News Archive

Rosebud Continuum Science Education Center

February 10th, 2017


We are excited to share one of TH Culhane's sustainability projects. As a Patel College instructor, Dr. Culhane is always seeking to apply what he learns in the real world to set an example for his students.

The Rosebud Continuum Science Education center is unlike any other sustainability project in the United States. Located in Land O' Lakes, Florida, it will serve as an example of a fully sustainable property on a much grander scale than any of its kind. Dr. Culhane became a member of the board in late August of 2016 when he met with PCGS alumn, Michael Kuras, who is dedicated to the successful completion of this project. The home on the property is owned by the Bishop Family who are financially supporting the project by utilizing their construction company for labor to bring all the ideas to life. The Bishop's family have a connection with the Sioux Tribe and named the project after the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

The biodigester has been the first focus of the project. Dr. Culhane explained that a biodigester is like a mechanical stomach. It is fed with organic material, which is then broken down by bacteria in an oxygen-free environment to produce a renewable energy called biogas and other material that is mainly used as fertilizer.


This bowl is capable of providing two hours of gas stove fuel!

Dr. Culhane and his partners built a large scale version for the property which allows for greater fuel production. The plan is to build two more biodigesters on the same grand scale, one at eye level and another underground. This is to facilitate the ability for future students who visit to get up close and visually grasp the mechanics of a biodigester.


The Rosebud Continuum Science Education Center's goal is to be a leader in sustainability and food waste in Florida. The biodigesters are just the begining. Plans include a bat house (to provide more compost), chimney swift towers, chicken coop, an apiary to produce honey, garden and crops, as well as more friends for fellow residents - OJ the cow and Pauline the pig. There are also plans for an education center and development of trails throughout the property surrounded by native wildlife. The Rosebud Center will feature art sculptures to add some dynamic to its sustainability efforts. It will serve as a field location for students of all education levels and as a training ground for people to continue to bring sustainability into practice.

Dr. Culhane is very excited about the opportunity this project will provide not just for the Tampa community and Florida's sustainability efforts but specifically for Patel students. Stay tuned for more updates as the project develops.

We would like to thank Dr. Culhane, Michael Kuras, Maryann Bishop and all other students/alumni involved with the project for the tour and introduction to the Rosebud Continuum Science Education Center.


Professor TH Culhane's work is part of his commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative. Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton as an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, CGI encourages innovative solutions to urgent global matters. The most significant feature of CGI are the Commitments to Action. According to the Clinton Foundation's website, over 3,600 commitments has been made by the members of the CGI community like professor TH Culhane. There are three basic criteria that every CGI commitment must meet. An innovative and fresh solution to a global challenge, specific goals and objectives to resolve an issue and measurable results that can be monitored. Actions are the following tracks: Energy, Response & Resilience, Environmental Stewardship, Global Health, The Built Environment, Market-Based Approaches, Education & Workforce Development, Food Systems and Technology.