In 1989, the Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS) created an International Committee to explore the potential of creating an International Organization of Biological Field Stations (IOBFS). OBFS recognized that field stations on Earth share many of the same goals, objectives, and problems; thus, an international organization to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas related to these interest seemed appropriate. 

The OBFS itself was established to ensure the advancement of biological sciences through the development of research and teaching programs at field stations, to implement cooperation among field stations. There are about 200 member stations in the organization today, most from North and Central America and the Caribbean. The OBFS has advised national funding agencies (e.g. The National Science Foundation) about the needs of the field stations and recommended programs to help field stations develop facilities. The OBFS annually distributes a poster and brochures to colleges and universities to inform students of programs and activities at the various station, and it periodically publishes a directory describing member stations. In addition, there is an annual OBFS meeting where directors, managers and scientists discuss topics of concern to field stations such as research priorities, educational activities, management problems, public relations, and fund raising. The international organization, IOBFS, would take on some of the tasks, although at an international scale.

The goals of IOBFS have been derived from contact with OBFS members and contact with international stations during the development of the directory. The process of developing goals and objectives is continuing along with additional input from international stations. Below is a list of potential goals and objectives based on responses from international field stations and committee members:

  • Develop a directory of field stations to assist in establishing a global communication network.

  • Link field stations through an electronic information network.

  • Facilitate the exchange of scientists among field stations.

  • Foster development of education programs at field stations.

  • Develop cooperative research activities.

  • Strengthen library resources at field stations.

  • Provide global positioning devices to facilitate mapping in remote areas.

  • Organize an international meeting among field station representatives.

Contact Person: Dr. Richard L.Wyman, IOBFS Committee Chairman

Last Updated 09/16/09