The mission of the Earth Ethics Institute is to foster Earth Literacy in the course objectives of each discipline and all campus operations at Miami Dade College, as well as in the South Florida Community and the extended Earth community beyond.
Earth Literacy includes an understanding of cosmology and ecological principles as the basis for sustainable living. The cosmological context is the story of the Universe, as contemporary science describes the developmental process out of which Earth and all life emerge.
Earth Ethics Institute emerged as a program of the Environmental Demonstration Center, a unique project housed on the Miami Dade College Kendall Campus. The Environmental Demonstration Center, conceived in 1976 by Dr. McGregor Smith, prospered and housed several programs: an Owner-Builder Center; a Landscape Center; a Tropical Lifestyle Center; and a Nature Center. Over time, Dr. Smith and colleagues Dr. Norma Watkins and Dr. Tim McGuirl recognized a need in higher education for an additional program which would offer credit and non-credit courses in something which they titled Earth Literacy. The Environmental Ethics Institute (EEI) embraced that opportunity in 1988. In 1992, after Hurricane Andrew, the Environmental Demonstration Center continued as the Environmental Center and, independently of the Center, the Environmental Ethics Institute became a college-wide academic initiative with a mission of infusing Earth Literacy in all academics and operations of the college. Recognizing that Earth Literacy is more than environmental awareness, the name of the institute was re-named the Earth Ethics Institute (EEI) in 2002.
Since its inception, EEI has been a catalyst for introducing administrators, faculty, staff, and students at Miami Dade College to the new way of thinking called "Earth Literacy." Fostering respect for Earth and life in all its diversity, Earth Literacy is grounded in the profound implications of our 14-billion-year-old universe story and the developmental process out of which the Earth and all life emerges.
Earth Ethics Institute provides resources, workshops, and programs for the Miami Dade College community that encourage the integration of the knowledge, values and skills needed for a sustainable way of life into all practices and disciplines. EEI fosters an awareness of global interdependence, ecological integrity through biological diversity, and the natural processes that sustain life.