Máximo José Cerame-Vivas, was born in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, February 26, 1936, and attended elementary school in Escuela Modelo and Colegio San Antonio, Río Piedras, where he also finished high school.
He attended the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) at Río Piedras, where he obtained a B.S. in 1957 with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry.
That same year he started his career as an educator by becoming an instructor in the Department of Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, UPR, where he taught for two years until he entered graduate school at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
At Duke he obtained an M.A. in 1961 in marine invertebrate zoology and a Ph.D. in 1964 in marine ecology.
He returned to the UPR at Río Piedras, where he taught until the end of 1966.
On January, 1967, he was appointed director of the Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez.
Later that year he
was elevated to Associate Professor.
In 1971 he
was elevated to Professor.
direction, the Institute of Marine Biology
became a full interdisciplinary Department of Marine Sciences in August of 1968, with its own graduate curriculum leading to a master's degree.
The doctorate program (Ph. D.) in marine sciences was certified in 1972, also under his
teaching career Dr. Cerame-Vivas
has taught zoology, vertebrate zoology, marine invertebrates, ecology, marine ecology, biological oceanography, invertebrate embryology, marine resource management, environmental management policy, environmental law, environmental evaluation, environmental engineering and environmental sciences, among others.
current teaching interests are environmental education, hazardous waste management, and environmental policy.
Dr. Cerame-Vivas served as secretary to the P.R. Legislative Commission on Natural Resources in 1966.
In 1967 he
led the emergency research team that managed the OCEAN EAGLE oil spill (3.7 million gallons) at the inlet to San Juan Harbor.
He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Ecological Research for the Interoceanic Canal (CERIC; Panamá) during 1969-1972.
He was a member of the Parent Committee for the Puerto Rico and the Sea 1972 Action Program for Marine Affairs.
In 1972 he was appointed advisor to the P.R. Secretary of Natural Resources.
He was an advisor to UNESCO and to the Government of Trinidad-Tobago for the establishment of a UN marine laboratory there in 1976-1977.
He was scientific advisor to the P.R. Environmental Quality Board for the ZOE COLOCOTRONI oil spill (1.5 million gallons) landmark federal litigation in 1977, the first case in the United States where a state was ever awarded damages for harm to its marine resources.
This spill occurred off La Parguera, Puerto Rico.
He was advisor to the underwriters for the PECK SLIP fuel spill in 1978-1979 (600,000 gallons), which occurred off the East Coast of P.R. In May-June, 1987 he was retained as an advisor to the underwriters in the fuel spill of the freighter HYUNDAI NEW WORLD (235,400 gallons), which ran aground in São Luis, Brasil.
In March of 1990 he
was retained as environmental consultant by the Zapata Gulf Marine Corporation
on matters pertinent to the sinking of the tug INDEPENDENCE SERVICE off Palominitos, Puerto Rico.
He served as environmental consultant to the underwriters in the 1,400 gallon Bunker C spill from the JULIE N at Las Mareas, Puerto Rico, in November, 1990.
He was Spill Manager for Hilton International and the Caribe Hilton Hotel and Casino for the spill of the MORRIS J. BERMAN barge off Punta Escambrón January 7, 1994, where 1,547,532 gallons of Bunker #6 were spilled.
He has been a member of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) from 1978 to 1982, where he served on the SAB Ecology Committee, Water Quality Committee, Pollutant Fate and Effects Committee, and was chairman of the SAB Marine Ecosystems Monitoring Task Group.
This task group worked for two years and the Agency received their report on January, 1982.
He was a member of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Directorate for the U.S. Department of State and UNESCO; of the P.R. Government Environmental Advisory Council for 1983-1985; Associate Director of the University of Puerto Rico Sea Grant Program in 1983; Marine Advisory Services Coordinator for the University of Puerto Rico Sea Grant Program in 1984, and retired from the University of Puerto Rico after thirty (30) years of service as a professor, administrator and researcher in 1987.
In 1990 he was appointed Dean of Basic Sciences, Graduate Studies and Research, and Professor of Environmental Toxicology, at the Ponce School of Medicine, Ponce, PR.
He served as Program Director for the Ponce School of Medicine Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) Program and the Research Centers for Minority Institutions (RCMI) Program, both under the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
In 1991 Dr. Cerame-Vivas
was designated a member of the Advisory Committee of the National Pollution Prevention Environmental Education Project, Environmental Protection Agency
, Washington, D. C. He
was Manager of Environmental Affairs for Cogentrix
in 1991 and Regional Director for International Affairs for Cogentrix in México until 1994.
In 1994 he was appointed Executive Coordinator for the Science and Technology Board, Puerto Rico Economic Development Administration, and was Executive Director of the Governor of Puerto Rico's Advisory Council on Science and Technology.
He was NASA/Puerto Rico Government Liaison for the COQUI II project.
He was a member of Puerto Rico's Council on Higher Education.
In 1998 he was again appointed to the Coordinating Committee of the Puerto Rico and the Sea Action Program for Marine Affairs, this time also heading the Research and Development Subcommittee.
He was Senior Advisor for CSA Architects and Engineers, a major engineering consulting firm.
He was also Director of the Science and Technology Incentives Program, Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company and a member of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture's Council on Underwater Archaeological Resources.
has over twenty five peer-reviewed scientific publications to his
credit, eight books, and is currently working on two others.
He is a nationally certified diver and diving instructor, a trained and certified outboard motor mechanic, and has spent hundreds of hours onboard ship and underwater.
He has been a columnist for the magazine Avance and the newspaper El Mundo.
He is currently a columnist for The San Juan Star newspaper where over 600 of his columns have been published.
He served as president of the San Germán Lions Club in 1978-1979.
He was elected president of the Mayagüez Mall Merchants Association for 1983-1984.
He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is a biographee in American Men of Science and Outstanding Educators of America.
is fully bilingual (Spanish-English).
has lectured in the Dominican Republic (Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo), Jamaica (University of the West Indies), México (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), Costa Rica (Turrialba), Panamá, Venezuela (Universidad de Oriente), Perú, Brasil and Chile, has professionally visited several other countries throughout Latin America and Europe, and has participated in scientific and environmental endeavors in at least 18 states within the United States.
Dr. Máximo Cerame-Vivas