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Florida International University
11.03.11
 
Ebony Daniels and Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm, URC director, discuss Ebony’s research during the poster session at the end of summer internships at Goddard Space Flight Center.Ebony Daniels and Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm, URC director, discuss Ebony’s research during the poster session at the end of summer internships at Goddard Space Flight Center.
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WaterSCAPES University Research Center
Award Period: October 2008 – September 2013

WaterSCAPES: Science of Coupled Aquatic Processes in Ecosystems from Space is a University Research Center based at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. The research, education, and outreach activities of WaterSCAPES focus on the coupled interaction between the hydrologic cycle and vegetation dynamics of the Florida Everglades in collaboration with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

In addition to the Everglades, WaterSCAPES is also studying similar ecosystems in other parts of the world; analyzing the spatial and temporal changes of this interaction and determining the influence of these changes on water cycling, vegetation structure, biomass dynamics and biodiversity. The research of WaterSCAPES is performed on two wetland ecosystems: the Everglades of South Florida and the Sian Ka'an Biospheric Reserve in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico.

The focus of WaterSCAPES is motivated by the fundamental question posed by NASA's Science Mission Directorate: "How is the Earth changing, and what are the consequences for life on Earth?" WaterSCAPES specifically seeks to address the stocks and fluxes of water, nutrients and vegetative biomass through a quantitative approach that combines radar and optical remote sensing observations, mathematical modeling of eco-hydrologic processes, and field eco-physiological experiments.

Continuing with NASA's educational mission, WaterSCAPES develops outreach and educational opportunities for its students. The WaterSCAPES summer internship program places undergraduate and graduate students under the direct supervision of scientists at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland where they work on a specific research topics for ten weeks over the summer.

WaterSCAPES coordinates a number of activities to promote interest in STEM fields among High School students in Miami including the South Florida Regional Science Bowl in conjunction with FIU, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), the Southeast Environmental Research Center (SERC), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); as well as coordinating a series of seminars and mentoring programs with local High Schools in South Florida.

Principal Investigator and URC Director: Dr. Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm
Professor, Department of Earth and Environment
Tel: (305) 919-5140, E-mail: miralles@fiu.edu

NASA WaterSCAPES University Research Center
Florida International University
Biscayne Bay Campus
3000 NE 151st St.
Suite AC 1-331
North Miami, FL 33181
Web: http://web.eng.fiu.edu/waterscapes