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April is National Poetry month, and FIU News spoke to alumni who have broken into the ranks of published poets like Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello ’14, Ashley Jones ’15, Cathleen Chambless ’15, Rita Martinez ’03 and Alexandra Regalado ’99.

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Laurel Nakanishi, FIU MFA, is the creator of the Sun Room, a program going into Liberty City schools to teach creative writing to third- and fourth-graders. This room is where poetry becomes therapy.

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The North American Coastal Plain was recently declared a global diversity hotspot — one of the richest and most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life on Earth.​ Evelyn Gaiser, executive director of the School of Environment, Arts and Society, offers perspective on the designation.

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his summer 1,000 African leaders and entrepreneurs will travel to the U.S. as part of the Department of State’s Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (YALI). Twenty five of those will live at FIU for six weeks attending an academic and leadership institute focused on public management. This is the third cohort of African Leaders to visit FIU.

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A chemical used to disperse oil following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill has been proven to severely harm and even kill jellyfish. A study by FIU’s Southeast Environmental Research Center found crude oil and weathered oil alone did not cause significant adverse effects in moon jellyfish, a species commonly found in the Gulf of Mexico where the spill occurred.

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Once a month, students from MAST@FIU gather along the shores of northern Biscayne Bay to study its fish populations. Under the guidance of MAST@FIU teacher Bridgette Gunn ‘12 and volunteers from SEAS, the high school sophomores and juniors utilize the living laboratory to gather original data on the environment as part of a long-term ecological monitoring project.

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Minnesota-native Laura Timm is exploring crustacean recovery in a post-oil spill environment.Laura Timm is taking a closer look at what life is like for nine species of crustaceans six years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.The FIU Ph.D. student and Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative scholar is exploring marine genetic diversity in Assistant Professor Heather Bracken-Grissom’s Crustacean Genomics and Systematics Lab.

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In a letter recently published in Science, researchers in the School of Environment, Arts and Society call for the consideration of cultural costs when building dams or developing sources of water power in the tropics.

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The world’s rarest species — both plants and animals — contribute disproportionally to the ecosystems where they reside, according to research published this week. An international team of researchers, including FIU botanist Christopher Baraloto, is answering the question of just how important these rare species really are.

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FIU has launched the Institute of Water and Environment to address global water issues and broader challenges impacting the environment. It brings together some of the university’s top centers and programs to expand research and community engagement opportunities in the face of growing environmental threats.

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