Workshop to Envision a Joint Research, Education and Management Center in the Florida Keys, February 16-19, 2017

Dear stakeholders in management, education and research in the marine environments of the Florida Keys,

For the last three years, FIU, Everglades National Park, and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary have seen our partnerships in management, education, and research in the Florida Keys grow very rapidly. This has led us to envision a center in Key Largo that could house the activities of the three partners, as well as collaborators from the other diverse agencies and universities involved in the Florida Keys. Such a center would serve to strengthen all of our programs, as well as provide a focus point for education and environmental outreach and education programs in  the Keys. A preliminary document outlining such a vision is attached to this email.

After receiving support from FIU, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the Superintendent of Everglades National Park, we would now like your help refining the vision we laid out in this attached document into an practical, actionable plan.

To begin this refinement, a graduate architecture design studio class will be bringing stakeholders together and begin the process of defining needs, potential designs, and limitations for such a joint center. The design studio class will be run by Architecture professor Claudio Salazar and the Director of FIU’s Sea Level Solutions Center Dr. Tiffany Troxler. An early version of the syllabus for this class is also attached. Specifically, we are inviting you to participate in a 3-day workshop in Miami, February 16-18. This workshop would be designed to gather the diverse views from the management agencies, research community, and local leaders about how to design such a center for the maximum benefit of all.  The National Park Service will be providing the services of a professional meeting facilitator to ensure maximum productivity. The workshop will be held for a half-day in the afternoon of Thursday Feb 16, all day on Friday February 17, and the morning of Saturday February 18.  As the details of the agenda for the workshop are firmed up I will send them to the group. I understand that most of you are very busy, so we would welcome your participation in as much of the workshop as you can fit into your schedules.

We will hold the workshop at the Miami Beach Urban Studios, Suite 440, 420 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach 33139.

To help us plan for the workshop, can you please respond to me by email so that I can plan for the meeting and update you as the workshop agenda is finalized. If there are others who you think would be interested in this workshop, please send me their names and contact info.

I hope that you can all see the benefits in this effort for not only the main partners in the effort, but also the community at large!

Jim

James W. Fourqurean
Professor, Department of Biological Sciences and Southeast Environmental Research Center
Director, Marine Education and Research Initiative for the Florida Keys
Principal Investigator, Aquarius Reef Base
School of the Environment, Arts and Society
Florida International University
Miami, FL 33199 USA
phone +1-305-348-4084; cell: 305-815-0287, fax 305-348-4096