Department of Environment
and Development

The Department of Environment and Development (DED) focuses on analyzing environmental issues from a social justice perspective. We emphasize deep critical analysis to ensure that we address the root causes of environment and development challenges and to guarantee that solutions discussed are rooted in equity, justice, intersectionality and human and nature rights.

Our approach to analysis is grounded in political ecology, an interdisciplinary perspective that highlights the importance of political economic structures and inequity in access to resources as key drivers in environmental conflicts and environmental change. In our classrooms, we link theory to practice.

We have a diversity of guest speakers and field visits within our unique location in Costa Rica to situate our learning in on the ground realities. Our professors come from both inside and outside of academia. Our invited professors are a mix of international academic experts, Indigenous leaders, practitioners, and activists.

Lastly, we include perspectives of a diversity of sectors (state, company, and community organizations), to ensure solutions analyzed are in-line with complex global realities.

Our Programmes

Environment, Development and Peace

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Development Studies and Diplomacy

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Responsible Management & Sustainable Economic Development

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Water Cooperation and Diplomacy

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Ecology and Society

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Natural Resources and Sustainable Development

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Resident Faculty

Click on each faculty member to see a full bio.

Dr. Olivia Sylvester

Department Head & Associate Professor

Dr. Jan Breitling

Associate Professor

Click here for a list of the Department of Environment and Development’s Visiting Faculty Members