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.

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 course, The Future of Food: Environment, Health and Policy, and he facilitates an undergraduate course on sustainable urban development in the USF Honors College. 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.

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.


IDS 6233 – Concepts and Principles of Sustainability

IDS 6938 – Future of Food: Environment, Health and Policy

IDH 3350 – Honors Natural Science: The Global Challenge of Sustainable Urban Development


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.

Writing a book chapter for edited book, Cuba at the Crossroads. My chapter will be entitled, “The Rise of Urban Agriculture in Cuba: Sustainabilitism in an Emergent Caribbean Nation.”

The 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. Application Development (smart technology for food waste inventory, tracking, and monitoring)
  6. Food Waste 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 Waste Reduction 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 waste reduction technologies, and foster and strengthen partnerships with businesses and non-profit organizations in the hunger reduction and food waste recovery network
  • This project is under the supervision of Dr. Joseph Dorsey, Adjunct Professor and Director of Food Sustainability and Security


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.

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