Life Below Water 

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals provide a framework to turn global ambitions into local action. Florida International University is ranked No. 3 in the world for positive impact on Life Below Water according to the 2024 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings.

Our faculty, students and staff are addressing sea level rise, the environmental and economic realities of climate change, management strategies for sustainable fisheries and conservation across the globe's biodiversity hotspots. Our efforts are helping to ensure a sustainable future for Life Below Water.




14 Life Below Water

"FIU is a place of power. People come here because they want to make a difference. It's a gift to have places like this, where people can move where they are in terms of knowledge. One of the things I like about this university is they have Aquarius, the world's only underwater research laboratory."

Dr. Sylvia Earle President and Founder of Mission Blue / The Sylvia Earle Alliance

Life Below Water

FIU researchers are working across all targets set by the United Nations General Assembly in Sustainable Development Goal 14 to achieve a sustainable future for the world's oceans, seas and marine resources.

Boat on water with buoy

14.1 Reduce and prevent pollution

FIU scientists, through research and action, are preventing and reducing marine pollution of all kinds including nutrient, plastics and microplastics, PFAS forever chemicals, oil and industrial contaminants, pharmaceuticals, and other marine debris. Our scientists are doing the detective work to prevent ecological disasters. Find out more on FIU’s efforts to reduce and prevent pollution.

14.2 Manage and Protect Ecosystems

From the deepest depths to our coastlines, FIU is helping to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to strengthen their resilience, restore biodiversity and protect critical resources. Find out more on FIU's efforts to manage and protect ecosystems.

14.3 Address ocean acidification

FIU is providing scientific solutions to the devastating and complex challenges of ocean acidification through innovations on seagrass work, coral restoration, climate change research and studies on overall ocean health. Find out more on FIU's efforts to address ocean acidification


14.4 End destructive fishing

From the illegal shark fin trade to the unintended bycatch of marine mammals, FIU is working with international governments, local fishermen, NGOs and others to end overfishing, illegal, unreported, unregulated and other destructive fishing practices. Find out more on FIU's efforts to end destructive fishing.  

14.5 Conserve marine areas

By providing open-access actionable data on critical marine issues, serving as major research partners for marine sanctuaries, and advising international governments on establishment of protected areas, FIU is providing the science to ensure oceans remain healthy. Find out more on FIU's efforts to conserve marine areas. 

14.6 Inform policy

FIU scientists provide supporting evidence to issues of overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing to inform regulatory agencies through research and advocacy. Find out more on FIU's efforts to inform policy.

14.7 Collaborate with island states

All across the world, FIU scientists work with communities and governments in Small Island Developing States to establish sustainable use of marine resources including ecotourism, aquaculture and sustainable management of fisheries. Find out more on FIU's efforts to collaborate with island states. 

14. a-c Improve resources

Innovative technologies and collaborative research are at the core of FIU’s efforts to improve ocean health and protect marine biodiversity. Find out more on FIU's efforts to improve resources.

Degree Programs

Based at FIU's Biscayne Bay Campus, the Marine Science Program takes advantage of the diverse tropical environments of South Florida and the Caribbean. Faculty and students are enhancing our understanding and stewardship of Life Below Water.

Featured Degree Programs in Marine Science

For more information about FIU's Marine Science degree programs visit the Department of Biological Sciences.

  • B.S. in Marine Biology

    This degree provides students a strong foundation in structural and evolutionary developmental biology, physiology, organismal diversity, physical oceanography and ecology. 

    Learn about the B.S. in Marine Biology

  • Graduate degrees in Biology

    The Master of Science in Biology allows students to develop critical skills and pursue research in diverse areas of biology including. The Ph.D. equips students with the abilities to execute research and develop advanced skills in their area of focus.

    Learn about the M.S.

    Learn about the Ph.D.

  • Combined M.S. in Forensic Science/Ph.D. in Biology

    The M.S. in Forensic Science equips students with a foundation in biology, forensic biology, chemistry and forensic analysis methods. The Ph.D. in Biology allows students to further the research initiated in the M.S. program.

    Learn about the combined degree pathway

Global Learning for Global Citizenship

FIU’s Global Learning initiative provides a foundation for students to create innovative, equitable, and sustainable solutions for our interconnected human and natural communities.

Every FIU undergraduate is student is required to take at least two Global Learning courses as part of their degree program. FIU offers 268 courses to fulfill this requirement, all focused on global, sustainable and responsible citizenship. 

Learn more about FIU Global Learning