Wendy Anderson, Ph.D. is an environmental scientist and educator who has devoted her life to research and teaching future environmental leaders and to improving the communities and regions where she has lived. She earned a Ph.D. in Biology from Vanderbilt University, and an M.S. and B.S. in Biology from Baylor University. Her areas of scientific expertise include nutrient flow through ecosystems, strategies for maintaining biodiversity, and promoting sustainable businesses and communities. Her 20 years of community service in both Springfield, Missouri and Volusia County, Florida have focused on promoting environmental education, natural resource conservation, and local and sustainable food systems.
As a Professor and the Chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Studies at Stetson University, Dr. Anderson led the growth of the academic environmental programs by 600% between 2014-2020, often actively recruiting top science students from Volusia County high schools and beyond who have an interest in the environment or in the allied programs in Sustainable Food Systems, Environmental Health, or Public Management. She also co-led the launch of Stetson’s Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience in 2015 and served as the founding Faculty Co-Director and continues on the Institute’s Faculty Steering Committee. In that role, she contributed to the planning of the new Sandra Stetson Aquatic Center at Lake Beresford, which opened in 2019 and showcases green infrastructure, a native botanical garden including pollinator gardens, constructed bioswales, and demonstrations of stormwater pond nutrient management. She also co-chaired the Stetson Environmental Working Group from 2014-2019, which facilitates campus sustainability initiatives, often student led, including the installation of a 230 KW solar system on the Carlton Union Building. In 2017-18, she coordinated the Florida Humanities Council speaker series on Florida’s Environmental History.
Twice-elected to the Homeowners Association Board of Directors of one of the largest neighborhoods in DeLand, Dr. Anderson co-chairs that HOA Board’s Environmental Advisory Committee that promotes the conservation of irrigation water and the improvement of stormwater pond water quality and quantity through native and Florida Friendly landscape management. These efforts save money, protect surface and groundwater quality, and enhance biodiversity of the constructed landscapes and the 400-acres of protected Nature Preserve in this 2,000-acre Master Planned Community.
Prior to moving to Florida in 2014, she was very active in her community in Springfield and Greene County, Missouri where she started her career as a Professor of Biology at Drury University. There, she served for 6 years on the Springfield-Greene County Environmental Advisory Board, which advised the City Council and County Commission on land use planning, development strategies, and natural resource conservation. She also served on the Springfield Vision 20/20 Long-range Planning Committee for Natural Resources. She was a founding board member and later president of the Springfield Urban Agriculture Coalition, a 501(c)3 organization that promoted local and sustainable farms and food, and established and operated garden-based learning programs in ten public schools across the city. She was also a founding board member and first president of the Ozarks New Energy, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization that promoted education and research for renewable energy solutions for the central Midwest and hosted multi-state “ONE” conferences that convened entrepreneurs, utility executives, academic scientists and students, farmers, and elected leaders of all stripes to explore innovative energy solutions for the region. She served for two years as an Oxfam “Sisters on the Planet” Missouri delegate to promote clean energy legislation in Washington D.C.
As the granddaughter of Kansas wheat and dairy farmers with whom she spent most of her childhood summers, Wendy’s heritage is deeply rooted in soil, water, and food systems. Indeed, she believes that soil, water, and food are the foundation of all of society, and that protecting those resources to ensure food and water security for all people now and into the future is the most important work she needs to be doing. This is what motivates her to run for the Volusia Soil and Water Conservation District Seat 4 Supervisor, where she aims to leverage new partnerships for improving our region’s natural resources. Wendy enjoys kayaking and hiking with friends, baking with her daughter, and gardening with her father, who has been a resident and businessman of DeLand for 21 years. She also enjoys watching her daughter play tennis for DeLand High School.