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In collaboration with local and international partners, our efforts have led to expanded protections for endangered species; improved sanitation and access to clean water; increased community resilience across the globe; and adaptive management of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine resources. We are addressing both current and unprecedented future threats of environmental change, providing data-driven solutions to society's greatest and most urgent challenges.

  • 60

    Countries Involved in Research

  • $40 million

    Research Funding

  • 1,200

    Peer-Reviewed Publications

Who We Are

  • REAL Impact

    FIU's Institute of Environment represents one of the largest and most impactful environmental research programs in the world.

    FIU is the main research partner for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and a research partner with Rookery Bay Research Reserve.

    Our researchers have provided critical data to support the listings of several shark and ray species for protection by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Members of the predator team have tagged sperm whales off the coast of Guadeloupe as part of the UN Environment – Caribbean Environmental Programme’s Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife project in support of the Cartagena Convention.

    Scientists in the Institute of Environment are also members of key local, national and international environmental initiatives including:

    • Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation
    • Global Lake Ecological Research Network
    • Florida Blue-Green Algae Task Force
    • Miami-Dade County Biscayne Bay Task Force
    • International Blue Carbon Policy Working Group
    • Science Advisory Committee for Pew Environment’s Global Shark Program
    • IUCN Cetacean and Shark Specialist groups
    • Expert Panel on cetacean bycatch of the International Whaling Commission
    • Southeast Regional Climate Change Compact Sea Level Rise Projection Work Group



    Currently, the Institute has three major divisions: the Freshwater Resources Division, formerly known as the Southeast Environmental Research Center; the Coastlines and Oceans Division including the former Center for Coastal Oceans Research and Sea Level Solutions Center); and the Land and Biodiversity Division, which includes the International Center for Tropical Botany and Agroecology and represents terrestrial research and biodiversity projects in any ecosystem.

    The Institute is recognized as an FIU Preeminent Program.

    In addition to the three newly defined divisions, the Institute also includes cross-cutting initiatives including our Tropical Conservation Institute, Environmental Forensics & Public Health, Environmental Finance and Risk Management and Innovation for Sustainable Built Environments programs. 

  • Our History

    The Institute of Environment was officially created in July 2015 as the "Institute of Water and Environment" in an effort to consolidate the research, educational and engagement activities of several environmental centers and initaitives within FIU. The Institute was established to focus on broad, cross-college, collaborative research in all aspects of the environmental sciences with a specific focus on freshwater, wetland, coastal and marine sciences. The original Institute was built around three key units: the Southeast Environmental Research Center (SERC), the Center for Coastal Oceans Research (CCOR), and the Sea Level Solutions Center (SLSC). 

    From 2015 to 2019, the college experienced major advances in the environmental sciences. Research from ridge-to-reef at such a critical juncture of global climate concern was growing rapidly and the time had come to strengthen and affirm the Institute's collective impact.

    In December of 2019, the Institute underwent a realignment. The huge growth in environmental programs meant that the scope, breadth and depth of research for the Institute began reaching farther and wider than the original Institute anticipated. The renamed "Institute of Environment" would now be the overarching entity under which all environmental research programs and centers for the college would be organized.



Explore Our Work

Freshwater Resources

The Freshwater Resources Division promotes science-driven decision-making to protect and restore water resources, recreational lands and natural ecosystems.

Coastlines and Oceans

The Coastlines and Oceans Division leads global projects that support and safeguard the long-term survival of key ecosystems and organisms in the face of sea level rise.

Land and Biodiversity

The Land and Biodiversity Division protects numerous species while tackling food insecurity, climate change and biodiversity loss.