Dr. Joseph Dorsey

Dr. Joseph Dorsey
Director of Food Sustainability & Security

(813) 974-5883

Dr. Joseph W. Dorsey is an Adjunct Professor, Food Sustainability and Security Concentration Director in the Patel College of Global Sustainability (PCGS) at the University of South Florida (USF), Tampa, and a LEED Green Associate.

Dr. Dorsey holds a B.S. in Human Ecology from Howard University in Washington, D.C., with a major in human nutrition and food. In addition, he conducted graduate research in International Development at Howard University. His Master’s thesis was entitled, “Transferability of Hydroponic Technology to Arid and Semi-arid Regions.”

Dr. Dorsey earned his Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environment from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, specializing in environmental policy and behavior. Dr. Dorsey is an experienced educator in the interdisciplinary fields of environmental justice, urban ecology, and sustainability science. He has held faculty positions at Michigan State University, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and the University of South Florida – St Petersburg.

Dr. Dorsey has worked extensively with community groups on social and environmental issues in Detroit and Flint, Michigan, Cincinnati, Ohio, and St. Petersburg, Florida. Prior to his doctoral career, Joseph was a clinical nutritionist in Africa and the Caribbean, and a public health professional in the United States.

In the Patel College of Global Sustainability, Dr. Dorsey teaches the MA program’s core course, Concepts and Principles of Sustainability and the food concentration courses, The Future of Food: Environment, Health and Policy and Bio-resources for a Sustainable Future. His research interests include brownfield redevelopment; urban agriculture in developed and developing nations; corporate social responsibility and sustainability management; residential lawn, yard and xeriscaping practices; and community economic empowerment initiatives such as neighborhood gardens, vertical farms, and hydroponic growing operations.

(Watch video: “Sustainable Food Systems in an Age of Climate Change”)


IDS 6233 – Concepts and Principles of Sustainability (core course)

IDS 6217 – Future of Food: Environment, Health and Policy (concentration course)

IDS 6938 – Bio-resources for a Sustainable Future (concentration course)


Working on publication for peer-reviewed journal, Ecological Modelling. Title of paper: “Sustainability Factors in Dynamical Systems Modelling: Simulating the Non-Linear Aspects of Multiple Equilibria.” (2017) Co-author: Dr. Leon C. Hardy, Physics Professor, USF St. Petersburg

"The Food Resource Research and Development Program"

Three (3) Tracks:

Food Production Projects

  1. Organic Agriculture (permaculture, food forests, edible landscapes, Kyminasi plant technology)
  2. Community Supported Agriculture (neighborhoods, schools, churches, botanical gardens, farmers markets)
  3. Water-base Agriculture (drip irrigation, hydroponics, aeroponics, aquaponics, aquaculture)
  4. Controlled Environment Agriculture (greenhouses, brown-fields, warehouses, vertical farms)
  5. Environmental Shell Agriculture (green roofs, green walls)

Food Supply/Security Projects

  1. Food Supply Chains (wholesale, retail, stores, groceries, supermarkets)
  2. Eateries (restaurants, carry-outs, delivery services, food courts, catering, fast food, etc.)
  3. Food Security (hunger reduction networks, food banks, food pantries, shelters, disaster relief)

Food Waste Projects

  1. Conservation Behavior (psycho-social consumption patterns to prevent food waste)
  2. Composting (converting food waste to soil fertilizer)
  3. Biomass Use (using bio-digesters to transform food waste into bio-gas and liquid fertilizer)
  4. Food Waste Management (operationalizing the 4 R’s: Reduce, Recover, Repurpose, Replace)
  5. App Development (Web-based smart technology for food resource inventory, tracking, monitoring and reporting)
  6. Food Policy and Politics (policy analysis, social commentary, recommendations)
  7. Food Waste Metrics (develop scales, indicators and measuring tools to create a “Sustainability Food Print” metric system)
  • As an academic institution, our goal is to become the premier Food Resource Research and Development Program in the nation within the next five years.
  • To achieve this goal, PCGS plans to conduct cutting edge, forward thinking food systems research, develop ground-breaking food resource technologies, and foster and strengthen partnerships with corporations, businesses, academic institutions, and non-profit organizations in local, regional, national and global food systems networks.


Green Energy Living Systems, Inc. (GELS) – Co-Founder and Board Member: Green Energy Living Systems, Inc. (GELS) is a 501 C (3) non-profit organization established to research, design, and develop viable solutions to “real world” challenges involving the overall sustainability of human society. Incorporated in 2012 and based in St. Petersburg, Florida, GELS is a living/learning lab, think tank, business incubator, information clearinghouse, and consulting agency.

Rosebud Continuum – Board Member: The Rosebud Continuum is a newly formed 501 C (3) non-profit organization established to be an eco-farm and demonstration site for green technologies and sustainability operations. Based in a 20-acre plot of land and lake in Land O’Lakes, Florida, GELS is collaborating with the Rosebud Continuum to build a hydroponic vertical farm operation in a controlled greenhouse environment. Non-profit SolarCities’ on-site bio-digesters will supply bio-gas for energy and substrate for fertilizer.

EmailFood Sustainabilty & SecurityCV/Vita