Director
Brief info

3t serves as Director of Tropic Ventures 1,000 acre Sustainable Forestry & Rainforest Enrichment Project in Puerto Rico. 3t has worked on tree-id, selective harvesting, milling, and wood-drying operations for two decades, and in 2015, co-founded Puerto Rico Hardwoods.

Name: Thrity ‘3T’ Vakil, FLS
DOB: 13th September 1965 b. Nairobi, Kenya
Address: Las Casas de la Selva, HC 63, Buzon 3879, Patillas, Puerto Rico.
Nationality: British (living in Puerto Rico since 2000)

Thrity (3t) Vakil serves as President of Tropic Ventures Research & Education Foundation at Las Casas de la Selva, a 1,000 acre Sustainable Forestry & Rainforest Enrichment Project in SE Puerto Rico, established in 1983. 3t has worked on tree planting, tree-id, selective harvesting, milling, and wood-drying operations for two decades, and has led sixty Earthwatch research teams into the forest, observing, measuring, monitoring, and planting, hundreds of trees. 3t directs endangered species conservation & recovery within the Tropic Ventures forest, propagates trees, and is currently surveying the land with a team of world-class botanists to locate critically endangered endemic species in a collaboration with Botanical Gardens Conservation International & the Global Tree Campaign.

From a background in theater design and scenic art, and an Associate of the Institute of Ecotechnics since 1990, 3t has hands-on experience in a range of fields: ecology, expeditions, event management, arts, performance, and theater. On a major coral reef research expedition in the mid 90’s, 3t served three years as Assistant to the Expedition Chief, diving on remote coral reefs in the Red Sea & Indian Ocean, on the Institute’s Research Vessel Heraclitus, also crossing the Atlantic and Mediterranean Oceans.

In 2015, 3t co-founded Puerto Rico Hardwoods, Inc. that won the prestigious 2016 EnterPRize business award for Sustainability, sponsored by Grupo Guayacán and the Aireko Foundation. After the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017, PRH pioneered efforts in Puerto Rico to save hundreds of downed valuable hardwood trees that were destined for landfill. In February 2021, 3t won an Innovation award from Yale University’s International Society of Tropical Foresters. 3t is a Fellow of the Linnean Society, a Fellow of the World Academy of Art & Science, and an accomplished artist.

2016 – Present: Fellow of The Linnean Society

2015 – Present: Co-founder & President, Puerto Rico Hardwoods Inc.

2013 – 2016: Director, Ecotechnics Maritime Ltd

2012 – Present: Founder & Member, Council for the Development of Agroforestry in Puerto Rico (CADA)

2008 – Present: Fellow, World Academy of Art and Science

2007 – Present: Director, Institute of Ecotechnics, (U.S.A. Not-for-profit, U.K. Educational Charity)

2007 – Present: President, Tropic Ventures Education & Research Foundation, Patillas, Puerto Rico.

2007 – Present: Principal Investigator leading Earthwatch expeditions at Tropic Ventures, Patillas, Puerto Rico.

2007 – Present: Director, Tropic Ventures Rainforest Enrichment & Sustainable Forestry Project, Patillas Puerto Rico.

1999 – 2007 Tropic Ventures Rainforest Enrichment Project, Puerto Rico: Manager and crew member of selective felling, hauling, milling, & drying operations, marketing & sales of hardwoods.

Synergia Ranch, Santa Fe, New Mexico: Co-manager of Organic Fruit Farm. Design & implementation of drip irrigation system for 500 fruit trees and all aspects of tree care, including pruning, thinning fruit, application of organic treatments for pest control, disease and blight research, composting, harvesting, marketing & selling of fruit.

Website/graphic 2 design. Synergetic Press Publishing Company, Santa Fe, NM: Research Artist, web design, & marketing. Institute of Ecotechnics, Global Ecotechnics: Web-design, Archive manager.

1999 – 2003 Co-chef for 250 people on annual three-week International Bantu Dance and Drumming Festival at Synergia Ranch, New Mexico.

