Campus Sustainability

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Stetson Law student Leah Ellington and Professor Lance Long discuss campus efforts to curb pollution from plastic bottles.

Stetson Law student Leah Ellington and Professor Lance Long discuss campus efforts to curb pollution from plastic bottles. Click for high-resolution image.

Five Tampa Bay area campuses addressed questions of sustainability in a free public forum Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. at the Studio@620 in St. Petersburg, Fla. Academic community leaders from Eckerd College, St. Petersburg College, Stetson University College of Law, the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg and USF in Tampa gathered to discuss how higher education institutions can model ways to combat global warming and educate students and others  about the environment.

The expert panel included Joseph Dorsey, assistant professor of Environmental Policy at USF St. Petersburg; Leah Ellington, member of the Student Bar Association “Go Green” Committee at Stetson Law; Jason E. Green, sustainability coordinator at St. Petersburg College; moderator David Hastings, associate professor of marine science and chemistry at Eckerd College; Lance Long, assistant professor of legal skills at Stetson Law; Alison Ormsby, associate professor of environmental studies at Eckerd College;  E. Christian Wells, director of the Office of Sustainability and associate professor of anthropology at USF Tampa; and Diana Wright, energy coordinator for St. Petersburg College.

Student Leah Ellington gave an overview of the educational experiences at Stetson with a focus on the environment. Ellington highlighted the International Wildlife Law Conference, International Environmental Moot Court Competition, ecosystem banking workshop, collaborations with the Rwanda Environment Management Authority  and the Scientific and Technical Review Panel of the Ramsar Convention, and the Alliance for International Reforestation.  

“All of these educational experiences emphasize to Stetson students our role in environmental stewardship and sustainability,” Ellington explained.

Professor Lance Long, faculty  liaison to Stetson’s “Go Green” Committee, discussed some student environmental initiatives, including a recycling program, annual transportation fair, electronics recycling, beach cleanups, and a new initiative  discouraging the sale and use of polluting plastic bottles on campus.

“There is a groundswell amongst Stetson students of interest and commitment to environmentally progressive activity,” Professor Long told the panel and audience gathered in St. Petersburg on Wednesday night.

A roundtable discussion with members of the audience followed panelist presentations on  current and future campus sustainability efforts.