School of Global Sustainability conference ends at USF

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Dr. Linda Whiteford, USF Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Strategic Initiatives, posed a question to the panel,  asking why it is difficult for people to connect climate change to health and to make necessary changes?


Dr. Heide Castañeda, immigrant and refugee health researcher, responded that “understanding how people perceive risks and how they choose to deal with it is the key to reaching people on a personal level.”


Dr. Boo Kwa, whose research involves finding drugs for malaria and other mosquito-born diseases, went further in discussing the breakdown between what society deems as important and the “popular” alternatives, and how society makes the mistake of taking the “popular” route.


“The idea of walking your kids to school is a great one, but the idea needs to come across as a 'cool' thing to do, otherwise it's not appealing,” he said, “In China, people are using more bikes, because it is perceived as a cool activity that is part of the modern lifestyle. So, I think the mindset associated with becoming more sustained has to change first.”


Dr. Martin Schönfeld said it goes beyond society doing what is perceived as the “cool” thing to do.  He said there is a resistance of leaving a steady state of living in order to adopt another.


“When you're a smoker, or a meat eater, or a heavy commuter, it takes a lot to be cognitive of any effects and to make the move to a healthier state,” Schönfeld said.


He elaborated on his comment that on a larger scale, as a country, it helps “when you look around and see how other countries are becoming more aware of sustainability and making those moves, because nobody wants to fall behind.”


Dr. George Luber discussed the possible downfall to their efforts.


“The downstream effects of our policy can affect other countries negatively and it's important to acknowledge those,” Luber said, “sustainability does cost money, so it's important to keep this in mind as we go along.”


Dr.  Schönfeld tied the discussion to the opening of the School of Global Sustainability at USF. [image-1]


“It's a buzz kill [for the younger generation], because it's not fun to talk about. The best way is to get this generation to think in terms of benefits and let the gains speak for themselves,” he said, “it's tough trying is trying to connect “healthy” with the “cool” thing to do. What needs to be done is actually show that it's better to evolve and to grow and to become sustained.  He said the answer is in getting the younger generation to relate on a personal level.


“This generation is the makers of the future. They are the post carbon, post capitalist, post consumer world. I'm excited to see what comes about. To me it's daunting and awesome at the same time.”


Dean of USF Graduate School, Dr. Karen Liller (pictured above) closed the panel with information about the Masters of Arts in Global Sustainability program.


“The curriculum will focus on water and sustainability, and also being unveiled is the interesting internship program, which will allow students to travel internationally.”


Liller mentioned that the school will primarily be conducted online, adding that it is the only online global sustainability masters degree in the state of Florida.



The University of South Florida announced its new School of Global Sustainability this week. As an introduction, the school held a two-day conference held yesterday and today at USF's Marshall Center.



Today's conference, included a USF faculty panel, discussing climate change and its relation to health. Faculty present on the panel were Dr. Maya Trotz of engineering, Dr. Heide Castañeda of anthropology, Dr. Boo Kwa and Dr. Ricardo Izurieta of public health and Dr. Martin Schönfeld of philosophy. Guest speaker, Associate Director for Global Climate Change National Center for Environmental Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. George Luber, was also among the panel.



Each panelist highlighted their area of study and how it related to global sustainability in connection to health.



Dr. Maya Trotz said she works closely with the WARE project (Water Awareness Research and Education), which is funded by the EPA.



It consists of a local community group in east Tampa and also, elementary and middle schools who further examine urban redevelopment and water quality issues in external ponds out here,” she said, “this project mainly focuses on a neighborhood that is actively reinvesting in properties in this area that are in distress.”



Dr. Trotz said she views the project as a long-term goal.



What we are doing right now is using it as a field-site to talk about curriculum changes with the school and also with the community so that we increase science literacy, which will eventually lead to improved community health.”



Dr. Linda Whiteford, USF Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Strategic Initiatives, posed the question to the panel asking why it is difficult for people to connect climate change to health and to make necessary changes?


Dr. Heide Castañeda, immigrant and refugee health researcher, explained that “understanding how people perceive risks and how they choose to deal with it is the key to reaching people on a personal level.”



Dr. Boo Kwa, whose research involves finding drugs for malaria and other mosquito-born diseases, went further in discussing the breakdown between what society deems as important and the “popular” alternatives, and how society makes the mistake of taking the “popular” route.



The idea of walking your kids to school is a great one, but the idea needs to come across as a “cool” thing to do, otherwise it's not appealing,” he said, “In China, people are using more bikes, because it is perceived as a cool activity that is part of the modern lifestyle. So, I think the mindset associated with becoming more sustained has to change first.”



Dr. Martin Schönfeld said it goes beyond society doing what is perceived as the “cool” thing to do, he said there is a resistance of leaving a steady state of living in order to adopt another.



When you're a smoker, or a meat eater, or a heavy commuter, it takes a lot to be cognitive of any effects and to make the move to a healthier state,” Schönfeld said.



He elaborated on his comment that on a larger scale, as a country, it helps “when you look around and see how other countries are becoming more aware of sustainability and making those moves, because nobody wants to fall behind.”



Dr. George Luber discussed the possible downfall to their efforts.



The downstream effects of our policy can affect other countries negatively and it's important to acknowledge those,” Luber said, “sustainability does cost money, so it's important to keep this in mind as we go along.”



Dr. Schönfeld tied the discussion to the opening of the School of Global Sustainability.



It's a buzz kill [for the younger generation], because it's not fun to talk about. The best way is to get this generation to think in terms of benefits and let the gains speak for themselves,” he said, “it's tough trying is trying to connect “healthy” with the “cool” thing to do. What needs to be done is actually show that it's better to evolve and to grow and to become sustained.


He said the answer is in getting the younger generation to relate on a personal level.



This generation is the makers of the future. They are the post carbon, post capitalist, post consumer world. I'm excited to see what comes about. To me it's daunting and awesome at the same time.”



Dean of USF Graduate School, Dr. Karen Liller closed the panel with information of the opening Masters of Arts in Global Sustainability.



The curriculum will focus on water and sustainably and also being unveiled is the interesting internship program, which will allow students to travel internationally.”



Liller mentioned that the school will primarily be conducted online, adding that it is the only online global sustainability masters degree in the state of Florida.


The University of South Florida announced its new School of Global Sustainability this week. As an introduction, the school held a two-day conference held yesterday and today at USF's Marshall Center.

Today's conference, included a USF faculty panel, discussed climate change and its relation to health. Faculty present on the panel were Dr. Maya Trotz of the engineering department, Dr. Heide Castañeda of anthropology, Dr. Boo Kwa and Dr. Ricardo Izurieta of public health and Dr. Martin Schönfeld of philosophy. Guest speaker, Associate Director for Global Climate Change National Center for Environmental Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. George Luber (pictured left), was also among the panel.

Each panelist highlighted their area of study and how it related to global sustainability in connection to health.

Dr. Maya Trotz said she works closely with the WARE project (Water Awareness Research and Education), which is funded by the EPA.

“It consists of a local community group in east Tampa and also, elementary and middle schools who further examine urban redevelopment and water quality issues in external ponds out here,” she said, “this project mainly focuses on a neighborhood that is actively reinvesting in properties in this area that are in distress.”

Dr. Trotz said she views the project as a long-term goal.

“What we are doing right now is using it as a field-site to talk about curriculum changes with the school and also with the community so that we increase science literacy, which will eventually lead to improved community health.”

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