Dr. TH Culhane - Director of Climate Mitigation and Adaptation
Title: Associate Professor of Instruction Phone: (813) 974-9694 Email:email@example.com
Dr. T.H. Culhane is an Associate Professor of instruction at the Patel College of
Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida. He is the Director of the
Climate Mitigation and Adaptation concentration and teaches courses in the Food and
Climate concentrations. He is also the co-founding director of the not-for-profit
educational corporation "Solar CITIES Inc." which helps community stakeholders solve
urban ecology and development issues surrounding waste-water, solid waste, food security
and decentralized clean energy production.
For the previous five years Culhane was a Visiting Faculty Researcher and full professor
at Mercy College New York, teaching courses in Environmental Sustainability and Justice,
Environmental Psychology and Urban Ecology and leading students on "service learning"
and "voluntourism" trips to share environmental technologies in impoverished parts
of the Middle East, and the Caribbean.
Culhane has been a Google Science Fair Judge for 6 years and has worked with the US
Office of Naval Research and UCLA on STEM science education projects with at risk-youth.
In 2010 Culhane and the Palestinian Wildlife Society introduced small-scale biogas
technology to stakeholders in the West Bank and Gaza through funding from the US Embassy,
US AID and private foundations, and he has been working with the Arava Institute for
Environmental Studies and Alumni Network, Engineers without Borders Palestine, Al
Najah University, and the Eco-village Network Global Campus, and the HomeBiogas company
in Palestine and Israel on a yearly basis since 2006, working to help ensure "peace
through prosperity and permaculture".
Culhane got his Ph.D. from UCLA in Urban Planning, living with and working on solar
energy and waste management projects with the trash recycling communities of Cairo
Egypt, and his Master's in Regional and International Development working on urban
agroforestry issues in Guatemala. His undergraduate work at Harvard included a year
in the primary rainforests of Borneo, working on community ecology issues with hunter-gatherer
tribes. His mission is to empower communities to regain ecological self-sufficiency
and economic security through regenerative systems integration, believing that we
have all the puzzle pieces to make thriving societies, and just need to come together
and put them together.
IDS 6222 - Navigating The Sustainable Food-Energy-Water Nexus (3) The Food Energy Water (FEW) nexus helps students navigate the complexities of sustainability,
using systems thinking and case studies in food, energy, and water to create industrial
ecology systems, closing the loop from the solar energy that sustains food production
through food waste to new food.
*This course is available on-campus and online.
IDS 6247 - Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (3) This course will use an interdisciplinary approach to explore climate vulnerability
and pathways of climate mitigation and adaption. Case studies will be reviewed to
provide insight on climate change adaption planning and societal resilience.
*This course is available on-campus and online. *Course number may differ from the USF Class Schedule Search.
IDS 6946 - Sustainability Internship (3)
This domestic or international internship is a capstone course in the Patel College
of Global Sustainability MA program. It is based on an interdisciplinary field study,
designed to provide a student with an opportunity to develop a comprehensive in-depth
study of sustainability with respect to a specific field. It will also allow students
to build strong interactions with external stakeholders who influence practice and
policy. During this internship, students will apply acquired theoretical skills to
investigate real-world problems and develop innovative solutions to sustainability.
Thomas Culhane strives to "be the nexus" in his research and personal life, putting
the Food Energy Water Nexus and Systems Thinking into practice on a daily level and
testing the limits.
As an urban planning graduate student in California studying disaster preparedness
and social acceptance of sustainable development technologies in the late 90s and
early 2000s, Culhane researched how to introduce sustainability in ghetto schools
and moved into the Los Angeles urban Eco-village where he lived off-grid for several
years with DIY technologies including self-installed bicycle generators, photovoltaics,
solar hot water and compost-toilet technologies. He worked with the Maya people and
built and lived in an off-grid research site in Guatemala that included rain-water
catchment where his diet for a month consisted only of what the trees and other organisms
on the property provided.
In Egypt, he moved into the slums where poor residents are subjected to deprivation
of water, electricity and fuel, and created a program that taught local residents
how to self-provision with hand-made solar hot water systems and small wind and solar
As a National Geographic Emerging Explorer since 2009 Culhane introduced his own designs
for low cost biodigesters to community leaders in many African countries, including
building with former Nigerian president Obasanjo at his home and community, as well
as working in schools and communities in or next to wildlife reserves in Kenya, Tanzania,
Rwanda, Botswana, South Africa and Swaziland to help stop deforestation, soil erosion,
wildfires and indoor air pollution.
He has gone around the world teaching others to innovate, design and construct their
own home scale biodigester and vertical aeroponic systems out of low-cost local materials
as part of his "food-waste-to-fuel-and-fertilizer" initiative and researching the
challenges of sustainable self-provisioning faced by low income residents and pioneered
research into "cold-climate adaptations for small scale biogas" and efforts to bring
"domestic dragon" home biogas systems into homes and communities in cold regions of
the world, from Alaska to Germany to New York, Pennsylvania and Native American reservations
near Standing Rock South Dakota.
Culhane is currently a board member of the Rosebud Continuum Sustainability Education
Center in Land O Lakes, FL, where he and his wife live a life of "voluntary simplicity"
off-grid in an RV on a suburban farm, using solar energy for electricity, cooking
on food-waste derived biogas, recycling their shower water and growing a portion of
their food through aquaponics, hydroponics and aeroponics.
Culhane is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative and United Religions Initiative,
bringing Food/Energy/Water Nexus solutions and systems thinking to areas in need,
with an active "commitment to action" to bring small-scale waste-to-energy and food
production technologies to areas impacted by the refugee crisis.
His service includes recent work in Baghdad, Iraq with the US Embassy and United Nations
"Greening the Blue" initiative, the refugee serving areas of Jordan, eco-villages
in the Palestinian West Bank, the MASHAV international development program with the
Arava Institute of the Environment in Israel, and Heart in Haiti school in Port au