Hays Cummins

Professor, Geography & Western Program
128 Peabody Hall/222 Boyd Hall
(513) 529-1338
Webpage (Home Page)


  • BA  1975, Biology, Louisiana State University in New Orleans
  • MS 1977, Biology, Louisiana State University in New Orleans
  • PhD 1984, Oceanography, Texas A & M University


Hays Cummins is Professor of Geography, an Affiliate of the Department of Geology, an Affiliate and Fellow of the Institute for the Environment and Sustainability and the former Harrison Scholars Professor in the Honors and Scholars Program. He taught in the natural science core in the Western College Program, and was Director of Environmental Programs and Director for Discovery-Oriented Science Instruction.  Professor Cummins is founding Co-Director of Project Dragonfly and science editor for Dragonfly magazine. He earned his PhD in oceanography from Texas A&M University and has led numerous international courses to the Bahamas, Florida Keys, Netherland Antilles and Costa Rica. His research focuses on the reconstruction of past ecological communities in marine systems and understanding ecological change, particularly the impacts of global change on coral reefs. He has authored research papers and popular articles focusing on science and science education. He also has a passion for weather and astronomy.

Teaching Responsibilities

-Geography Courses

-GEO 280/460: Ecological Restoration
Check out my Edge of the Farm Conservation Area website!

-GEO 421/521: Climatology

-International Field Courses

I have taught over 70 international field courses while at Miami.  These courses have included Tropical Marine Ecology of the Bahamas & Florida KeysTropical Ecosystems of Costa RicaConnections: Belize Ecology & Natural HistoryCoral Reef Ecology of Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, and numerous Earth Expeditions courses in Africa, Trinidad, Australia and Costa Rica.

ALL STUDENTS WELCOME!!  Check out the links below!

GEO/GLG/IES/LAS 413/513:Tropical Marine Ecology of the Bahamas & Florida Keys

GEO/GLG/IES/LAS 412/512: Tropical Ecosystems of Costa Rica

Recent Publications

Sisney, M., R.H. Cummins, C. Wolfe. 2018. Incidence of black band disease, brown band disease, and white syndrome in branching corals on the Great Barrier Reef. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science.

Boardman, M., R.H. Cummins. 2016. Coral Reef Fishes: Common Fish of the Caribbean. 66 pages. Environmental Education and Sustainability Press.

Cummins, R.H., Boardman, M.A, and M. McPhail. 2013. Birds of San Salvador Bahamas: A Photo Essay of Common Birds. 133 pages. Environmental Education and Sustainability press.

Erin Sams, Carl Nim, Martin Wunderly, Lauren Saulino, Jennifer Hagar, Sue Henry, Erin Julianus, Cheyanna Leverington, Melanie Simkins, Mark R. Boardman, and R. Hays Cummins, 2012. Surveying and Habitat Mapping of a Curaco Reef. In Proceedings of the 15th Symposium on the Geology of the Bahamas and other Carbonate Regions 2010, eds. D.W. Gamble and P. Kindler, 154-162. San Salvador, Bahamas: Gerace Research Center, College of the Bahamas.

Haynes, C., Cummins, H., Detloff, M., Dixon, L., Ernsting, K., Fuehrer, A. 2010. Learning Communities and Institutional Transformation, Journal of Learning Communities, Vol 2(2): 149-167.

Gray, J., Shubin, K, Bruns, T., Comiskey, E., McCollum, D., & Cummins, H. 2010. Sacrificial Leaf Hypothesis in Mangroves. ISME/GLOMIS Electronic Journal, Volume 8, No. 4.

Boardman, M., McCollum, D. and Cummins, H. 2005. OSCI Earth Science, Plate Tectonics Instruction Module. H. Cummins was the Earth Science Coordinator and supervised the production of the earth science module.

Green, W.J., Elliot, C., Wilkes, H.L., and R.H. Cummins. 2004 “Prompted” Inquiry-Based Learning in the Introductory Chemistry Laboratory. Journal of Chemical Education 81 (2): 239-241