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Environmental Policy, Planning & Law Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies

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This option is concerned with how environmental policies, plans, and laws from the local to the global are created, implemented and contested. It emphasizes legislative, regulatory, and collaborative approaches to addressing environmental issues.

Policies are guidelines for action. They can be in the form of laws, regulations, treaties, agreements, prescribed practices, professional standards, corporate strategies, operating procedures and personal codes of conduct. Studies will focus on how policies come to be, how they are implemented, enforced, evaluated, and affirmed, rejected or revised. Environmental planning encompasses plan formulation to implementation.

As environmental problems grow more complex and urgent, the need has grownfor professionals in government, advocacy, business, education and the laws resulting in a sound understanding of the policy process in its many dimensions and a clear grasp of the interdependencies between ecological and social systems. Policy and planning approaches increasingly involve public-private collaborations of diverse actors and stakeholders who address the unique environmental, legal, social and cultural components of the resource systems to be managed.

The Environmental Policy, Planning & Law Option (EPPL) promotes understanding of and develops skills for the many facets of the policy process, including:

  • how policies come into being (proposed, advocated, communicated, adopted, implemented, evaluated, reformed)
  • types of policies (laws, regulation, economic incentives and disincentives, education and communication),
  • scale (personal, local, state, national, international, global),
  • activities (industrial processes, consumer behavior, resource extraction and use, transportation, marketing and social infrastructure.)
  • how society selects among competing aims (individual freedom, economic efficiency, social cohesion, safety and security and others.)
  • the role of politics and political ideology in policy making (conservatism, liberalism, environmental radicalism, deep ecology, government and governance)
  • the interaction between environmental policy and social justice (racism and the environment, feminism, indigenous and First Nations rights and perspectives, issues of globalism and global resource inequities).

Environmental Policy, Planning and Law graduates have career opportunities in all environmental sectors, working for federal, state and local governments, industry and consulting firms, and environmental non-government-organizations (NGOs). Many, either directly upon graduation or after a few years of work experience, go to graduate school in programs including law, public administration, planning, landscape architecture, and environmental management.

Option Requirement Overview

Course Course Name Credits
  Option Methods Courses (2) 6
  Option Electives (5) 12
  Environmental Law Course 3
  Environmental Planning Course 3
EST 550 Environmental Impact Analysis 3
 
Total Option Credits
30

Option Methods Courses

Methods are tool-related topics that are used to analyze existing policies, to evaluate the need for new policies, and to facilitate effective collaborations. Below is a list of approved courses. Your EPPL Option Advisor may substitute, without petition, other courses that he or she determines meet the analysis/ facilitation tool intent. Students are strongly encouraged to take at least one Geographic Information Systems course.

ESF Courses
Course Course Name Credits
EFB 312 Introduction to Personal Environmental Interpretation Methods 3
EFB 417 Non-personal Environmental Interpretive 3
ESF 300 Introduction to Geospatial Information Technologies 3
EST 427 Environmental and Energy Auditing 3
ERE 365 Principles of Remote Sensing 3
LSA 311 Natural Processes in Design and Planning 3
LSA 451 Comprehensive Land Planning 3
SU Courses
Course Course Name Credits
ANT 372 Issues in Intercultural Communication and Conflict 3
ANT 484 Social Movement Research Methods 3
GEO 361 Global Economic Geography 3
GEO 372 Political Geography 3
GEO 386 Quantitative Geographic Analysis 3

Additional methods courses may be approved by consulting with your advisor.

Option Electives

The courses listed on the following page are illustrative of some of the multiple courses at ESF and SU that are policy focused. In addition, all of the Law courses listed below may also count as Policy, Planning and Law Option elective courses. Students are strongly encouraged to work with their Advisor to develop a coherent set of courses that provide the breadth and depth suitable as a foundation for graduate study and/or entry-level professional positions.

