Sailing into Florida Tech to Learn Sustainability

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Who knew Florida Tech was a port of call?

When a Royal Caribbean cruise ship docked at Port Canaveral on March 16 – a group of students from Keystone College came ashore. Their destination –  Florida Tech.

While their friends back home in Pennsylvania dealt with Winter Storm Stella, students in Keystone’s environmental economics class enjoyed the warm tropical breezes that are always in abundance on the campus of Florida Tech.

sustainabilityImpressed by our “Green”

The trip was part of a faculty-led program offered to students at Keystone who are interested in sustainability. Florida Tech was chosen as part of the itinerary after administrators were impressed by the school’s sustainability efforts. They had researched the school’s “green” accomplishments online.

Professor Dana Harris from Keystone College reached out to Ken Lindeman, professor of education and interdisciplinary studies and Daniel Sutton, the university’s sustainability officer. Both were enthusiastic to offer their assistance.

“They were interested in part because their college and many others do not have academic sustainability programs,” Lindeman said. “But student interest is substantial.”

In addition to Florida Tech, the travel plan included a stop in Cococay, Bahamas. Harris arranged a meeting with Royal Caribbean’s environmental steward to learn how they abate emissions.

The students who took part all came from Harris’s ECON 4111 class. All earned credit for their participation.

“They want to learn about the economic impact of reducing pollution. How corporations can reduce emissions to reduce their cost.” Harris said. “The students come from all different backgrounds including business, environmental health, public health and organizational leadership, but they are all interested in sustainability.”

The Sustainability Toursustainability

While on campus, the students attended a presentation to learn more about Florida Tech’s graduate program in interdisciplinary science.They also had the opportunity to learn more about the school’s “green” initiatives and take a tour that included a stop at the new Ethos Community Garden.

“The students were very interested to learn that sustainability majors are required to take from 5 to 10 different business classes in our program,” Lindeman said. “They were also interested in the capstone research projects required of all sustainability majors and minors.”

As Harris gathered her group to head back to port, she said the excursion couldn’t have gone better.

“It went great and we are definitely going to continue,” Harris said. “But soon we’ll have to cruise back to the snow.”

master's in operations research

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When I wasn’t searching my house for secret passageways or scouring the neighborhood for hidden treasure, I spent much of my childhood reading. As an adult, in addition to a passion for marketing, social media and higher education, I write young adult fiction and create my own fantastical worlds for others to explore.

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