international Institute of Tropical Forestry Headquarters building.

Katherine Shorten visits Puerto Rico

On July 14 2023, EFTA Resource Assistants program (RAP) manager Katherine Shorten took some time off her vacations in Puerto Rico to visit the International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF) headquarters in Rio Piedras. It was a sunny Friday morning when Katherine arrived. She had spent the week exploring the island, and I was so happy to hear that she had some time to drive over to San Juan to visit me at work. 

The IITF building is located inside the Rio Piedras Botanical Gardens. It is a beautiful recreational place managed by the University of Puerto Rico; truly a lovely place to work. However, as is the case in many places post-pandemic, many IITF employees work from home. Therefore, the offices were mostly empty this Friday. I was still able to show Katherine around and introduce her to our director’s executive assistant, Shirley Prado Sanabria. I took her to the Institute’s headquarters and down to the GIS lab, where my desk is located. Katherine showed a lot of interest in the history behind some of the art displayed in the IITF building. Specially, she was specially curious about the woods used to create a map of Puerto Rico that hangs just outside the director’s office. Thanks to Shirley, we learned that the map is made out of native tree’s wood from around the island. 

The one place we were not able to visit that day was the IITF Library, one of the three branches that comprise the National Forest Service Library. So there is a reason for her to come back (not that you would need much of an excuse to visit Puerto Rico again!)

Thanks, Katherine, for taking the time to come over to the IITF headquarters. We welcome you and all other visitors any time!

Shirley Sanabria (left), Diana Martinez (center), and Katherine Shorten (right)
Shirley Sanabria (left), Katherine Shorten (right) and I pose in front of a map of Puerto Rico made out of pieces of native trees' wood.
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