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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Craig Zumbrunnen
GEOG 370
Seattle Campus

Problems in Resource Management

Principles and practices of effective conservation and utilization of natural resources. Role of technology in resource use. Physical, political, and economic aspects of resource management for food, population, land, water, air, energy, and timber resources.

Class description

GEOGRAPHY 370 Spring 2014 Problems of Resource Management: Energy and Climate Change Time: MW 12:30 - 2:20 PM Classroom: MEB 248 Instructor: Craig ZumBrunnen Office: Room 412E Smith Hall Office Hours: MW 11:30-12:15 PM or by appointment Phone Office: 206-543-4915 E-mail: craigzb@uw.edu

Class website access URL: https://catalyst.uw.edu/workspace/craigzb/38018 Login: Your UW NET id PW: Student id #

Course Goals:

The goal of this course is to help students become more effective participants in environmental decision making as citizens and professionals, especially with regard to energy and climate. The course content includes some history of natural resource and energy use, core ecosystem and natural processes focusing on energy use/policies and climate change/policies leading to discussion, analyses, and critiques of alternative decision-making methods and strategies mainly, but not exclusively, regarding the US. You should take this course if you are interested in an environmental career, or simply want to be a more informed citizen.

What students can expect to learn from this course:

Students can expect to learn about: 1) a survey history of American resource use practices & environmentalism; 2) basic economic concepts as applied to natural resource management and their critique; 3) major ecosystem concepts and processes; 4) natural (e.g., thermodynamic) and historical-geographic human-economic processes, and problems bearing on local, national and global energy use & climate change; 5) the strengths and shortcomings of various strategies and policies for environmental and resource protection; and 6) some appreciation for the complexities involved in the controversies surrounding the energy use, concept(s) of “sustainable development.” I wish to strongly emphasize that the purpose and perspective of this course is as much to develop critical thinking and questioning skills, as it is to convey a specific body of information. Accordingly, expect this class to generate more questions than answers.

General methods of instruction:

The primary methods of instruction which will be employed include: 1) lecture and class discussions/debates, 2) small group activities and issue oriented debates, 3) relevant energy and climate change videos, 4) classroom “walk through” of sample benefit-cost problems, B-C treatment of uncertainty and the inherent problems of only using B-C or economic analyses to evaluate energy and climate policies and 5) possibly even short field trips to energy installations - wind, hydro, solar, in the region.

Recommended preparation for success in the course:

There are no formal course prerequisites for the class. However, some general geography background gleaned from such courses as Geog 123, Geog 205, and Geog 207 would be beneficial. Interest in and background reading in natural resource history, introductory biology/ecology, energy, climate science and economics would be helpful and useful; but the lectures will be given and topics discussed assuming no such general student background education and training.

General nature of assignments:

There will be two major types of assignments used inside and/or outside the classroom: 1) assigned readings, and 2) in-class group exercises/debates/discussions.

Basis on which grades are assigned (tentative depending on group project or not):

Grading will be based upon four different components: (1) a take-home essay exam (30% of grade) due at beginning of the class on May 12, (2) a set of graded Benefit/Cost – Cost Effectiveness exercises (10%) due on May 14, (3) class participation involving discussions, and two group process activities (a Cognitive Conceptual Content Mapping (3CM) activity and an 8-Sector CO2 Stabilization Wedge activity (combined total worth 20% of grade), and (4) a final essay exam (40% of grade) due on or before 5 PM on Wednesday, June 11. The two take-home exams will be given based on assigned readings and lecture materials. The first essay exam with have a 4-page limit and the final essay exam will have a 6-page limit and both essay exams will have a choice of responding to one of two questions. The potential questions will be handed out approximately five days prior to their due dates and will include point evaluation schemes.

Academic Honesty:

A number of students across campus are finding themselves accused of academic misconduct when other students have submitted their work. One source of the problems is that papers, assignments and essays are being copied from computers and especially JUMP DRIVES when students leave their computers unattended. This is happening on campus, and especially in the dorms. Please make yourselves aware of the rules and parameters involved with the academic code of conduct. Accordingly, the following link is a useful summary to clarify the expectations of academic honesty.

http://depts.washington.edu/grading/issue1/honesty.htm

Required TEXTs: Gavin Bridge & Philippe Le Billon, Oil. Cambridge, UK Malden, MA, 2013. (hereafter, O). [ISBN 978-0745649269].

Lester R. Brown, World on the Edge. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2011. (hereafter, WoE). [ISBN 978-0-393-33949-9].

Charles L. Harper, Environment and Society: Human Perspectives on Environmental Issues, Fifth Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson-Prentice Hall, 2011. (hereafter, ES). [ISBN-13: 978-0-205820535].

Michael T. Klare, The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources. New York: Picador, 2012. (hereafter, RWL) [ISBN 978-1-250-02397-1].

Laurence C. Smith, The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future. New York: Plume, 2011. (hereafter, W) [ISBN 978-0452297470].

