Increasing laboratory capacity at El Verde Field Station, University of Puerto Rico

The University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus, is awarded a grant to increase the laboratory capacity of El Verde Field Station. El Verde has been a vital location for scientific research and training in the only neotropical rain forest under the jurisdiction of the United States. The field station is located in El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico, which is an Experimental Forest, a Biosphere Reserve, a research site for the University of Puerto Rico, and the focus of the Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research Program. A master plan covering the period 2009-2019 highlights the need to improve available spaces and create new work areas for research at the station. Lack of workspace for visiting researchers has been a major factor limiting ongoing research projects and potential new ones at El Verde. The station currently has a maximum housing capacity of 51 visitors and only 15 work stations, some of limited use for some types of research. The award will solve the pressing space problem at El Verde by building a new laboratory for visiting scientists. The new 1,000 sq. ft. research building will house 10 new high-quality work stations. Each station will consist of bench space that can be used for computer or microscope work, or sample processing. In combination with ongoing efforts to improve available space, a plan to increase research space availability for 30 work stations has been developed. This will provide enough research space to accommodate ongoing projects and facilitate new research at the station. REU students (from 10-12 every summer) will now have designated work areas and less dependenc on mentors to find places to work. El Verde Field Station has been serving a variety of users for more than 30 years. Since the early 1990s the station has maintained a visitor record of over 2000 days in residence a year. Undergraduate and graduate students, technicians and faculty from more than 50 institutions in Puerto Rico, mainland United States, and other countries use the field station as their base of operations to study tropical rain forest ecosystems. The Luquillo LTER site has made El Verde one of its main sites since its foundation in 1988. Our REU site program in tropical ecology has a record of enrolling Puerto Ricans and other minority students every summer, many of them continue to graduate school after their term at El Verde. El Verde Field Station web site can be found at
Project Type: 
Media Year: 
December, 2015
Funding Information_Detailed: 
Funding Type: 
Funding Agency: 
National Science Foundation
Quantity Awarded: 
349 960.00
Period Awarded: 
2012 to 2015
2012 to 2013
2013 to 2014
2014 to 2015
Alonso Ramírez
Investigator Project Role - DES: 
Principal Investigator