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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

Our History

  • The Origins

    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: 1) the Southeast Environmental Research Center (SERC), 2) the Center for Coastal Oceans Research (CCOR), and 3) 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.

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  • Where We Are Today

    Currently, the Institute has three major divisions: the Freshwater Resources Division (formerly known as SERC), the Coastlines and Oceans Division (to contain the former CCOR and SLSC), and the Land and Biodiversity Division (to contain the former FIU Tropics Emerging Preeminent Program including the International Center for Tropical Botany and Agroecology). This third division represents terrestrial research and biodiversity projects from any ecosystem - a brand new addition to the newly restructured Institute.

    With this reorganization, all of the programs within the Institute are recognized as part of an FIU Preeminent Program.

    In addition to the three newly defined divisions, the Institute also includes "cross-cutting initiatives", like the Tropical Conservation Institute (TCI) and the Innovation for Sustainable Built Environments program. 

    As of February 2020, the Institute of Environment represents one of the largest and most impactful environmental research programs in the world.

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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.