Approximately 40 years ago, Dr. Herndon (in photo, right),
a nuclear physicist and director of the Institute for International Cooperative Environmental Research
(IICER), began working with Professor Paul Erdös, a Hungarian physicist who,
over the years, introduced him to other Hungarian scientists including
Professor Peter Richter (in photo, left), a physicist at the Technical University of Budapest.
In the 1980s, Drs. Herndon and Richter realized that at some future time, when the political situation changed, the disastrous environmental conditions in Central and Eastern Europe would become one of the primary issues confronting the countries in this region. Things changed more rapidly than any of us would have guessed at the time, and, in 1989, immediately after the end of the Cold War, the Center for Hungarian-American Cooperative Environmental Research was implemented at Florida State University to foster international environmental research, education and related activities. This center was the first of a number of country specific centers which would be implemented at Florida State University including the Centers for Czech-American, Polish-American and Russian-American Cooperative Environmental Research. From this beginning has grown the Institute for International Cooperative Environmental Research (IICER) at Florida State University. The mission of the IICER is to conduct research in the area of environmental contamination, and to identify, develop and deploy strategies and technologies for solutions to environmental problems (Our Work). The IICER accomplishes this mission by conducting cooperative educational and research activities with local, state, federal and international agencies and organizations as well as with educational and research institutions throughout the world.
In order to further its mission, the IICER has formal agreements of cooperation with research and educational institutions worldwide. These agreements include the exchange of students, faculty and technical experts. Agreements of Cooperation exist between the IICER and the Technical University of Budapest (Hungary), the Czech Technical University in Prague (Czech Republic), the Institute for the Ecology of Industrial Areas (Poland), St. Petersburg State University (Russia), the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (Russia), the Moscow State University (Russia) and the Scientific and Technical Center-Academy of Sciences (Belarus) among others.
In 1993, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy (MINATOM) established a Joint Coordinating Committee for Environmental Restoration and Waste Management (JCCEM) for which the IICER provides assistance and support. Shown in the photo at right are Dr. Roy Herndon (left), Director of IICER and Mr. Gerald Boyd (right), Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management, U.S. Department of Energy at the 9th JCCEM meeting in Arlington, Virginia discussing the collaborative JCCEM projects between Russian scientists from Russian academic and government laboratories, and scientists from U.S. National Laboratories.
International scientific cooperation not only results in rapid and cost-effective advances in environmental research, but also provides increased educational and research opportunities for students. This student involvement is made evident by the significant participation of both undergraduate and graduate students. In all of the IICER activities as well as in the scholarships provided to students through the IICER’s international symposium series and workshops. The workshops, training courses, and symposia which the IICER conducts are all important parts of its cooperative international environmental program.
The IICER staff, in addition to their applied and mission directed work, remain in touch with their basic disciplines through research and publication.
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Institute for International Cooperative Environmental Research
Florida State University
2035 East Paul Dirac Drive (226 HMB)
Tallahassee, Florida 32310-3700
Telephone: +(850) 644-5524 ; Fax: +(850) 574-6704
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