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Patel College of Global Sustainability Alum work with Professor TH Culhane to Develop New Sustainability Center—The Rosebud Continuum Education Center

June 28th, 2017


The Rosebud Continuum, located in Land O'Lakes, FL opened to the public this summer. The education center, whose mission is to teach at all levels about sustainable living and technologies in a practical, hands on environment will be open to Hillsborough County K-12 students and will also serve as an internship experience for graduate students. Drs. TH Culhane and Joseph Dorsey and PCGS alum will teach the students sustainability from the view point of the Food/Energy/Water Nexus.

The Rosebud Center is home to several types of biodigester, large and small—technology that converts organic waste into clean cooking gas and liquid fertilizer. "It is the heart of sustainability in that this one central yet decentralized technology provides simple but effective solutions to our food energy water and waste management challenges," Dr. Culhane explains. "It is economically, socially, and environmentally viable, it can be built anywhere by anyone, and it engages students at all levels in what is possibly the best STEM curriculum activity for education and development." The center is being built with input and volunteer labor from Patel College and other USF students and faculty, and invites more volunteers from the USF community who are interested in learning more about the latest sustainable practices and technologies.

As part of their community partnership program for sustainability education, 13 biodigesters have been installed in the Tampa Bay area. One of the most recent installations was at MOSI, where further research is taking place to develop a low-cost home-scale biodigester that anyone can build ( In addition to the local installation of these systems, biodigesters have been built and delivered internationally and are operational in several countries.

In June, Drs. TH Culhane and David Randle and their team delivered a biodigester to Cuba, installing it at Hemingway Marina ( Dr. T.H. Culhane and his team have also been working in Jordan since last fall to assist displaced people by placing biodigestors in their camps and around the region. Dr. Culhane continues to push this technology to make it as widely available as possible. This November, a biodigester will be placed on Bob Ballard's research vessel, The Nautilus, well-known for discovering the wreckage of the Titanic. Dr. Culhane plans to install it with students from an inner city school in Long Beach, California. Research continues at the Rosebud Continuum in collaboration with NASA engineers to develop smaller biodigesters that can be introduced in the near future on the International Space Station, the moon and Mars.