Smithsonian tropical research institute

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Parent Organization

Smithsonian Institution

Description

In 1923 the Institute for Research in Tropical America, a group of private foundations and universities under the auspices of the National Research Council, first established a research laboratory on Barro Colorado Island, Panama Canal Zone, in order to investigate the flora and fauna of tropical America. In 1940 an act of Congress placed the facility under control of a board composed of the heads of certain executive departments and prominent scientists. In 1946 the operation of the laboratory was transferred to the Smithsonian and was named the Canal Zone Biological Area (CZBA). It was renamed the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in 1966 James Zetek, an entomologist on the staff of the United States Department of Agriculture, served as Resident Manager of the CZBA (before 1946, the Barro Colorado Island research laboratory) from 1923 to 1956. He was succeeded by Carl B. Koford, Resident Manager, 1956-1957; Martin H. Moynihan, Resident Manager, 1957-1963, and Director, 1963-1973; Ira Rubinoff, Director, 1973-2007; and Eldredge Bermingham, Acting Director, 2007-2008, and Director, 2008- . Under Moynihan's direction, STRI grew from a biological preserve and small field camp on Barro Colorado Island to a research facility with a worldwide reputation. A marine science program was established with laboratories on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Panama; professional staff grew fifteen fold; and research expanded to other parts of the Tropics. Growth at STRI continued under Ira Rubinoff who oversaw the construction of several new facilities, culminating in the opening of the Earl Silas Tupper Research and Conference Center in 1989. STRI continued to expand its work in the tropics and by the early 1990s was conducting research throughout Latin America, Asia, and Africa. In 1992, STRI became involved with administering the Smithsonian's interest in the Mpala Wildlife Research Trust in Kenya, which was created to support research on wildlife, global change, and biodiversity.

Source

  • Smithsonian Institution (2011). Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Fact Sheet Retrieved from http://www.stri.si.edu/english/about_stri/media/fact_sheet/STRI_fact_sheet_Jan_2011.pdf
  • Curriculum Vitae, http://stri.si.edu/sites/bermingham/curriculum_eb.php accessed June 11, 2012

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1966

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