This course provides students with theoretical and conceptual tools for the development and administration of environmental policy. It surveys a limited range of public policy approaches (e.g., public choice, corporatism, pluralism, neoinstitutionalism, statism) and introduces students to the policy cycle (from agenda setting to policy evaluation). Modes of policy change (incremental vs. non-incremental) and policy instruments are investigated within the context of international, national (e.g., federal) and sub-national (e.g., provincial/state/local) constitutional and legislative frameworks. Administrative challenges, such as accountability, to this multi-level form of governance are highlighted throughout the process.
This course provides students with an opportunity to apply concepts and ideas learned in ENVP 6000 to a current practical environmental problem facing decision makers. Cases for study are presented by government and industry officials. Students then work together to define the issue, identify and elaborate the relevant science in the problem, identify and elaborate the relevant legislative and regulatory frameworks and propose courses of action to address the problem that balances environmental, social, economic and political objectives. This is a hands-on course with students collecting and integrating data from various sources including governments and the community. Students present their final analyses to decision makers. Case study topics vary from year to year depending on needs and include issues related to climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity, drinking water quality, sewage treatment, species at risk, wildlife management, energy use and related issues, environmental recreation and leisure conflicts, forest practices, land use, waste diversion and recycling, fisheries management and mining exploration, extraction and rehabilitation. Students are guided throughout the course by two faculty members—one from the environmental policy field while the second from the environmental science field.
This course serves as an introduction to the diversity of qualitative and quantitative methods available to researchers in the environmental policy field. Topics covered include designing a research project, identifying causal relationships, building on theory, conducting a literature review, ethical considerations in data gathering, and various data gathering methods (e.g., interviews, historical documents, experiments, surveys) and quantitative analysis. For all approaches, the interpretation, validation, and communication of findings will be emphasized. This course will assist students in the development of a proposal for the thesis or research paper.
This course aims to develop an understanding of different approaches to human-environment relationships through the study of various worldviews. Students are asked to evaluate critically different forms of thinking about the environment from both a global and historical perspective and to link these approaches to problems faced by environmental policy makers. Approaches examined include, but are not limited to, indigenous worldviews, world religions, deep ecology, ecofeminism, ecosocialism, ecopsychology, reform environmentalism, as well as Marxist and neo-liberal approaches. Readings will be drawn from historically significant theories as well as from contemporary literature in the area of environmental ethics and thought. This course is typically team taught to reflect multiple ideological frameworks.
The Research Paper provides students with an opportunity to research, critically reflect upon and write about an approved question, issue or idea and a related body of literature from a public policy lens. This involves working with a supervising faculty member within specific project boundaries that are compatible with the time constraints of the program. The aim is to advance students’ research, policy analysis and communication skills.
*These courses are offered at Grenfell Campus.
This course introduces students to the political economy and political ecology of environmental policy. Topics include the politics of global climate change and sustainability, the environmental movement, equality and economic growth. Discussions will also examine the domestic and international determinants of environmental policy. Consideration will be given to contemporary theoretical perspectives and alternative political solutions to improving long-term sustainability. Students will be familiarized with a range of comparative cases across the advanced industrial and developing world as well as with the different issues and responsibilities facing developing and industrialized countries as they reconcile economic development and environmental sustainability. Students will undertake a research project analyzing a critical political economy issue.
The course is based on a transdisciplinary field of academic research that aims to address the interdependence and co evolution of human economies and natural ecosystems over time and space. It is distinguished from environmental economics by its treatment of the economy as a subsystem of the ecosystem, its emphasis upon preserving natural capital and its focus on “strong” sustainability as opposed to unlimited economic growth. Concepts of stocks and flows, throughput, uneconomic growth and energy balance will be discussed and issues of irreversibility of environmental change, uncertainty of long-term outcomes, and intergenerational equity will be introduced in analysis and valuation. Rules for possible sustainable economies on a finite earth with finite resources will be presented.
This course examines the interconnections between labour and environmental policy. It also explores the relationship between employment and the environment by studying the environmental impacts of industrialization as well as labour organizations’ historical commitment to addressing environmental issues. It considers new alliances between labour and environmental actors (“blue-green” alliances) to develop policies shifting traditional extractive economies to “green,” sustainable economies in both developing and developed country cases. The course addresses the interests of both the environment and workers by examining sustainable development, environmental justice and social ecology.
This course examines the environmental assessment (EA) process as a contribution to the integrated planning of development projects, policies, plans and programs. A comparative international approach is employed with the Canadian EA legislative framework serving as the basis for comparison in order to introduce students to best practices employed around the world. The following topics are addressed: EA history and foundations, EA practices in federations, EA methods and techniques, EA review and meta-assessment, public consultation and EA, and EA permutations including Strategic Environmental Assessment and Cumulative Impacts Assessment.
This course provides an introduction to different concepts of risk, their quantification, and to decision tools and models used in the different fields. The possibility and motives of quantification are questioned. A case-study based approach will be used to demonstrate how results are integrated across different hierarchies of decision-making and to familiarize students with the various institutions and agencies involved in the process and the hierarchies of decision-making.
This course examines and compares the environmental policy regimes surrounding energy exploration and production with an emphasis on developed state cases. It surveys the environmental implications of energy development across the entire production chain, from early exploration to final consumption (climate change, land/habitat degradation and air and water pollution), and explores key trends in environmental policies managing these impacts. Specific reference is made to land use planning, cumulative impact assessment, public consultation and access to information processes as well as policy implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The seminar analyzes policies relating to traditional fossil fuel energy sources (primarily oil, natural gas and coal) and evaluates the effectiveness of policies encouraging the transition from fossil fuel energy to sustainable sources (such as wind, tidal, hydro, solar and geothermal).
This course introduces students to the interplay between environmental, social and institutional systems as it applies to water resources management. It provides students with an overview of water processes and resources (e.g., hydrologic cycle, surface water, ground water) and surveys a limited range of methodological approaches for the study of water policy. Lastly, it introduces students to a series of concepts (e.g., scale, heterogeneity, “community”, collaboration) and regulatory approaches (e.g., privatization, government, community-based) at the heart of water management and regulation.
This course introduces students to conceptual issues and themes underpinning natural resources of relevance to many northern communities including Newfoundland and Labrador. Issues of scarcity, resiliency, values, knowledge (scientific vs. traditional ecological) and management (private, common, adaptive co-management) are intertwined with jurisdictional complications and difficulties in defining appropriate roles for governments, businesses, communities and non-governmental organizations in resources extraction and management. Resources surveyed include mining (metallic and non-metallic), fisheries and forestry. The course is interdisciplinary focused and draws on guest lecturers from various fields both within and outside of academia (e.g., government).
These courses are to explore policy challenges related to various environmental sectors. Emphasis is placed on examining linkages between institutional, organizational and economic characteristics, public policy and environmental outcomes. Courses may include those in Forestry, Fisheries, Agriculture and Environmental Stewardship, Human Dimensions of Wildlife, Ecosystem-based Planning and Management, Coastal Zone Management Issues, Urban Development and Sustainability, Rural and Regional Development and Sustainability, Regional Development and Sustainable Tourism, and, Advanced Public Policy Theory and Analysis.
** These courses are offered at Grenfell Campus on a rotating basis.
***These courses are offered at St. John’s Campus.
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