Economic principles and their use in the analysis of contemporary conservation problems. Particular emphasis directed toward the conservation of forest resources in the Pacific Northwest and related policy issues. Offered: Sp.
Students gain a working knowledge of economic methods, language and concepts as they are applied to the environment and natural resources by reading text book chapters, journal articles, and other printed material. In-class discussion groups allow students to articulate economic concepts including valuation methods applied to conservation problems, cost-benefit analysis of management plans and projects and other economic analyses of policy in the conservation arena. Homework assignments in the form of discussion questions are used to reinforce in-class materials.
The course materials covered are:
§ Microeconomics: Market Theory: Supply, demand, market equilibrium, and competition.
§ Natural Resource Economics: Capital Theory, renewable and non-renewable extraction, markets.
§ Environmental Economics: Market Inefficiency, monetary values on the environment
§ Market-based Approaches: How these methods are best applied in natural and environmental economics
Student learning goals
1. Have a working knowledge of economic methods, language and concepts as they are applied to the environment and natural resources:
2. Understand the use of economics in conservation discussions by articulating values and identifying problems and objectives;
3. Understand key differences in natural and environmental resources and their valuation;
4. Understand, interpret and evaluate cost benefit analyses;
5. Understand and be able to apply valuation techniques to conservation problems;
6. Be able to carry out economic analyses of policy in the conservation arena.
General method of instruction
Lectures and class discussions. Class discussions are an important aspect of the class. Reinforcement of concepts presented in class will be made during small group in class discussions.
No prior economic courses required. Weekly readings and participation in class discussions
Class assignments and grading
Homework assignments will be given out Fridays and will be due the following Wednesday. Homework will be in the form of discussion questions and are used to reinforce lecture materials. Homework assignments count towards the course grade (see below). Late assignments will be recorded as zeros.
Grading: There will be a midterm and a final. The following weights will be assigned to the homework and discussion, midterm and the final for computing the course grade. Grades: Percentages Minimum grade 95-100 3.7-4.0 91-94 3.4-3.6 85-90 3.0-3.3 80-84 2.7-2.9 76-79 2.4-2.6 70-75 2.0-2.3 65-69 1.7-1.9 61-64 1.4-1.6 55-60 1.0-1.3 50-54 0.7-0.9 Distribution 0.25 Homework 0.25 Discussion group participation 0.25 Mid term 0.25 Final