Public Policy of Conservation and Sustainable Development

   Biology 6250 / Political Science 6452 Reference Biol #14701, PolSci #14604)

  Benton Hall B115, Monday & Wednesday, 5:30-8:00 pm

  Link to Environmental Politics Bibliography

 

  Instructors:

   Jeff Ettling, ph: 314-646-4827; email ettling@stlzoo.org

   Dave Robertson, 347 SSB; ph: 314-516-5836; email daverobertson@umsl.edu

   Office Hours: Monday 1-4, and I can make appointments most days before 3pm

 

 1. Description. How do our societies govern the environment? Can they do better?  In Public Policy of Conservation and Sustainable Development, we focus on the challenges, the uncertainties and the different standpoints that drive our response to environmental problems. This course aims to help students (1) master key facts, concepts, and relationships in the field of sustainable development; (2) develop tools and skills for analyzing sustainable development policy and (3) apply the knowledge, tools and skills to sustainable development policy building. In the first part of the course, we analyze the cultural, historical, and institutional roots of environmental policy.  In the second part, we examine the concepts and approaches to environmental policy-building.  In the third part, students will apply the background knowledge and approaches to current sustainable development issues of their choice. This course should be of interest to students in conservation biology, domestic and international public policy, political science, cultural anthropology and other social sciences, education, and public policy. The course will be team taught by a political scientist and a biologist. A prior course in ecology can be helpful but is not required.

 

2. Goals. This course aims to help

    (1) master key facts, concepts, and relationships in the field of sustainable development;

    (2) develop tools and skills for analyzing sustainable development policy and

    (3) apply the knowledge, tools and skills to sustainable development policy building

 

3. Grading

The grade for the course is allocated in the following way:

Participation:               30% of the final grade
Midterm Essays:          20% of the final grade
White Paper:               50% of the final grade

 

4. Books

The following books are required reading in this course. They are available at the UM-St. Louis bookstore.  Be sure to purchase the most recent edition of the books:

·       Susan G. Clark (originally published under the name Timothy Clark). The Policy Process: A Practical Guide for Natural Resource Professionals. New Haven: Yale University Press. 2002. Paperback. ISBN978-0-300-09012-3

·       J.R. McNeill. Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World.  New York: WW Norton. 2001. Paperback. ISBN 978-0-393-32183-8

5. Participation. You must participate in this course actively in order for it to work well. You must prepare for and attend class, and you must contribute thoughtfully to discussion. To ensure fairness in allocating this portion of the grade, sign-up sheets will be circulated during some of the classes. If we invite a guest speaker, you can be certain that your absence will reduce your grade.

Your reading assignments are listed on the attached class schedule. You are expected to read the material before coming to class, and you are expected to be prepared to discuss the reading material in class. You may be asked to discuss a question regarding the reading during the class for which the reading is assigned.

 

We strongly encourage you to ask questions.

 

6. Mid-term essay You will write a midterm essay in response to two questions we will hand out in class.  These essays aim to measure your command of the readings in the course.  These essays combined will be a total of no more than 8 pages.  These are due by email on or by Monday March 20 [2017]

 

8. White Papers. You will identify an agency and write a white paper for it. More details on this assignment will be provided in readings and in class.  Table 7.1 in Susan Clark’s The Policy Process (page 141) provides some guidance for this assignment. You should submit a topic for this white paper as soon as you can, no later than February 20. See the sample white papers at the My Gateway tab for Readings and Sample White Papers.

 

9. Plagiarism.  Plagiarism means taking the written ideas of someone else and presenting them in your writing as if they were your ideas, without giving the author credit.  Plagiarism (a word which comes from the Latin word for kidnapping) is deceitful and dishonest.  Violations that have occurred frequently in the past include not using quotation marks for direct quotes and not giving citations when using someone else's ideas; using long strings of quotations, even when properly attributed, does not constitute a paper of your own. Plagiarism in written work for this class is unacceptable. The University's Student Conduct Code classifies plagiarism as a form of academic dishonesty.  Depending on the severity of the plagiarism, punishment can include receiving no credit for the assignment, failing the course and referral for university disciplinary action.


Course Schedule   * indicates reading on My Gateway, “Readings”

 

January 23     Monday                      

Introductions

 

Taking Different Standpoints Seriously

 

The Dominant Social Paradigm

            Example: Wilderness

           

 

January 30     Monday          

 

Introduction to Sustainable Development     

Read:   * UN General Assembly, “A Life With Dignity for All”

                        * Hempel, Concepts of Sustainability

                        * Armenia: Undermining the Environment

 

Environmental Thought

Read:   *Egerton, “Changing Concepts of the Balance of Nature”
Selections: *Pinchot; *Leopold, *Carson, *Wildness Act * Bullard

 

The Big Picture

            Read:   McNeill, Something New Under the Sun, pp. 3-17

 

 

February 6     Monday                      

 

Introduction to the Policy Process

            Read:   Clark, The Policy Process, pp. ix-16, 140-145.

Biodiversity

            Read:   McNeill, Something New Under the Sun, pp. 192-268

                        *”Ecosystem-based Forest Management”

Land & Cities

            Read:   McNeill, Something New Under the Sun, 21-49, 269-295

 

 

February 13   Monday

 

Air & Water

            Read:   McNeill, Something New Under the Sun, pp. 50-191

 

Energy and Technology

            Read:   McNeill, Something New Under the Sun, pp. 298-324

                        *Rosenbaum, “America's Energy Politics”

                        *Owen, “The Efficiency Dilemma”

February 20   Monday

 

Topic for White Paper due

 

Individuals, Society, and Social Process

            Read: Clark, The Policy Process, pp. 17-55

 

Ideology and Politics 

            Read:   McNeill, Something New Under the Sun, pp. 325-362

                        *Downs, “The Issue-Attention Cycle”

                        *Miles, “The Origin and Meaning of Miles Law”

                       
           

February 27   Monday

           

Politics and Government

Read:   * NOx Case Study

            * Bighorn Sheep & Mountain Lion case study

*Selen & Vandeever, “US Climate Change Politics”

            *Mazmanian & Nijaki, “Sustainable Development & Governance”

*Meadowcroft, “Greening the State”

            *”Policy Creates Politics”

 

                       

           

March  6         Monday

 

The Decision Process and Problem Orientation

Read: Clark, The Policy Process, pp. 55-110

Illustrations from Armenia

 

 

           

March 13        Monday

            Read: Clark, The Policy Process, pp. 111-172

 

Exercise on Clark, The Policy Process, pp. 32-110 

 

 

 

March 20         Monday

            Individual meetings with students on white paper    

 

March  27        Spring Break; class does not meet

 

March 31         Monday                       Summary

           

April 3            Monday                       Project Presentations

                       

 

April 10           Monday                       Project Presentations

 

                       

April 17           Monday                       Project Presentations

 

 

April 20           Monday                       Project Presentations

 

 

May 1             Monday

            The Global Policy Context and Process

            Read:  *O'Neill, “Global Environmental Policy Making”

           *O'Neill, “Comparative Study of Environmental Movements”

           

Course Summary

Read: *UN General Assembly, “A Life With Dignity for All”