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Organization for Tropical Studies Turns 50

Featuring Gordon Orians, PhD

The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) in Costa Rica celebrates its 50th anniversary this month. Dr. Gordon Orians, a past president, reflects on the importance of its work and contributions: “Costa Rica has more species of birds than all of North America put together,” he says. “Many of our birds in North America winter in the tropics, so the life cycles of species we care about here depend upon suitable migratory stopovers and wintering grounds in the tropics.” This Baltimore Oriole is among them!

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

The Organization for Tropical Studies Turns 50

Featuring Gordon Orians, Ph.D.

Interviewed by Todd Peterson

This is BirdNote.

[Costa Rican tropical forest and song of Montezuma Oropendola]

The Organization for Tropical Studies or OTS celebrates its 50th anniversary this month.  It operates three field research stations in Costa Rica, and we asked Dr. Gordon Orians, a past president, to reflect on its contributions over the years:

“I think the most important contribution of OTS has been education. There are now more than 8,000 alumni. These alums are the cadre of the leading tropical biologists in the country today, and they have trained most of the next generation of tropical biologists in the United States. So OTS has had an immense contribution in terms of education. And if you’ve just been a temperate-zone biologist, as I was…I know my first trip to Costa Rica, it blew my mind!” 

[Song of Montezuma Oropendola]

“The tropics are incredibly important for a number of reasons.  In terms of biological diversity, the tropics are where the greatest richness is. Costa Rica has more species of birds than all of North America put together. [Introduce song of Baltimore Oriole] Many of our birds in North America winter in the tropics and so the life cycles of species we care about here, a very large proportion of them, depend upon their having suitable migratory stopovers and wintering grounds in the tropics.”

[Song of Baltimore Oriole]

“We’re linked with the tropics in many many ways.  The research and graduate courses being conducted through OTS help us understand just how.”

See photos and learn more, at birdnote.org.  

###

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Montezuma Oropendola [89453] recorded by C.A. Marantz (+ some ambient drawn from this track); song of Baltimore Oriole [61638] W.W.H. Gunn

Ambient recorded in Costa Rica by C. Peterson.  Sony C.R. G10 T 3

BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.

Producer: John Kessler

Executive Producer: Chris Peterson

© 2013 Tune In to Nature.org    June 2013   Narrator: Mary McCann

ID#   ots-01-2013-06-18 ots-01

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