DATE TOPIC/ISSUES READINGS March 31 Introduction to course, “Resources are not, they become,” ES 1-43; W 1-25; concepts of property rights WoE ix-20; O 1-34; RWL 1-40 April 2 Conceptual Content Cognitive Mapping (3CM) group process will be introduced & used to develop the position papers concepts

April 7 Class time devoted to working on 3CM oral reports ES 269-310 April 9 Economic & Ecosystem concepts W 29-120 April 14 Key Ecosystem concepts & Key Ecosystem concepts April 16 American Conservation History

April 21 American Conservation History April 23 Introduction to Benefit-Cost analysis & its shortcomings, B-C exercises handed out

April 28 Cost-Effectiveness concepts April 30 Alternative Evaluation Methods of Ecosystem Services ES 230-268 May 5 In-class Game & Hardin’s “Tragedy of Commons” WoE 21-98 http://www.sciencemag.org/content/162/3859/1243.full “Ecological Economics” thanks to Robert Costanza ES 151-229 Read and respond to Costanza's “Four Visions of the Future”: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol4/iss1/art5/ May 7 Mineral Resources and land RWL 128-208 B-C exercises due, first exam handed out

May 12 Processes, problems, issues and approaches to the management ES 44-78 of air quality First exam due at beginning of class May 14 Processes, problems, issues and approaches to the management of water resources,

May 19 Intro to Energy & Society O Chapters 2-7, ES 110-150; RWL 41-127; WoE 99-150 “History of Oil” video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DCwafIntj0 “History of Oil Propaganda” http://www.crankmychain.com/plentytv/history-of-oil-propaganda-video_fa3fdd62b.html May 21 Continue discussion Geopolitics of Energy Issues Other reading selections: Michael T. Klare, “The New Geopolitics of Energy,” http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080519/klare/print http://www.thenation.com/article/new-geopolitics-energy Michael T. Klare, “Anatomy of a Price Surge,” http://thenation.com/doc/20080707/klare/print http://www.thenation.com/article/anatomy-price-surge Michael T. Klare, “Beyond the Age of Petroleum,” http://www.thenation.com/doc/20071112/klare/print http://www.thenation.com/article/beyond-age-petroleum

May 26 Memorial Day Holiday: No Class May 28 Global Climate change, a new type of environmental problem ES 79-110; W 123-220 June 2 Climate science & climate change impacts Other reading selections: Walsh, Bryan. (2007) “Third World Smoke Alarm.” Time Magazine May 10, 2007 -accessed at http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1619098,00.html Environmental Protection Agency. (2007) “Climate Change – Health and Environmental Effects.” (Optional) access at www.epa.gov/climatechange/effects/health.html

June 4 Climate Change - Global warming cont. WoE 151-202; W 223-261; RWL 209-234 In-class group process: 8-sector Stabilization Wedges: A Concept & Game: http://cmi.princeton.edu/wedges/pdfs/teachers_guide.pdf Summary discussions Final essay exam questions handed out ------------------------------------- June 11 Take-Home Final Exam: due before Wed. @ 5:00 PM in Rm 412E Smith Hall.

OPTIONAL: Examples of other assigned reading selections, podcasts, etc. may also be used as appropriate and available either on-line or on reserve.

Student learning goals

Students can expect to learn about: 1) a survey history of American resource use practices & environmentalism;

2) basic economic concepts as applied to natural resource management and their critique;

3) major ecosystem concepts and processes;

4) natural (e.g., thermodynamic) and historical-geographic human-economic processes, and problems bearing on local, national and global energy use & climate change;

5) the strengths and shortcomings of various strategies and policies for environmental and resource protection;

6) some appreciation for the complexities involved in the controversies surrounding the energy use, concept(s) of “sustainable development.” I wish to strongly emphasize that the purpose and perspective of this course is as much to develop critical thinking and questioning skills, as it is to convey a specific body of information. Accordingly, expect this class to generate more questions than answers.

General method of instruction

The primary methods of instruction which will be employed include: 1) lecture and class discussions/debates, 2) group experiential learning processes, 3) small group activities and issue oriented debates, 4) relevant energy and climate change videos, 5) classroom “walk through” of sample benefit-cost problems, B-C treatment of uncertainty and the inherent problems of only using B-C or economic analyses to evaluate energy and climate policies and 6) possibly even short field trips to energy installations in the region.

Recommended preparation

There are no formal course prerequisites for the class. However, some general geography background gleaned from such courses as Geog 100, Geog 205, and especially Geog 207 would be beneficial. Interest in and background reading in natural resource history, introductory biology/ecology, energy, climate science and economics would be helpful and useful; but the lectures will be given and topics discussed assuming no such general student background education and training.

Class assignments and grading

There will be four types of assignments used inside and/or outside the classroom: 1) assigned readings, 2) benefit-cost problem sets, 3) experiential group activities, 4) policy position paper, and 5) in-class group debates/discussion.

Grading will be based upon one mid-term essay exam (30% of grade), class participation and policy position paper/letter (20% of grade), graded exercises (20%) and a final essay exam (30% of grade). The mid-term and final exams will be given based on assigned readings and lecture material.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Craig Zumbrunnen
Date: 03/26/2014