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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

Moonlight chronicles the life of Chiron, an African-American, gay man from Liberty City and is based on the unpublished semi-autobiographical play by Tarell Alvin McCraney. This year, Moonlight became the first film with an all-black cast, the first LGBT-centered film, and the second lowest-grossing film (behind The Hurt Locker) to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Mahershala Ali took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Juan, a black Cuban drug dealer in the film.

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This spring break, undergraduates in FIU’s field excursion course got their hands dirty developing their geology skills in the Florida Keys. The budding scientists went snorkeling in Florida Bay; visited a building materials quarry; sampled groundwater wells for saltwater intrusion in Big Pine Key; viewed limestone in Indian Key; and mapped a fossil reef in Windley Key.

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According to a recently released study, temperature is not the only factor in how quickly insects and micro-organisms convert their food into energy and, as a byproduct, release carbon dioxide into the air. This finding contradicts a long-held belief that this process would accelerate with rising temperatures. Understanding how plant matter breaks down in different environments can help scientists predict how ecosystems will respond to climate change.

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For Andrea Nodal, a freshman majoring in marine sciences, meeting a NASA climate scientist was the perfect opportunity to learn how scientists and future researchers like herself can better share information about their discoveries with policymakers and the public.Gavin Schmidt, chief of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, spoke recently at FIU. He studies past, present and future climate change and is an expert on communicating climate science to general audiences.

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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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April

On April 29, the world’s frogs are celebrated on Save The Frogs Day. But throughout the year, FIU researchers go into the far corners of the planet to study and protect frogs in their natural environments and commercially managed areas. With more than 30 percent of species at risk of extinction, they are trying to predict how frogs will respond to disturbances and find new ways to help them survive.

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After nearly 40 years of being closed off to the public, visitors to Everglades National Park can now explore Joe Bay. Scientists in FIU’s Southeast Environmental Research Center (SERC) are studying the effects of the decades-long closure and recreational fishing on Joe Bay’s fish and recreational fisheries.

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People began to negatively impact the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay earlier than previously thought, a new study finds. In a study published in Scientific Reports, FIU Ph.D. student Heather Black found pollution in the Chesapeake Bay appeared as early as 1800, but it generally confirms industrialization and deforestation around the bay led to water quality issues before the American Civil War began in 1861.

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In celebration of Earth Day, the FIU community came together for several different events to help make the university a little greener and more beautiful. On Apr. 21, dozens of students, staff, faculty and community members volunteered at the FIU Nature Preserve, helping expand the preserve’s pollinator gardens, then releasing native pollinators – including lady bugs, caterpillars and butterflies – into the newly planted gardens.

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You expect to see medical students doing rounds at a hospital, but at an art museum? That’s exactly what a group of Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM) students were doing on a Friday afternoon at The Frost. They’re called medical art rounds. And this was the first one held by the College through its Panther Learning Communities and Medical Humanities Club. Art rounds, for short, are designed to teach medical students that there’s an art to the way of looking at things and people.

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Brave. That is the word used to describe women like Carlotta Walls LaNier and Maya Angelou whose courage and resilience paved the way for desegregation, the civil rights movement and helped change the lives of thousands of black Americans who suffered through extreme racism.

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The researchers surveyed 63 sites in Shark Bay four times between 2012 and 2014 to assess seagrass recovery and changes. Before the heat wave, many sites were dominated by the temperate seagrass, known as “wireweed,” whose dense and tall thickets provide ample food and shelter for numerous species. The heat wave drastically thinned many wireweed beds, and in many places their underground stems blackened and died, leaving bare sand.

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English Professor Campbell McGrath has been named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. The author of more than a dozen books, McGrath recently took on an entire century of history with his latest work XX: Poems for the Twentieth Century. The book features a poem for each year covering a wide range of experiences in a century that gave us Hollywood, the atomic bomb, Elvis and Dolly the cloned sheep.

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On Thursday, April 6, more than 40 finalists competed for 15 awards, varying from service and spirit to leadership and diversity at the Outstanding Student Life Awards. The award ceremony recognizes students who have excelled academically and in the areas of service, citizenship, innovation and promotion of the Panther spirit.

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Tagouri shared with university community members gathered April 4 at Modesto A. Maidique Campus that she grew up with resentment toward the hijab. She even dyed her hair blond, and wore colored contacts in an effort to look like everyone else in her neighborhood, and especially to look like the people she saw on television.

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May

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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This Fall, students will have the opportunity to enroll in the course, Poetry as News, with Richard Blanco '97, FIU Creative Writing MFA alumnus. Blanco is best known for serving as the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Poet. In this course, students will survey a range of contemporary poets concerned with socio-political matters and will discuss how their poems serve as real "news". Poems will be created to in order to make poetry out of news and news out of poetry...

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Looking for a bit of light reading this summer? Need some advice on homeschooling your child? Or maybe you’re ready to delve into the intricacies of extragalactic astrophysics? Whatever your fancy, Barnes & Noble @ FIU has the perfect book – written by a member of the university’s diverse faculty – for you.

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June

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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July

Sharks, marine scientists say, are often misunderstood, described as ravenous man-eaters. In reality, sharks are critically important to the health of the world’s oceans, yet a quarter of all shark species are threatened with extinction.

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With tarpon fishing season at its peak, FIU scientists are tracking the saltwater fish throughout the Florida Everglades. They want to know how water conditions affect some of the state’s most lucrative recreational fisheries.

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Dean Mike Heithaus stars in Devil Sharks, which aired at 10 p.m., July 26, on Discovery. He is joined by FIU post-doctoral researcher Jeremy Kiszka, research analyst Kirk Gastrich and Ph.D. candidate Frances Farabaugh.

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FIU will monitor the impacts of a large-scale construction project designed to save Florida Bay, according to a contract approved this week by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD).

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Officials in the Dominican Republic are working with Global FinPrint researchers to guide their conservation efforts in the wake of a national ban on shark and ray fishing.

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Members of the community, including FIU researchers, alumni and students, came together for the 2017 Biscayne Bay Marine Health Inaugural Summit. It was hosted June 28 at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus in North Miami, Fla.

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August

Richard Blanco is returning to FIU, this time as a professor.

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September

FIU Marine Sciences Professor Ligia Collado-Vides was a recently a panelist on a CNN Español show with Miami Herald Columnist Andres Oppenheimer (Oppenheimer presenta) that was broadcast throughout Latin America on Sept 3. Some of her quotes are in his column from last weekend’s Herald just before Irma hit. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/andres-oppenheimer/article171750372.html

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Washington Post Article about Hurricanes and Their Impact on the Everglades-Quotes Dr. Evelyn Gaiser

Dr.Evelyn Gaiser, FIU Professor and Director of the School of Environment, Arts and Society is quoted in this Washington Post article about the Hurricane Effects on the Everglades.

Scientists from Florida International University have teamed up with NASA to create the world's deepest coral farm in an effort to tackle the decline of coral reefs.

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Dr. Michael Ross, one of our very own FIU SEAS professors was recently featured in a Miami Herald article where he discusses details of research on what happened to mangroves during and over twenty-five years after Hurricane Andrew. Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/weather/hurricane/article169442277.html

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