Why Study Environmental Studies at New College?

We’re early adopters! New College’s Environmental Studies Program was founded in 1972 – the first of its type in the United States. Come today and learn new skills from professors in many different disciplines to help create a better balance between human activity and environmental sustainability.

Environmental Studies area of concentration

The Environmental Studies Area of Concentration (AOC) offers insights into climate change, sea level rise, food insecurity, social justice, urban environments, governing the oceans, and environmental conservation and stewardship. Here you can investigate topics as diverse as land and marine use policies, water and soil quality, ethical approaches to environmental management, the effects of sea level rise on heritage sites, the role of invasive species, systems modeling, human cognition and persuasion, the green economy, and the use of data analysis to delve deeply into environmental awareness. Be part of the environment on our bayfront campus where our faculty, students, and staff recognize that the landscape of New College of Florida has a history.


The space that we currently occupy, Sarasota, was acquired through the territorial dispossession of Native Nations, including the Seminole and Miccosukee, who have historical claims to this land. We acknowledge that our occupation of this land has come at the expense of their displacement. Indigenous people are contemporary people who live throughout the state of Florida on reservations and in cities, and we acknowledge that they, as well as their ancestors, are our hosts.

As a public and intellectually rigorous institution, it is our duty to think critically about what our occupation of this land means. We must challenge ourselves to consider our relationship to the land and to ethically engage with the histories and cultures of Indigenous peoples who have called this land home. This is not the end of the conversation, but the beginning of a long and difficult process of mapping a more equitable future.

Environmental Studies Steering Committee

The Environmental Studies Area of Concentration is coordinated by the Environmental Studies Steering Committee:

Heidi Harley
 Associate Professor
Emily Heffernan
 Assistant Professor
Erika Diaz-Almeyda

Assistant Professor
Peter Cook
 Assistant Professor
Nick Delon
 Student Representative
Ky Miller

Faculty & Staff

  • Frank Alcock Director of Academic Initiatives & Special Projects / Professor of Political Science & Environmental Studies
  • Uzi Baram Professor of Anthropology & Heritage Studies; Director of New College Public Archaeology Lab
  • David Brain Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies
  • Peter Cook Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Erin Dean Associate Professor of Anthropology
  • Nicolas Delon Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies
  • Erika Diaz-Almeyda Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies
  • Aron Edidin Professor of Philosophy
  • Nicola Erdsack Adjunct Assistant Professor
  • Sandra Gilchrist Professor of Biology & Marine Science, Division Chair
  • Heidi Harley Professor of Psychology/Peg Scripps Buzzelli Chair; Co-Director Environmental Studies Program
  • Emily Heffernan Dean of Studies, Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies/Co-Director of the Environmental Studies Program
  • Tarron Khemraj Professor of Economics and International Studies, William & Marie Selby Chair
  • Wes Kline Adjunct Instructor of Representational Ecology
  • Susan Marks Professor of Religion and Judaic Studies; Klingenstein Professorship
  • Brad Oberle Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies
  • Mark Paul Assistant Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies
  • James A. (Buddy) Powell Research Scholar
  • Gerardo Toro-Farmer Assistant Professor of Coastal and Marine Science
  • Leslie Townsend Office Manager

Recent Theses

  • Multi-Criteria Suitability Analysis of Green Infrastructure Targeted at Groundwater Recharge and Flood Mitigation in Sarasota, FL
  • Managing Fisheries: a Case Study of Conceptual Frameworks for Policy Design
  • Sea Level Rise in Southwest Florida: An Economic Benefit-Cost Analysis of Policy Alternatives
  • Herbicide Resistant Crops: Can Genetic Engineering Contribute to Sustainable Agriculture?
  • Longleaf Pine: Florida’s Sunflower Forest
  • “Altering the Earth to Fit Vera,” Analyzing Sustainable Fashion Supply Chain Management
  • Pollination as an Economic Marketplace


Strategic Performance Management Manager
Pinellas County, Florida

Executive Director
Suncoast Waterkeeper, Sarasota, Florida

Principal Scientist

Maglio Christopher & Toale

Assistant Librarian
New College of Florida


What Can I Do with an Environmental Studies AOC?

Environmental Studies Scholarships

The scholarship focuses on students (undergraduate or graduate) conducting research in the marine sciences and who might be interested in a scholarship from the Aylesworth Foundation for the Advancement of Marine Science. This is an award that is coordinated annually by Florida Sea Grant, and it pays the student for the term of their degree program. “The Aylesworth award is intended to be a career award. Once selected, a student may continue to receive the award each year as long as satisfactory progress is made toward degree completion as verified by the university or college. Approximate lengths of awards are:

Undergraduate: two years (beginning junior year)

Graduate: Masts level: two years; Doctoral level: three years. The maximum award can be in the amount of 65 percent of the annual official university or college cost of attending that university or college, or $4,000 whichever is lower. The Aylesworth Foundation reserves the right to divide each award among several students or make awards of lower amounts. The new award recipients will be recognized each year during a public event.

The selection process will have financial needs as its principal criterion. In addition, the successful applicant must demonstrate academic merit, leadership, and personal character. Florida residents will receive preference.” Here is the link for applicants: AYLESWORTH SCHOLARSHIP You can also follow the scholarship on their Facebook page, where they will soon announce a number of other scholarship and fellowship opportunities.

The Sarasota Garden Club offers the Wayne Hibbs Natural Science Scholarship to a student of academic excellence who is interested in attaining a degree in natural science field of study.  The field of study may also be related to Garden Club objectives such as horticulture, conservation, environment, biology and others.  Requirements include a two-year residency in Sarasota or Manatee County, completed two years of college study, sufficient credits for enrollment as a Junior, or above, in an accredited college or university.  The deadline is April 1.  Please contact the Sarasota Garden Club 941-955-0875 for additional information.

New College can nominate up to 6 students for this $5,000 scholarship, established by Congress in memory of Representative Morris K. Udall. The scholarship is awarded to second and third year students who have demonstrated a commitment to careers related to the environment, or who are Native American with a demonstrated commitment to careers related to tribal public policy or health care.

Five New College students have previously won this scholarship (or received honorable mention), from disciplines including ecology, environmental studies, theater, public policy, and anthropology.

Interested students should visit the website: www.udall.gov

The Garden Club of America offers scholarships and fellowships for the study of:

Landscape Architecture, Horticulture, Medicinal Botany, Ecological Restoration, Coastal Wetlands, Garden History and Design, Tropical Botany, Endangered Bird Habitats, Field Botany, Urban Forestry, Desert Studies, Environmental Science, and much more!

For updated information, applications and deadlines, go to the website: gcamerica.org 

EPA Fellowship for Undergraduate Environmental Studies. Potential Funding per Fellowship: Up to a total of $48,900 over a two-year period. Fellows will receive support for their junior and senior years of undergraduate study and for a paid summer internship at an EPA facility between their junior and senior years. Website: epa.gov

More Information

Environmental Studies Curriculum

The Environmental Studies area of concentration emphasizes demonstrated competence in these areas: ecological theory, descriptive observation; quantitative measurement and statistical analysis; computer literacy, communications skills, service to the community; and local sense of place.

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Undergraduate Program

New College of Florida offers more than 40 different majors in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, as well as a number of interdisciplinary concentrations.

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