Essential for life, water is the most important resource on the planet, and also one of the most imperiled.

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. From the wetlands of the Everglades to the coral reefs in the oceans, institute researchers aim to preserve freshwater and marine resources for future generations.

“The formation of the institute will allow us to conduct innovative, interdisciplinary research in a comprehensive and timely manner and to translate our results and technologies into actionable knowledge for the public and policymakers that depend on them,” said aquatic ecologist Todd Crowl, who has been named director of the institute. “We believe this institute will become a world leader in comprehensive, solutions-oriented water science.”

The institute integrates the Southeast Environmental Research Center, the Marine Education and Research Initiative, the Center for Aquatic Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, the Nutrient Analysis Laboratory, research projects from the Sea Level Solutions Center, Everglades programs, and the sustainable built environments and infrastructure program. The institute also coordinates the university’s international programs that provide water management services to people and ecosystems, including integrated water management policies, water sanitation and hygiene improvements, and associated education programs across multiple continents.

Both locally and globally, researchers in the institute are promoting community engagement and research that crosses the physical sciences, social and behavioral sciences, public health, law, engineering, computer science, and architecture.

As pressures continue to mount on the environment, mainly as a result of a growing global population, urbanization and increased living standards, the need to protect the world’s water supply and other natural resources will only grow. FIU’s Institute of Water and Environment is committed to developing sustainable solutions that offer a balance for 21st century communities and the natural resources they rely on in the face of anticipated global change.

Story originally published on FIU News: news.fiu.edu/2016/03/fiu-launches-institute-of-water-and-environment/98889

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The Florida International University Foundation, Inc. (FIU Foundation) was established in 1969 to encourage, solicit, receive and administer gifts for scientific, educational and charitable purposes for the advancement of Florida International University and its objectives. (more +)

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