Research Focus Area 3: Integrated Ecosystem Assessment

Innovating Integrated Ecosystem Assessment in an Urbanand Urbanizing Coastal Environment
that Maximizes Community Engagement and Communication
Urbanization is increasing globally, resulting in an increase in the types and levels of land-basedcontaminants and pollutants released into the environment, especially aquatic ecosystems. Many of these are unregulated and have largely unknown consequences on environmental health and human well-being. The intersection of anthropogenic activities, urbanization and climate change influence the sources, mobilization, transport and fate of contaminants across land-use boundaries.

In CREST-CAChE I, we determined the hydrologic transport (flux) and fate (biogeochemical processes) of various contaminants across land-use boundaries. We focused on computational methods for amalgamating disparate environmental data sets for maximal analysis and interpretation. Building on those results and the increased public awareness and demand for science-based management of ecosystem services and environmental health, in CREST-CAChE II we focus on innovating novel integrated ecosystem assessment approaches in our urban and urbanizing coastal region. Students examinehow urban coastal systems: (1) can adapt to changing climate and the stressor, (2) inform ecosystem-based management of urbanization pressures across the coastal ecosystems and seascapes to (3) reduce the impacts of climate and contaminant stressors that disrupt ecosystems and their services. Weuseempirical and modeling approaches to quantify how mitigating urban toxins and pollutants can influence populations, communities, and ecosystem processes to enhance ecosystem services.

Our faculty develop methods to enable data mining and synthesis across large, complex data sets. This allows us to conduct holistic effects-assessments for understanding South Florida’s fragile aquatic ecosystems and to convey environmental impacts to policy and decision-makers.

ElizabethAnderson-Earth & Environment
MahadevBhat-Earth & Environment

HenryBriceño-Institute of Environment

MarkButler-Biological Sciences

LigiaCollado-Vides-Biological Sciences

ToddCrowl-Biological Sciences

JamesFourqurean-Biological Sciences

Evelyn Gaiser-Earth & Environment

Krishnaswamy Jayachandran-Earth & Environment

John Kominoski-Biological Sciences

Arturo Leon-Civil and Environmental Engineering

Assefa Melesse-Earth & Environment

Jayantha Obeysekera-Earth & Environment

Danielle Ogurcak-Institute of Environment

Paulo Olivas-Earth & Environment

Randall Parkinson-Institute of Environment
René Price-Earth & Environment
Jennifer Rehage-Earth & Environment

Michael Ross-Earth & Environment

Rolando Santos CorujoBiological Sciences

Leonard Scinto-Earth & Environment

Michael Sukop-Earth & Environment

Tiffany Troxler-Biological Science