Patrick H. Rice is the Dean of Marine Science & Technology at Florida Keys Community College, which is the only institution of higher education in the Florida Keys and has campuses in the upper middle and lower Keys. He currently resides as Chair for the Science and Technology Taskforce of the Florida Keys Environmental Coalition (FKEC), a group of concerned civic, environmental, academic and business professionals formed to provide a unified community voice for environmental issues affecting the Florida Keys. Dr. Rice also resides on the Wyland Foundation Board (http://www.wylandfoundation.org/), an organization devoted to conservation through art and education. Dr. Rice also serves as the Director for the Instrumented Underwater Training Systems project at FKCC and Senior Marine Biologist for SharkDefense Technologies, LLC. (www.sharkdefense.com).
Dr. Rice earned his Ph.D. (2008) at the University of Miami – Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (UM-RSMAS) where he studied commercial fisheries in an effort to reduce unwanted catch (i.e. bycatch) associated with commercial fishing and provide better catch estimates used to manage fisheries populations. Dr. Rice is the principal investigator for current NOAA fisheries research focused on employing shark repellent technology to reduce shark bycatch during commercial pelagic longline fishing. While attending UM-RSMAS, Dr. Rice participated in the design, construction, operations, and management of the University of Miami – Experimental Fish Hatchery. During this time he also studied at the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), Achotines Yellowfin Tuna Laboratory, Las Tablas Panama, with a focus on pelagic fish ecology and mariculture techniques for tuna and billfish.
Dr. Rice earned his Master’s Degree (2000) in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Texas A & M University (TAMU) where he studied ways to improve marine farming technology and reduce pollution associated with the growing industry. During that time, he was awarded an NSF Monbusho Fellowship to study mariculture in Japan where his primary focus was on culturing bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus orientalis) at the Japanese Seafarming Association’s (JSFA) Amami-o-shima Bluefin Tuna facility.
Before entering the MS program at TAMU, Dr. Rice was a volunteer for the United States Peace Corps in South Pacific Islands of Fiji. His primary responsibility was to teach indigenous Fijians deep within the interior of the island to culture fish (Tilapia spp.) for a constant source of protein during times of isolation from coastal environments during the rainy seasons.
Dr. Rice earned his Bachelor of Science (1992) degree in Biology (Aquatic option) from the University of Texas – Austin where he conducted residency at the UT Marine Science Institute at Port Arkansas, Texas.