After receiving 918 photographs from 23 different countries, winners were selected in three categories for the University of Miami’s Fifth Annual Underwater Photography contest. The Best Overall award winner was an image submitted by Marchione Giacomo from Italy. The photograph depicts two Boxer crabs with sea anemones in each claw. Awards included a week-long trip with Blackbeard’s Cruises and cash prizes. Vickie Coker of Austin, Texas, won first in the Macro category;  Steven Kovacs of Clewiston, Fla., won the Fish or Marine Animal Portrait category; Evan D’Alessandro of Miami, Fla., won the Wide-Angle category; and Neil Hammerschlag of Miami won the Student category.

On Tuesday, the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science announced that Dr. Ali Pourmand has joined the Marine Geology and Geophysics division as an assistant professor. Pourmand is an isotope geochemist interested in using trace elements and isotopes to study past changes in the Earth’s climate. Pourmand is the recipient of numerous awards, from distinguished Geological Society graduate student scholarships and research grants to international fine art and photography competitions.

The inaugural Scientists and Engineers Expanding Diversity and Success distinguished lectures series started Tuesday, April 14, with Dr. Maria Assunção Faus da Silva Dias’ research seminar at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. She spoke about a large-scale biosphere-atmosphere experiment she has been conducting in Brazil that shows how the changing climate in the Amazon affects the oxygen and water of the entire world. This event is the first of a three lecture series.

After serving for several months as interim chairperson, Dr. Rana A. Fine was elected chair of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Board of Trustees on Monday, April 13. UCAR, a consortium of 70 member universities, including the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, is a private nonprofit corporation. Fine is a professor of Marine and Atmospheric Chemistry at the Rosenstiel School and the author of more than 50 scientific publications in refereed journals. She will be serving a two-year term during which she will provide leadership in upholding UCAR’s mission to serve the atmospheric science and related communities through research, computing and observational facilities, and education programs that contribute to the betterment of life on Earth.

Lad Akins, the director of Special Programs at the Reef Environmental Education Foundation, gave an insightful lecture on Sea Secrets at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science on Tuesday, April 15. He spoke about the threatening presence the lionfish has in its non-native habitat, the Atlantic Ocean. The alarming increase in lionfish populations has made Akins a protector against this invasive species. As an avid diver and conservationist, Akins is concentrating his efforts on defending Atlantic habitats from lionfish. The event was open to the public.