ESF Courses
Course Course Name Credits
EST 220 Urban Ecology 3
EST 312 Sociology of Natural Resources 3
EST 353 Behavior Change and the Environment 3
EST 366 Attitudes, Values & the Environment 3
EST 395 Public Communication of Science & Technology 3
EST 405 Gender, Culture and the Environment 3
EST 415 Environmental Justice 3
EST 426 Community Planning and Sustainability 3
EST 427 Environmental and Energy Auditing 3
EST 450 Sustainable Enterprise 3
EST 493 Environmental Communication Workshop 3
EFB 312 Introduction to Personal Environmental Interpretation Methods 3
EFB 400 Toxic Health Hazards 3
EFB 405 Literature of Natural History 3
EFB 417 Non-personal Environmental Interpretive 3
EFB 522 Biophysical Economics 3
ENS 519 Spatial Ecology 3
ERE 365 Principles of Remote Sensing 3
ESF 300 Introduction to Geospatial Information Technologies 3
EWP 394 The Art of Storytelling 3
EWP 450 Digital Storytelling 3
FOR 333 Natural Resources Managerial Economics 3
FOR 372 Fundamentals of Outdoor Recreation 3
FOR 442 Watershed Ecology and Management 3
FOR 465 Natural Resources Policy 3
FOR 478 Wilderness and Wildlands Management 3
LSA 311 Natural Processes in Design and Planning 3
LSA 451 Comprehensive Land Planning 3
SU Courses
Course Course Name Credits
ANT/GEO 405 Conservation and Management Protected Areas 3
ANT 407 Environment and Policy in the Tropics 3
ANT 414 Cities, Spaces and Power 3
ANT 475 Culture and Disputing 3
ECN 365 The World Economy 3
GEO 353 Geographies of Environmental Justice 3
GEO 356 Environmental Ideas and Policy 3
GEO 383 Geographic Information Systems 3
GEO 388 Geographic Information and Society 3
GEO 573 The Geography of Capital 3
PAF 416 Community Problem Solving 3
PAF 451 Environmental Policy 3
PSC 305 The Legislative Process and the U.S. Congress 3
PSC 308 The Politics of U.S. Public Policy 3
PSC 318 Technology, Politics, and Environment 3
PSC 328 American Social Movements 3
PSC 355 International Political Economy 3
PSC 365 International Political Economy of the Third World 3
AAS 346 Comparative Third World Politics 3
SOC 363 Urban Sociology 3
SOC 421 Population Issues 3
SOC 466 Organizations and Society 3

Additional courses may be approved by consulting with your advisor.

Environmental Law Courses

Legal processes play a critical role in the creation and implementation of environmental policies. All students must take at least one Law course and are encouraged to take additional offerings from the recommended list below:

ESF Courses
Course Course Name Credits
EST 460 Land Use Law 3
FOR 487 Environmental Law and Policy 3
FOR 489 Natural Resources Law and Policy 3
SU Courses
Course Course Name Credits
LPP 255 Introduction to the Legal System 3
LPP 458 Environmental Law and Public Policy[1] 3
PSC 304 The Judicial Process 3
PSC 324 Constitutional Law I 3
PSC 325 Constitutional Law II (PSC 324 is an unofficial prerequisite) 3
PSC 352 International Law 3

Additional courses may be approved by consulting with your advisor.

Environmental Planning Courses

ESF Courses
Course Course Name Credits
EST 426 Community Planning and Sustainability 3
EFB 417 Non-personal Environmental Interpretive Methods 3
FOR 372 Fundamentals of Outdoor Recreation 3
FOR 442 Watershed Ecology and Management 3
FOR 475 Human Dimensions and Recreation Visitor Management 3
LSA 311 Natural Processes in Design & Planning 3
LSA 451 Comprehensive Land Planning 3
SU Courses
Course Course Name Credits
ANT/GEO 405 Conservation and Mgmt. of Protected Areas 3
PAF 416 Community Problem Solving 3

Additional courses may be approved by consulting with your advisor.

Typical Course Sequence

This is a possible sequence for the Environmental Policy, Planning and Law Option. In consultation with your Advisor, you may adjust this sequence to suit your specific situation.

Junior - Fall Course Credits
EFB 320 General Ecology (R) 4
EWP 407 Writing for Environmental Professionals (R) 3
EST 361 History of the American Environmental Movement (R) 3
  EPPL Option Elective 3
  EPPL Option Elective 3
    Total Credits: 16
Junior - Spring Course Credits
APM 391 Introduction to Probability and Statistics(R) 3
EST 321 Government and the Environment (R) 3
  EPPL Option Elective 3
  EPPL Option Elective 3
  General Elective 3
    15
Senior - Fall Course Credits
  Upper Division Computing or Natural Science Course 3-4
  EPPL Option Methods Course (GIS recommended) 3
  EPPL Option Environmental Planning Course 3
  EPPL Option Environmental Law Course 3
  EST 550 Environmental Impact Analysis (R) 3
    Total Credits: 15-16
Senior - Spring Course Credits
EST 494 Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies 1
Senior Synthesis (R) 3
  EPPL Option Elective 3
  EPPL Option Methods Course 3
  General Elective 3
  General Elective 3
    Total Credits: 16

[1] Since this course is the same course as FOR 487 Environmental Law and Policy, students may only take LPP 458 if they are unable to take FOR 487.