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November

Faculty and graduate students associated with FIU's NSF-funded Shark Bay Ecosystem Research Project (SBERP_ have developed an innovative education and outreach program. In the past 12 months, middle school teachers from Texas, Tennessee, and Maryland have traveled to Shark Bay to work with PhD student Derek Burkholder and MS student Kathryn Cameron during their studies of the dynamics of one of the world's last pristine seagrass ecosystems.

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Fernando G. Noriega, an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, has recently been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).

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A recent study led by SEAS researcher Michael Ross shows that the combination of sea level rise and major disturbances like hurricanes present an imminent threat to the plants and animals living on low-lying islands, including the Florida Keys. These islands often are home to species that are found nowhere else on earth and depend on freshwater. It was once thought that because sea level rise occurs slowly the change in species also would take generations to occur.

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FIU and the Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research program will host the second meeting of the Joint USlter/Mexlter Hurricane Research Network, December 8-11, 2009 at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens. Supported by an NSF grant, the meeting will expand developing cooperation with the Mexican Long Term Ecological Research program on the study of the effects of hurricanes on tropical forests.

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Dr Hong Liu, an Assistant Professor in FIU's Earth and Environment Department, is currently conducting field work in China. Since 2008, Dr Liu has been conducting ongoing field work in the Yachang Orchid Nature Preserve. The preserve is located in the remote Guangxi Province in southwestern China on the border with Vietnam. Guangxi together with the adjacent Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan provinces, forms one ot the world's nine orchid-diversity hotspots.

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