Newswise — FORT LAUDERDALE-DAVIE, Fla. – Ongoing disruption of the world’s climate causes significant changes in physical and social patterns in many regions of the globe. These emerging realities present a number of issues including climate disruption, sea level rise, coastal erosion, intense storms, and policy issues.

Nova Southeastern University has several experts available to discuss these issues:

Law and Policy:Joel A. Mintz, J.D.

Joel A. Mintz has been a faculty member at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center since 1982. He teaches courses in Environmental Law, Torts, and Environmental Enforcement, and he has taught courses and seminars in Land Use Planning, State and Local Government Law, and Comparative Environmental Law.

Professor Mintz's scholarship focuses primarily on environmental law and policy, environmental enforcement, sustainable development, regulation of hazardous wastes, and state and local taxation and finance. Mintz is the author of a well-received monograph, Enforcement at the EPA: High Stakes and Hard Choices (University of Texas Press, 1995) (revised edition, 2012), and a treatise on the federal environmental liabilities of state and local governments; and he has co-authored two casebooks, a "law-in-a-nutshell" work, and a handbook for attorneys on municipal finance. His law review articles have appeared in numerous journals and his articles and book contributions have been widely cited, quoted, and excerpted in texts, scholarly books, and articles. He has also published op-ed articles, perspective pieces, book reviews, and other works.

Climate Change/Global WarmingSong Gao, Ph.D.

Song Gao received his Ph.D. in Analytical/Environmental Chemistry from the University of Washington in 2002, and followed by postdoctoral research at California Institute of Technology (Caltech), focusing on atmospheric chemistry. Gao served as assistant professor of Chemistry at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, after graduating from Caltech, and joined NSU as a faculty member at the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences in 2009.

Gao’s articles have appeared in over 25 peer-reviewed publications including leading international journals in the fields of environmental science and technology, atmospheric chemistry, physical chemistry. He continues to research vital environmental issues with concurrent use of field sampling/data analysis, lab experiments and instrumental analysis.

Coral Reefs Beach ErosionRichard Dodge, Ph.D.

Richard Dodge, Ph.D., is a recognized authority on corals and coral reefs. His research has centered on the growth rates of reef-building corals, coral reef structure, fossil coral reefs, the ecology of recent corals reefs, coral reef damage assessment, and oil effects on corals and coral reefs. He has served as editor of the international scientific journal Coral Reefs and now serves on its editorial board. He was the chair of the Local Organizing Committee of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium 2008. He is an elected board member of the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA.)

Dodge is the author of many scientific publications and reports. He has expertise on the effects of natural and man-induced impacts to coral reefs and has served as an expert witness on coral reef injuries. He has been a board member of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida. He is past geological editor and managing editor of the international scientific journal Coral Reefs. Dodge served for five years as a member of the Scientific Review Board of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute to oversee a Minerals Management Service project on the Galeta oil spill assessment, and conducted oil spill experiments in Panama to assess effects of oil and dispersed oil on tropical ecosystems. He is a former member of the coral advisory committee for the Southeast Atlantic Fisheries Management Council and currently on the coral advisory committee for the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council. Dodge is a founding member of the Florida Coastal Ocean Observing System Caucus and Research.

Tracey Sutton, Ph.D.,Associate ProfessorOceanographic Center

Subject Areas: Deep Sea Marine Life

About:Tracey Sutton, Ph.D.'s research focuses on the quantitative ecology and structure of marine ecosystems. He is interested in the biotic (e.g., trophic interactions, resource partitioning) and abiotic (environmental) processes that shape marine community structure, and how these phenomena vary over space and time. His work applies a combination of organismal and theoretical biology to further our ecosystem-based understanding of marine communities, with emphasis on deep-sea ecosystems and oceanic-coastal ecosystem connectivity.

Sutton is the coauthor of a recently published paper with colleagues from across the globe that calls for increased stewardship of the world's deep oceans. The paper was published by Science Magazine (

About Nova Southeastern University: Situated on 314 beautiful acres in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic, fully accredited research institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs at all levels. NSU is a not-for-profit independent institution with an enrollment of 25,000 students. NSU awards associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, doctoral and first-professional degrees in a wide range of fields. NSU is classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and it is one of only 37 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification. For more information, please visit Celebrating 50 years of academic excellence!