The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) is a non-profit consortium of more than 50 universities and research institutions in the United States and Latin America dedicated to providing leadership in education, research, and the wise use of natural resources in the tropics. Graduate and undergraduate students may join scientists from 25 countries to attend OTS courses (more than 200 offered since 1963) in Tropical Biology, Conservation, or Global Health in Costa Rica and South Africa. The Costa Rica courses are available at the three field sites listed below, and the South African courses are located in Johannesburg and Kruger National Park.
- The Atlantic lowlands hosts the La Selva Biological Station, dedicated to rain forest research
- The southern Pacific slopes are the home of the Las Cruces Biological Station, perfect for study of fragmented premontane rain forests.
- The Pacific lowlands harbors the Palo Verde Field Station, ideal for study of deciduous dry forest and freshwater marsh
OTS Undergraduate Semester Abroad Program
OTS hosts a 15-week program (credited by Duke University) that emphasizes ecological and environmental issues, language study, and tropical culture. Instruction comprises field-oriented, hands-on learning, and includes readings from primary literature and group discussion to provide a conceptual framework for interpreting field observations. Four resident faculty, and numerous visiting faculty and distinguished lecturer, serve as course leaders. Spanish language instruction enables students to experience Costa Rican life.
Course descriptions are provided on the OTS web site.