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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Nives Dolsak
SMA 550
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Marine Studies

Examination of various aspects of marine studies. Content varies, depending upon the interests of the faculty and students. Intended for the joint participation by the faculty and advanced students in the investigation of selected topics. One or more groups are organized each quarter.

Class description

This course examines two concepts that are intertwined and often perceived as constraining one another, economic development and the natural environment. Economic development is a key component of a society’s survival and progress. Governments are judged in terms of their success in encouraging economic growth. Yet, economic growth can lead to resource overuse and pollution. Sustainable development, growth management, sustainable yield, sustainable practices, local and organic food production, corporate social responsibility, and other approaches have been devised to harmonize growth and sustainability. Under what conditions such approaches emerge? What factors influence their effectiveness? How do they relate to other societal goals such as democracy and equity? These are the key issues addressed in this course.

Student learning goals

Development of knowledge of key institutions fostering sustainable development, key policy actors, policy process, and policy design;

Development of analytical thinking skills and engagement with theoretical arguments;

Improvement of integrative thinking, linking natural science with social sciences;

Improvement of oral and written communication skills;

Development and design of an empirical research project proposal.

General method of instruction

I use a seminar approach. I expect students to read the assigned readings prior to the class and come prepared to engage in an energetic discussion to identify core issues, engage in theoretical debates, examine policy options, and suggest policy solutions. Students will reflect on the assigned readings in weekly memos. They will also develop a proposal for an empirical research project.

Recommended preparation


Class assignments and grading

1. Six memos, addressing all readings assigned for the class session (700-900 words), each 10 points; 2. Empirical research project proposal, 40 points. a. Definition of the research question/policy problem (1-2 pages) b. Literature review (4-5 pages) c. Variable conceptualization and operationalization (1-2 pages) d. Proposed data sources/collection method (1-2 pages) e. Proposed data analysis methodology (1-2 pages)

See above.

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 Nives Dolsak
Date: 07/06/2010