Rookery Bay Reserve Welcomes New Research Coordinator

ImageFlorida Department of Environmental Protection is pleased to announce a new staff member in the Research Department at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Kevin Cunniff has joined the staff as Research Coordinator.

“We are so pleased to welcome this outstanding professional to our staff,” said Alberto Chavez, Operations Manager for the Reserve, which protects 110,000 acres of coastal lands and waters between Naples and Everglades National Park.

As research coordinator, Cunniff’s primary responsibilities will include managing research projects and programs being conducted within the reserve, overseeing work activities of five staff biologists, data management and research results analysis and reporting, and establishing new collaborative research partnerships with university, state, federal, and private sector entities.

Cunniff is a marine and wetlands scientist with over 14 years of experience working in coastal and estuarine ecosystems, designing hypothesis-based experimental and monitoring research studies and managing complex large data sets.   His focus has been applied ecological research and monitoring related to the management and restoration of South Florida marine, estuarine and freshwater wetland resources.   He has worked with Florida International University, the South Florida Water Management District and various other state and federal entities.  Kevin has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Fairfield University, and a Master’s degree in Biology from Florida International University.

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve serves as an outdoor classroom and laboratory for students and scientists from around the world. It is managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Coastal Office in cooperation with NOAA.

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