Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 56.19
Liaison Lissette Hernandez
Submission Date May 13, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Florida International University
IN-3: Innovation 3

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Alexandra Dutton
Program Manager
Office of University Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
The Medina Aquarius Program- Aquarius Reef Base

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:

The Medina Aquarius Program is dedicated to the study and preservation of marine ecosystems worldwide. As part of the FIU Marine Education and Research Initiative, the Program is enhancing the scope and impact of FIU on research, educational outreach, technology development, and professional training. At the heart of the program is the one-of-a-kind Aquarius Reef Base, the world’s only undersea research laboratory.
Deployed 60 feet beneath the surface in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Aquarius is a globally significant asset that provides unparalleled means to study the ocean, test and develop state-of-the-art undersea technology, train specialized divers and astronauts, and engage the world's imagination. At Aquarius, scientists are at the cutting edge of research on coral reefs, ocean acidification, climate change, fisheries and the overall health of the oceans.
Since its deployment in 1993, aquanauts and their support teams have used Aquarius to answer critical challenges facing scientists and policy makers. Universities, government agencies and private industry have conducted more than 120 missions to discover, preserve, train and innovate. More than 600 scientific research papers have been published based on Aquarius science.
Aquarius is a complex diving system that consists of the lab below the ocean; a life support buoy on the surface that houses power generators, air compressors and data connections; and a mission control center in Islamorada, Florida. Using a technique known as saturation diving, Aquarius residents can spend days to weeks under water conducting research that cannot be accomplished anywhere else on the planet. Aquanauts diving from Aquarius can spend nine hours per day to depths of 99 feet with a reduced risk of decompression sickness, making Aquarius safe, efficient and cost-effective.

A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

All research missions within Aquarius produce valuable data that is used to further understand and protect the vulnerable coral reefs and oceans. Past research results can be found at:

Information on past missions in Aquarius can be found at: http://aquarius.fiu.edu/missions-1/past-missions/

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of five):
Yes or No
Curriculum No
Research Yes
Campus Engagement No
Public Engagement Yes
Air & Climate Yes
Buildings No
Dining Services No
Energy No
Grounds No
Purchasing No
Transportation No
Waste No
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance No
Diversity & Affordability No
Health, Wellbeing & Work No
Investment No

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:
Biodiversity, Education and Advocacy

The website URL where information about the innovation is available:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.