About Us

The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS)

Celebrating more than 50 years, OTS is a consortium of about 50 universities, colleges, and research institutions from seven countries on four continents. OTS’ mission is to provide leadership in education, research, and responsible use of natural resources in the tropics.

Our purpose is to sustain our tropical ecosystems by driving scientific discovery and knowledge, by enriching human perception of nature and by enhancing worldwide policy actions in the tropics.

OTS has a global reputation for research-oriented field courses. Each year, OTS trains undergraduates, graduates and professionals in tropical ecology and in specialized, advanced topics such as plant systematics, tropical medicine and global health, conservation genetics, protected area management, agroecology, global change, and field research methods.

OTS operates four research stations: Skukuza in South Africa and La Selva, Palo Verde, and Las Cruces in Costa Rica. The research stations provide exceptional research support and state-of-the-art facilities including herbaria, biological inventories, meteorological records, high-speed wireless internet, molecular and chemical laboratories, embedded sensor network, canopy towers, and global information system (GIS) laboratories.