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In the grand scheme of Dade County, South Miami doesn't matter. The oversize village of 12,000 souls wedged between Kendall and Coral Gables is known as a quiet place to live if it's known at all. That's why Philip Stoddard's tale is all the more remarkable.

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Curious about reports of Western women traveling across the globe to support the Islamic State (IS) group, an FIU linguistics student seized on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to discover why. The opportunity, a two-week summit on intercultural leadership in Azerbaijan offered by the Aladdin Project in 2016, afforded Muminat Kerimova the chance to partner with other students from Germany, Israel and the United Kingdom.

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Ten years ago the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.

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Restoring freshwater flow to the Florida Everglades could help snook, one of the state’s prized gaming fish, survive extreme climate events. Researchers have spent the past seven years examining the long-term effects of two unique cold spells that struck South Florida in 2010, including different species’ abilities to recover in the Everglades.

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At this year’s eMerge Americas conference, FIU is showcasing new companies associated with StartUP FIU, in addition to scientific breakthroughs and new technologies designed to improve life for humans and creatures from the deep.

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The Marine Academy of Science and Technology at FIU celebrated its first commencement this week, four years after opening its doors. South Florida dignitaries, including Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg, attended the ceremony honoring MAST@FIU’s 54 inaugural graduates on June 5 at FIU’s Kovens Conference Center.

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Retired FIU Biology professor Ophelia Weeks has been named president of the University of Liberia.Weeks spent more than 30 years as a neuroscientist with FIU, joining the faculty in 1986.Already at work in her new role, Weeks will be officially installed as the university’s 14th president during a ceremony later this month. She replaces Emmet Dennis who retired in December.

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President Trump has announced that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Agreement. The landmark climate accord looks to prevent further damage due to climate change by dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in 2020. The Paris Agreement was signed by 195 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change members.

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Florida leads the south in water efficiency, according to a study examining water use across the United States. While states in the north have become more water efficient, their southern counterparts have not. Florida is the exception with water use in homes, business and public spaces declining over the past 30 years in the Sunshine State.

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Researchers have identified key genes associated with flowering time in the pigeon pea, a finding that could lead to more productive plants for this important source of protein. Pigeon pea yields have remained stagnant during the last 60 years, which has hurt farmers in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean who rely on the legume to feed their families and make a living. Pigeon peas are an important source of protein in the diets of more than 1.5 billion people in developing countries.

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