in the study of tropics. The organization was founded in 1963 and has developed programs acknowledged to be world-renowned models for tropical education and research.

Don Straney
Don Straney

“This is an important milestone in the growth of our programs in conservation and tropical biology,” says Don Straney, UH Hilo chancellor. “We join the best in the world who are preparing the next generation of stewards of our lands and waters.”

Don Price, professor of biology, and Patrick Hart, associate professor of biology, are selected as UH Hilo’s delegates to represent UH Hilo. Becky Ostertag, professor of biology, and Elizabeth Stacy, associate professor of biology, will serve as alternates.

Don Price
Don Price

The Organization for Tropical Studies is managed by Duke University and based in Costa Rica, which has served as “the laboratory of the tropics,” for thousands of researchers and students from across the globe for over four decades. Its three biological field stations feature state-of-the-art research facilities that have made critical advances possible in the study of tropical systems.

As the “classroom of the tropics,” the organization’s experiential education approach has equipped multiple generations of students with the tools to understand how natural and man-made processes have shaped the tropical world.

“The university’s permanent membership in the (Organization for Tropical Studies) program will allow our graduate and undergraduate students enhanced opportunities to take courses and conduct research in Costa Rica,” says Price, who serves as director of the UH Hilo tropical conservation biology and environmental science graduate program. “UH Hilo also plans to develop similar courses here in Hawaiʻi for both UH students and international students attracted to this program.”

UH Hilo press release