Academic Programs

Sustainable Tourism Concentration


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Concentration Description:

The M.A. in Global Sustainability concentration in tourism enables students to learn knowledge and skills as well as obtain personal experience in the field of sustainable tourism. Taking advantage of the Florida environment, the concentration focuses specifically on coastal habitat and marine environment issues related to tourism. The program also educates students in the concepts of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council Criteria, the concepts of the UNWTO international network for sustainable observatories (INSTO), and provides many experiential learning opportunities including but not limited to beaches, marina, aquariums, and theme parks in Florida.

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Dr. Brooke Hansen

Director of Sustainable Tourism Concentration
Assistant Professor

Dr. Randle


  • IDS 6236 - Sustainable Tourism Development: Principles & Practices (3)

This course focuses on environmentally and socially responsible tourism strategies and innovations, including initiatives such as the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. It examines how destinations have improved competitiveness by creating environmentally and socially friendly tourism products and services. The course emphasizes establishing policies and management plans to identify and reduce the environmental impact created by tourism facilities and services, and looks at how to create environmental management systems (EMS) with broad public/private support.

*This course is available on-campus and online.

  • IDS 6237 - Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Management (3)

This course focuses on the ecotourism and sustainable tourism management for coastal habitat and marine protection. The course includes strategies and innovations, including best practices developed in the global "Blue Criteria" and the Sustainable Travel "Shore Excursion" criteria. It examines the major threats to coastal habitat and marine environments, such as ocean acidification, climate change, overfishing, and pollution. The course emphasizes establishing policies and management plans to identify and reduce the environmental impact created by tourism facilities and services, examines twelve cost-effective strategies for coastal and marine habitat protection and provides an introduction to culture-based leadership development for the change.

*This course is available on-campus and online.

Concentration courses (3 credit hours)                                  choose one:

  • IDS 6216- Implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (3)

This course provides an understanding of the challenges and pathways to sustainable development. From the framework of the science of planetary boundaries, we will addresses challenges and solutions to achieve sustainable development in the 21st century.

*This course is available on-campus and online

  • IDS 6938- Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (3)

This course will use an interdisciplinary approach to explore climate vulnerability and pathways of climate mitigation and adaption. Case studies will be reviewed to provide insight into climate change adaption planning and societal resilience.

*This course is offered both online and on-campus.

  • IDS 6938 – Policy for Sustainability (3) – Pending Approval 

 This course explores the definition of sustainability policy, how policy can be implemented at all levels of  government, the myriad actors involved in policy formation and implementation, metrics used to measure policy robustness, and the politics of sustainability. Policies and case studies pertaining to other Patel College of Global Sustainability concentrations will be presented and discussed.  A class debate and policy-position paper will challenge critical thinking skills. 

*This course is available on-campus and online.

Preferred Electives

  • IDS 6223 - Waste Not, Want Not: Reconsidering Waste, Re-purposing Wasted Resources (3)

This course is designed to help us deal with and eliminate waste. The course explores all kinds of wasted resources and opportunities with a particular focus on organic and inorganic "production and consumption residuals" and wasted energy.

*This course is available on-campus and online

core course buttonNOTE: Please be advised that your degree requirements may be different than the requirements mentioned above if you were admitted to our degree program prior to Fall 2018. Please refer to our previous catalog to understand your respective degree requirements.


On successful completion of this program, participants should be able to: 

  • Explain the concepts of sustainability related to coastal and marine habitats
  • Understand the key impacts on coastal and marine habitat from influences such as ocean acidification, climate change, and ocean pollution
  • Understand the impacts of ecotourism and sustainable tourism accommodations and resorts have on coastal and marine environments
  • Utilize the tools of sustainable tourism that apply to coastal and marine habitat protection for both accommodations and tour operations
  • Understand the relationships between tourism, society, culture, and sustainability
  • Attain knowledge, skills, and experience to design a sustainable tourism strategy and development plan to protect coastal and marine habitat
  • Acquire knowledge and skills for culture-based leadership development to more effectively manage coastal and marine habitat
  • Gain an understanding of the interrelationships between people, the environment, and profits in the development of successful, sustainable tourism programs

For more information about this concentration, please contact the PCGS Academic Programs Director, Randall Pape at