OTS, the space where nature, science and education come together.

The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS)

The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) is a nonprofit consortium of about fifty universities, colleges, and research institutions worldwide. Founded in 1963, OTS’ mission is to provide leadership in education, research, and the responsible use of natural resources in the tropics. The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) has operations in three countries and research stations and education programs in Costa Rica and South Africa. For the last half century, The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) has been the world’s leading institution in the study of tropical biology, with more than 360 courses in tropical ecology, conservation and global health and over 8000 students trained, including many of the world’s leading tropical ecologists.

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.

Our numbers

863 faculty-led courses at OTS stations.
6400+ publications that mention OTS.
10,789 students trained, alumni from 70+ countries.
371 OTS courses taught.

Support OTS

OTS is undergoing an exciting time of growth and renewal. Your investment will help sustain the world’s tropical ecosystems by supporting OTS’ work in three critical areas:

  1. Research – driving scientific discovery and knowledge to answer the most pressing questions for the future of the tropics;
  2. Education – inspiring the next generation on their path to discovery and global leadership;
  3. Policy – informing worldwide policies that impact the tropics.

The health of the tropics, and the entire planet, will require the personal involvement of people from around the world – please add your voice to the effort, today!

Donate now


    La Selva

    It was established in 1968; before belonging to the OET was a farm dedicated to sustainable forestry research owned by Dr. Leslie Holdridge.

    The influence of the La Selva Biological Station in tropical ecology is immeasurable and of great cultural importance, since it has served as a key training and research site for numerous professional scientists, we also have a universal access path.

    Las Cruces

    The OTS acquired Las Cruces in 1973 from Robert and Catherine Wilson, who founded the site in 1962 as a botanical garden and farm.

    Las Cruces Biological Station protects one of the largest fragments of tropical humid premontane forest left in the Coto Brus canton, in southern Costa Rica.

    Palo Verde

    It is located within the Palo Verde National Park, has one of the largest and most important wetlands in Central America and houses one of the most intact patches of lowland tropical dry forest remaining in Central America.

    The Palo Verde wetlands maintain a tidal relationship with the Tempisque River, and house many species of waterfowl, including the magnificent Jabirú.