skip navigation

Florida Gulf Coast University

Website Directory  

Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education

 Welcome to the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education

       The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education would like to welcome back all faculty, staff, and students from what we hope was a relaxing and enjoyable summer.  With the beginning of the new semester, the Center is back in full swing and Center staff members are ready to begin the new academic year.  This year the Center would like to welcome new student assistants Sarah Davenport and Uzair Iqbal and new community volunteer Bob Soter to the team. We would also like to welcome back Judy Rosenberg, Kevin Bedson, and Onye’ Ogene. Also, a special welcome back to Center Director Peter Blaze Corcoran!


       New student assistant, Uzair Iqbal, is an Environmental Studies Major with a Minor in Interdisciplinary Studies. He was born in Pakistan and moved to San Antonio, Texas 10 years ago. Three years ago, he transferred to Fort Myers to study at FGCU. After quickly getting involved in several student organizations he gained the experience to become the Director of Sustainability for Student Government. As a Student Assistant at the Center for Environmental Sustainability and Education he will be organizing and promoting the Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogue. He will also be providing technical and marketing support for the Center. Uzair hopes to one day lessen the environmental problems for Pakistan by increasing sustainability awareness.



New Student Assistant Sarah Davenport is a sophomore at Florida Gulf Coast University majoring in Anthropology. She is also a Service Learning coordinator at the FGCU Food Forest and is passionate about permaculture as a sustainable form of living. Sarah’s roles at the Center include website maintenance and organizing the Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogue. While working at the Center, Sarah hopes to engage students in sustainability issues and encourage students to pursue sustainable lifestyles.



Returning student assistant Onye’ Ogene is a senior at Florida Gulf Coast University, currently majoring in Environmental Studies with a minor in Environmental Education and Climate Change. Being raised in Miami, Florida has led to Onye’s extreme passion for the world’s oceans. She is highly interested in Marine Ecology and aspires to pursue a master’s degree in Marine Conservation and Policy. Onye has been working at the Center since the beginning of the 2015 spring semester, her role at the Center includes assisting with the SAGE (Student Associates for a Greener Environment) project, working on the website, and working on other Center projects. While working at them Center, Onye’ hopes to further the environmental education outreach at the university by raising awareness of the environmental changes the world is facing.


We will be looking to our student assistants to help us duplicate the success of previous years.  Last year, we were able to hold a number of successful events including our two signature events, The Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogue and Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture.

  The Center is already working hard in preparation for this year’s events. This year the Center will be hosting the Terry Tempest William Student Dialogue (TTWSD) on November 2, 2015 in the Cohen Center Ballroom. This year’s TTWSD will  focus on climate change and how students can get involved in climate action. There will be representatives from organizations on campus and in the community facilitating discussions in small groups. This event seeks to raise awareness and promote action on the issue. The Center has also started working on Student Associates for a Greener Environment (SAGE), which is a signature grant program of the Center that provides support to student sustainability projects under the direction of a faculty or staff mentor. Updates for SAGE can be found on the SAGE page, on the Center’s website. The Center will also be hosting the annual Rachael Carson Distinguished Lecture Weekend. The   Rachel   Carson Distinguished Lecture is named in her honor to keep her legacy alive among rising generations. Carson’s contribution to human understanding of our environment is unparalleled. Rachel  Carson’s  contributions,  most  relevant to  the  mission  of  the  Center,  are  public  policy based  on  sound  science and  ethics,  active  participation  of  an  ecologically  literate  citizenry,  and appreciation    of the natural world through the literary arts and environmental education.
The Center is excited to continue sharing its vision for a more sustainable and peaceful future for Earth through scholarship, education, and action, since its birth in 2004. In 11 years of excellence, the Center’s commitment to the FGCU and southwest Florida community has allowed the Center to share its vision with thousands of students, community members, and businesses on both local and international scales.

For more information please contact our Student Assistants at 239-590-7025 or the Executive Secretary at 239-590-7492



Academic Year in Review at the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education

Note from Brandon Hollingshead, Interim Director 2014-2015

Many thanks to the supporters, students, faculty, and staff that made Academic Year 2014-2015 a year of successful activity at the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education. This is a brief summary of our accomplishments this year on campus at Florida Gulf Coast University and in the wider world.

  • Student Associates for a Greener Environment: SAGE is a signature program of the Center that provides support to student sustainability projects under the direction of a faculty or staff mentor. This year the Center sponsored seven high-impact SAGE projects, ranging from sustainable butterfly gardens to permaculture to radical sustainable architecture.
  • Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogue: The student staff at the Center organized and hosted this year's signature dialogue event on the topic of "Talking on Water: Transforming Education into Action" on October 27, 2014. This was an educational event created by students for students just before the successful Amendment 1 land and water conservation initiative the passed in early November 2014.
  • Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture: This year's lecture was delivered by David W. Orr and Peter Blaze Corcoran on "Education in Turbulent Times: Perspectives from Rachel Carson's Hawk Mountain and Wangari Maathai's Karura Forest. It was delivered on campus to a standing-room only crowd and on Sainbel Island to a full audience at St. Michael and All Angels Church. Our keynote listeners on Sanibel were Walter Mondale and Reverend Ellen Sloane and our keynote listeners on campus were Dean Robert Gregerson, Sarah Davis, Katie Leone, and Uzair Iqbal.
  • Ongoing record of scholarship: Peter Blaze Corcoran and Brandon Hollingshead published the book Intergenerational Learning and Transformative Leadership for Sustainable Futures (Wageningen Academic Publishers). The Center was represented at many international environmental education conferences, including the North American Association for Environmental Education, the United Nations World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, the International Environmental Communication Association's Conference on Communication and the Environment, and several meetings of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
  • Ongoing record of international collaboration: Peter Blaze Corcoran made several contributions to advancing environmental and sustainability education in higher education in Africa, including work with University of Nairobi and Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. Corcoran also advanced environmental education policy at the United Nations Environment Programme through work with the Global Universities Partnership on Environment for Sustainability. The Center continues to provide a secretariat role for an emerging International Intergenerational Network of academic centers on sustainability in higher education.
  • Faculty and Staff Development: The Center provided professional development and support to faculty and staff interested in applying Earth Charter ethics and sustainability education in the courses and work at Florida Gulf Coast University.
  • Rachel Carson Award: This year's award was give to two longtime FGCU educators, Dr. Maria Roca and Dr. Jim Wohlpart in honor of their many contributions to the center and to sustainability education at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Thank you again to our supporters and stakeholders at Florida Gulf Coast University, in the Western Everglades and Barrier Islands of Southwest Florida, and in the wider community of scholars. We look forward to Peter Blaze Corcoran's return to FGCU and the re-opening the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education in August 2015 at the start of Academic Year 2015-2016.