The Program for Studies in Tropical Conservation

The Program for Studies in Tropical Conservation (PSTC) is an interdisciplinary program that develops human resources and strengthens institutions in tropical countries through integrated research and training. The regional initiatives of the PSTC incorporate human dimensions and biological issues in conservation, and focus on a diversity of landscapes ranging from humid tropical forests to semi-arid steppe and marine environments. The PSTC faculty works with institutions in tropical countries to build programs that address local conservation needs and establish stronger linkages among local, national and international institutions. The PSTC provides training for managers, educators and researchers through in-country workshops and seminars, and graduate training at UF.

Graduate students affiliated with the Program for Studies in Tropical Conservation explore integrated, interdisciplinary approaches to conservation, management and the sustainable use of natural resources. Students carry out their research through direct application to their countries' conservation efforts.

The preservation of natural resources nationwide will depend in part on the presence of trained professionals in each nation who can identify key conservation issues, evaluate management alternatives and promote informed decision-making by governments, international agencies and businesses. However, the majority of tropical countries do not have programs to train personnel in the areas of tropical conservation and management. The PSTC is designed to help support such training for biologists, conservation specialists, educators and managers. The Program is organized for participants who already have substantial experience, and in many cases responsibility, in the broad area of natural resource management in their own countries.

Since 1982, the PSTC has produced well over 150 graduates, and in recent years it has expanded its operation through collaboration with the Tropical Conservation and Development Program (TCD), a UF program focused on the integration of conservation and poverty alleviation in the tropics, housed in the Center for Latin American Studies, and the Center for African Studies. Please check TCD, LAS, and CAS websites for available graduate student and research funding. The PSTC is a cross-campus program and does not grant degrees. Graduate students enroll in degree-granting units on the University of Florida campus. Application material for the University of Florida schools and departments is available online.


PSTC-affiliated graduates have established the first Graduate Program in Conservation and Wildlife Management in Brazil, play key policy-making roles in the development of national conservation legislation in Belize and Chile, direct the Federal Wildlife Agency in Mexico, serve as president of the National Association of Zoological Parks in Columbia, direct the Parks and People program in Ecuador, establish new programs in ecotourism and resource management in universities in Mexico, and direct wildlife, parks and sustainable agriculture programs in East Africa. Other graduates lead national non-governmental organizations, and country programs of international organizations, such as Conservation International and the Wildlife Conservation Society in Peru, Brazil, Indonesia, and other tropical countries.


The Program for Studies in Tropical Conservation
310 Newins-Ziegler Hall
Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
P.O. Box 110430
University of Florida Gainesville, Florida 32611-0430 USA
(352) 846-0552 (phone) (352) 392-6984 (fax)
Director - Susan K. Jacobson (email:
Associate Directors - Lyn C. Branch & Kathryn E. Sieving