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Our design team was proud to see that just two weeks ago, the Nova Southeastern Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Ecosystems Research building was finally completed and opened for use. The Mission of the Oceanographic Center is to carry out innovative, basic and applied research and to provide high-quality graduate and undergraduate education in a broad range of marine science and related disciplines. Find out more about the school by clicking here.


Official Name:

Nova Southeastern University’s Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Ecosystems Research

Building Cost:

$50 million


8000 North Ocean Drive Dania Beach, FL 33004

Glazing Installation Contractor:

Crawford Tracey

Glazing and Curtainwall System Designed by Engineering Express:

One-time Local Product Approval: “Pro-Tech 9 SG” Large Missile Impact System by Crawford Tracey, with 9/16” thick laminated heat strengthened glass structurally adhered to curtainwall framing.

Grand Opening:

The Sept. 27 grand opening ceremony invited the news media to participate on a media dive and snorkel trip from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. that morning. The dive allowed the media to accompany NSU scientists to visit the university’s coral reef nurseries off the coast of Ft. Lauderdale..

Economic Impact of Coral Reef Center to South Florida:

The Center has created 22 new academic jobs and 300 construction jobs; and it will employ 50 graduate students as well as preserving 22 existing academic jobs. NSU received a $15 million competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce (using funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) to build the center, while the university funded the rest of the project.

Florida is home to 84 percent of the nation’s reef ecosystems.  These contribute over $6 billion annually to South Florida’s economy and result in over 71,000 jobs such as restaurants, hotels, retail, cruise lines, dive shops, tour group operators, researchers, academia, public sector, etc.

Center’s Research Focus:

As a multi-disciplinary facility, the 86,000-square-foot Center generates information and research products to help understand, conserve and protect coral reef ecosystems. Its coral reef research aims to:

  • Assess the health of coral reefs and their ability to recover from injury and damage;
  • Examine effects of climate change on reefs;
  • Cultivate species of corals in nurseries for re-introduction to the ocean;
  • Map the extent and nature of coral reefs throughout the world;
  • Study coral growth rings to reconstruct the history of reefs and environmental conditions;
  • Investigate the flow of water in and around reefs;
  • Reveal molecular biology of reef animals to understand connectivity; and
  • Determine the effects of pollution, including oil that may impinge on reefs.

In addition to having laboratories and sophisticated equipment, the Center has space for research collaboration, training, and fieldwork staging, a marine science library and an 85-seat auditorium. The building’s design promotes research by current and new faculty, researchers, visiting scientists, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students.



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