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From Bette A. Loiselle, Director and Patrick Osborne, Executive Director:
The international Center for Tropical Ecology (ICTE) was established in 1990 in cooperation with the Missouri Botanical Garden to promote research and education in the biology and conservation of tropical ecosystems. Because of the urgent need to understand, conserve, and restore rapidly disappearing habitats in tropical regions, the ICTE strives to facilitate research and the training of the next generation of scientists who will face the challenge of solving ecological problems in tropical countries. The University of Missouri-St. Louis is ideally situated for this role owing to a strong group of ecology faculty in its Biology Department and its active relationship with the Missouri Botanical Garden which include more than 50 Ph.D botanists with programs in tropical countries. Together, this two institutions provide one of the largest concentrations of tropical biologists in the United States. The ICTE also has close links with the St. Louis Zoo and both these partnerships will be strengthened with appointments to the E. Desmond Lee Family Chairs in botanical and zoological studies.
The goals and activities of the ICTE reflect the University's mission in the areas of teaching, research, and extension through its active participation in graduate and undergraduate education, its promotion of research productivity, and its outreach efforts to the St. Louis community. Moreover, the Center directly contributes to the University's and Chancellor's commitment to "internationalize" the campus and curriculum by promoting course offerings with an international perspective, by increasing the University's stature and visibility in the international community, and by recruiting international students into our graduate student body.
The infrastructure of the ICTE facilitates the multidisciplinary interactions with other departments as well as institutions in the St. Louis area, such as the Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis Zoo, and Washington University. Moreover, the Center has increased our ability to raise funds in the St. Louis community and from local and national foundations. In effect, the ICTE enhances visibility of UM-St. Louis in tropical biology and draws attention to our partnerships with the Missouri Botanical Garden and the St. Louis Zoo.
From Peter H. Raven, Director of the Missouri Botanical Garden:
The International Center for Tropical Ecology, initiated by the University of Missouri-St. Louis, has grown rapidly during its short period of existence and promises to make outstanding contributions to international peace and harmony through the proper management of the world's biological resources in the years to come. The Missouri Botanical Garden is proud to be affiliated with the University of Missouri-St. Louis in the operation of this Center. As an institution with a history of more than 130 years in pursuit of such aims, we will continue to strive to improve the performance of the Center and to make our cooperative arrangement a truly productive and important one.
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