NTRES 4300 - Environmental Policy Processes II

Spring. 3 credits. Letter grades only.

Admission by special application process only. Enrollment limited to: junior, senior, or grad student standing. Course information and application available online. Completed applications will be due mid-October. When approved, you will receive a permission code to enroll. Students must enroll in both NTRES 4300 and NTRES 4301  (winter trip to Washington, D.C) to receive a final grade. Students should plan to spend substantial time on independent research, preparation of oral presentations, completion of a major policy brief, and four 2-hour evening sessions in Spring semester.

C.E. Kraft, T.B. Lauber.

This course provides students an intensive field-based exploration of the federal environmental policy process and an overview of how policy issues move onto the federal agenda and through the federal policy-making process. It focuses on defining environmental policy problems and understanding the interrelated set of phases, actors, institutions, and constraints that typically comprise the policy cycle. Case studies provide in-depth examples and allow students to discuss the policy process with policy makers as guest panelists. Research topic requires conducting several independent interviews with Washington experts, preparation of one short and one long policy brief based on the interviews and additional research, and an oral presentation.

Outcome 1: Students will be able to define what constitutes an environmental policy issue and describe in-depth the various phases of the typical policy cycle.

Outcome 2: Students will be able to critically discuss and analyze the ways in which significant actors, institutions, and constraints combine and interact to influence policy decisions.

Outcome 3: Students will apply this knowledge to the analysis and discussion of specific case studies involving environmental policy issues.

Outcome 4: Students will gain experience communicating in oral and written formats with various policy actors associated with their selected policy topic and with specific case studies.

Outcome 5: Students will gain fluency with the language of policy analysis and with the legitimate sources on which to base an unbiased environmental policy analysis.

Outcome 6: Students will gain experience in evaluating, synthesizing, and organizing various source materials, including interviews with policy actors, into three policy briefs and an oral and written presentation of a specific environmental policy issue.

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