BSC 4861L System Sustainabilit1y

Sustainability has been defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (United Nations 1987). We will explore the complex topic of sustainability by breaking it into its essential, but inseparable, components of social justice, economic development, and environmental protection.  This interdisciplinary approach will allow students to discover the barriers, successes and ethical dilemmas associated with ecological sustainability.

Students will explore the topic of sustainability in class, choose a project that will support environmental sustainability programs (four topics are chosen by the instructor), develop a proposal to complete the project within a semester, conduct the project, and communicate the results at the end of the semester.

Course Objectives:

  • Develop an understanding of the social, economic, and environmental components of sustainability
  • Gain knowledge about local actions and global reactions/impacts
  • Develop a sense of the global and local systems that affect environmentally sustainable programming through completion of a service-learning project
  • Demonstrate an understanding of sustainability through documentation and execution of a formal project proposal

For more information about how to register, email Alaina Bernard (

PHY 1931 Energy and the Environment

This new course for UCF uses basic physics to explore one of the most critical issues facing us: How can we continue to power our modern civilization in a sustainable way and without destroying the environment? Emphasis will be placed on concepts of physics and simple quantitative reasoning. The level is for non-science majors.

Course Topics:

  • Where does our energy come from?
  • How long will fossil fuels last?
  • Can we get the energy we need from renewables?
  • What are the impacts of energy use on the environment?
  • How can we make a sustainable future?

*This course meets some requirements for UCF’s Environmental Specialization Program

For more information visit or email (

Other Areas of Interest:

Biology Major (B.S.)

At the undergraduate level, the UCF Department of Biology offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Biology. The core curriculum provides a background in chemical, mathematical, and physical sciences, as well as broad preparation in the biological sciences. Selection of electives, in consultation with a faculty advisor, permits emphasis of a sub-specialty, (e.g., molecular biology, conservation biology, marine biology). Pre-professional students can follow a track of restricted and unrestricted electives to satisfy professional school (e.g., medical, dental, optometry, pharmacy, veterinary) admission requirements while completing their B.S. degree in Biology. Research experience and exposure to specialized topics not taught through formal courses may be gained through independent study contracts. Graduates are well prepared to further their education in professional or graduate schools. Additionally, this diverse background and training in the sciences opens career opportunities for graduates in areas outside of traditional biological fields.

Interdisciplinary Studies Major: Environmental Studies Track (B.S.)

The Environmental Studies track is a program that prepares students for a number of interesting and challenging careers. Its interdisciplinary nature provides students with tools that can be applied across a spectrum of science, social behavior, and humanities; using the strengths of the various areas. Students seeking journalistic or artistic careers will gain a scientific background by which to understand environmental science, while students going into the sciences will appreciate the social, political, and ethical dimensions of environmental actions and policy decisions. This major also gives students a choice in taking a scientific path or a political path. The Environmental Studies track focuses more on the policy portion of the environmental field while the Environmental Sciences track takes a closer look at the biology of sustainable practices and protecting our environment.

Environmental Specialization Program (ESP)

The Environmental Specialization Program provides recognition for the environmental interests, dedication, and accomplishments of UCF undergraduate and graduate students by offering a green cord for their graduation ceremony in addition to a certificate from the Office of undergraduate Studies. Upon completion, students are able to include the certification on résumés as well as exhibit a comprehensive portfolio.