1997 – 1999  Several months traveling, writing, painting, & exploring in East Africa. (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, & the island of Zanzibar). She lived for short periods, in San Francisco, California, Ashland, Oregon, and Bellevue, Washington, working on a series of paintings.

1995 – 1997 Indian Ocean and South East Asia Expedition – Coral Reef Research Expedition. As Assistant to Expedition Chief, 3t sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, The Mediterranean, The Red Sea, The Arabian Sea, & Indian Ocean on board the RV Heraclitus, built by the Institute of Ecotechnics. Main coral reefs studied were off the coasts of Egypt, Oman, the Maldives, Seychelles, and Kenya. Responsibilities included becoming an able-bodied seaman with practical hands-on experience in all aspects of seamanship: navigation, rigging, sailing, diving, basic engineering, maintenance, cuisine, team management, data entry, report writing, instigating cultural exchanges, performances, as well as presentations and fundraisers in nearly all of the ports visited on the expedition. The study of each coral reef comprised of four major diving and data gathering missions:

  • Vita reef data on at least 2,000 coral colonies on the reef, identified to genus.
  • Video/Photo transects on at least 5 x 20-meter 2-banded transect lines.
  • Mapping of the reef outline and ecological zones within using GPS satellite technology.
  • Identification and population count for fishes and indicator invertebrate species.
  • Collection of coral cores for Earth Observatory, NY.
  • Turtle surveys.
  • Trash & plastic surveys on isolated islands in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.

1994 – 1995 Member/ambient architect of The ‘Zippy Pronoia Tour to US’, a road expedition across the US from New York to San Diego with 12 others, organizing ‘raves’ (performance and edutainment parties), interacting with cultural icons such as Paolo Soleri, Allen Ginsberg, Ken Kesey, and the Merry Pranksters, Johnny Dolphin, The Biospherians, Terence McKenna, Wired magazine, John Perry Barlow, RU Sirius, Dee-Lite, Lady Miss Kier, and Goa Gil.

1993 – 1994 Crew Member, ambient architect – Megatripolis, Heaven, London, UK. House Manager & Rentals – October Gallery, Bloomsbury, London, UK. Designer and Painter for Freuds Communications events, (The Big Breakfast, Channel 4)

1991 – 1993 Exploration of painting, performance, and dance in India and Nepal.

1985 – 1991

  • Ambient Architect -alternative arts/rave/information/fringe scene, UK.
  • Co-founder of ‘Dandy Fellows’ – production design for rave & ambient events, UK.
  • Chief Scenic Artist for Apollo Leisure Theater Production Company, UK.
  • Designer and Chief Scenic Artist for the Academy of Live & Recorded Arts, London, UK.
  • Scenic Artist – London, West End theatre, National Tours, and Repertory theater, UK.
  • Apprentice Scenic Artist to Master Scenic Artist, Mary Coxon, England, Ireland, & Scotland, 2 3 years.

Education 

  • 1980s: BA (Hons) 3-Dimensional Theater Design – Trent Nottingham, UK.
  • Art & Design Foundation – Wimbledon School of Art, London, UK.
  • 3 A-levels – South Thames College, London, UK. 7 O-levels – Pelham High School, London, UK.

Event co-organizer:

2019: Symposium: “No Escape; The Reality of Climate Change, Here and Now”, San Juan, PR
2015: Annual Meeting Institute of Ecotechnics, Synergist Conference, Santa Fe, NM, USA.
2014: The Second Symposium and Exhibition of Forest Products December. International Institute of Tropical Forestry, PR
2014: Annual Meeting Institute of Ecotechnics, Synergist Conference, Aix-en-Provence, France. 2013: Annual Meeting Institute of Ecotechnics, Synergist Conference, Cadaqués, Girona, Catalonia, Spain.
2012: The First Forest Products Assessment Symposium, April, Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources, PR
2012: Annual Meeting Institute of Ecotechnics, Synergist Conference, October, Cadaqués, Girona, Catalonia, Spain.