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FGCU Eminent Scholar, Marine Science Faculty Present Research at International EcoSummit 2012


Marine Science faculty present papers at the fourth International EcoSummit in Ohio.

Fort Myers, FL (PRWEB) October 24, 2012

Florida Gulf Coast University's newest eminent scholar and other marine science faculty presented papers at the fourth International EcoSummit in Columbus, Ohio.

More than 1,500 premier scientists from 75 countries attended EcoSummit 2012, a conference on environmental sustainability and ecosystem restoration held Sept. 30-Oct. 5 by The Ohio State University. It was the first time the summit has convened in the United States.

William J. Mitsch, FGCU Professor and Juliet C. Sproul Chair for Southwest Florida Habitat Restoration and Management, served as conference chairman and presented research on wetlands and climate change. After 27 years at Ohio State, he joined FGCU on Oct. 1 and serves as director of the new Everglades Wetland Research Park in Naples.

“EcoSummit is one of the best assemblages of ecologists that will ever meet,” Mitsch said. “It's more about fixing the planet than describing the problems. The emphasis is on restoration, ecological engineering and political solutions. It's about what we can and should do.”

Among the renowned participants were Nobel Prize laureate Elinor Ostrom, Pulitzer Prize winners E.O. Wilson and Jared Diamond and Kyoto Prize winner Simon Levin.

Also presenting work at EcoSummit were Michael Savarese, FGCU Professor of Marine Science and Department Chairman of Marine and Ecological Sciences, and Aswani Volety, Professor of Marine Science and Director of FGCU's Vester Marine Field Station. The pair authored a paper on wetland restoration in the Everglades' Picayune Strand and the Ten Thousand Islands; Volety also presented research on oysters as indicators of the impact of freshwater management and restoration of the Caloosahatchee River.

“It's very relevant to our area,” Volety said. “It could lead to better water-management decisions.”

Mitsch is a founding member of the group of ecology journal editors that organized the first EcoSummit conferences in Copenhagen in 1996, Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2000, and Beijing in 2007. Before joining FGCU, he was Distinguished Professor of Environment, Natural Resources and Ecological Engineering at Ohio State and director of its Olentangy River Wetland Research Park. He earned a doctorate in systems ecology at the University of Florida.

Mitsch co-authored “Wetlands,” the definitive textbook on the subject. In August 2004 he and a Danish collaborator, Sven Erik Jørgensen, were awarded the Stockholm Water Prize for lifetime achievements in the modeling, management, and conservation of lakes and wetlands.

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