The Minor

This week’s featured program is the minor in Sustainable Development & The Environment at Rollins College. From the website:

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.

Students enrolled in the minor take four core courses and then choose two seminar/practicum courses. 

Two Interesting Courses

POL 323 – Global Environmental Affairs

Examines global environmental issues from climate change to biodiversity protection with international relations theories that explore the role of civil society, institutions, and markets, in both contributing problems and finding solutions. 

POL 333 – Case Studies in Sustainable Development

Explores political concept of sustainable development, comparing how different states confront issues such as population growth, poverty, alternative energy, hazardous waste trade, deforestation, GMOs, ecotourism, sprawl, and invasive species.

Five Possible Complementary Majors at Rollins College

Unique Opportunities within the Minor

Students must take two Seminar/Practicum Courses:

Seminar/practicum courses serve as case studies in sustainable development. Each is comprised of a semester-length seminar followed by a study-abroad practicum. All are focused on Latin America and the Caribbean, areas that serve as representative case studies to illustrate a wide range of issues in sustainable development. Two (2) courses with field study component are required.

Options include:

ENV 353 – National Park & Protected Areas 

Discusses value of national parks as pleasuring grounds, genetic banks, working ecosystems, and symbols of national heritage. Optional field study component also available. 

ENV 353F – National Parks and Protected Areas Field Study

Costa Rica has been successful in achieving economic growth and human development, even as the country has been able to preserve and restore much of its environment. By contrast, much of Central America, including Nicaragua, has experienced widespread deforestation, rapid population growth and considerable instability. In combination with several environmental factors, this has led to depressed living standards throughout the region. We will devote considerable attention to understanding these very different outcomes and consider appropriate models of sustainable development for the region. In Costa Rica, we visit a wide range of projects including coffee farms, wildlife refuges, national parks, craft cooperatives and energy facilities. In Nicaragua we visit the spectacular volcanic island of Ometepe, composed of two volcanoes, which emerges from the largest lake in Central America, the Cocibolca, the great Lake of Nicaragua.

ENV 365 – Environment and Development in Central America

Studies the need for broad-based sustainable development using Central America as a case study. Considers how widespread deforestation and rapid population growth have combined with other factors to depress living standards throughout the region. Examines why Costa Rica has attained a high level of human development. Explores appropriate models of sustainable development for the region

ENV 265F – Central America Field Study

The Central Highlands of Costa Rica provide an excellent case study in sustainable development. Students observe and analyze models of sustainability in the areas of agriculture, tourism, and ecosystem services, while examining a wide range of projects including a large-scale coffee plantation, an organic coffee cooperative, and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve. 

ENV 375 – Island Economies and Sustainability in the Caribbean 

Examines the natural resources and conservation of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine habitats of the Caribbean. Conservation of these resources for future generations while meeting the legitimate material needs of people in the region also discussed. Explores the prospects for sustainable economic development.

ENV 375F – Caribbean Field Study

Dominica is currently experiencing a major transition from an economy based primarily on agricultural exports to a tourism-based economy. Examines the tension between various competing interests and identifies opportunities for achieving broad-based sustainable development. 

ENV 385 – Sustainable Development in the Amazon Basin 

Examines the Amazon Basin, the largest remaining tropical ecosystem on earth, considering the crucial ecological services it provides as well as the exceptional biological and cultural diversity it supports. Reviews historic attempts to exploit the rich biological and mineral resources of the region, which failed through a misunderstanding of tropical ecology and an inability to recognize environmental limitations. Discusses new approaches to development that generate income while protecting crucial ecological systems supporting economic development. Examines such efforts in the areas of tourism, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries. Optional field study component also available. 

ENV 385F – Amazon Basin Field Study

The Peruvian Amazon provides an excellent case study of how governments, nongovernmental organizations, and private companies can form partnerships to promote sustainable development. Students work with local naturalist guides and project managers to gain a comprehensive understanding of the ecotourism industry.

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