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Environmental Emphasis

Emphasis in Environmental, Natural Resource and Energy Policy and Administration

This emphasis is designed to provide a basic understanding of environmental and natural resources policy and administration. Special attention is given to four substantive areas: environmental regulatory policy, energy politics, natural resource policy and administration, and public lands. The students should leave the program with a broad understanding of the interrelationships between these environmental/natural resource areas and administration in the public sector. Areas of special concern include regulatory federalism, the policy process, the key elements of policy change (actors, institutions, ideas), and the importance that politics plays in policy formulation and implementation.

In addition to the 21 credit hours of core courses, an MPA student studying this emphasis must complete the following four courses as part of their 18 credits of electives:


PUBADM-540 CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN NATURAL RESOURCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (3 CREDITS)

This course examines current issues, actors, and policies in the area of natural resources and the environment. Topics include land and water management and use, the natural resource policy environment, the roles and behaviors of natural resource agencies, and alternative natural resource policy futures. Students will address current issues in natural resource and environmental policy.


PUBADM-541 ENVIRONMENTAL AND REGULATORY POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (3 CREDITS)

This course begins with a general overview of the state of the environment in the United States today. This includes a brief historical review of the environmental movement with a special emphasis on growth. This is followed by a general discussion of regulation, deregulation, the administrative state, and the politics of regulatory change (all within an environmental framework). Next the course explores the different aspects of environmental and regulatory administration. Various regulatory techniques are presented as they are applied to the politics of environmental regulation. Discussion focuses on the interrelationship between environmental politics and the administrative state.


PUBADM-542 SCIENCE, DEMOCRACY AND THE ENVIRONMENT (3 CREDITS)

The course begins with an overview of the characteristics that define a democratic society and a discussion of how science and citizenship are linked together in the environmental decision-making process. This issue of clean air policy will serve as a starting point for this discussion. Next, students will examine the structure of our present Research and Development system as we (as a society) attempt to connect the successes in the scientific world to the success in building a better society. Students will then investigate the linkage between science and democracy in the context of the U.S. Congress and its use of expertise in making environmental policy decisions. The course concludes with a discussion of the science-policy linkage as viewed from the perspective of natural scientists.


PUBADM-543 PUBLIC LAND AND RESOURCE POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (3 CREDITS)

This course examines the major issues, actors, and policies affecting the public lands and natural resources of the U.S. Special attention is given to the processes, institutions, and organizations, which influence how public land and natural resource policy is made. Attention is also paid to substantive issues such as wilderness, the politics of subsidies, and the role of science in public decision-making. Idaho, like most of the western states, is a public land state. Many of the most contentious natural resource and environmental policy disputes involve the public lands. This course will help the student make sense of public land and natural resource policy and administration.


PUBADM-544 ENERGY IN THE WESTERN U.S. (3 CREDITS)

Examines energy resources, uses, reserves, and the perspectives of citizens impacted by resource extraction and use in the U.S. West. Emphasis is placed on current resource extraction developments in the oil, gas, coal, oil shale, tar sands, nuclear, and renewable industries


PUBADM-545 ENERGY POLICY (3 CREDITS)

Explores the key issues in the development of major energy policy choices in the U.S. with attention paid to issues with international ramification.


PUBADM-546 CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (3 CREDITS)

Considers multiple aspects of climate change, global warming, and related issues such as mitigation, adaptation, resilience, and vulnerability in relation to public policy and administration. Considering climate change is defined through science, politics, competing perspectives, alternate and available solutions will frame the course.


PUBADM-547 WATER RESOURCES POLICY AND MANAGEMENT (3 CREDITS)

Considers water resource policy, management, and politics in the U.S. with attention to the clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, water allocation, public trust doctrines, and current water resource issues.