Exploring new regions of our oceans takes specialized equipment and methods. Our scientists are developing and using many tools and techniques, from the world’s only undersea laboratory to drones to test water quality, and from spectrometers for detecting pollutants to acoustic sensors for tracking fish populations.
We have been watching many environments for decades, allowing us to respond quickly and effectively to challenges. When oxygen levels drop in Biscayne Bay, our autonomous vehicles are on and under the water finding trouble spots. When corals off the coast are threatened by acidity, we are observing how they react. When seagrasses in the Florida Keys are being killed off by nutrient overload, we can track the grasses’ health and lead community projects to stop the damage.
Locally and around the world, we are pioneering technologies that will let us discover new species, ecosystems and solutions to environmental problems.
It is our responsibility to provide the training for our future workforce. Our researchers are preparing the next generation of nation's workers and businesses for an increasingly automated future workplace.
Using advanced technology, our researchers are filling in the gaps of our planet's deep-sea environments. We are using automated surface vessels and custom robotics to explore the depths of the ocean in order to monitor our planet's health and discover the unknown.
Our CREST research buoys act as sentinels for the health of our waterways. The buoys alert our scientists if conditions in our waters reach critical levels, allowing our experts to respond immediately and avert disaster.
Related Programs & Centers
Our ongoing educational, research and community initiatives are organized within thematic programs and centers which bring together experts from across the Institute of Environment.
Our Medina Aquarius program allows students, researchers and scientists to live at the bottom of the ocean and see first-hand how our marine ecosystem works. We train NASA astronauts and welcome others to dive with us as certified aquanauts. Our scientists conduct research on coral reefs, ocean acidification, climate change, fisheries and overall ocean health.
In our mission to address the complex issues of environmental contamination in South Florida, our NSF-funded CREST Center for Aquatic Chemistry and Environment program features cutting-edge technology in contaminant detection, monitoring and analysis. Central to this are our three research buoys. Most recently, our buoys were on the frontlines of detecting what was threatening the health of Biscayne Bay.
The Innovation for Sustainable Built Environments program is an interdisciplinary research group working with FIU's Metropolitan Center and the Lehman Center for Transportation Research. Our research, teaching, and services will advance sustainable design and development for healthy, livable and resilient environments as it relates to these fields.
Faculty-led research groups sustain our discoveries and impacts.
- Boswell Lab for Marine Ecology and Acoustics
- Briceno Lab for Water Quality Monitoring
- Butler Lab for Tropical Ecology
- Elizabeth Anderson Lab for Tropical Rivers
- Fourqurean Lab for Seagrass Ecosystems Research
- Gann Lab for Spatial Ecology
- Gardinali Lab for Environmental Analysis Research
- Kiszka Lab for Marine Conservation Ecology
Facilities & Services
These units represent technology and expertise that supports our research and may also be available for community use.