Research has been the cornerstone of the Institute's program since its inception. Early research focused on reforestation, plantation forestry, tropical species identification, forest inventory methods, endangered species, and carbon sequestration. Currently, the Institute’s research programs are focused on forest ecology, disturbance ecology, ecosystem functions and services, urban ecology, watershed dynamics, migratory species, climate change, and policy science to better understand the effect of natural and human-induced pressures on tropical forests and the landscapes in which they are found. Our research provides key information on forest structure and function, land cover change, and governance to inform the development of sustainable land use practices and policy. Research will continue to focus on the Luquillo Experimental Forest and its Bisley Long-term Ecological Research watersheds, the San Juan Urban Long Term Research Area, the Guánica Biosphere Reserve, various novel secondary forests, and other ecosystems in Puerto Rico; the Estate Thomas Experimental Forest in St. Croix U.S. Virgin Islands; the Brazilian Amazon; and throughout the Western Hemisphere in collaboration with partners in the region.