May 2019
Stay Connected to Students and Researchers in the Tropics – Get Social with OTS!
Notes from the Board
Welcome to Notes from the Board, where we will share the latest news from the OTS Board of Directors. In this issue, we will report on the March 2019 meetings of the Board of Directors, including the public Annual Meeting held on March 16, 2019.
First, help us congratulate new Member Director, Gabriel Macaya (UCR) and new Stakeholder Director Muriel Poston (Pitzer). Ivan Sandoval (UNA) and Kyle Harms (LSU) who had been previously appointed to fill board vacancies due to resignations were also elected to new terms as Member Directors. At the March meetings, the Board of Directors also elected to new terms as Stakeholder Directors, George Middendorf (Howard), Bryan Heidorn (UArizona), and Jim Prager and also elected officers for the new year: Board Chair -- Beth Braker, Secretary -- Chelsea Ward, and Treasurer -- Jim Prager.
Second, thanks to all who attended and participated in the Annual Meeting at the University of Costa Rica. The Annual Meeting included symposium talks on March 15 by some of OTS’s most active researchers, followed by a reception with our UCR colleagues. If you would like to listen to the talks, they are posted on the OTS website at: . You can read here more Notes from the Board.
The 10th Annual Kimberly G. Smith Outstanding Student Paper Award winner is Belén Fadrique
This year’s winner is Belén Fadrique from the University of Miami for her paper “ Widespread but heterogeneous responses of Andean forests to climate change ,” published in Nature. Using a comprehensive new database of ~200 Andean forest inventory plots spanning 3,000 m of elevation, Belén’s study focused on how climate change is affecting the species composition of tropical forests. Belén and her team found that global warming is causing upward range shifts of plant species, and that these rates of “thermophilization” vary across elevation and temperature. This high-impact work has implications for understanding species range shifts and ecosystem dynamics in a rapidly warming world. Read more
Global Big Day 2019
Global Big Day 2019 was celebrated on May 4 th . The project asks a simple question: “How many birds can be seen in one day?”. The ‘Big Day’ is a 24-hour, international birding binge that is a fond tradition among birders. This year more than 30,000 people participated, and Costa Rica ranked eleventh in species leader’s list and in checklist leaders. La Selva Research Station and Las Cruces Research Station occupied the second and eleventh place at the national level. We are very proud of our stations. If you are a bird lover, we invite you to come and enjoy counting birds in our tours.
La Selva of Sarapiquí Captivates the Whole World
The La Selva Research Station was a featured story in the Costa Rican program "7 Estrellas" (7 starts). As you may know, hundreds of researchers and students have come through our classrooms and laboratories to study tropical rainforests.

La Selva also has 16 kilometers of paved footpath making it an ideal destination for Eco-tourists to explore the great variety of tropical species such as birds, mammals or frogs. An added bonus is that visitors have the opportunity to interact and learn about the research projects at the station, creating a unique link between science and conservation.

If you are looking to venture safely into one of the most impressive forests of Costa Rica and come face to face with biodiversity, we invite you to visit our La Selva Research Station in Puerto Viejo of Sarapiquí. We are open to the general public and we have inviting and comfortable facilities. We hope you enjoy the video (it is in Spanish) Watch the video here.

Stories from the field: OTS African Ecology & Conservation
Spring 2019
Skukuza – the first taste of Kruger!
By Dr. Lisa Nupen (Resident Lecturer)

After making the long trip from Nylsvley the students finally arrived at one of the jewels on Africa’s protected area crown – the spectacular Kruger National Park. This is OTS South Africa’s main base at the SSLI the ‘Skukuza Science Leadership Initiative’. For a remote research station, SSLI has amazing facilities in a sustainably designed and built complex featuring a lecture hall, library, work space, and of course student digs and accommodation. Students attended lectures on statistics and juggled early morning game drives, sports and shop runs. Special game viewing sightings included lions, elephant herds, a variety of eagles, some hyenas, and one group was lucky enough to see a Leopard up close. Read more.
Stories from the field: OTS Conservation & Tropical Ecology
Spring 2019
Dreaming is not bad
By: Edwin Jurado Rojas, Bachelor in Forest Engineering and Environment of the National Amazonic University of Madre de Dios, Peru

