FIU ForEverglades Scholarship

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FIU and the Everglades Foundation together form a powerful partnership for the Everglades. We pride ourselves on pooling our expertise and reach to train undergraduate and graduate students, conduct leading science to inform policy and management decisions, and engage and inform the public, ultimately to protect and restore America’s Everglades.

Together, FIU’s School of Environment, Arts and Society (SEAS) and the Everglades Foundation are providing scholarships to full-time FIU graduate students pursuing Everglades restoration-related research. The FIU ForEverglades Scholarship awards up to $20,000 to Ph.D. students or up to $10,000 to master’s degree students.

Annually, we award the FIU ForEverglades Scholarships with funds from the Everglades Foundation matched by donations like yours. Please consider making a gift today! Every dollar counts!

For more information on the partnership, please see our newsletter.

Fellow Spotlight

Sean Charles

ImageThrough the FIU ForEverglades Scholarship, current FIU Ph.D. student Sean Charles is examining the effects of sea level rise on inland mangrove migration in the Everglades ecosystem. His research will provide a greater insight into the influence of saltwater intrusion on coastal wetlands and the important ecosystem services they provide.

Sean’s favorite part of gathering scientific data is being able to spend time in the Everglades and have access to hard-to-reach sites. The ForEverglades support is enabling Sean to apply cutting edge tools like radio carbon dating and remote sensing technology to track the pace of coastal wetland migration due to sea level rise, in order to guide restoration efforts.

To pay it forward, Sean is working with K-12 students in Collier and Miami-Dade counties in a coastal plant restoration project. The project, dubbed “Marsh-Mangress,” allows students to grow mangrove seedlings to be planted at local restoration sites.

Mustafa Kamal Sikder

{img:mustafa-sikder-180.jpg ,ImageAnother current fellow, Mustafa Kamal Sikder, also wants more people to engage in Everglades restoration efforts. The FIU master’s student is examining Floridians’ opinions on the various benefits they currently enjoy from the Everglades, including water purification, storm protection, recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat.

Through the ForEverglades scholarship, he also wants to explore their opinions about restoring it. “Policy decisions that have a direct or indirect impact on people require knowing the public’s preference to ensure its sustainability,” said Mustafa. He hopes that his research will serve as an important step in aligning perceptions with restoration efforts by providing policymakers important insights to reduce conflict and facilitate project implementation.


Both FIU ForEverglades Fellows agreed that actively engaging the public in restoration projects will help people better understand the importance of environmental conservation efforts. Sean adds, “Many students in our area see coastal wetlands on a daily basis but don’t realize how vital they are for the ecosystem. Hopefully through science, we can make a small positive change in our environment and a big impact in students’ understanding and engagement with the natural world.”

For more information contact Karen Keene at kwilkeni@fiu.edu or (305) 348-7602.