Renovating Infraestructure for Tropical Ecology and Environmental Sciences

This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). The mission of the Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies (ITES) of The University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras (UPR-RP) is to serve as a world center for advanced research and education in tropical ecosystem ecology and management, and, as such, ITES strives to establish and maintain long-term experimental and reference studies of tropical ecosystems through interdisciplinary research. Funding is provided to UPR-RP to renovate the basement floor of the Facundo Bueso Building. These renovations will support the development of the ITES Research Center by enhancing the level of research activities and increasing the impacts of its programs. ITES is the home of the Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Program, a multidisciplinary collaboration investigating tropical ecosystem dynamics along a rural-urban gradient that includes the International Institute of Tropical Forestry (USDA Forest Service) and eleven mainland US institutions. The new center would place most of ITES's research and related student training in a single facility. The remodel will consolidate the research facilities, which are currently distributed over four buildings in two different areas of campus, on the basement floor of the Facundo Bueso Building. Renovations include modernization of the electrical and lighting system, plumbing, the HVAC system, and casework and the addition of fixed equipment. The spaces will also be redesigned specifically for the type of research performed in the new laboratories. Increased cohesion among faculty and students and administrators (located in an adjacent building) would be a direct result of this effort. Moreover, the creation of a single facility for ITES would contribute strongly to its role as a nexus for the development of integrative research activities on the UPR campus as well as for the island of Puerto Rico. The new Center will allow further expansion in research training. At present, faculty members supervise the research of 42 BS, 18 MS, 18 PhD students, 3 postdocs, and 14 research staff. Therefore, in addition to the ITES faculty, staff and students will benefit from this renovation.
Project Type: 
Media Year: 
March, 2016
Funding Information_Detailed: 
Funding Type: 
Funding Agency: 
National Science Foundation
Quantity Awarded: 
1 149 687.00
Period Awarded: 
2010 to 2013
2010 to 2011
2011 to 2012
2012 to 2013
Investigator Project Role - DES: 
Principal Investigator
Investigator Project Role - DES: 
Co-Principal Investigator
Elvia Meléndez Ackerman
Investigator Project Role - DES: 
Co-Principal Investigator