Three internationally recognized scientists will address ocean-related impacts of climate change at a two-day conference at St. Petersburg College in October.

Presenting papers and debating their assertions with a panel of local experts at the Oct. 2-3 conference, titled “Sea Level Rise: What’s Our Next Move?” will be:

  • Harold Wanless, a University of Miami researcher who has studied the last 8,000 years of coastal environment evolution and has done extensive research into coastal geology
  • Andrew Keeler, whose Coastal Studies Institute at the University of North Carolina has delved into the economic aspects of coastal adaptation to rising seas.
  • John Englander, oceanographic consultant to government and industry who addresses large-scale financial and societal impacts of climate change.

The conference will focus on linking scientifically credible information to the formulation and implementation of sound, effective public and private-sector policies. It is being convened by the Institute on Science for Global Policy (ISGP), in coordination with the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College (ISPS), and a local committee of interested citizens. It will be held at the Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N. The public is invited, but advance registration is required.

The local event is one of a series of similar ISGP-sponsored conferences held around the country during 2015 aimed at engaging local communities in useful debates and caucus discussions concerning various aspects of climate issues. The goal is to reach consensus on practical options for mitigating and adapting to anticipated changes in the climate, all of which seek to define a sustainable future.

Dr. Wanless, Professor and Chair of the Department of Geological Sciences at U-M, advises policy makers at the local, state and federal levels. He was among five of Florida’s top climate scientists to brief Gov. Rick Scott on climate change in early 2015. His work includes documenting the geologic and historical evolution of coastal and shallow marine environments, and influences of sea level rise and anthropogenic stresses.

Dr. Keeler served on White House climate change policy teams under both President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush. He was Senior Staff Economist for Environment at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers in 2000-2001, where he was a member of the U.S. negotiating team for climate change. His research is on adaptation to environmental change, hazard insurance, ecosystem service assessment, integrated modeling of coastal real estate markets with environmental risk, ocean energy policy, climate change mitigation, and incentive-based policy design and implementation.

Englander, whose broad marine science background coupled with degrees in geology and economics allows him to see the big picture on climate, has served as CEO for such organizations as The Cousteau Society and The International Sea Keepers Society. His best-selling book, “High Tide On Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis,” explains the science behind sea level rise.

The “Sea Level Rise: What’s Our Next Move?” conference emphasizes critical deliberation and extended caucus discussions among the scientists, policymakers, students, and the public. On the first day, the examination of concise policy position papers prepared by the three scientists seeks to clarify the scientific and technical understanding of climate issues for non-specialists.

The caucuses that will convene on the second day will provide all participants and subject-matter experts with opportunities to candidly identify both areas of consensus and the corresponding actionable next steps relevant to climate issues in St. Petersburg and Pinellas County. Together, the deliberations and caucuses will provide a unique forum in which the climate issues observed worldwide can be viewed through the personal life choices and community-wide decisions facing the Tampa Bay region. The conference also confronts the often-challenging tasks required to formulate and implement effective policies related to scientific and technological understanding, especially when broad community support is required.

The debate/caucus format pioneered by the ISGP has been successfully used to examine a wide range of contemporaneously critical issues related to science and technology, including Emerging and Persistent Infectious Diseases and Food Safety, Security, and Defense.

The ISGP and St. Petersburg/Pinellas County Working Group are committed to ensuring that those participating are representative of the communities in Pinellas County, especially with respect to the diverse views and perspectives concerning climate issues.

Due to limited space availability and high interest in the topic, participants must attend both days of the conference.

The public may register for “Sea Level Rise: What’s Our Next Move?” at www.scienceforglobalpolicy.org or at solutions.spcollege.edu. For additional information, call the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at 727-394-6942.

Newsweek has named St. Petersburg Collegiate High School (SPCHS) as one of “America’s Top High Schools 2015,” ranking them #1 in Florida and #48 in  the nation.

“The Newsweek High School Rankings assess schools based on a broad range of data to determine which institutions do the best job of preparing students for college. A star next to a school’s name indicates that it meets our Equity measure by helping low-income students score at or above average on state assessments.” – Newsweek.com

SPCHS earned the top ranking in Florida and earned the star for their work with low-income students.

“I am grateful to the innovative and talented SPC/SPCHS staff and faculty who inspire and support our students to excel,” said Starla Metz, Principal, St. Petersburg Collegiate High School. “Congratulations to our dedicated and hardworking students.”

