About the Institute

forest service hq building in 1933 forest service hq building in 1937 the institute building in the 1940s Tropical Forestry course graduates in 1957 at the back of the main building. the institute building in 1960 the institute building

The International Institute of Tropical Forestry (Institute), headquartered in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, is a research and technology transfer institute that is dedicated to advancing tropical forestry on insular, national, and international levels, and developing and exchanging knowledge critical to sustaining benefits of tropical forests and grasslands. The Institute has been in continuous operation since its inception as the Tropical Forest Experiment Station in 1939.

Members of our community span a wide range of knowledge and skills, including natural and social scientists, natural resource managers, education outreach and technology transfer specialists, technicians, as well as contracted professionals, students and volunteers. Together these dedicated men and women engage with an equally diverse network of external collaborators from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, in order to carry out our mission and implement our programs.

The influence of the Institute stretches throughout Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, and beyond to several international sites in Latin America and around the globe. We integrate long-term scientific studies with applied investigation, quantitative modeling, and landscape analysis to better understand tropical forest systems and the effects of human-induced pressures, predict future scenarios, devise effective management and governance strategies, and promote sustainable natural resources stewardship.


Directory of the Institute's personnel.

Institute Group Photo 2016The Institute’s personnel include scientists, technicians, program managers, and administrative personnel whose dedication and hard work make the institute a world class research center.


The history of the Institute headquarters and the July 2012 inauguration.

Chief Tom Tidwell speaking at the institute

A summary of the historic International Institute of Tropical Forestry headquarters and the inauguration, with the assistance of the U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, of the newly renovated building in July, 2012.

The Institute's Facilities

Librarian Gisel Reyes reading a book

An overview of the Institutes facilities, including the Headquarters building, the Forest Service National Library, the Chemistry Laboratory, other general facilities and the Sabana Field Research Station.