Dr. Duane De Freese ‘82, ’88, Caring for a Fragile Ecosystem

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Duane De Freese, PhD, has dedicated his life to the preservation of our coasts and oceans. He earned a bachelor of science in zoology from the University of Rhode Island in 1976, a master of science in marine biology from Florida Tech in 1982, and a doctoral degree in marine biology from Florida Tech in 1988.

Through an active public speaking schedule and community leadership, Duane is changing public perception about the value of ocean and coastal research and conservation. His numerous public presentations and workshops have a central message: “Our oceans and coasts are an engine that drives the economy and quality of life for both Florida and the nation. I’m at home on the water and want to ensure that it continues to sustain lives to come.”

Dr. De Freese currently serves as executive director of the Indian River Lagoon Council, a special district of the State of Florida and host of the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program, a designation he was instrumental in securing. He also serves as a governor-appointed board member of CareerSource Florida, Inc. and the vice chair of the Florida Ocean Alliance. Duane previously held positions as senior science and sustainability consultant to HydroPro-Tech, LLC. He has courtesy professor status at Florida Tech and the University of Central Florida. He is also senior vice president of science and business development for AquaFiber Technologies Corporation.

In the past five years, Dr. De Freese has focused his public presentations on coastal adaptations to climate change and sea level rise, technologies to address eutrophication of surface waters, and integration of ecology and economics to enhance public awareness of the U.S./Florida ocean and coastal economy, all challenges and opportunities for the twenty-first century.

De Freese was featured in Florida Tech’s 60th Anniversary special edition book, “60 for 60: Celebrating Sixty Years of Alumni at Florida Institute of Technology.” Copies are available for purchase here.

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