I was raised in South Florida beginning my life in Miami and moving to Gainesville in 1967. Currently, I am a Professor in Environmental Engineering Sciences, and direct the programs in Systems Ecology and Ecological Engineering.
From 1980, when I received my doctorate degree until 2006, I was a research scientist and Associate Program Director with the University of Florida's Howard T. Odum Center for Wetlands (CFW). In 2008 I was appointed Director of the CFW. In addition to directing the CFW, I am also the Director of the Center for Environmental Policy (CEP). The CEP stresses the science and policy surrounding developing sustainable patterns of humanity and environment.
My research has centered on three areas that can be broadly described as natural resource management, including systems ecology, ecological engineering, ecological economics, environmental planning, environmental policy, and wetlands ecology. I have served as consultant on environmental issues to the EPA, USAID, Governments of Mexico, Brazil, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Venezuela, and numerous private consulting firms world-wide. For six years I was consulting ecologist to The Cousteau Society working with their research teams to develop appropriate solutions to a wide array of resource management problems that affect marine resources throughout the world.
My current research includes projects to develop ecological indicators of wetland ecosystem health, development of indices of success for restored wetlands, restoration of drastically altered landscapes, quantitative evaluation of natural capital and environmental services, and most recently incorporation of emergy into Life Cycle Assessment software for the USEPA.
Several years ago we were awarded an NSF-IGERT project titled "Adaptive Management: Water, Wetlands, and Watersheds" (see AMW3-IGERT). The IGERT program was a multidisciplinary education and training grant for PhD students that involved faculty and students from 18 academic departments in 4 colleges across the UF campus. Twenty-eight students were involved in the program which involved work in southern Africa and Florida on human interactions with water, wetlands and wildlife.
Most importantly, I am foremost a teacher. My students are the core of our program. I believe that graduate education is far more than taking classes and doing a research project... it is a dialog between student and professor, between student and student. Through this dialog, we learn and grow, and our understanding of the biosphere increases. Much of what I do and the advances we make in understanding how to better interface humanity and environment has come about because of this dialog and the hard work of my students. This student/teacher relationship is self-reinforcing, and the most rewarding part of this job.
Mark T. Brown, Ph.D.
University of Florida
Environmental Engineering Sciences
PO Box 116350
Gainesville, FL 32611-6350