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Wrong Eric Milbrandt?

Dr. Eric C. Milbrandt

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Email: e***@***.org

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Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation

900A Tarpon Bay Road

Sanibel, Florida 33957

United States

Company Description

SCCF (the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) is dedicated to the conservation of coastal habitats and aquatic resources on Sanibel and Captiva and in the surrounding watershed through environmental education, land acquisition, landscaping for wildli ... more

Find other employees at this company (28)

Background Information


Affiliate Member
Coastal Watershed Institute


Humboldt State University



University of Oregon

graduate degree

marine science

Web References (58 Total References)

Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Staff members [cached]

Dr. Eric Milbrandt, Director

Dr. Eric Milbrandt Director
Eric Milbrandt CV
Dr. Eric Milbrandt began his career in marine science in N. California at Humboldt State University. His first course in Invertebrate Zoology at the Telonicher Marine Laboratory in Trinidad helped to inspire a career in marine science.
Because of the positive experiences and valuable tools both in the lab and in the field, Dr. Milbrandt decided to pursue a graduate degree in marine science. He was accepted at the University of Oregon to study at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology in Charleston, OR. During his Ph.D., Eric received a Graduate Research Fellowship from the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve to study the microbial ecology of the South Slough Estuary. While writing his dissertation, he was offered the position of Research Scientist at SCCF. He returned to OIMB to defend in the spring of 2003 and has been contributing to the SCCF ever since.
During his transition to Florida, Dr. Milbrandt established several permanent mangrove forest plots to study the effects of human activities on mangrove reproduction, recruitment and forest structure. He has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles on the recovery of mangroves after hurricane disturbance and the effect of sea level rise on black mangrove recruitment. He has also led several grant-supported efforts to restore the tidal hydrology to Clam Bayou, then to enhance and restore mangrove shorelines.
At SCCF, Dr. Milbrandt has been instrumental in the establishment of RECON (River Estuary Coastal Observing Network) which is providing Real-time information to advance SCCF policies. This tool introduces the Marine Laboratory to difficult socio-economic challenges in the policy arena and helps support the collaborative meetings and influences of the Southwest Florida Stakeholders. RECON also enhances research at the lab including in numerous water quality studies around Sanibel and Captiva Islands and in cooperation with the USFWS in J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
In 2011, Dr. Milbrandt was named the third SCCF Marine Laboratory Director. He serves as a reviewer of manuscripts for Estuaries and Coasts, Limnology and Oceanography, Botanica Marina, the Journal of Wetland Ecology and Management, and Hydrobiologia. He is a Graduate Faculty at Florida Gulf Coast University and an affiliate member of the Coastal Watershed Institute.

"The refuge has provided this space ... [cached]

"The refuge has provided this space at no cost," Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Marine Laboratory Director Eric Milbrandt said of the Tarpon Bay Road building they currently occupy.

