by Alison Lueders, Great Green Editing
Sustainability covers a broad set of issues: energy, environment, food, water, waste, green building, transportation – the list goes on. Our survival depends on understanding and addressing those issues properly. And that means learning about the causes, effects and possible solutions to these challenges. We all need to go “back to school” on this one. Happily, there are many educational options available, in Tampa Bay and beyond.
Just a small sample of schools and programs in Tampa Bay includes:
- The Learning Gate School in Lutz, which hosted a wonderful EcoFest this past April and picked up a Green Ribbon Schools award in 2012 from the US Department of Education. It was 1 of just 78 schools in the nation to win this first-annual award for its excellent program.
- Our own University of South Florida, which received a 2012 Second Nature Climate Leadership Award. They earned this “top accolade” for on-campus actions including recycling, electric vehicle recharging stations, rainwater harvesting and much more. USF President Judy Genshaft collected the award in Washington D.C. just last week, at the ACUPCC’s annual Climate Leadership Summit.
- The relatively new Patel School of Global Sustainability. This graduate school opened its doors in the fall of 2010, offering a Master of Arts in Global Sustainability. Students can choose a Concentration in the areas of Water, Entrepreneurship, or Sustainable Tourism.
In the spirit of “Think Globally, Act Locally“, here are additional green happenings in the education realm:
- Another Florida-based school that is stepping up to the plate is the University of Florida in Gainesville. They offer a Master of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning with a specialization in Sustainability. It’s offered online, enabling students to save time and money by not traveling to a classroom.
- Options for green education abound outside of Florida as well. Here’s the “Green Honor Roll” from the 2011 Princeton Review, highlighting the top 16 colleges that offer green studies complemented by robust green actions on campus.
- The just-completed UN Conference on Sustainable Development included an education component. The Higher Education Initiative from Rio+20 calls on the leaders of the international academic community to commit to sustainable practices. Universities in 50 countries (and counting) have already signed on.