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Sustainability Conference | Overview

    The College of Arts and Sciences Presents a Conference on Sustainability in Higher Education

    Sustainability in Higher Education

    A 2020 Vision for Teaching, Research, and Best Practices -

    It is with regret that we inform you of the cancellation of the Sustainability in Higher Education Conference at Saint Leo University, June 25-26, 2020. As COVID-19 continues to spread and with many countries and regions restricting travel and large gatherings, it is not feasible or ethical to continue with our conference.

    We will refund the registration of all participants and exhibitor fees. 

    We hope to reschedule this conference for next year at about the same time and hope very much that you will join us then.



    June 25-26, 2020
    Saint Leo University, Kirk Hall

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    Conference Overview

    Photo BIO Environmental Science Soil Sampling

    Broadly described, sustainability is a focus on the preservation of existing resources for continuous use by future generations. Implied within sustainability are essential commitments to renewable energies, improved freshwater stewardship and agricultural efficiencies, biodiversity conservation, as well as increases in global economic and political parity and environmental justice. Such commitments demand innovations and a rich understanding of multiple histories – ecological, geological, economic, political, social – in order to enable the behavioral shifts that will support sustainable practices moving into the future.

    The disciplines of the natural and social sciences, from biology, engineering, chemistry, and environmental science, to global studies, sociology, political science, economics, and more, collectively provide a firm foundation from which to innovate solutions to challenges that will otherwise inhibit our progress towards more sustainable practices. The humanities, too, provide historical perspectives as well as vital insights into past and present human behaviors and values, and inspire creativity, develop empathy, and prompt us to reflect on our shared humanity. The multidisciplinary natures of many colleges and universities, combined with their commitments to teaching and research, perfectly suit them for enabling progress towards greater understandings and innovations in the sustainability sector. Institutions of higher education can also be accessible models for successful sustainability implementations and innovations.

    Students by tank with fish

    Saint Leo University has recognized the importance of our own contributions to this effort and, in 2020, we are embarking on our own journey towards a more sustainable future with respect to our resource use and stewardship, as well as curricular enhancements that improve the ways in which we foster sustainability understanding in our students and develop new sustainability research initiatives and degree programs.

    To commence our commitment to new sustainability initiatives, we will be hosting a conference in June, 2020. The conference will aim to bring together numerous college and university constituencies – faculty, staff, administrators, students – to share ideas, successes, challenges, and best practices for infusing sustainability-related ideas into the curriculum and incorporating sustainability initiatives into established institutional infrastructures.

    The conference will provide attendees with opportunities for sharing via oral and poster presentations, and teaching and learning via interactive workshops and expert panels that will focus on three main areas:

    1. curriculum
    2. research
    3. campus activities (best practices)

    By hosting this meeting, Saint Leo University seeks to facilitate fruitful dialogues about sustainability to better prepare ourselves for the growing importance of sustainable practices and preparing students for future jobs in the sustainability sector.

    Students in the Green House

    Saint Leo University, based in Saint Leo, Florida, in Pasco County, was established in 1889 by the Order of Saint Benedict of Florida. Our Benedictine heritage provided us with a set of core values which we hold dear: community, respect, integrity, excellence, responsible stewardship, and personal development. These core values guide our decisions, actions, and instruction. We seek balanced growth in mind, body, and spirit for all members of our community and are committed to student-centered liberal arts education. In addition to our main, residential campus located in the rolling hills of central Florida, we also serve students around the country through our regionally accredited online programs and Education Centers in seven states across the U.S., including on many military bases.

    Questions About the Conference?

    For more information or individuals with disabilities who anticipate the need for accommodations, please contact Karen Hannel at 352-588-7385 or in advance.