They offered it to us as a marine lab if we would supply enough money to make it a lab," Milbrandt said. "We agreed and raised $400,000 and gave it to the federal government."
Milbrandt worked with J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge Manager Paul Tritaik and a regional team member, which made the process transparent and provided SCCF with opportunities to comment on the plans and help design the facility from the very beginning.
It has lots of problems," Milbrandt said, including a leaky roof that the refuge fixed.
In 2012, the planning began of what the building would look like and this past year the plans were finalized, staying within the initial cost estimate of the laboratory.
The laboratory will be built on the bayside of Tarpon Bay Road near Tarpon Bay Explorers. The location is ideal, Milbrandt said because they can pull seawater right from the front door for experiments.
Milbrandt said it will be finished in the future to include an office, or conference room.
Milbrandt said right now there are certain analytical tools they do not have because of the facility they have.
"We will have new research capability," he said. "That mainly is in nutrient chemistry. Right now we take all of our water samples, we collect them and filter them and then the water part actually goes to another lab and they do an analytical test to determine how much oxygen phosphorus (there is), which is important here."
With the new facility they will have the capability to test the water on site.
Milbrandt said they will also have the opportunity to take tissues from plants, animals and algae and determine the nitrogen and carbon content in them.
Milbrandt said following the opening of the lab in 2002, he spent many years sharing information with people of why it was so important to understand the greater Everglades and where the water was going because the island is kind of in the "catcher mitt of the problem. He said the lab helped because a lot of people contributed to a comprehension of the problem.
"It is really amazing to see the progress, 'no it's not my problem,' to the current approach with Mayor Ruane and our partners at the refuge who are actively trying to get policies passed and get projects funded to improve the situation," Milbrandt said of having everyone rallying and pushing in the same direction.
Milbrandt was hired after an important fundraising effort of five years took place in an effort to try to keep the lights on and people paid at the lab. After those five years, the SCCF Marine Laboratory had become proficient and the staff became efficient in writing grants.
"We got a lot of programs funded through state, federal and local sources. We also still rely on our members and our supporters to operate, but it's not as much burden on them anymore," Milbrandt said. "In this field the reputation of scientists and the work that is being produced leads to more opportunities funding wise. So, establishing that reputation early on was kind of the priority. We are an established state recognized, regionally recognized lab."
SCCF is members of the Florida Institute of Oceanography, which he said includes all of the universities in the state of Florida. Milbrandt said they have a seat at the table to discuss coastal issues.

As SCCF marine lab Director Eric ... [cached]

As SCCF marine lab Director Eric Milbrandt puts it: "They come and do their work in our backyard and WE learn a lot about it."

He also points out that having good, steady housing enables researchers to come back from year to year in order to create longitudinal studies which provide a better idea of our eco-system's health.

"We are working on three places ... [cached]

"We are working on three places to rebuild the oyster reefs, and they are located in Tarpon Bay, San Carlos Bay and the third at the southern part of Matlachay Pass," said SCCF Marine Laboratory Director Eric Milbrandt.

"In this area, 90 to 95 percent of the oyster population was destroyed by either poor water quality or by road construction," Milbrandt said. "They can filter up to 20 to 25 gallons of water per day and they also help stabilize the bottom of the bays."
The SCCF received a large delivery of fossilized shells, which is piled up near the Sanibel Dock park. For the last several months, SCCF volunteers and staff have been loading up the shells in five-gallon buckets and transferring them to a barge located near one of the three sites.
"Each bucket contains about 30 to 35 pounds of shells and barge loads hold about 100 to 130 buckets," Milbrandt said. "So far in one week, we move 20 cubic yards of shells. We average 10 barge loads per week and anywhere from three to four trips per day when we get enough volunteers."
The goal at each of the three sites is to cover six inches to a foot of the fill and work will be done up to the end of the year, even into 2016 if need be.
Milbrandt had to go through a long and strenuous permit process to gain access to the sites, which included working on reefs with a low amount of sawtooth fish, which are endangered in the area.
Each area also have relic reefs, or reefs which are currently dead.
The SCCF successfully rebuilt oyster reefs in the Clam Bayou area on Sanibel in 2009-10 and after the second year after the work was done, there were self-populating oyster populations.
"We don't really know the size and the extent of the oyster reefs in the area, because they have never been mapped out," Milbrandt said. "Our current projects only cover two acres, compared to the thousands of acres which is in the Pine Island Sound."
A healthy oyster reef will have around 1,000 to 1,500 oyster per square meter, but in a nearly dead reef, only 50 oysters are found per square meter.
"The peek settlement period is September through November," Milbrandt said.
"The more volunteers we have, the more we are able to get done," Milbrandt added.

Employment and Internships [cached]

Please send: 1) a cover letter; 2) resume/CV with a summary of relevant coursework; 3) transcripts (unofficial are acceptable); 4) contact information for two references whom we may contact to:; or to: Dr. Eric Milbrandt, Director, SCCF Marine Lab, 900A Tarpon Bay Rd., Sanibel, FL 33957.

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