University of Florida promotes coordinator to direct Office of Sustainability

June 29, 2009

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Anna Prizzia, the former outreach coordinator of the University of Florida’s Office of Sustainability, has been named the new director, Ed Poppell, vice president for business affairs, announced today.

“My goal is to bring to life the vision for sustainability that we crafted with our campus community,” said Prizzia. “We have all the talent, expertise and dedication we need to make UF a model of sustainability in higher education. My job is to help connect the dots.”

Prizzia has a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and a master’s of science degree in wildlife ecology and conservation with a concentration in tropical conservation and development from UF. She has experience in natural resources management, volunteer coordination, and facilitation in the areas of education and the environment.

Prizzia has been outreach coordinator for the office since June 2007. Previously, she worked with the St. John’s River Water Management District, Alachua County Environmental Protection and the City of Gainesville to craft water education campaigns and coordinate a joint Watershed Action Volunteer program. Prizzia also was an environmental consultant and a Peace Corps volunteer in Vanuatu, an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean. Anna also serves on the boards of Sustainable Alachua County, Sustainable Florida and Slow Food Gainesville.

“Our primary job is to support all the hard work that is already going on across campus,” Prizzia said, “and to help connect our faculty, staff and students to the resources they need to successfully incorporate sustainability into their work and lives.”

Following in the footsteps of her predecessor, Dedee Delongpre-Johnston, Prizzia hopes to create programs that balance the environmental and social aspects of sustainability while remaining fiscally responsible.

“Dedee will be sorely missed, but the foundation she laid for the office is strong, and will help guide us moving forward,” Poppell said. “We are fortunate to have someone of Anna’s caliber in place to continue UF’s efforts and help us develop new ones. She has the know-how and the drive to keep UF as a university leader in sustainability.”

Programs and initiatives in the past few years include:

  • The “Green Team Network,” an effort to involve members of the campus community at all levels in achieving a more sustainable university. The Office of Sustainability works directly with Green Teams to develop strategies for sustainability that are a good fit for their colleges, departments, or organizations.
  • The “One Less Car” challenge to encourage members of the UF community to try one of the many options for travel other than a single-occupancy vehicle.
  • “Zero Waste by 2015,” a comprehensive waste composition study aimed at helping UF maximize its reduction, recycling and reuse efforts.
  • “Carbon Neutral by 2025,” a plan to capture as much efficiency as possible by working with units on campus to reduce energy use.

The office has also coordinated the Strategic Implementation Plans for the UF Vision for Sustainability, a comprehensive vision for sustainability at UF was created through a collaborative process with members of faculty, staff, students and administration over the past two years. The office is now crafting action plans for the next three years that will move UF closer to these visions and goals.