Florida International University

April, 2021

To combat the growing environmental crises gripping the planet, Florida International University has assembled one of the largest teams of environmental scientists in the U.S. to create FIU’s Institute of Environment (IoE). More than 200 faculty members and more than 3,000 students are working in environmental resilience at FIU. With over $400 million in environmental resilience research in the past decade, FIU leads projects around the world to help ensure the long-term survival of key ecosystems, species, and the people and communities they support.

  • The institute’s International Water Program has provided 87,000 people access to improved water and sanitation in the developing world. It is now home to the UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Water Security and a new, dual-Ph.D. program with the University of Florence in Italy focused on resiliency.
  • Researchers in FIU’s Institute of Environment lead Global Finprint — the world’s largest shark and ray census. They discovered widespread, and previously undocumented, population declines of sharks and rays in environmentally and economically important regions of the world.
    A scuba diving researcher takes notes on the sea grass
    A student researcher records observations for a seagrass monitoring project.
  • The FIU Medina Aquarius Program — which features the world’s only underwater research laboratory — serves as a base for researchers studying how to save imperiled coral reefs and seagrasses and for NASA astronauts training for future space missions.
  • FIU scientists, working with the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians, set the Phosphorus limit for the Florida Everglades more than 20 years ago — a criteria still in place today to preserve the iconic River of Grass. 
  • When thousands of fish died in Florida’s Biscayne Bay in the summer of 2020, institute researchers were among the first to respond. They worked alongside partners and government officials to determine the cause and identify solutions for the massive fish kill, and developed ongoing partnerships.

The world is taking notice. FIU is the No. 1 university in the U.S. where students can make a difference in the climate crisis, according to College Magazine. FIU is ranked No. 9 in the world on Impact on SDG 6, Life Below Water, their ecology program is in the Top 50 among public universities according to U.S. News & World Report and their environmental programs are in the Top 50 among public universities according to QS World University Rankings.


Did you know? From microscopic to global, FIU is making critical contributions for the environment in research, management, policy and education.