International Institute of Tropical Forestry

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.


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The intensity of heavy downpours in Houston has increased dramatically since the 1950s, leading some people to argue the city’s disaster planning and infrastructure are not up-to-date. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Can cities get smarter about extreme weather?

It's not just about rebuilding infrastructure after storms: Cities need to systematically rethink their knowledge systems which are at the heart of urban resilience.

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