Sustainable Development & the Environment

By minoring in sustainable development and the environment, you’ll examine whether transnational corporations can be both competitive and responsible by pursuing a strategy of sustainable development. Coursework is based on the premise that sustainable development means reconciling the need for economic growth, particularly in developing nations, with the need to protect both natural resources and quality of life.

You’ll gain an understanding of the basic principles of environmental protection and sustainability along with the emergence and consequences of globalization. Along the way, you’ll explore the increasing role of international cooperation in managing environmental problems and analyze recent attempts to measure and evaluate sustainable development.

What You Will Learn as a Sustainable Development & the Environment Student

The interdisciplinary Sustainable Development and the Environment minor starts from the premise that the world faces two interlocking and immediate moral crises; 1) the need to provide a decent quality of life for all the world’s inhabitants and 2) the need to protect the earth’s natural systems upon which all life depends. In all likelihood, the earth cannot physically tolerate the spread of the pattern of “development” present in the now developed countries. Indeed, many vital ecosystems are already overstressed and near collapse. This minor prepares you to tackle the issue of sustainability from a number of disciplinary perspectives and cultural contexts.

Rollins students and professor visit a Costa Rican rainforest.

Global Citizenship

The minor promotes global citizenship through coursework that requires your examining questions of sustainability and development faced by people in communities and nations around the world. Experiential learning is promoted by field studies, which enable you to visit sustainable development projects in other countries and to engage in community service by working alongside local practitioners.

Rollins student and professor examines fauna.

Responsible Leadership

Responsible leadership requires that we, as a global community, develop an alternative path to economic and human development that is consistent with, rather than contrary to, the laws of nature; a development strategy that is both regenerative and sustainable. This is the fundamental dilemma of our age. Untying this Gordian knot requires a deep understanding and execution of both global citizenship and responsible leadership. As Alexander von Humboldt once said, “The most dangerous worldviews are the worldviews of those who have never viewed the world.”The Sustainable Development curriculum provides an interdisciplinary foundation of knowledge that will enable you to play a leadership role in solving problems of sustainability at differing scales - from that of the individual to that of the global community.

Rollins grad in her career as a city planner.

Productive Careers

In combination with a related major (e.g. Environmental Studies, Political Science, Social Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship, among others), you will well equipped and positioned to join a rapidly expanding field. Governments at all levels, businesses large and small, as well as not for profit organizations in many fields are all adding sustainability as a major area of concern.

Rollins student helps campus recycle.

Meaningful Lives

The Sustainable Development minor strives to help you develop into a thoughtful, creative graduate with the skills, knowledge, and ethics you need to lead a meaningful life. This minor will broaden your horizons and introduce you to a deeper relationship with both society and the natural world.

Expert Faculty

Department of Environmental Studies

Beal Maltbie Center
1000 Holt Ave. – 2753
Winter Park, FL 32789

Telephone: 407.646.2392

Fax: 407.646.2364

  • Barry Allen

    Barry Allen, PhD

    Associate Professor of Environmental Studies

    Research interests: National-park policy and sustainable development

  • Leslie Kemp Poole

    Leslie Kemp Poole, PhD

    Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies

    Research interests: History of the environmental movement, particularly the grassroots organizers who in Florida and across the country included many women

  • Lee Lines

    Lee Lines, PhD

    Professor of Environmental Studies

    Research interests: Physical geography, food and sustainability, sustainable development, climate change impacts, and western North America

  • Emily Nodine

    Emily Nodine, PhD

    Associate Professor of Environmental Studies

    Research interests: Links between climate and the biosphere, aquatic and coastal ecosystems, wetland ecology and restoration, and scales of disturbance

  • Bruce Stephenson

    Bruce Stephenson, PhD

    Professor of Environmental Studies

    Research interests: Intersection of regional planning, environmental protection, and urbanism

  • Ann Francis

    Ann Francis

    Sustainability Program/Environmental Studies Coordinator

    Research interests: Promotes environmental and sustainable responsibility and awareness on campus