Systems Thinking for Environmental Policy & Planning
Description: Environmental Policy and Planning provides an introduction to how environmental policies have been and can be designed/created, implemented, and evaluated amidst complex information-based, social, political, and cultural processes. The course emphasizes a systems-based methodological approach for addressing the complexities involved in framing, analyzing, and designing an implementation plan for policy construction. The course also explores through landmark and contemporary case studies several dimensions of environmental policymaking: * Contextual, historical, and structural aspects of environmental policymaking at the local, state, federal, and international levels * Use of quantitative and qualitative analytical tools (from the core program as well as new tools) * The process of how policies derive their meaning. Students in this course work on a final environmental policy project to demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skill-based exercises explored during the term.
Learning Outcomes: * Learn and deploy a systems-based approach towards structuring and analyzing an environmental policy decision situation * Connect several analytical tools to policymaking processes, such as rate and weight decision methods, optimization, decision analysis and decision trees, economic modeling, risk analysis, and GIS * Evaluate and design potential alternative policy solutions * Propose strategic ways of engaging with social and political processes in order to advance policy solution goals * Assess how the courses tools relate to career goals and objectives