Fall Course Descriptions

ENVP U6234 Sustainability Management
The course translates academic study in organization theory, bureaucracy, and public management into practical lessons for public managers. We develop a framework for understanding and applying tools that can be used to influence organizational behavior and obtain resources from the organization’s environment. Earth systems-related case studies present a set of problems for public managers to address. Cases will deal with public, private, and nonprofit environmental management, and will include U.S. and international cases.

ENVP U6310 Quantitative Techniques and Systems Analysis in Policymaking
Students learn quantitative techniques of organizational decision-making including how to formulate and design policy questions amenable to empirical inquiry, as well as how to identify and apply specific measurement and analytic methods appropriate to particular questions. Students are also introduced to the foundations of systems analysis: how to model and understand the design, operation, and impact of a system.

ENVP U8213-U8216 Microeconomics and Policy Analysis I and II
This two-semester course shows students that it is both possible and useful to think about public policy rigorously to see what assumptions work; to understand how formal models operate; to question vagueness and clich├ęs; and to make sophisticated ethical arguments. An important goal of the class is to have students work in groups to apply microeconomic concepts to current public policy issues having to do with urban environmental and earth systems.

The course includes problem sets designed to teach core concepts and their application. In the spring semester, the emphasis is on the application of concepts to analyze contemporary policy problems. Some time is also devoted to international trade and regulation, and industrial organization issues. Students not only learn microeconomic concepts, but also how to explain them to decision-makers. Student groups take on specific earth system policy issues, analyze options through the use of microeconomic concepts, and then make oral presentations to the class.

ENVP U6225 Ethics, Values, and Justice
This course examines the way in which the earth has been viewed by various societies and cultures today and over time. Differing views of the relationship of humans to the environment are discussed and debated, and the impact of ethical systems on environmental policy and practices are described and analyzed. Environmental values, perceptions, norms, and behaviors are studied and analyzed. The course also discusses the environmental policy and management process from the standpoint of ethics, as distinct from efficiency, effectiveness, expertise, cost, or other organizational considerations. Attempts are made to discover some guidelines for ethical stewardship of the planet and for formulating policy decisions with ethical considerations factored in.

ENVP U9229-U9230 The Workshop in Applied Earth Systems Management I and II
In the summer and autumn semesters, the Workshop emphasizes management issues. Students enroll in small, faculty-advised project teams and design a detailed operational plan for addressing an important public policy problem. Each Workshop faculty member selects a piece of proposed but not yet enacted state, federal, or local environmental law (or a U.N. resolution) and students are asked to develop a plan for implementing and managing the new program. In the summer semester, the Workshop groups write reports explaining the environmental science aspects of a management problem to political decision-makers who are not scientists. During the autumn semester the Workshop completes the operational plan for implementing the program. Both the summer and autumn Workshop projects will be on issues central to the two earth systems problem themes that the cohort will focus on throughout their course of study.