In the Community - Life Below Water

Our goal is to inspire the next generation and immerse the greater South Florida community in the solutions-based work at FIU to conserve and promote sustainable use of our oceans, seas and marine resources.

Community using VR goggles

Supporting aquatic ecosystems through education

Florida International University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Marine Biology as well as many complementary degrees and certificates in environmental chemistry, biodiversity and conservation management, sustainability, environmental science, forensic science, international relations, law, engineering and more. Among our courses, we offer 116 specifically focused on Life Below Water.

In addition, through public lectures, professional workshops and trainings, K-12 enrichment, interactive exhibits and more, we welcome anyone and everyone to be part of our solutions-centered efforts for Life Below Water.

Community Engagement

At Florida International University, we host events and collaborate with community organizations to promote conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and other marine resources. 

  • FIU Aquarius hosts more than 1 million kids

    FIU has hosted more than 1 million schoolchildren from all across the world on virtual field trips of FIU Aquarius, the world’s only underwater research laboratory. Deployed 60 feet beneath the surface of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, FIU Aquarius is a globally significant asset that provides unparalleled means to study the ocean, test and develop state-of-the-art undersea technology, train specialized divers, and educate the world on our oceans.

  • Education Outreach

    FIU’s College of Arts, Sciences & Education connects lifelong learners with real university research through initiatives led by its Education Outreach Team. We provide a range of experiences, from at-home activities to community events, summer camps and much more. We maintain collaborative partnerships with corporations and community organizations and offer volunteer service opportunities all in support of our environment. Our goal is to inspire the next generation of explorers who will be making discoveries and finding solutions to create a more sustainable future.

  • Citizen Science Research

    FIU researchers have created a stakeholder science program called CAST — Coastal Angler Science Team — to engage anglers into fisheries research. Through this initiative, we are tapping into angler knowledge and their records of catches to examine how their fishing relates to freshwater management and better understand the potential effects of Everglades restoration on recreational angling. For instance, we have worked with anglers to understand how their 20+ years of common snook and Florida largemouth bass catches are affected by freshwater flows to the coast. Second, CAST has been working with anglers to assist in a mark-recapture study of largemouth bass in order to estimate their survival across years of varied drying severity. Anglers were equipped with pit tag readers, datasheets and maps and asked to scan their catch. In 2014, we organized a 6-month mark-recapture tournament, and anglers were responsible for 30 percent of the recaptures that fed our survival model.

  • International Research Experience for Students Program

    Open to university students from anywhere in the United States, FIU’s International Research Experience for Students program is a one-year training program on wildlife ecology and conservation for endangered parrots, whales and dolphins. It includes two semesters of coursework and a six-week paid field internship in the Small Island Developing State of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

    The program provides students with high-quality research, conservation and professional development opportunities in wildlife conservation and ecology. Students work directly with some of FIU’s top conservation scientists and local partners in the Caribbean island to expand their cultural knowledge, research skills and conservation experience.