Broad Named New Director of the Leonard And Jane Abess Center For Ecosystem Science & Policy at

Kenny Broad

MIAMI — Dr. Kenny Broad has been named director of The Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy at the University of Miami. Established in 2005, the Center offers innovative undergraduate and graduate programs that allow students to integrate environmental science and policy into their educational experience, while emphasizing research and field work.

An associate professor of Marine Affairs and Policy at UM’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Broad holds a joint appointment at Columbia University where he is co-director of the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions. As an environmental anthropologist, Broad has directed major interdisciplinary research initiatives addressing diverse aspects of the relationship between humans and their environment. He has also led numerous scientific and film expeditions to extreme environments, including the exploration of one of the world's deepest caves in Mexico's Huautla Plateau, as well as a recent National Geographic Society mission to explore underwater caves in the Bahamas. Broad was the recipient of a prestigious 2006 National Geographic Society Emerging Explorer Award and was elected a Fellow National of The Explorers Club in 2009.

“UM is poised to be an international leader in understanding and developing solutions to complex environmental challenges. No one discipline has all the answers, and the need – from both academic and ethical perspectives - to foster collaboration among the physical and social sciences, and the humanities has never been greater,” said Broad. “Our strategy is to aggressively build upon and expand the connections that former Center co-directors, Mary Doyle and Otis Brown, established during the Center’s first five years.”   Broad added:  “If you are doing anything environmentally related, from fundamental quantitative research to work in the fine arts, watch out, we will find you.”

As the new Abess Center director, Broad will work closely with faculty members from several UM departments and schools, as well as with Dr. Roni Avissar, dean of the Rosenstiel School and Rosemary Mann, assistant dean of advancement for the Rosenstiel School, to continue to expand the vision for the Center. 

The Abess Center’s next major step will be the launch of a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Policy in Fall 2010.  The new curriculum will provide an opportunity for young scholars to draw from multiple fields, while conducting original research.

Broad received his Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University in 1999, a Master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Miami, and a Bachelor of Arts in Literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has published extensively in high impact journals and is currently an associate editor of the American Meteorological Society’s Climate, Weather and Society journal and a member of numerous prestigious international scientific committees.

About The Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy (CESP)
The mission of the CESP is to create innovative, interdisciplinary initiatives that bridge the gap between science and environmental policy. The Center is the nexus for a new and flexible program that gives students the opportunity to learn in a problem-solving context and gain substantial field experience.

About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions.  Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life.  For more information, please visit

Media Contacts:

Barbra Gonzalez
UM Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
Marie Guma-Diaz
UM Media Relations Office

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