Other recent awards for SPCHS

Located on SPC’s St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, St. Petersburg Collegiate High School has earned:

A Pinellas County charter school, SPCHS has a unique mission to equip students to simultaneously earn a high school diploma, an Associate in Arts degree and a Bright Futures Scholarship.

Learn more about St. Petersburg Collegiate High School and St. Petersburg College’s other high school student options.

Time is running out to let the community know that the Palladium at St. Petersburg College is the best!

The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce has nominated the Palladium at St. Petersburg College as a “Good ‘Burger,” for the Best Cool Company: Medium (11-50).

Cast your vote online to help them become the “People’s Choice” winner.


Voting runs through Aug. 21 with the winners announced Sept. 3. The Palladium was selected by a committee of volunteers who spent several weeks looking through 97 nominees from more than 1,000 Chamber members.

right-footSt. Petersburg College will host free Friday seminars for students to prepare them to succeed in college. The seminars include breakfast, lunch and 40-minute workshops on a variety of helpful topics, such as time management, work and life balance and tips from other successful students.

The events, called Off on the Right Foot, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 21 at the Midtown Jamerson Center; and Aug. 28 at the Downtown Center and Clearwater Campus. Students are encouraged to register online as space is limited. Download the flier for full details.

St. Petersburg College’s 2015 Professors Emeriti will be honored at the college’s annual Fall Faculty event on Aug. 13. The event runs from 8 a.m. to noon and will be held at the Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. The event is not open to the public, but media is invited.

SPC 2015 Professors Emeriti

Each year, the St. Petersburg College honors select faculty members for their outstanding contributions to the college and dedication to increasing student success.

This year’s Professors Emeriti are:

  • Tami J. Grzesikowski, M.Ed., Dental Hygiene

Grzesikowski joined the college’s Dental Hygiene Program in January 1981. She became the college’s first Dean of Health Sciences, overseeing the bachelor’s degree program in Orthotics and Prosthetics, a degree completion program in Dental Hygiene and a bachelor’s degree program in Health Services Administration. She developed and oversaw the dental clinic’s Give Kids a Smile and Head Start Fluoride Varnish programs as well as the Back to School Care Fair for children from low-income families. She retired in 2012 and lives in Seminole.

  • Gabriel Horn, M.A., Communications

Horn, an award-winning author whose publications span four decades, came to St. Petersburg College as an adjunct professor in 1988, and became full time in 1992. From reservation schools to large universities, he has unwaveringly advocated the academic respect due the history, literature and philosophy of Native America. He co-founded and co-directed the first Native American Writers Camp for children on the Cherokee reservation and has instructed young journalists at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. He retired in 2012 and lives in St. Petersburg

  • Karen Miller, M.A., Communications

Miller taught Composition, American Literature, Film History, Reading and Speech for 23 years on the Clearwater and Seminole campuses. She won the Silverberg Award in 2000, and later, as an online faculty member, contributed to the development of two signature courses. She served three years as the Seminole Campus Faculty Council Chairwoman, seven years as Program Director/Academic Chairwoman for the Seminole Campus Communications Department and two years on the college’s Center of Excellence for Teaching and Learning Board. She retired in 2014 and lives in Madeira Beach.

  • Stephen P. Mikles, Ed.S., R.R.T., Respiratory Care (posthumous award)

Mikles came to St Petersburg College as an Assistant Professor of Respiratory Care in 1979 from the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical Center. He served as the Program Director of St. Petersburg College’s Respiratory Care Program from 1986 to 2013. He held several leadership positions in local and national Respiratory Care organizations including terms as president and treasurer of the Committee for Accreditation in Respiratory Care. He was a reviewer and contributor to several Respiratory Care publications and served on numerous St. Petersburg College committees and focus groups. He passed away on July 4, 2013.

SPC is proud to announce this year’s SPC Professors Emeriti and invites the community to share their memories and well wishes on the college blog dedicated to their service.


Let the community know that the Palladium at St. Petersburg College is the best!

The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce has nominated the Palladium at St. Petersburg College as a “Good ‘Burger,” for the Best Cool Company: Medium (11-50).

Cast your vote online to help them become the “People’s Choice” winner.


