History

1990–Present

Otis Brown named Dean of the Rosenstiel School 1995

Dr. Otis Brown, who joined the Rosenstiel School as a post-doc, rose through the ranks to become the School’s dean in 1995. During his tenure as dean 77 faculty members would be hired, more than tripling the number of female faculty from 5 to 16. In 2009 he would receive the University’s prestigious President’s Medal from President Donna E. Shalala for 14 years at the School’ helm.


R/V F.G. Walton Smith Commissioned 2000

The Rosenstiel School’s primary research vessel is the F.G. WALTON SMITH, named in honor of the School’s founder. The Smith, which was designed to the school’s specifications, was built in 1999 and placed in service in February 2000.


Rosenstiel School and RCCL Team Up to Explore the Oceans

Working with Royal Caribbean International, the Rosensteil School helped equip and launch the first-ever dedicated marine/atmospheric laboratory aboard a luxury liner. Through this longstanding partnership, renowned scientists have lectured aboard the ship and collected critical information about the ocean.


CSTARS Opens in South Dade 2003

UM launches its Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing (CSTARS), a state-of-the-art facility that provides low earth-orbiting satellite images, a key tool for mapping and evaluating coral reefs and coastal areas in the Gulf of Mexico, Southeastern United States, northern South America, Central America and the Caribbean Basin.


Birth of the Bonefish Census 2003

40 teams spread out across 19 zones from Key Biscayne to the Marquesas accumulating bonefish sightings during the 1st Annual Bonefish Census.  Statistical analyses indicated a population of just over 317,000 bonefish in the greater Florida Keys.


NSF-NIEHS Center for Oceans & Human Health (OHH) Established 2004

The University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School becomes one of only four centers in the world to bring together medical and ocean researchers to investigate how humans affect oceans and how oceans affect humans in tropical and subtropical environments.  The Center brings together resources from RSMAS, UM’s Miller School of Medicine and college of Engineering.


Highborne Cay Lab Established 2005

Rosenstiel School opens a new, full-time lab in Highborne Cay, Bahamas, Saturday, Jan. 29. The lab will allow continuous observation of living examples of Earth's oldest known macrofossils to learn more about our planet's history. Funded primarily by the National Science Foundation, the Highborne Cay Research Station will enable Rosenstiel School researchers and collaborators to investigate Bahamian stromatolites on a year-round basis. The ability to chronicle adaptive processes of these living fossils on a daily basis will advance our understanding of evolution of early life on Earth and possibly other planets.


Rosenstiel School Holds First Underwater Photo Contest 2005

To expand its outreach into the community, the Rosenstiel School established its Underwater Photography Contest for amateurs.  Originally, the contest was divided into three categories: “Florida Diving,” “Macro,” and “Wide Angle” photography. The School also recognized the best overall submission. Since then the categories have been revamped somewhat and include: Macro, Fish or Marine Animal Portrait, Wide Angle, and Best Overall submission. The School also recognizes Best UM Student Photo, and in 2012 launched the online “Fan Favorite” category.


George B. Storer Foundation Offers Scholarships 2005

A generous donation from the George B. Storer Foundation of more than $100,000 was designated for use in the areas of marine science and business education at the University. Named for the late George Storer, the Foundation provides support for higher education and social services, especially for the blind, youth organizations, conservation, hospitals, and cultural programs.


Getting to the Core of Climate Science 2006

A new XRF (X-ray Fluorescence) Core Scanner is installed at the Rosenstiel School to find clues to historic changes in climate using marine sediment core samples.  This is only the second XRF to make its way to the United States.


Coral Nursery Established in BNP 2007

In response to the need for localized efforts to protect and recover the surviving populations of threatened staghorn coral Dr. Diego Lirman and James Herlan, establish an underwater nursery dedicated to the propagation of staghorn corals in collaboration within Biscayne National Park.


Pew Fellow Andrew Baker 2008

Dr. Andrew C. Baker is awarded the 2008 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation to develop novel and groundbreaking techniques to enhance the thermal tolerance of corals and help them survive dangerously warming oceans around the world.


Roni Avissar named Dean of the Rosenstiel School April 2009

Roni Avissar, chairman of Duke University’s department of Civil Engineering joined Rosenstiel School as the first dean in 14 years. A climatologist, he has studied the way Amazon deforestation affects precipitation patterns around the world and was one of the first to employ a specially-equipped helicopter to collect environmental data.


DAMSL Educational Tool Launched 2009

The Rosenstiel School launches a first-of-its-kind interactive database, the Digital Atlas of Marine Species and Locations (DAMSL), which visually catalogues marine life while providing encyclopedic content to users. The site located at www.damsl.org has more than 1,000 images, taken over more than four decades, by Myron and Nicole Wang. The couple donated their extensive collection of over 5,000 images to help create a way to educate and inspire the general public about the world’s rich underwater ecosystems.


NIST Awards UM $15 Million Economic Stimulus Funds to Study the Impact of Hurricanes on Coastal Areas and Life Sciences July 2009

New grant to fund high-tech seawater laboratory to create jobs, support biomedical research and enable further studies of wind, waves and storm surge.


RSMAS Listed as Geosciences “Heavy Hitter” by Thomson Reuters 2010

The University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science is listed as one of the top ‘heavy hitters’ in the recently released ‘Essential Science Indicators’ list published by Thomson Reuters.  The database contains a total of 43,500 worldwide institutions over a 10 year period in the fields of atmospheric research, oceanography and geology.  The University of Miami was ranked among the top five U.S. academic institutions along with Harvard, Princeton, the University of Washington and the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Oil Spill Mobilization: F.G. Walton Smith R.V. Heads to Gulf 2010

As a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill UM faculty members created a cross-functional Academic Disaster Response team composed of more than 50 people to address various aspects of the spill.  CSTARS provided images to  100’s of reporters worldwide. Additionally, at the request of federal government agencies involved, the NSF and UM reassigned the R/V F.G. Walton Smith to support NOAA and the EPA in assessing the situation at and near the wellhead of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform.


Rosenstiel School ‘Broadens’ Horizons with Broad Key Research Station August 2010

The facility provides faculty and students with expanded opportunities to conduct research throughout the Florida Keys. Located in the North Keys, just two miles away from John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the 63-acre island provides scientists with direct access to Florida’s sub-tropical marine ecosystem.


Bulletin of Marine Science Marks 60th Anniversary 2011

The Bulletin was founded shortly after the start of the Rosenstiel School and has reflected the academic community and evolving science through six decades.


Broad and & Skiles Named Explorers of the Year by Nat Geo 2011

Environmental anthropologist Kenny Broad and the late underwater photographer Wes Skiles were named “Explorers of the Year” by the National Geographic Sociaty. This new award was presented in recognition of their extraordinary achievements in exploring and documenting the Blue Holes of the Bahamas in 2010. (Photo by Wes Skiles)


Millero Honored for Outstanding Contributions 2011

Frank Millero receives the prestigious V. M. Goldschmidt Award from the Geochemical Society for his major achievements to the field of geochemistry, including his significant contributions to the Equation of State for Saltwater.