The Institute has developed and validated an academic program (really a new academic discipline) capable of introducing the student to advanced ecological management concepts while helping them to integrate their studies in economics, government, history, and science. A State of Florida approved Teacher Education Component (TEC) program has also been developed and is an accepted prerequisite for the program.
This program, called Socio-Ecology, is both data-driven and historically accurate. Socio-Ecology is the integrated study of ecology, economic, government and history. It is by nature "business friendly", not by agenda, but because that is where our research led us. Man is a part of the chain of life on earth, thus successful ecological management resembles profitable business management.
Market vs. planned economics is studied because of recent historic patterns in former planned cultures provide clear proof that fears of an expansionist government voiced by the framers of Constitution are still valid today. The Fifth and Tenth Amendments were written for conditions that existed in the late 1700's and still exist as the twenty-first century is underway.
Government is part of the Socio-Ecology program because Madison was correct then, and now, when he said that "in a society predicated on liberty it is necessary to examine principles, because some principles are antithetical to liberty". If the mind of man was as capable of centralized social planning as it was in harnessing the atom, centrally-planned economies would be both rich and ecologically healthy; neither is the case.
The Institute's Socio-Ecology program emphasizes history so that the student can better understand the past and present and recognize future patterns. For example, students learn about the extent of taxpayer-funded global cooling research in the 1970s and they learn how to assess whether today's global warming research is better grounded. The student will visit the discipline of anthropology when studying historic patterns of fire management in North America and will relate this to current practice.
Critical thinking, along with management techniques like job analysis, cost/value analysis, and time management are shown to be of continuing use in the students' lifelong learning process. Students learn that these methods are useful in making decisions in the classroom, in their daily lives, and in discharging their responsibility as citizens to participate productively in the decision-making process of our republic.
Socio-Ecology demonstrates America's success to be due, in significant part, to the Constitutional guarantees afforded private property. The acceptance of private ownership was a brilliant expression of man's evolved nature as a territorial organism. Man works hardest for that which is his. The program continually assists the student in contrasting real-world results of free vs. planned economies.
The Institute has an opportunity to expand its program, first in Eastern America, and then nationally. It has received a donation of a 45,000 s.f. building which has been redesigned into a teaching center, twelve student residence units and an office/manager unit. Completion of the center depends on the willingness of the business community to work even a little bit as hard as the "green mindset challenged".
The Institute has the ideal location for an education/research center. Its site is private, not government controlled (and can therefore offer such a program), it is "where the action is" rather than where the asphalt is, and the demand for wetland education programs is at an all time high. The education community is unanimous that demand will exceed our capacity for years to come.
There is no other facility where the interested citizen (student, educator, researcher, retiree) can find a totally real-world, hands-on program that is—almost by definition—free of the fashionable political doctrines of the moment, whatever they may be. Nature has no interest in ideology, and we at the Institute are not just her students, but her disciples. Human we are, however, and human are our students, and human nature is such that it needs bricks and mortar. Build a facility and the people will use it. It has worked for urban campuses; it can work also, and at less cost, for those who would study nature in her den.
The Institute has begun this task, but will need assistance if it is to succeed. Please let us know if you would like to join our efforts.