Get Involved

Join Ongoing Sustainability Projects

Building Energy Benchmarking Pilot Program.

The city of St. Petersburg has launched a Building Energy Benchmarking and Disclosure Policy that will guide policy makers in creating a statewide framework for reducing energy use and/or increasing energy generation by renewables.

The USF St. Petersburg campus has volunteered to participate in this pilot project by assessing the energy usage of buildings on campus. Through this exercise students are tasked with tracking of building energy bills, set goals and assess energy reduction opportunities.

Interested students should contact Matt Cimitile.

Creating a zero waste campus

This project entails the development of a comprehensive waste management plan for USF
St. Petersburg Campus. Students are involved with mapping out the placement of all trash and recycle bins on campus, researching methods for recycling in Florida, predicting future
waste of the campus and implementing strategies to creating a zero waste campus.

Interested students should contact Matt Cimitile.

Bayboro food forest expansion across campus

The Bayboro Food Forest expansion aims to increase our carbon sequestration capacity while enhancing food security and sovereignty on-campus. Also, where possible, this project will increase access to aesthetically pleasing green spaces for the campus community.

Students will work with professionals who specialize on regenerative agriculture, edible landscaping and permaculture, look at state and local policies on urban agriculture, identify financial incentives available, work with professionals to design food systems for function and maintenance.

Interested students should contact Matt Cimitile.

Recovering resources from organic waste on campus

Student and faculty at USF are investigating using the nutrient rich effluent recovered from the university’s aerobic biodigester commonly known as The ORCA as a substitute to chemical fertilizers. This is a step towards closing the campus’ food life cycle and reduces our solid and liquid waste footprint. Initial work, at the USF Greenhouse, has shown that ORCA water contains enough nutrients to support growth of healthy grass. This research is partly funded by ORCA and The College of Arts & Sciences.

Contact John Osegovic or Jim Ivey to learn more / get involved with this research project.

Sustainable Purchasing 

A Green Vendor Database is an ongoing project at the USF St. Petersburg campus. Sustainability students are working to put together a list of qualified sustainable vendors to be used by all departments on campus. These vendors will be selected based on their consideration of waste production, eco-friendly products, carbon footprint and more.

Interested students should contact Matt Cimitile.


USF’s St. Petersburg campus is one of only seven higher education institutions across the nation to receive a grant through the 2020 Ford College Community Challenge. A $25,000 grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund went towards a project that promotes food security in South St. Petersburg by producing up to 150 pounds of fresh vegetables for the community each month. The initiative engages around 30 college and high school students in agriculture and business development skills each semester. Learn more.

Participating classes 

ENC 3371- Rhetorical Theory for Technical Communication by Prof. Trey Conner

EVR4873 -  Environmental Policy and Sustainability by Prof. Brandon Schuler

Tree Inventory & Mapping Project

The Tree Inventory & Mapping Program utilizes students to identify, measure and
catalog the trees on the USF St. Petersburg campus. The goal is to create a digital interactive map that catalogs all the information collected for each tree. This information will be used in developing plans to diversify tree populations and expand the canopy cover over the campus.

All participants will receive a hands-on training to fully equip them with the necessary
skills needed to conduct assigned tasks. This project is in collaboration with the City of
St. Pete, USF Tampa campus and Tree Campus USA.

Interested students should contact Matt Cimitile.