Mark Russell


Beaches with pristine sugar-white sands and clear waters, and the rich diversity of the Florida swamps are scenes Mark recalls from his youth. As a boy scout, he and loved to do things outdoors, which drives his ongoing desire to preserve the environment. “When I see fertilizers wash into streams and warmer waters that let harmful algae flourish along the Gulf Coast, it’s devastating because we can never recover the same natural beauty,” Mark says. As an adult, Mark worked in Germany where fuel resources are scarce, and it exposed him to a new mentality on efficiency, especially with regard to passive design. “That really catalyzed me and I wanted to bring that knowledge back home.”

Mark’s engineering career began in the Navy. Among his many roles, Mark oversaw environmental projects at naval hospitals around the world and, later became the resident officer in charge of construction. He retired from the Navy in 2002 and worked in the private sector. Then he obtained a Doctorate of Design Construction and Planning specializing in Life Cycle and Building Rating systems. Now he teaches construction and sustainable development courses at the University of Florida.

Mark’s philosophy as an assessor is to help people save resources, and he draws on his vast experience to show teams how they can improve their efforts. Because Green Globes certification is an educational process, it also aligns beautifully with his work. “I really enjoy is seeing the cutting-edge things people are doing in differ- ent scenarios and various regions,” Mark notes. “I bring back those strategies to my students in the classroom to help enhance my teaching and I watch sustainability grow from there too.”