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Dennis Hanisak

With great sadness, we share the news of the passing of Dr. M. Dennis Hanisak, a beloved and renowned member of the FAU Harbor Branch research faculty. Dr. Hanisak was a research professor, director of the Marine Ecosystems Health program, director of education at FAU Harbor Branch, and principal investigator of numerous research projects. He is remembered as an eminent marine scientist, a devoted teacher and mentor, and a pioneering conservationist for the Indian River Lagoon (IRL).

Dr. Hanisak joined the research team at Harbor Branch in 1977, conducting research on marine plants (seaweed and seagrass) in the IRL and other parts of Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean. He authored more than 70 scientific publications and co-authored the book 鈥淪ubmersed Plants of the Indian River Lagoon: A Floristic Inventory & Field Guide,鈥 a comprehensive floristic compendium of Florida鈥檚 remarkable Indian River Lagoon. His contributions to marine biology and ecology 鈥 particularly for understanding the health and stressors on the Indian River Lagoon 鈥 are innumerable.

Importantly, Dr. Hanisak was an educator. His leadership was paramount to establishing FAU Harbor Branch as a destination for training the next generation of scientists. He was instrumental in developing programs for students of all ages, from grade school through doctorates. He inspired generations of new marine scientists, and his legacy lives on through their work.

鈥淭his is an overwhelming loss for his family, friends and the Institute, and a sad time for us all,鈥 said Dr. James M. Sullivan, executive director of FAU Harbor Branch. 鈥淎s we move forward through this difficult time, we take comfort in knowing that we are able to honor his legacy by continuing the great work he started.鈥

Dr. Hanisak is a true icon of FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. His passion was infectious, and his work made an indelible impact on the world.

For inquiries related to Dr. Hanisak鈥檚 professional work through FAU Harbor Branch, please contact James Sullivan at jsullivan@fau.edu or Patrick Boles at pboles@fau.edu.

For media inquiries, contact Chelsey Matheson at cmatheson@fau.edu.

Celebration of Life

Sunday, June 23
1 p.m. - Ceremony ()
3 p.m. - Reception
Johnson Education Center at FAU Harbor Branch

Join us to honor the life and legacy of Dr. M. Dennis Hanisak. Registration is closed for in-person attendance, as we have reached capacity for the event space. A livestream will be available to view the ceremony from 1 to 2 p.m. In addition, a recording of the ceremony will be available on our website after the event.

For registered in-person guests: Access to the campus will open at noon. Please plan to arrive early to ensure everyone can get through the gates by the event start. IMPORTANT: Only registered guests will be admitted on the day of the event. Day-of registration will not be available.

to view the livestream.

Dr. M. Dennis Hanisak Memorial Fund

To honor Dr. Hanisak鈥檚 remarkable legacy at FAU Harbor Branch, the Institute has established a memorial fund to support Semester by the Sea, a premier marine science education program he founded over 20 years ago. If you would like to leave a gift in Dr. Hanisak's memory, and support a program he was truly passionate about, please visit the link below.

Research

FAU Harbor Branch prioritizes solution-oriented research that addresses critical issues affecting coastal zone, oceans, and human well-being. Research scientists take a global approach, conducting studies around the world in varying climates, ecosystems, and cultures.
Harbor Branch campus building

Harbor Branch

5600 US 1 North, Fort Pierce, FL 34946 772.242.2400
华人第一情色社区 (FAU) Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute is a world class research organization with a focus on exploring the marine environments, studying key species and understanding the connection between humans and the ocean. Founded in 1971 as Harbor Branch Oceanographic Foundation, Inc., the Institute expanded its reach to over 100 miles along Florida鈥檚 east coast when it joined 华人第一情色社区 in 2007. Located in St. Lucie County, our 144-acre campus along the Indian River Lagoon employs over 200 scientists, engineers, educators, staff and students. To this day, the Institute actively pursues solution-oriented research that addresses some of the most critical issues affecting coastal zones, oceans and human well-being.
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