During a ceremony Sept. 28, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) entered into an agreement with FIU to support campus greening and sustainability.
As part of the agreement, the EPA has committed to enhance the university’s environmental research and science curricula and offer opportunities for students interested in environmental careers.
“We recognize the need to develop a diverse pool of well-qualified graduates interested in environmental careers,” said Gwen Keyes Fleming, an EPA administrator for Region 4. “We are excited about the opportunities this [memorandum of understanding (MOU)] presents to work with FIU’s culturally diverse faculty and student body to advance environmental research, education and sustainable practices.”
Through the MOU, the EPA expects to partner with FIU on research related to a variety of topics, including water quality, climate change, pesticides and toxins, ecosystems, sustainability, and natural resource management. Two primary areas of research focus include integrated ecotoxicology and risk assessment, along with coastal wetlands and ocean ecosystems. Two geographic areas of focus include the Florida Keys and the Everglades.
“FIU has a long-standing history of environmental initiatives and sustainable practices. Our agreement with the EPA will help us to elevate those programs and create new opportunities for our students,” said FIU Provost Douglas Wartzok.
The agreement outlines several formal mentoring, internship, fellowship and workforce development programs designed to pair EPA staff with FIU students, faculty and staff. These programs will be designed to engage underrepresented minority students in applied research and work experiences in EPA technical areas of need.