USF Partners with the City of Dunedin
December 7th, 2017
By: Ashlee Painter
Starting in Spring of 2018, the USF Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships and the USF Patel College of Global Sustainability (PCGS) will begin a partnership with the City of Dunedin. Dunedin is located on the west coast of central Florida, about 35 miles west of Tampa. It has a rich cultural heritage and is steeped in Florida's history. The city has remained true to the Scottish roots of its founders, while maintaining the natural environment that has drawn visitors from all over the world. Dunedin has made a commitment to become a more sustainable city and has achieved Platinum Level as a Green Local Government through the Florida Green Building Coalition. The new partnership with USF will help the city continue to support their efforts of achieving citywide sustainability.
The City of Dunedin has identified several project areas in which they will utilize graduate students to conduct studies. The students will work under the mentorship of an USF faculty member to develop strategies to address real world situations. PCGS has taken on 3 of the proposed projects, which are Carbon Footprint Diet/Greenhouse Gas Audit, Solar Energy Leadership, and Living Shorelines (habitat protection for humans, plants and animals). Students in the college will have several opportunities to work on the projects during their time at PCGS. Professors are taking integrative approaches to these projects and incorporating them into coursework. Graduate students will also have the option of identifying individual research initiatives within the larger projects to use for their Academic Capstone Experience.
The collaboration between the City of Dunedin and USF will be beneficial to all parties involved. Students will be gaining real world experience in their field and the city will be gaining important research capacity at a relatively low cost. It will be exciting to see the impacts our students and faculty will have towards the future sustainability of one of Florida's well-known coastal cities.