As part of our training program, students will spend their first spring semester at STRI to learn first hand about biodiversity and conduct integrated research projects that leverage long-running field experiments and an international team of collaborators from which to draw upon as mentors.
STRI's location in the tropics, vibrant research community, excellent research facilities and commitment to long-term monitoring provides our students unparalleled research opportunities. Moreover, STRI's network of field sites are both remarkably diverse, yet particularly susceptible to habitat loss and climate change – thus providing our fellows with exposure to the leading ecological issues of the times.
The next generation of scientists and academic leaders need to both appreciate the global nature of these challenges and to have the opportunity to develop international collaborations that address them. To accomplish these goals, a cornerstone of VInTG is the partnership between the University of Illinois (UIUC) and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). This partnership builds on established ties between our institutions while formalizing the interdisciplinary and international aspects of our training model. STRI is the pre-eminent tropical research institute in the world and an ideal partner.