NREM 302: Natural Resources and Environmental Policy [FALL 2017]. This undergraduate course is designed to provide an in-depth review of environmental policy, with a focus on United States federal policy. Sustaining natural resources and the quality of our shared environment requires a range of social actors (e.g. resource-users, NGOs, businesses, governments) to develop, implement, enforce, and monitor the “rules of conduct” intended to influence human behavior with regard to the environment. Understanding how these rules are developed—and whether or not they have their intended effect—is the heart of understanding environmental policy. Using an interdisciplinary lens, this course examines how diverse social actors develop solutions to environmental problems at local, state, national, and global levels. The course focuses on what constitutes effective environmental policy. We discuss important concepts and methods, both theoretical and practical, developed mainly through exploring studies relevant in developing and implementing effective natural resource and environmental management policy.
NREM 691: Human Dimensions of Natural Resources [FALL 2017]. Working with people is essential for professionals in natural resource management, and requires that a natural resource manager understands how people value, interact with, and are sustained by the natural environment. This 3-credit graduate level course explores the application of social science concepts and research to natural resource conservation and management. Students will learn how understanding human values, thought, attitudes, and behavior can support improved natural resource outcomes. The first few weeks of the course will examine values, norms, and attitudes regarding natural resources. Then, we will discuss specific problems in natural resource management, including wildlife and climate change. When possible, guest lecturers will provide expert perspectives on human dimensions. The major assignment for the course is a field investigation using a survey instrument. Specifically, the class will develop and analyze results from a survey for the IUCN Oil Palm Task Force to assess IUCN members’ perspectives on palm oil and conservation. In addition, students will complete weekly readings and lead one or more class discussions during the semester.