As President Obama prepared to release his FY16 Presidential budget request to Congress, FIU researchers were on global and environmental stages in an action-packed week that included the White House’s Caribbean Energy Security Summit and Energy and Climate Change Symposium.
President’s budget request to Congress
President Obama presented his proposed budget to Congress this week. FIU representatives attended several agency briefings to understand how the proposal would potentially impact the university’s federal higher education investments and research portfolio. Overall, the President’s budget proposed an increase to the maximum Pell Grant, bringing the total of the individual award to $5,915 (from $5,775) and continuing to index the grant to inflation beyond 2017. Currently, more than eight million students receive federal Pell Grants.
Additionally, the FY16 proposal aims to increase federally-funded research and development by more $7 billion. Major investments are proposed in areas critical to FIU – namely STEM Education, Sea Level Rise and Transportation solutions. FIU representative will now advocate before Congress for these key areas. For more information on the President’s budget release, click here.
Faculty at White House Energy Summit
Brian Fonseca, director of Operations at FIU’s Applied Research Center (ARC) was invited to participate in the White House and State Department’s first Caribbean Energy Security Summit held Jan. 26 in Washington, D.C. The summit’s goal is to gather international organizations, academics, and Caribbean and American officials to work together in support of Caribbean energy security. For more information, read the Fostering a Cleaner and More Sustainable Energy Future in the Caribbean fact sheet.
South Florida sea level rise partnership
The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) held their 15th Annual Energy and Climate Change Symposium Jan. 26 – 28 in Arlington, Virginia. The symposium seeks ways to develop and advance partnerships that focus on transitioning the world to a new low carbon and climate resilient energy system, and into moving forward on policy and practice.
Members of the FIU faculty – Tiffany Troxler, research scientist; Evelyn Gaiser, interim executive director of the School of Environment, Arts and Society; Maria Donoso, director of the Global Water for Sustainability (GLOWS) program; and Richard Olson, director of the Extreme Events Institute – showcased their research, presenting on the challenges, opportunities and new strategies for the Water-Energy-Climate Nexus.
According to a 2012 study by the U.S. Geological Survey, sea levels along the East Coast will rise three to four times faster than the global average over the next century, while levels worldwide are expected to rise an average of two to three feet by 2100.
Other South Florida speakers included Fred Sklar, chief scientist of the Everglades division, South Florida Water Management District, and Bruce Mowry, city engineer of the City of Miami Beach.
Advocating for Graduate Medical Education reform
Dr. Eneida Roldan, associate dean of FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, visited with the Energy and Commerce Committee of the House of Representatives, highlighting strides the college has made since its first class began in 2009 and provided input on the future of Graduate Medical Education funding.
The college’s Neighborhood HELP program has become a national model; after one year of study and more than 5,000 home visits by multidisciplinary student teams, data show a trend toward decreasing the use of the emergency rooms a regular place of care for household members from 61 to 26 percent. Dr. Roldan also emphasized the importance of addressing crucial changes to Graduate Medical Education (GME) in Florida, to meet the state’s deficit of future health care providers in proportion to its population. Currently, Florida has a need for 3,000 more GME residency slots.
For more on FIU’s role in D.C. or too see what the office is involved with this spring, stay connected with FIU in D.C. on Facebook and Twitter, send an email to Federal@fiu.edu or call (202)624-1404.