Environmental Sustainability

What is Stetson University doing to help address issues related to climate change and environment? How are we acting as responsible stewards?

The purpose of this site is to help answer those questions and compile the many academic and community driven activities addressing those questions in one place. This website is meant to be an environmental web portal that provides information about (and connections to) all of the combined environmental efforts at Stetson University.

Focus on Environmental Stewardship

As most of us know, being responsible stewards of our environment is a core value at Stetson, and the university is one of the Charter Signatory members of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). In June 2007, then Stetson University President Doug Lee signed the ACUPCC, and since that time our goals have been codified in the Stetson Environmental Stewardship Plan that was endorsed and put into action by our Board of Trustees. That plan includes targets toward achieving our goal of being carbon neutral, action steps, periodic measurement and reporting of our results.

In addition, Stetson University recently adopted the Energy and Water Conservation Policy, requiring our campus communities to support efforts to reduce water and energy consumption by 18 percent.

Stetson has demonstrated a commitment to Green Building through new construction. Four buildings have been certified through Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) including the Lynn Business Center which was the first LEED certified building in Florida. The three other LEED certified buildings are Mary B. McMahan Hall, Homer and Dolly Hand Art Center, and the Rinker Environmental Learning Center. The Rinker Welcome Center was awarded the Green Globes Certification and was named Outstanding Sustainability Project in the state by the Florida Planning and Zoning Association in 2017. The Stetson Aquatic Center is currently under construction and under review for certification through the Green Globes program. The Aquatic Center received an ECHO grant from Volusia County to enhance sustainability, promote water reuse and develop a native Florida botanical garden.

National Recognition

These efforts have not gone unrecognized. In the spring of 2015, Stetson University was noted as a "Green College" in the “Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges: 2015 Edition." The guide recognized Stetson for its commitment to environmental education, environmentally responsible purchasing, efficient use and conservation of resources, minimizing solid waste and hazardous materials, and promoting a green campus design that incorporates plants native to Florida.

"Stetson’s Native Plant Policy is a great example of the proactive approach the university takes in addressing sustainability issues on campus," says the guide, noting that the move "cuts down on its use of fertilizers and pesticides, since indigenous plants require less maintenance as compared to traditional landscaping plants."

Environmental Science and Studies

Stetson offers an in-depth Environmental Science and Studies curriculum. Students graduating from Stetson University with a B.S. degree in Environmental Science or a B.A. degree in Environmental Studies will work within solid ethical and scientific frameworks to make well-supported decisions to protect natural resources, develop innovative solutions for environmental problems, and exhibit bold leadership skills for environmental change. This page includes more information about the program overall, including involved faculty and staff. 

Water Stewardship

Both the Water Stewardship and Institute for Water and Environmental Stewardship links to the left include information about Stetson's environmental sustainability in relation to water resources. 

Environmental Clubs

This page displays the titles and descriptions for each environmental club on the Stetson campus, as well as contact information and social media links. The list of clubs include: the Stetson Environmental Club, Hatter Harvest, the Food Recovery Network, SOAR, Surf Club, SONAR, OCEAN, Hatters Down Under, and the Beekeeping Society. 

Stetson Environmental News

Here you will find an archive of Stetson Today articles about University environmental efforts. An environmental newsletter is also sent out approximately every month to the Stetson community by email, summarizing upcoming environmental events as well as current topics discussed by the Stetson Environmental Working Group (composed of faculty and staff members as well student representatives for SGA, leaders of environmental clubs, and the Environmental Sustainability Fellows).

Environmental Sustainability Fellows

The Environmental  Sustainability Fellows work with a faculty mentor to develop a more cognizant and purposeful Stetson community focused on social, economic and environmental practices. We foster a culture of environmentalism through education and direct involvement with our campus and the greater community. This page displays the projects they have been working on as well as the students themselves.

The Environmental Sustainability Fellow Scholarship is open to high school students for the upcoming school year, and students from all majors and cultural backgrounds are welcome to apply. 

Gillespie Museum

The Gillespie Museum has been a center for earth and environmental science education on campus and in the community for six decades. It houses a historic mineral collection, with nearly a thousand of its 15,000 specimens on display in changing exhibits. This page includes general information for the Gillespie Museum as well as exhibits, events, science cafes, the seed library, the pollinator project, and the Volusia Sandhill Ecosystem.

Sustainable Dining

Stetson Dining, in partnership with Chartwells, has many ongoing sustainable initiatives on campus, such as providing local food sourced within 150 miles and working with the Food Recovery Network group to send good food to nearby shelters instead of the landfill. There is more information about these efforts in the attached page. Upcoming events, such as the on-campus local produce market, can be found on Stetson Dining's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Senior Research Projects

Almost every senior at Stetson has to complete a senior research project. This page includes a description of what a senior research project is and gives a list of completed projects from 2016-2018 that relate to the fields of Environmental Science and Studies.