Univ. of Miami Community Participates Globally During the International Coastal Clean Up

Saturday, September 15th, was the 2012 International Coastal Clean Up, organized by the Ocean Conservancy (and locally by the Robert Allen Law Firm). University of Miami faculty, staff, and students participated by cleaning up their little pieces of paradise and teaching children about the importance of a clean ocean.

The RSMAS community cleaned the University’s Virginia Key beach. We had over 20 people participate and together they picked up hundreds of pieces of plastic and Styrofoam, over 100 bottles and cans, close to 100 straws, 15 articles of clothing, a battery, fireworks, and much more! By noon, the dumpster was full and our beach was clean (at least temporarily).

Three current UM students (Nate Formel, Kelly Montenero, and Virginia Ansaldi) and one RSMAS alumna (Danni Washington, Big Blue & You Foundation) partnered with Greg Anderson and the City of Miami to bring 15 children to clean up a local barrier island. They taught the students about the native ecosystem and why it is important to keep Biscayne Bay clean, and then eagerly picked up a huge amount of trash!

UM Biology students who are spending the Fall 2012 semester at the Isabela Oceanographic Institute in the Galapagos Islands cleaned the coast of Puerto Villamil, their home for the next few months. They teamed up with local residents to ensure that their beaches, mangroves, and wetlands were trash-free.

How did you participate in the International Coastal Clean Up?

-Laura Bracken
Outreach Manager
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UGalapagos Update: Dive On In With Local “Marine Experts”

RSMAS student Katie and a local "marine expert"

In the UGalapagos semester, the students are nearing the end of their marine ecology course and have been looking forward to spring break this week (a week earlier than the break in Miami). They have spent two intensive weeks sampling nearshore marine environments, often with the help of friendly sea lions. These pictures show several students getting advice on snorkeling and underwater data collection from the lobos (lobo marinos = sea lions). Sea lions also helped the students by picking up their transect lines and relocating them (to better spots, no doubt) while the students were collecting data. Also shown here are students returning from snorkeling on an afternoon field trip and a typical sunset in front of IOI where UGalapagos is based.

RSMAS student Ryan getting some free diving lessons

Returning from a snorkeling trip

Sunset on Isabela

Dr. Michael Schmale
Professor, Marine Biology & Fisheries
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UGalapagos Update: Wonderful Wildlife

Time to check back in with the UGalapagos students studying abroad this semester under the guidance of the Isabela Oceanographic Institute (IOI). Let’s check out some of the beautiful wildlife they are seeing first hand!

Iguanas. Photo by IOI.

Great Blue Heron. Photo by Sarah Miller.

Sea Lion. Photo by IOI

Blue Footed Boobies. Photo by IOI.

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UGalapagos Update: Students Settle In

Isabela Oceanographic Institute. Photo by IOI

In last week’s update, Rosenstiel School undegrad Sarah Miller shared some breath taking views from her Spring Semester UGalapagos experience.

This week is all about the experience, specifically the group overseeing the trip, the Isabela Oceanographic Institute (IOI). IOI is the academic home for the students semester-long stay, providing classroom and laboratory facilities. IOI is a non-profit center for education and research that promotes environmental awareness and sustainable ecotourism.

Welcome to the Galapagos. Photo by IOI

Students getting ready to meet their host families. Photo by IOI

Welcome Reception. Photo by IOI

Andrew DeChellis
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UGalapagos Welcomes Spring 2012 Students

It's All About the U! Photo by Dr. Michael Schmale

The University of Miami’s UGalapagos Spring Semester is underway and first images of the students in action have made it back to RSMAS. Launched in January 2010, UGalapagos is an exciting semester study abroad program that takes students and University of Miami faculty to the famed Galapagos Islands for a field-oriented semester of study. Through an academic partnership with the Isabela Oceanographic Institute, located in the picturesque community of Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island, the spring semester is tailored to the needs and interests of students majoring in marine science, biology and geology. Courses are taught sequentially as intensive two-week experiences by UM faculty experts.

Marine Biology & Fisheries Associate Professor Dr. Lynne Fieber works with students in the Galapagos.

-Andrew DeChellis
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