Eckerd College environmental studies professor mentors three Ford scholars for academic publication – News


This early scholar, Haley Busch ’16, née Burger, an environmental studies graduate from Gainesville, Florida, worked with the campus Office of Sustainability and constantly observed the gaps between intention and practice all around her. .

“I wanted to look at the work of other campuses that had committed to creating sustainable infrastructure to see what I could bring back to Eckerd,” says Busch, who currently works as outreach director for 1000 Friends of Florida, a non-profit environmental policy firm in St. Petersburg.

Sherry drew on her expertise to train Busch in conducting qualitative research interviews. Armed with a data collection model, Busch traveled up the East Coast during the summer before his senior year and visited 11 campuses between Florida and Maine. It took almost the entire academic year to prepare her research for her Ford Scholar paper, and Sherry continued to work with her even after she graduated and started her first job at Eckerd.

In June 2017, after submission and revision, Sustainability published “Overcoming Barriers: Organizational Effectiveness of College Sustainability Offices,” as Busch prepared to begin his Masters in Public and Urban Policy at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

Tivona, an environmental studies graduate from Fort Collins, Colorado, knew she wanted Sherry to mentor Ford because he was already mentoring her in college. She used life cycle analysis to determine that meat and cheese significantly increase the carbon footprint of a commercial kitchen, but not all vegetables were off the hook. “Reducing the environmental impact of catering in universities using life cycle analysis” was published in the International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education.

Sherry’s third Ford Scholar, Jenny Koester ’19, chose him as a mentor even though her major was marine science.

“Professor Sherry was my instructor for Green Design, and I knew I wanted to do something in industrial sustainability and marine science,” says Koester, who came to Eckerd from Warrenville, Illinois. “Salmon farming was a way to marry the two disciplines.

Obtaining the data for his research would be the most difficult test as Koester wanted to study whether the environmental certifications added to farmed salmon labels actually corresponded to a more sustainable production footprint. She needed to visit a farm to tap into Sherry’s expertise in how to conduct a life cycle assessment, or a multi-faceted operational assessment, to determine the use of resources and energy to create a desired outcome or product.


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