This is a practical course in environmental decision making in response to complex, open-ended problem situations. Students work together in groups to acquire and practice basic tools of systems thinking and ethical inquiry, then bring those tools to bear on problem situations of their own choosing.
Policy Tools for Environmental Management constructs a general framework for analyzing environmental issues, and develops concepts and techniques for managing environmental systems, within the context of environmental planning and policy within sustainable communities.
Science, Technology and Society (STS) - also called Science and Technology Studies - is an interdisciplinary field of study that seeks to understand how science and technology shape society and culture and how society and culture, in turn, shape the development of science and technology. These are fundamental issues that underlie questions of sustainability and community especially when developing technology solutions that depend on knowledge of social and environmental context. This course explores key topics, debates, and theoretical perspectives ion STS.
Environmental finance is concerned with finance and investment in the ecological environment and sustainable systems. It involves converting ecosystem services and products into financial instruments, which can be traded and sold, so as to establish a market price. This course will explore social, cultural and environmental dimensions of the financialization of environmental goods and services. The course will begin with an introduction to finance, introducing students to key terms, practices, and institutions.
This course aims to address the whole complexity of climate change, by bringing together the science of climate change, the analysis of impacts, and the economic and engineering strategies to reduce emissions. In this class, students will be actively engaged in exploring the scientific and economic issues underlying the threat of global climate change and the institutions engaged in negotiating an international response.
The goal of this course is to provide a solid introduction to the concept of sustainable growth and development. Students will learn how to professionally navigate the current debate on sustainability and to assess strategies to promote sustainable communities and a sustainable planet. The course will blend qualitative and quantitative analysis of sustainable development, with large use of data analysis to measure progress towards sustainable development. Special attention will be paid to the role of technological innovation.
This course cuts through myths that are pervasive in the media, in public opinion, and in statements by politicians. It will provide students with a theoretical basis from which to assess energy policy options, an understanding of how global energy markets work, and an overview of domestic and international energy policy. The course seeks to build group project skills, and students will produce a policy analysis of policy options related to an energy policy problem.
The course will focus on what constitutes effective environmental policy. First, we will analyze the evolution of environmental policy and actors in the environmental arena. Then, we will analyze why environmental policies are needed, discussing the issues of negative externalities and public goods. After that, we will discuss environmental policy instruments for addressing environmental issues at the local, regional, and global levels.