Twenty-five years later, prominent professor retires

For over 25 years, Dr. Rudolf Jaffé has dedicated his time to the Southeast Environmental Research Center (SERC), working in the area of environmental organic geochemistry and biogeochemistry. After celebrating his silver anniversary with FIU, he is now retiring and hopes to spend some time doing one of his favorite things: exploring the countryside on his horse. 

He started his career at FIU before SERC was even created, working for FIU’s Drinking Water Research Center in 1992. Five years later, the center was reorganized and renamed to the Southeast Environmental Research Center and Jaffé became its Associate Director. Three years later he was appointed Director, and stayed in this position for about a decade. Under Jaffé’s leadership, the Southeast Environmental Research Center saw a climb in acquired research funding and an increase in the number of successful research article publications.

In 2009, Jaffé was awarded the George M. Barley Jr. Endowed Chair in Everglades Research. With hundreds of publications and over 50% of them concerning the Everglades, it was no surprise that Jaffé would be the right candidate for the esteemed position. In the almost ten years that he held the chair, Jaffé spent countless research hours addressing issues concerning climate change, land-use and anthropogenically impacted biogeochemical cycles in the Everglades.  

This month, Jaffé was congratulated on his impressive accomplishments by Provost Kenneth Furton and Dean Micheal Heithaus. A few of his remarkable achievements include being awarded more than $29 million over the last 20 years from prestigious organizations like the National Science Foundation, South Florida Water Management District, US National Park Service, US Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In the last five years alone, he published over 50 articles (and a couple of book chapters) in esteemed scientific journals. Jaffé has proven himself an important player for Everglades protection and conservation research.

While he is no longer a full-time professor at FIU, Jaffé has been awarded the title of Professor Emeritus, recognizing his successful legacy with regard to his research, teaching, leadership and passion for protecting our vulnerable environment. 

The Southeast Environmental Research Center is housed within the FIU Institute of Water and Environment and works to promote a strong scientific underpinning for protection and restoration of the region’s water resources, recreational lands and natural ecosystems.