In 2007 President Donna E. Shalala signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. This historic signing demonstrated the University of Miami’s dedication to sustainability. As part of this commitment, a Climate Action Plan was designed in 2009,the first of its kind.
The University of Miami, via this report, has taken its first steps towards carbon neutrality and has reduced Green House Gases emissions levels despite a growing university.

Green U represented UM at the South East Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit this past Oct 1st and 2nd.

The Honorable Harvey Ruvin, Clerk of the Courts, Miami-Dade County with UM Sustainability Manager, Teddy Lhoutellier at the SEF Climate Leadership Summit 10.02.14

The annual Summit is coordinated by the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, a partnership between Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties, their municipalities and the Institute for Sustainable Communities.

Green U, students from the Environmental Justice Center - School of Law and the Abess Center were there

Faculty members like Sustainability expert, Dr. Van Leer, or Dr Sonia Chao, Director of UM Center for Urban and Community Design were also be present.

We helped visitors learn about UM’s latest Climate Change mitigation initiatives. Special emphasis was given to Climate Adaptation Research where UM is clearly among the main leaders in the Nation: A screen was on display showing a rendering video of the new Marine Technology & Life Sciences Seawater Complex. The Complex opened at the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science on Oct 2nd. It will provide research and teaching laboratories in two critical areas: air-sea interactions and biology of living marine organisms, including a wind-wave-storm surge simulator capable of generating Category 5 hurricane-force winds in a three-dimensional test environment, a state of the art tool, unique in the World.
To learn more about it, visit RSMAS - SUSTAIN

Today, Dr. Shalala is reaffirming UM’s commitment to Sustainability:
“In many ways, Florida is a testing ground for how the United States will manage the risks of climate change. Will we sit by and watch as many of our coastal cities face an ever-rising sea, and as severe heat strains our electric grids and hobbles our workers? Or will we act now to help reduce the risk that these impacts will spiral out of control in the future? It’s time for us all to step up.”

Donna A. Shalala is Member of the Risky Business Project Committee




The University of Miami’s 2009 Climate Action Plan was a proposal of logical steps to fulfill long-term goals of greenhouse gas emission reductions. Future scenarios, accomplishments, recommendations, and all important interim steps were detailed in this Report.

The categories of green house gas sources were analyzed given three general categories:
Scope 1, Direct Sources (produced on campus):
- “Including (but not limited to): production of electricity, heat, or steam; transportation, materials, products, waste, and community members; and fugitive emissions (from unintentional leaks).”
Scope 2, Indirect Sources (produced off campus but imported on):
- “Includes GHG emissions from imports of electricity, heat or steam – generally those associated with the generation of imported sources of energy.”
Scope 3, Indirect sources (produced off campus but related to institution):
- “These result from the institution’s activities, but occur from sources owned or controlled by another company. Includes: business travel, outsourced activities and contracts, emissions from waste generated by the institution when the GHG emissions occur at a facility controlled by another company, e.g. methane emissions from land-filled waste, and the commuting habits of community members.” WBCSD/WRI,

An important part of this report was to get an idea of Greenhouse gas emissions for the entire university. Below is the information from our 2004-2007 baseline Green House Gases Inventory by emissions types.

The initial goal for the University of Miami is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 20 % of 2005 levels by the year 2020.This reduction should occur despite growth in the university’s built environment. This graph outlines the emission reduction goals of the university compared to the projected increase in gross square footage.




Faculty Experts  - Research at RSMAS


University of Miami - Marine Technology & Life Sciences Seawater Complex

Research at RSMAS

The University of Miami’s Marine Technology & Life Sciences Seawater Complex will open at the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science in 2013. The new complex will provide research and teaching laboratories in two critical areas: air-sea interactions and biology of living marine organisms, including a wind-wave-storm surge simulator capable of generating Category 5 hurricane-force winds in a three-dimensional test environment.

Faculty Experts

Welcome to a list of University of Miami experts on subjects related to green initiatives. Please browse our listing by selecting from the following topics below.

If you cannot reach the faculty expert listed, or need a source for a topic not listed below, please contact the Media Relations Office at 305-284-5500.

Browse experts by subject:

Climate Change and Global Warming
Ocean Policy
Hydrogen Fuels Cell Technology/Alternative Energy

UM Professor, Dr. Harold Wanless on Sea Level Rise in South Florida



The CLEO Institute

The CLEO Institute’s Founder and Executive Director, Caroline Lewis, was a high school teacher and principal for 22 years. She moved on to become the Director of Education at Fairchild Botanic Garden, where she created programs and expanded outreach by 800%.

Lewis frequently speaks at summits and conferences and has influenced environmental education efforts in institutions around the United States and internationally. In December 2012, she was appointed to the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Environmental Education Advisory Council. In 2013, she was one of twelve individuals recognized as a White House Community Resilience Champion of Change for building climate resilience in the community through her work at CLEO.

CLEO’s lead advisor is Dr. Harold Wanless, a nationally renowned scientist, professor and department chair of Geological Sciences at the University of Miami. Scores of other scientists, educators, leaders, specialists (government and non-governmental, local and national) also provide tremendous support and expertise, as does CLEO’s staff, strong Board of Directors, Advisory Council, Youth Task Force, and Volunteer Corps.