I must start by thanking the Organization for Tropical Studies – OTS, for the opportunity provided. This course has been transformative for me, I expected to learn a lot and I did. Over the course of the days and weeks of the course, I became aware of how small my vision of ecology was and the infinite amount of work that needs to be done. The challenge that awaits us is incredible and uncertain at the same time, despite this, I maintain hope that each of us who make up this wonderful team, will contribute to change in our society. My teachers have influenced me in a thousand ways particularly in what I now want to be, my aptitude as a person and as a professional have been greatly enhanced, For these reasons, I feel happy, motivated and fortunate to have known them and shared many moments . Read more.
Laboratory in the Forest: article by OTS graduate professor
Marcelo Casacuberta is a documentary film maker and photographer who specializes in the identification of fauna, and was a visiting professor to teach at OTS graduate course on scientific communications using videos.

This seems like ideal situation for those who want to do science, and this is how they work in the La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica. The study subjects (animals, plants, fungi, waters) are a few meters away from the academics’ rooms, and the whole environment has been designed to dedicate itself exclusively to research. The biological station protects about 16 square kilometers of wet tropical forest. At La Selva a large amount of information is generated about the tropical rain forest because of the number of research projects that take place. In fact, La Selva has one of the most important temporary data lines of tropics in the world . Read more.
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Tropical Ecology and Conservation (Offered in Spanish) 2020:
Course duration: six weeks | January 8th – February 20th 2020
This Spanish language course provides rigorous training in research methods in tropical ecology, and includes a field unit on conservation biology in the tropics. It is primarily intended to serve Latin American graduate students regardless of institutional affiliation, although Spanish-speaking graduate students may apply regardless of nationality. Partial fellowships may be available.

Application Deadline: June 15, 2019

For more information on our Graduate Programs, please visit our website.
Global Health Issues (Summer – South Africa)
In this program students will have an unique opportunity to explore a range of health issues and medical practices in South Africa through an interdisciplinary lens. An integrated learning model incorporates both classroom and field instruction helping students understand the fundamental principles of health as a human rights issue. Students will conduct collaborative research projects and participate in a three-night homestay in a village in the remote HaMakuya area of Limpopo Province.
Course dates: May 28 to June 27, 2019
Tropical Biology (Summer – Costa Rica)
A four-week course where students study at OTS’ three field stations in Costa Rica, giving them access to highly threatened tropical dry forests, lowland wet forest, and primary and secondary premontane wet forest. They will become familiar with the natural history of these diverse sites and engage in research under the mentorship of experts working at the field sites .
Course dates: June 3 to July 2, 2019
NSF LSAMP REU in Costa Rica
This course provides an incredible opportunity to deeply explore tropical ecology at two of the premier research stations in the tropics. Sixteen students will live at the La Selva Research Station and 14 students will live at the Las Cruces Research Station for their eight-week program. The experience will provide students will a broad range of skills including: 1) research skills in the field, 2) communication skills through training in scientific writing, oral presentations, science blogging, and videography, and 3) exposure to the landscape and cultural surrounding the research stations, including environmental topics such as biodiversity conservation and agroecology.

REU Las Cruces: June 3 to July 29, 2019
REU La Selva: June 10 to August 5, 2019
Faculty Led Academic Groups
OTS´ academic logistics staff has assisted hundreds of faculty members throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Costa Rica to enhance their course trips by arranging everything from hotel reservations, transportation, meals, day activities, and research permits.   
Click here  to learn more about how OTS can enrich your class today! 
Organization for Tropical Studies | 919-684-5774 | |