The Soltis Center enhances student learning and research experiences through a unique setting for developing multidisciplinary research, education activities and community service, as well. The Center further promotes investigation into critical fields of research, such as global warming, the impact on biodiversity and productive systems, and regional changes in rainfall patterns and distribution, among others.

Regional partnerships

Building partnerships with regional institutions is really important when looking at global changes (such as DNA sequencing, remote sensing, carbon cycling and others) and long-term sustainability. The Soltis Center has already established formal contacts with local research and education institutions. For networking, the Center facilitated contact and interaction with regional research field stations such La Selva Biological Station (Organization for Tropical Studies), Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (Tropical Science Center), and the Alberto Manuel Brenes Biological (University of Costa Rica). Due its geographical settings and its mid-elevation location, the Center is committed to fostering the creation of a regional network for standardizing and sharing data. Equally, at the Center we are fostering multi-site research especially focused on global changes, thus, leading to a better understanding of the impact of current and future changes on different ecosystems and communities. Broader approaches are needed and the location of the Center offers a unique link to better understanding the interaction among animal and plant communities along altitudinal gradients, from the lowland rainforests to highland cloud forests passing through mid-elevation forests, like those at the Soltis Center.

International partnerships

Regarding education, it is equally important for us to provide a broader international experience to our students. At the Soltis Center, we are already engaged to facilitate the access and exchange of students with local institutions. We have already established contacts with the regional campus at the Technological Institute of Costa Rica, 45 minutes away from the Center where both faculty and students can visit and interact directly with their counterparts. Similar approaches have been made for other institutions, such as the University of Costa Rica and the National University. Equally, the Center has already facilitated collaborative research among U.S. senior researchers and local scientists.  

Local partnerships

In order to the facilitate access and to encourage research and academic activities beyond the Soltis Center natural forest, we have established formal collaborations with the Monteverde Conservation League to enable our students and researchers to have access to the more than 50,000 hectares of the Eternal Rainforest of the Children. Equally, partnerships have been established with local land owners, expanding the potential research grounds to second growth forests, forestry plantations, and farms. Clear examples are those with the eco-lodge and certified organic farm Finca Luna Nueva, the forestry plantation and farm Palma Real, among others.