Jason Howard

Doctoral Candidate at Florida International University
interested in seagrass ecology, CO2 dynamics
in coastal ecosystems, and science communication.

Coastal Ecosystems and Carbon

The coastal sediments beneath mangrove forests and seagrass meadows contain organic carbon leftover from partially decayed plants. When there's more organic carbon trapped in coastal sediments, there's less floating in the atmosphere as CO2. After millennia of sediment accumulation, the ammount of this buried carbon can be so large that it can be factored into global carbon budgets and greenhouse gas mitigation plans. In this way, these coastal ecosystems can be considered long term CO2 sinks. At the same time, calcification by corals, algae, and many other organisms produces CO2. I'm interested in the balance of these processes and how environmental and ecological factors control the net production of CO2.

Seagrasses as Water Quality Indicators

Many residential canals in the Florida Keys are unhealthy with low oxygen levels, murky water, and harmful chemical conditions that have resulted in waters unsuitable for swimming and many sea critters. To fix these problems, the US-EPA, Monroe County, cities within the Florida Keys, and even homeowner associations are helping to fund remediation efforts. I lead a monitoring effort using sediment and seagrass characteristics to assess water quality and the effectivness of remediation efforts

Science Outreach and Education

Science needs to be effectively communicated for more informed, better prepared decision making. Through formal and informal education, I emphasize observation, creative thinking, critical reasoning, and lifelong learning.


Documents, groups and websites related to my research and scientific interests


Download an updated Curriculum Vitae

Seagrass Ecosystems Lab

Graduate Research based in Jim Fourqurean's lab at FIU


Student workshops on acidification and greenhouse gases, CSO-funded club at FIU.

Roots and Shoots Radio

Podcast about scientists, research, and music.

Science Education

Courses and talks in FIU's Biology Dept and beyond

Canal Remediation

Monroe County's multi-million dollar effort to clean up residential canals


Please reach out for questions, collaborations, volunteer opportunities, and more.