Our organization owes its success to the vision, technical solidity and restless spirit of our pioneers: a small group of men of science that arrived in Costa Rica to study the tropical forests with a holistic focus of the relationship between nature and the human being.

  • Leslie Holdridge: Arrived in Costa Rica in 1949 to direct the Program of Natural Science of IICA and in 1961 became independent in order to found the Tropical Science Center. Amongst his greatest contributions are: the world system of classification of life zones that has been of great utility for the actual studies of climate change and watersheds. Also, in dendrology, he designed didactic techniques in order to understand how to identify trees and shrubs in the field. His contributions to the theories on the movement of light and the mass of photons is of interest, as they in some aspects differ from the theories of Einstein.
  • Joseph Tosi: His studies of wildlife management, forestry engineering and geography provided him with broad training. Professionally, he conducted various studies on Environmental Impact (EIA), on capacity of land use and on carbon fixation. Amongst his greatest contributions were two reports that provided the technical justification for the creation of various National Parks in Costa Rica. He was the manager ad honorem of the Tropical Science Center for 20 years; his vision and austerity still mark the tasks of our organization today.
  • Alexander Skutch:A botanist that arrived in the tropics to conduct studies of the banana plant, but who also figured in the study of birds. In Costa Rica he is known for being the author of his book “Birds of Costa Rica”, publication that drew ornithology closer to a broader public than the biologists, accomplishing perfectly the principle of the Tropical Science Center (TSC) of disseminating knowledge. Another legacy of Skutch to the TSC is his farm “Los Cusingos”, now a valuable sanctuary for birds administrated by the Tropical Science Center.