Development and Sustainability Program

The Development and Sustainability Program, formerly known as the Development Studies Program, was established in 2005 and is part of the Faculty of Environment. The Program examines the problems in, processes involved with, and the prospects for the transformation of human, natural, and material resources in various contexts and at various levels of social interaction, from the local, national, and regional to the international/global level.

  • The Development and Sustainability Minor explores various aspects of sustainability that arise from the complex relationship between development and the environment, including discussion of practice and policy issues in relation to problem-solving and examination of thematic areas at various scales (from local to global) that enhance the quality of life.

  • The Development and Sustainability Graduate Certificate connects faculty who teach and undertake research across nine units in the university, and enables students to coordinate their graduate studies to concentrate on development issues, using a multidisciplinary approach. 

  • The Development and Sustainability Group is a voluntary network established in 2000, connecting faculty, staff and students who have an interest in international, Canadian, and/or local development and sustainability issues and problems. This interest includes teaching, research, training and practical projects. ‘Development’ for this Group is widely interpreted, and includes social, environmental, economic, political, cultural, scientific, technological, and historical dimensions of the quality of life, and the institutions/forces/groups/individuals responsible for it. The Group includes those who are uncomfortable with the term ‘development’. Through electronic and other means, faculty members of the Development and Sustainability Group seek to improve our interaction and effectiveness, and to assist with graduate student supervision, examination of theses, and organize seminars, field schools, and conferences when the opportunity arises.

  • The purpose of the Development and Sustainability Program Steering Committee is to promote the study of Development and Sustainability within and outside the University, with special reference to learning, research, projects, and public events. The Steering Committee is appointed by the Dean of the Faculty of Environment, and is responsible for governance of the whole Development and Sustainability Program.

For additional Faculty of Environment (FENV) undergraduate and graduate program options, please visit the FENV website

bolivia workshop 2.2

In Memory of John Brohman

John Brohman was a much beloved professor of Geography, Latin American Studies, Development & Sustainability, and International Studies at SFU. He served as Director of the LAS program from 2001-2004, was well known to many cohorts of LAS students for leading field schools to Nicaragua where he had lived as a young man while doing research for his PhD. He was a key part of the team that developed a curriculum on Community Economic Development in Mexico and Bolivia - successful projects that trained hundreds of people in how to facilitate participatory planning for bottom-up change. His book entitled Popular Development (1996) helped a generation of scholars understand the theory and practice of grassroots participation in development projects. He was an expert in Agrarian Reform and the Agroexport Model in Latin America, and recently had turned to the study of Food Security in Bolivia. He died peacefully on June 9, 2014 surrounded by his family. His time on this earth was cut short too soon, but he lived life to the fullest. His passion for equity, kindness, thoughtful scholarship lives on. His colleagues and students will especially remember him for his entertaining and uplifting stories of his adventures travelling to more than 70 countries around the world.

Gretchen Hernandez
Bolivia Projects Coordinator, Centre for Sustainable Community Development
PhD Candidate, Geography
Sessional Instructor, Geography and Development & Sustainability

On behalf of the entire DEVS Community