February 21, 2011 — Coral Gables — Evan D’Alessandro is certainly no stranger to the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. He began at the School as an undergraduate and recently received his Ph.D. in Marine Biology and Fisheries after completing his dissertation on reef fish population dynamics. He is now the newly appointed manager of the School’s new research station located on Broad Key.
A private donor generously granted use of the 63-acre island located near Key Largo to the University for professors and students to conduct hands on field research and experiments. The main house offers accommodations for up to 20 people at a time and has been renovated to make the occupants ‘at home’ while conducting research on the island. Broad Key, which has its own dock and boathouse, is a short 45-minute boat ride from the Rosenstiel School, making it easily accessible, and providing researchers with a unique opportunity to study the Florida ecosystem up close.
Enter Evan. With everyone eager to schedule trips, begin research projects, and visit the island, someone was needed to oversee and coordinate these efforts. D’Alessandro is currently supervising site modifications that will be completed by April, when the first UM professors and students are planning to use the island. A 25ft Blue Water and a 26ft Glacier Bay are the two boats that Evan will use to transport enthusiastic students and faculty members to the island.
“Broad Key is an ideal location: it provides direct access to the marine environment --from sea grasses to reefs and mangroves – and is near enough for classes to access frequently,” said D’Alessandro. “I feel that this island will be attractive to potential undergrads and graduate students who want to study at the Rosenstiel School, as well as an asset to researchers from this and other institutions who might wish to study this diverse environment.”
D’Alessandro is currently focused on getting Broad Key up and running. Down the road he hopes to continue his research on the early life dynamics of reef fishes. He is also an award-winning underwater photographer, who will be able to document the marine life in the waters surrounding the island.
Broad Key will be used for studies in marine science, as well as atmospheric science. With its spectacular views from the spacious main house, visitors can get the opportunity to really focus on research and make fascinating discoveries.
About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami’s mission is to educate and nurture students, to create knowledge, and to provide service to our community and beyond. Committed to excellence and proud of the diversity of our University family, we strive to develop future leaders of our nation and the world. 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 www.rsmas.miami.edu.
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