Why Study Environmental Studies at New College?

At New College, our Environmental Studies Program focuses both on teaching you about the natural and social systems relevant to environmental issues and on giving you the real-world skills necessary to make a difference in the local, national and global communities.

Throughout the program, you will be introduced to courses in a wide range of disciplines and gain skills that can be applied in both the classroom and the outside world. You’ll consider complex issues that require multi-track thinking drawing on the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. And you will be encouraged to find a site or a community, distant or close at hand, that you can research, communicate about and possibly improve.

Naturally, many students find research topics or sites in southwest Florida, which offers a provocative mix of burgeoning urban environments as well as protected and threatened natural areas. Even the campus itself has become an object of study, with several recent classes and tutorials looking at reducing our carbon footprint, preserving and restoring native plant habitats and other environmental explorations.

A Chance to Get Involved
Our students are also active in the New College community:

They join the Council for Green Affairs to determine how the student green fee will be spent on campus. Projects include a bike-sharing project, composting, refillable water bottle stations, solar hot water and various mechanisms to reduce purchased electricity at the College.
They participate in the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment by exploring and implementing actions designed to decrease New College's carbon footprint.
They serve on the Campus Landscape Committee to discuss and implement environmentally-friendly and sustainable landscaping practices on our campus.

Study Abroad
Students in Environmental Studies have done research in Costa Rica, Panama, Amazon, the Arctic, Brazil, Rwanda, Ecuador, Antarctica and many others areas around the world. They have studied coral reef ecology in Panama, rehabilitated native species to be re-released into the rain forest in Ecuador, and conducted anthropological interviews about sustainable food practices in Rwanda. Here is a look at two recent Study Abroad trips by our students:

• Students traveled to Costa Rica to work with the organization, La Tortuga Feliz. They operated on a remote island off the Caribbean coast and volunteered for duties such as nightly beach patrols to ward off poachers, tending to a large hatchery of relocated turtle eggs and releasing baby turtles that had hatched. While working there, they also tested the quality of the seawater surrounding the island to establish a baseline, due to concerns about the upstream banana plantations leaking fertilizer into the water and affecting the turtle populations with an increased infant turtle mortality rate.

• A student traveled to Africa to study the food security and sustainable agriculture efforts in rural Rwanda. She received funds from many on-campus and off-campus grants and worked with Rwanda Sustainable Families. The program offers micro-loans to families in need with the hope that they will create small businesses and achieve financial stability and freedom. The student worked with the families in their agriculture projects daily and interviewed willing participants about the agricultural practices that they used as well as their general food security.


Sarasota has the top sea turtle nesting beaches on the west coast of Florida.

Office of the Provost
New College of Florida
5800 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota, Florida  34243

Phone: (941) 487-4200
Fax: (941) 487-4201