Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.90
Liaison Kathleen Crawford
Submission Date July 23, 2020

STARS v2.2

Florida Gulf Coast University
PRE-2: Points of Distinction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete N/A
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
The Water School

A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:

"Many people live, work and play in Florida because of the water, but as water quality declines, leading business sectors – from tourism to agriculture, from recreation to real estate – suffer regularly from devastating losses.

Situated in the midst of critical freshwater and saltwater systems, FGCU scholars are uniquely positioned to take on these pressing issues and develop comprehensive solutions. Building on two decades of proven academic excellence in water-related research and initiatives — as well as in business, health and engineering — the university officially launched The Water School with a March 22 event based at FGCU’s Vester Marine and Environmental Science Research Field Station in Bonita Springs.

The new school brings disciplines from across campus together to focus on one subject: water." (https://fgcu360.com/2019/03/22/new-water-school-new-approach-issues-facing-florida/)

The Water School's comprehensive nature allows us to focus on areas critical to our water-driven world: climate change, natural resources, ecosystem health, human health and well-being, restoration and remediation. The Water School uses a holistic approach that focuses on the environmental sciences but also draws in the social sciences, health sciences, business and engineering. It was designed to:

-Feature state-of-the-art research and learning facilities where students receive the professional preparation they need to tackle real-world problems.

-Bring together all water-focused faculty from the marine and ecological sciences, biology, engineering and business fields.

-Integrate our off-campus facilities that provide access to the Gulf of Mexico, estuaries, rivers and the Everglades.

-Draw in local, national and international partners and open the doors to new partnerships.

-Conduct outreach and education programs in our local communities so that we help create a more water-literate society.

-Empower FGCU to claim its rightful place as a leading, independent source of environmental and scientific knowledge.

-Take the lessons we learn here and apply them throughout the state, nation and world.

https://issuu.com/floridagulfcoastuniversity/docs/water_school_booklet?fr=sZTljNTQ5NzE5NQ


Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Research
Public Engagement
Transportation
Water

Website URL where more information about the accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
AC-10

A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
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Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
Required course: The University Colloquium: A Sustainable Future

A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:

From the start, Florida Gulf Coast University has required a sustainability course of all undergraduates: The University Colloquium: A Sustainable Future

Conceptual basis for University Colloquium
Adopted January 15, 1997: Dean’s Council Meeting

We have made a commitment as a university to make environmental education an integral part of our identity. One of our university-wide outcomes is that all students will develop “an ecological perspective.” A way to accomplish this perspective is to devise a course, or group of experiences, with an environmental focus that all FGCU undergraduate students must complete, and in which faculty from all five colleges would be involved. Because “ecology” applies to our total living space and interrelationships, human and natural, it is relevant to all our disciplines and professions. Thus, an ecology course would touch on all the university-wide goals and outcomes, and more. Students would not be introduced to FGCU values, they would participate in them.

Goals:
The University Colloquium is an interdisciplinary environmental education course designed to explore the concept of sustainability as it relates to a variety of considerations and forces in the environment. In particular, we will consider ecological, social, ethical, historical, scientific, economic, and political influences. The course goals are:

To provide a "sense of place" and an understanding of the unique ecological features of the environment of which you are a part;
To assist in developing an ecological perspective and a commitment to community awareness and involvement in order for students to know the issues related to economic, social, and ecological sustainability, analyze and evaluate ecological issues locally and globally, participate in projects requiring awareness and/or analysis of ecological and environmental issues;
To provide experiences to assist in moving toward achieving the university learning goals of effective communication skills and critical thinking skills as well as the university’s stated mission of “practicing and promoting environmental sustainability and “encouraging civic responsibility”;
To enable a practical understanding of sustainability, of environmental education, and of ecological literacy.
Student Learning Outcomes
Students are expected to:

Demonstrate an understanding of environmental issues through writing and class participation.
Critically analyze environmental issues from economic, social, political, and ecological perspectives.
Describe the unique ecological features of the area and analyze Southwest Florida’s unique environmental and ecological challenges.
Demonstrate a practical understanding of sustainability, sense of place, and ecological literacy.


Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Curriculum

Website URL where more information about the second program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the second program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
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A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
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Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
15 Acre 2MW Solar Photovoltaic Array

A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

The Florida legislature appropriated $8.5 million to FGCU during the 2008 legislative session to construct a solar energy field. FGCU formed a public-private partnership resulting in the construction of a $17 million project.

Florida Gulf Coast University's 15-acre solar photovoltaic array that produces approximately 85 percent of the energy needed to operate its Engineering and Business School buildings, as well as AB-7, the science laboratory and classroom building for the College of Arts and Sciences has been in operation for a decade. The University’s total reliance on Florida Power & Light Co. is reduced by 18 percent, thanks to the power generated by rows and rows of solar panels near the main entrance to campus.

https://www2.fgcu.edu/CRM/Files/pinnacle_0910-2_winter.pdf


Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Energy

Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
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A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
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