The UF Water Institute is pleased to announce that Carolina Murcia will be the next speaker in the Smallwood Distinguished Scholar Seminar Series. Dr. Murcia is a conservation biologist with over 15 years of post-doctoral experience in the tropics.
Seminar Title: Research Opportunities in Costa Rica with the Organization for Tropical Studies 
Thursday December 3
3 to 4pm with discussion following 
Speaker: Dr. Carolina Murcia , Organization for Tropical Studies Science Director (
Location: Room 285 Reitz Union

The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) is a non-profit consortium of over 60 universities, colleges, and research institutions from the US , Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru,  South Africa, and Australia. Our mission is to provide leadership in education, research, and the responsible use of natural resources in the tropics. We focus on research, education, and conservation. Every year, we facilitate research in our three biological stations in Costa Rica for approximately 330 scientists from 25 countries, which collectively generate a scientific publication every 72 hours. Through research fellowships, we sponsor graduate and undergraduate students who conduct projects at the stations. OTS also trains undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals through a number of hands-on inquiry-based courses taught mostly in Costa Rica, but also in other tropical countries. In addition, OTS participates in several large-scale conservation initiatives. In this short talk I will present a range of opportunities for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty to conduct research in Costa Rica.  In particular, I will highlight several programs, including a International Research Experience for Graduate Students, an upcoming practical workshop on embedded senor networks for tropical research, a new tower infrastructure to conduct research with embedded sensors on 3-D, and a large-scale research project that will involve scientists from a variety of natural sciences, social, and engineering disciplines.

Refreshments will be served.
Bio Sketch:
Dr. Murcia is a conservation biologist with over 15 years of post-doctoral experience in the tropics.  In 1993, after receiving her Ph.D. from University of Florida (Dept of Zoology), she returned to Colombia, her home country, and established the Colombia program of Wildlife Conservation Society, that focused on generating information for conservation, training a new generation of conservation biologists and advising government organizations on management issues. In 2003, she became the Northern Andes Regional Coordinator at the same organization. In this capacity, she coordinated large and complex interdisciplinary projects that involved joint efforts of scientific research and conservation action, some of which spanned several countries.  Since 2000, she has also been a member of the Board of Directors for the Society for Ecological Restoration International, and has served in several of its committees, including the Science and Policy Working group, and co-chaired the IUCN-SER joint task force. In 2008, Dr. Murcia joined the Organization for Tropical Studies, as the Science Director.