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On Friday, February 9th, 2018, James Fourqurean announced FIU’s newest center- the Center for Coastal Oceans Research. Read the full announcement below:

The Marine Education and Research Center (MERC), which was also previously named MERI, is now the Center for Coastal Oceans Research. The FIU Center for Coastal Oceans Research (CCOR) exists to foster cooperation among FIU scientists in estuarine and marine research. The “Coastal Oceans” part of the name is designed to give a unique identity to the center compared to other oceanographic institutions. While we as a group have concentrated our work from the high-tide line to the shelf break (including estuaries), there is nothing in the name of the center to preclude any of us from working in the open ocean or tidal freshwater creeks!  The Center sits within the Institute for Water and Environment, which also houses SERC and the Sea level Solutions Center. The Center and InWE provide the infrastructure for conducting and managing funded research projects, including help with purchasing, grants accounting, travel, proposal preparation, etc.

Membership in centers within InWE is non-exclusive, so is membership in an academic department and InWE and the centers. One of the main drivers behind this effort to rename “Marine Education and Research Center” was the confusion the word “Education” in the name caused. The College of Arts, Sciences and Education has a Marine Science Program, and Dr. Trexler is the director of that program. The Marine Science Program exists to encourage interdisciplinary marine science academic programs within the college. We have had successes with this inter-departmental and interdisciplinary program, and it is likely the Marine Science Program will grow. As with InWE, the centers and the academic departments, membership in the Marine Science Program is non-exclusive with the other groups. The MSP has a different, academic focus compared to InWE and CCOR. And, CCOR has a very active K-12 and community outreach educational program, run by Aileen Soto, that will continue in CCOR. Our k-12 program has reached over 1 million students worldwide though video links to Aquarius! Further, our colleagues in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve also have robust k-12 and community education programs as well. The Rookery Bay education program reaches every student in the Collier County school district, introducing them to the ocean and environmental science with field trips.

We look forward to a successful year with our newly named Center, CCOR – which as of today has about 80 publications since July 2016!

In closing – Welcome to our relaunched Center – FIU’s Center for Coastal Oceans Research (CCOR).

James W. Fourqurean