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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Clare Ryan
PB AF 592
Seattle Campus

Resource Policy and Administration

Study based on understanding of the actors, arenas, issues, and policy communities that form the context for policy development and implementation. Exploration of approaches to policy inquiry. Consideration of implications for both policy and management. Students develop a study design for course project. Offered: jointly with SEFS 571.

Class description

This 5-credit course is designed to provide an intense graduate-level introduction to the structure and dynamics of the U.S. resource policy processes and administrative decision-making. It is concerned both with policy formulation how proposals for action win sufficient support to be approved and policy implementation how programs are actually put into effect. Within the context of natural resource policy, we also explore issues related to the political, administrative and technical feasibility of a variety of policy choices. The course is intended for graduate students entering graduate or professional study in resource and public policy, planning, and management or related fields.

Student learning goals

Students will be able to systematically disaggregate complex political and management situations.

Students will be able to assess the feasibility of resource policy choices.

Students will be able to suggest strategies to get such choices adopted and implemented.

Students will be able to analyze and understand the decision contexts for elected and appointed officials.

Students will be able to develop and write effective decision memos for policy decision makers.

General method of instruction

The course meets for two 2-hour sessions per week, and a significant amount of reading and case preparation is required for the course. The format is a mix of lecture and discussion, with an emphasis on exploration of case materials. Case discussions use our joint understanding of a policy issue to figure out what and why things happened as well as what actors should do given a situation. They provide real settings to probe historical behavior and test strategy. In order to benefit from the cases most effectively, students must regularly attend class and be prepared to actively participate by reading the cases analytically and thoroughly

Recommended preparation

no prerequisites necessary

Class assignments and grading

Four written assignments will constitute the written work for the course, in addition to your class contributions and oral presentation.


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 Clare Ryan
Date: 12/12/2008