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January

A group of sixth graders from Mater Academy Middle School visited FIU in January for an interactive, hands-on science day. The students toured FIU’s state-of-the art trace evidence and DNA profiling facilities and learned about the research that goes on at the International Forensic Research Institute (IFRI), Biomolecular Sciences Institute (BSI) and other biology and chemistry labs at FIU.

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Answers about shark populations could come from the skies, new research finds. Using drones, a team of researchers from FIU recently completed a survey of sharks and rays in a shallow coral lagoon along the island of Moorea in French Polynesia.

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Three FIU alumnae are finalists for this year’s two top teaching prizes in Miami-Dade County. The winners will be announced Thursday, Jan. 26. Laura Ortiz, a social studies teacher at Robert Morgan Educational Center & Technical College, is one of four finalists vying for the Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ Francisco R. Walker Teacher of the Year Award.

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our Florida universities are joining forces in the fight to stop Zika. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded $10 million to a new center that brings together scientists from FIU, University of Florida, University of Miami and University of South Florida. With Florida often being an entry point into the United States for mosquito-borne illnesses including Zika, the collaborative research center is focusing on stopping the spread of these diseases.

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FIU, located in the heart of Miami’s Cuban-American community, has a wide array of experts on Cuba and the U.S.-Cuba policy. Many of them are available for interviews in English and Spanish.

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Florida International University has several experts on local, state, national and international politics, as well as other fields, available to comment on the upcoming presidential inauguration. Our experts can discuss a wide range of subjects, including the Latino vote, Florida politics, taxes, foreign relations and the environment. Many of them are available for interviews in both English and Spanish.

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February

Check out this quick video by CNN of astronauts in the world’s only underwater research lab, FIU Aquarius Reef Base. Astronauts live and work underwater to prepare for long-term space missions.

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Ivian Destro Boruchowski and her children are among the nearly 77 percent of people in Miami who speak a language besides English at home. A Ph.D. student in the School of Education and Human Development, she has dedicated her career to helping students improve their reading, writing and numeracy skills in their heritage language — the language learned at home as a child.

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Landscape architecture deals with the planning of public spaces, urban and suburban projects, the management of the green areas in cities, the design of parks and gardens, post-industrial landscaping, as well as the integration of agricultural areas in the territory.“The traveling exhibition wishes to summarize a retrospective of the Swiss landscape “touch” through art and architecture”, explain Maura Bianchi and Ugo Spiazzi, the architects who coordinated the exhibition. -BMIAA

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SEAS Director and FCE LTER Lead Principal Investigator Evelyn Gaiser is featured in the Miami Herald on Everglades research. For the last 16 years, nearly 80 scientists and their students from 29 organizations have embarked on one of the longest and largest studies ever conducted on South Florida’s coastal Everglades. They now fear the system may be at what lead investigator Evelyn Gaiser calls a “tipping point,” where change is happening faster than scientists expected.

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Where did you meet your Valentine? At a party, during class, on your way to the movies? How about while waiting to speak to a professor during office hours? As unlikely as it sounds that’s exactly how a pair of FIU lovebirds met.

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The tropical hardwood hammock habitats in the Florida Everglades are under threat by invasive plants and animals, chemicals and toxins, fires and lack of freshwater. More than 50 members of the community came together Feb. 3 for the Heat Glades Sweep event which included clean-up and restoration projects at the Miccosukee Indian Village.

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Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research collaborator and anthropologist Dr. Jessica Cattelino teamed up with photographer Adam Nadel for this exhibit to visually and textually explores the interplay of ecological, social, and cultural processes in one of the world’s most iconic and imperiled wetlands ecosystems.

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Scientists have discovered what they believe to be a new species of hammerhead shark, prompting concerns about the species’ vulnerability and whether conservation practices in place today are widespread enough to protect them.

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FIU researchers have been awarded $3.4 million for research to combat the Zika virus. The projects seek to undermine the transmission and impact of the disease using a variety of methods. The Biomolecular Sciences Institute in the College of Arts, Sciences & Education received nearly $200,000 from the Florida Department of Health to expand research on mosquito genetics.

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The past few nights have been chilly by South Florida standards...so we wondered how these temperature dips affect South Florida plants and landscapes. We hear from Jennifer Rehage, PhD, Associate Professor, Earth & Environment Department, Southeast Environmental Research Center, Florida International University. Learn more at wlrn.org

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The university is constructing two multi-purpose recreation/practice fields to be used by FIU Wellness and Recreation and FIU Athletics. One of the fields will be natural grass and the other artificial turf. In addition, a small multi-purpose building with public restrooms, water fountains, vending machines, covered seating area, and athletic and recreational storage is proposed. The university will create a faculty-designed wetland on the lawn south of the Nature Preserve.

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March

A classically trained musician,Evelyn Gaiser recently translated high-frequency lake data to musical compositions in order to better understand and describe environmental changes.

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Rodriguez’s passion for gardening led her to the FIU Garden Club, which is dedicated to teaching students and others about the different methods of growing plants and the basics of gardening. She currently serves as the club’s president.

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Butterflies are nature’s little helpers. They pollinate flowers and keep pests in check. But chemicals, climate change, habitat loss and predators threaten their existence. Throughout the year, FIU experts conduct research on butterflies and engage the community on how to play an active role in their conservation. In honor of National Learn About Butterflies Day, they offer FIU News their insight on butterflies and how to build a butterfly garden.

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Click here to download an e-program of tonight's lecture.

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Chapman was on his way to Bangkok but stopped in Hong Kong to help establish a monitoring program to determine how many shark species were in the local fin trade. He then set his sights on CITES and was part of a team that successfully pushed for all five species on the agenda to be listed for regulation. This means exporters are now required to have permits to trade them. The monitoring program Chapman developed with local officials in Hong Kong has been key to enforcing these directives.

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FIU and UM host a research symposium in DC; President Trump addresses a joint session of Congress highlighting University priorities; FIU launches cybersecurity course in D.C. Rita Teutonico, associate director of FIU’s School of Environment, Arts and Society, met with staff from Senators Bill Nelson and John Thune’s office to discuss legislation on weather research and forecasting.

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It’s Women’s History Month, and FIU has plenty of remarkable females to credit for its success. The individuals featured here—just a handful of the many outstanding faculty and administrators who have passed our way—each contributed her best to the university. They join an impressive list of trailblazers who embraced great challenges, led by example and set the standards that still impact us today.

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