Florida Institute of Technology

Florida Institute of Technology is an independent technological university focused on pioneering research and effective teaching, mentorship and outreach spanning a broad range of research themes closely aligned with CIMAS. These themes address issues of environmental relevance within the NOAA mission framework. Research laboratories at Florida Tech probe contemporary challenges across disciplines from marine science and robotics to oceanography & ocean engineering, remote sensing and marine biology. Specific areas of expertise comprise aquaculture, coral reef ecology, ocean & atmospheric modeling, sustainability & economics, cybersecurity, genetics, benthic ecosystems, and many more. In particular, Florida Tech’s Institute for Global Climate Change conducts studies in climate change adaptation to improve decision making from local to international levels. The Sportfish Research Institute investigates depleted populations of sport fish such as tarpon, grouper, American shad, and snapper, emphasizing species using the Indian River Lagoon as a nursery habitat. Florida Tech is a comprehensive STEM university.

Research & Academic Program Highlights:

Department of Biological Sciences (BIO): The Department expertise spans the entire breadth of biology, from conservation biology and paleoecology to plant molecular studies and chromosomal replication in bacteria. Housed in the F.W. Olin Life Sciences Building and the Harris Center for Science & Engineering, BIO contains 9 teaching and 15 modern research laboratories, multiple high performance computer facilities and the Center for High Resolution Microscopy & Imaging. Indoor aquaculture facilities are 2,500 sq ft of temperature, salinity and photoperiod controlled recirculating water systems that harbor a wide variety of aquatic species for research investigations underway.

Department of Marine & Environmental Systems (DMES): The mission of the Department focuses on the integration of oceanography, engineering, environmental & coastal zone resource management with remote sensing and meteorology for solving knowledge-based challenges. Based in the Edwin A. Link Building, investigator led research programs are being conducted in areas including fluid dynamics, wind and wave modeling, groundwater/surface water interaction, trace metal geochemistry, and underwater vehicles.

Vero Beach Marine Laboratory (VBML): Located on 4 oceanfront acres in Vero Beach, FL, this facility supports university field research on the biology of coastal organisms, and for studies of geological and physical processes of the coastal zone. Mariculture research, toxicology studies and seagrass restoration programs also take advantage of the VBML seawater and holding tank network, including both wet and dry lab facilities. Current research capabilities include hyper spectral sensing systems, invasive species assessment & mitigation, naval architecture, biofouling & corrosion, autonomous vehicles, numerical simulations of natural hazards and sediment toxicology.

Indian River Lagoon Research Institute (IRLRI): Nearly two dozen Florida Tech faculty members with decades of scientific and engineering research experience recently formed the IRLRI to improve understanding and develop solutions of lagoon flow, nutrient reduction, sediment loading and policy management with the ultimate goal to improve the Indian River Lagoon ecosystem recovery. Outreach and community education of lagoon stakeholders is vital to the IRLRI mission, as is the effective collaboration with federal and state agencies in addition to numerous academic partners.