Voting runs through Aug. 21 with the winners announced Sept. 3. The Palladium was selected by a committee of volunteers who spent several weeks looking through 97 nominees from more than 1,000 Chamber members.

midtowngrandopening3More than 1,500 people joined the celebration on Saturday, Aug. 1 for St. Petersburg College’s grand opening of the new Douglas L. Jamerson, Jr. Midtown Center at 1300 22nd St. S.

The new 49,000-square-foot, state-of-the art center is named in honor of the late Douglas L. Jamerson, Jr., a longtime legislator and a Florida Commissioner of Education. Jamerson, a graduate of St. Petersburg College, was one of the most prominent politicians in the state of Florida and a fierce advocate for education. He passed away in 2001.

View pictures of today’s event on our Facebook Gallery.

“What a wonderful way to honor the work and life of Douglas Jamerson,” said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman.

In honor of their contributions to the community SPC President William D. Law, Jr., and the Board of Trustees, presented six honorary Bachelor of Arts in College and Community Services degrees to:

  • Goliath Davis III, former Deputy Mayor of Midtown Economic Development, City of St. Petersburg
  • Bruce Grimes, Real Estate and Property Management Director, City of St. Petersburg
  • Joseph H. Lang, President of Baynard, McLeod and Lang, PA, and SPC’s Board of Trustees Attorney
  • The Rev. Louis M. Murphy, Sr., Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church
  • The Rev. Wayne G. Thompson, First Baptist Institutional Church
  •  The Rev. Clarence A. Williams, Greater Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church.

SPC Trustee Deveron M. Gibbons spoke of how Jamerson mentored him over the years, recalling that he still carries with him Jamerson’s advice: “It’s not how powerful you can become – it’s how many people you can empower.”

Jamerson’s family received a standing ovation from the packed audience.

Rev. Murphy, who gave the invocation, said the new center brings “hope” and “opportunity” to the community.

Niki Johnson, President of the Midtown Center Student Government Association (SGA) and Alexis Clavizzao, President of the Downtown SGA, shared with the crowd their joy over the new center and how they believed it would have a profound impact on the community.

“I encourage everyone today to take advantage of the opportunities available to you and spread the name of SPC across the world,” Johnson said.

The event included presentations by prominent local officials and community activists, and a block party. Attendees toured the facility, built by locally owned LEMA Construction, and were able to take advantage of a slate of college services, such as academic and career advising, and assistance with registration and financial aid. The event – which was sponsored by Duke Energy and supported by LEMA Construction – also included complimentary lunch, multiple vendors, a “Kids Zone,” and live entertainment.

Guest speakers included:

  • Rick Kriseman, Mayor, City of St. Petersburg
  • Alex Glenn, President, Duke Energy, Florida
  • Trustee Gibbons
  • President Law, Jr.
  • SGA leaders Johnson and Clavizzao
  • Kevin Gordon, Provost, Midtown Center, St. Petersburg College
  • The Rev. Thompson, The Rev. Murphy and The Rev. Williams

Multiple other civic and community leaders were in attendance, including but not limited to: St. Petersburg Council Members Wengay Newton and Karl Nurse; Pinellas County Commissioners Kenneth T. Welch and Pat Gerard; St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway; Theresa “Momma Tee” Lassiter; and former St. Petersburg Mayor Bob Ulrich.

The new center includes graphic art installations that tell the story of the rich history of Midtown, and 22nd Street – affectionately nicknamed “The Deuces.” Community members walked the halls and shared their memories of eating at Geech’s BBQ, working at the old Mercy Hospital, and dancing nights away at the old Manhattan Casino.

St. Petersburg College has long been dedicated to providing educational opportunities in Midtown. The original 10,000-square-foot Midtown Center at 1048 22nd St. So., opened in 2003 as part of a $2 million St. Petersburg Housing Authority’s HOPE VI project. It has been renamed the Cecil B. Keene, Sr. Student Achievement Center, in honor of the late educator and SPC Board of Trustees member, who died in 2008.

In 2012, as demand for classes and community involvement grew, SPC’s Board of Trustees approved a $14 million expenditure to build the new three-story building on land leased from the City of St. Petersburg. The new center includes multiple classrooms, two science labs, three computer labs, a book store, a community room, and a career center.

The center is already being used by students and the community, and is open for classes for the Fall 2015 term, which begins Aug. 17.


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