Environmental Studies





Program Options

Area of Concentration, Joint Concentration

About the Program

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 across disciplines to help create a better balance between human activity and environmental sustainability.

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.

“New College students are passionate and civic minded. They tend to be solution-focused. My classes are designed to be rigorous, to give them the skills to be really impactful. They’re up to the challenge.”

Emily Heffernan
Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies

Land Acknowledgement

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.

Featured Course

Recent Courses

  • Climate Change: Philosophy, Politics and Economics
  • Climate Fiction
  • Conservation and Indigenous Knowledge
  • Coral Reef Ecology
  • Ecopoetics
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Florida Natural History
  • Food, Animals, and the Environment
  • Food, Fuel, Fiber and Finance: A History of Global Capitalism
  • Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • Introduction to Global Information Systems (GIS)
  • Judaism and Ecology
  • Music and the Environment
  • Social Movements
  • Sustainable Development
  • The Retreat of the Elephant: Environmental History in East Asian Art and Archaeology
  • The Well-Being of Humans and Other Animals
  • Tropical Disease Epidemiology
  • Urban Sociology
Students in the Radiant Communities: Documentary Film course and Independent Study Project (ISP) perform choreography developed through study of ecological communities, and learn the basics of collaborative filmmaking within the context of experimental film and environmental studies. This ISP culminated in a film which was shot on location on Tidy Island, an approximately 160-acre property in Manatee County deeded to New College Foundation in 1984 for the study of marine and plant life.

Career Pathways

  • Cartography
  • Climate Justice
  • Community/Urban Planning
  • Conservation Science
  • Corporate Sustainability
  • Eco Agriculture
  • Environmental Biologist
  • Environmental Conservation
  • Environmental Law
  • Food Insecurity
  • Hydrology
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Park Management
  • Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist

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

Study Abroad and Domestic Exchange Programs

There are many opportunities for Environmental Studies students to gain experience across the US and internationally, such as New College’s membership in the EcoLeague domestic exchange program.

Contact Us

Environmental Studies

Phone Number

Email Address


Caples Carriage House 208

Environmental Studies Faculty

Dr. David Brain

Urban Studies Program Director

Professor of Sociology

Erin Dean

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Dr. Nicolas Delon

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies

Erika Díaz Almeyda

Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies

Heidi Harley

Professor of Psychology/ Peg Scripps Buzzelli Chair

Director Environmental Studies Program

Dr. Emily Heffernan

Associate Provost

Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies

Nicole Van Der Berg

ESP Office Manager