About Us

UCF Sustainability Initiatives

UCF Sustainability Goals

Reach Carbon Neutrality by
Become a Zero Waste Campus
1 %
Integrate Sustainability Across All Disciplines

At Sustainability Initiatives, we seek to create an environment where ideas are freely shared, partnerships are formed and solutions are uncovered in the pursuit of environmental, economic and social sustainability.


We understand that the complex global challenges of today impact us all. We recognize that these challenges cannot be solved alone. We are heavily invested in building relationships within our community, partnering with local organizations, neighboring colleges, and key stakeholders to achieve our goals. With an eye to the future, our vision is to create a campus environment that informs and grooms the leaders of tomorrow.

From buildings and energy to transportation, sustainability is built in campus infrastructure. Learn how UCF is tackling environmental obstacles as one of the largest universities in the nation.

Bronze-rated Bike Friendly Campus
Diverting 800 tons of materials from landfills each year
Organic community garden program with over 973 volunteers donating 8,690 hours in 2018
15 off campus shuttle routes to off campus apartment complexes
23 LEED certified buildings
On-site combined heat and power plant decreasing GHG emissions by 15%
14 sustainability related student organizations
Decreased potable water consumption by 21%
Harnessing the power of the sun
Over 800 acres of conservation land and a 7,000+ tree urban canopy

Our Team

David Norvell


Mr. David Norvell is charged with driving and implementing the university sustainability strategy, putting the University of Central Florida at the forefront of the sustainability movement. A 1993 Alumnus, David began his career at UCF in 2001 as the university Energy Manager. In the last decade, he has served as Director of the Department of Sustainability and Energy Management where he spearheaded the sustainability program, saving the university more than $14M in energy efficiency projects, before joining the administration. From 2011-2015, he served as the Assistant Vice President for Facilities tasked with the reconstruction of the university's largest department, the Department of Facilities Operations. In 2015, David was appointed Director of Sustainability Initiatives where his true passion lies. David's leadership sets a precedence in the State of Florida and reaffirms our administration's commitment to climate neutrality.

Yara Watson Colon

Sustainability Specialist II

Ms. Yara Watson drives the reporting, outreach, and marketing components of the office and supports the development of campus sustainability objectives. Yara has lived all over Central Florida, venturing north to Gainesville for her bachelors in Sustainability Studies at the University of Florida then south to Tampa to complete her Masters in Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida’s Patel School, before heading back to her hometown of Orlando to serve as our Sustainability and Outreach Coordinator. With a goal of fostering a culture of sustainability among UCF students, faculty, and staff, Yara coordinates campus sustainability programs such as the Climate Correction conference, Campus Sustainability Month, and the Sustainability Working Advisory Teams (SWAT). She also manages the campus greenhouse gas inventory and AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). Yara’s primary focus is empowering the UCF community to integrate sustainability into both work and play, challenging every Knight to live as a healthy, happy, and productive steward of the Earth. She has worked with local nonprofits, global NGOs, and city governments in sustainability strategic planning & integrated organic agriculture/financial literacy training programs.

Dempsey Perno

Outreach Assistant

407.823.0960 • dempsey.perno@ucf.edu

Dempsey's focus is on student engagement, as well as event planning for SI. Throughout her life, Dempsey has been passionate about promoting sustainability, and hopes to continue sharing her enthusiasm for eco-friendliness with the world by pursuing a degree in Human Communication with a minor in Mass Communication at UCF. With her degree, she hopes to build campaigns that discourage unnecessary waste, promote environmental stewardship, and make healthy lifestyle choices accessible to everyone.

Celina Lezcano

Outreach Assistant

407.823.0960 • celina.lezcano@ucf.edu

Celina’s focus as an outreach assistant is peer-to-peer education and event planning. As an Environmental Studies student she has dedicated her education to advancing sustainable living, protection of wildlife, and promoting solutions to environmental degradation. Additionally, Celina is pursuing a GIS certificate. With a focus on values, planning, and policy she hopes to work within local government to assist in urban planning, LEED-certification, and furthering environmental policies.

Nathan Jagoda

Reporting Assistant

407.823.0960 • nathan.jagoda@ucf.edu

Nathan focuses on reporting data to a variety of environmental agencies that monitor sustainability, such as the Association of Sustainability in Higher Education and the Sierra Club. Nathan is currently working on his Masters in Applied Sociology at the University of Central Florida. He conducts research within the field of Environmental Sociology, and more specifically focuses on nonhuman animals, disaster resiliency, and sustainability. In the future, Nathan plans to obtain his PhD, teach, and conduct research that contributes to the advancement of environmental justice efforts.

Michelle Barron

Digital Media Assistant

407.823.0960 • michelle.barron@ucf.edu

Growing up on the coasts of South Florida, Michelle has always loved the environment around her. At Sustainability Initiatives, she has been able to combine this passion with her lifelong interests of art and design. Michelle designs all graphic, print, and web content as the Digital Media Student Assistant. She believes that meaningful art can connects us with our senses, and that the response can prompt thinking, engagement, and even action.

Isabella Jones

Social Media Assistant

407.823.0960 • isabella.jones@ucf.edu

Isa manages all social media platforms for Sustainability Initiatives, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. She is a sophomore in the BFA Acting and Digital Media programs at the University of Central Florida. She loves all the natural wonders this world has to offer and strives to promote conscious lifestyle choices. She believes that social media, when used correctly, has the power to make a difference. She hopes to use it to call people to action and educate them on the importance of sustainability.  

Logan Armagost

Engineering Assistant


Logan found his passion for creating and innovating at a young age. While on track to earning his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering, he incorporates, develops, and practices this knowledge with his work at Sustainability Initiatives. He is responsible for research, development, data acquisition, and electrical analysis. Converting sustainable concepts into quantitative tools and performance metrics in engineering is a challenge that he is committed to with his work.

Vinh Tran

Engineering Assistant


Vinh is an international student from Vietnam who, even from a young age, always aspired to be an engineer. He took the opportunity to come to the United States to pursue an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering at UCF. He now incorporates his experiences into his work with Sustainability Initiatives, playing a key role in the department's development of the SLB-50 project, a solar-powered energy bank to provide low-cost electricity to people in developing countries.

UCF Facilities & Safety


The Facilities and Safety departments support the goals of the University of Central Florida by being leaders in providing world-class expertise and service.


The Facilities and Safety departments are committed to providing service to students, faculty, staff, and the community by creating, maintaining, and protecting the educational environment of the University of Central Florida.

More Information, click here.

University of Central Florida Facilities & Safety
Building 16
3528 Perseus Loop
Orlando, FL 32816-3631

Doing the right thing means acting with honesty and integrity and speaking up when you know of or suspect unethical behavior. The UCF IntegrityLine is a secure reporting system administered by an independent third party, NAVEX Global.  The IntegrityLine is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and is available at www.ucfintegrityline.com, or by calling 1-855-877-6049 toll-free.