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Course Details with Online Syllabus:
SD-440: Ecological Economics

 
DETAILED COURSE INFORMATION WITH SYLLABUS
Course Code SD-440
Course Name Ecological Economics
EUCLID Image
US Credits (USCH) 3
ECTS 3 x 1.5 - 1.7 (see Academic Standards)
Main Prerequisite SD-200
Regular Instructor / Assigned Faculty (responsible for student interaction, validation and grading of student assignments, constructive feedback, oral examinations)

Mounir Ghibri

Note: see biography under Faculty Profiles

Faculty Coordinator (responsible for entry and exit coordination and interfacing between student and instructor(s))

Laurent Cleenewerck

Note: see biography under Administration

Syllabus Specialist (responsible for maintaining syllabus database and implementation of revised standards)

Ghebrehiwet Ghebremedhin

Note: see biography under Administration

Language for this course code E
Access to e-library: yes

General Concepts and Guidelines:

It is important to note that EUCLID functions under an intergovernmental mandate to deliver programs of higher education that conform to international standards and that are fully documented (Statutes IX). Accordingly, a standard 3 USCH course,which is at least equivalent to 4.5 ECTS, represents a number of classroom instruction hours equivalent to 3 x 12.5 = 37.5 hours (lower base line) – 3 x 14 = 42 hours (higher base line).

Even in the case of courses for which lectures (audio / video) are available to cover the entirety of the material, reading assignments are mandatory.

In the case of courses that are primarily delivered by means of reading assignments, EUCLID considers that a standard 3 USCH course should correspond to approximately 600-800 pages of intense, directly relevant readings. This is consistent with generally accepted standards applicable to the USCH and ECTS systems. Moreover, EUCLID favors full textbooks over compiled chapters from heterogeneous sources.

For practical and organizational reasons, this study workload is structured in the format of one semester (about 15 weeks). This logical ‘semester’ is organized in 7 periods of ‘2 weeks’ each, the last one being a buffer and final study period. Because EUCLID has a primary mandate to serve busy government officials for its Participating States, these periods are presented as a structured approach rather than as an enforced set of deadlines. In practice, then, a student may take more or less than 14 weeks to complete the course because the intention is not to reproduce an actual semester but rather to offer a logical breakdown of the course over a flexible span of time.

In all cases, all the assignments must be submitted, approved and graded for the course to be completed.

It must be noted that EUCLID guidelines require that a comprehensive oral examination take place upon completion of all other assignments in order for the final grade to be posted and for the course to be formally completed.

See also: Academic Standards

How to Use this Syllabus:

This standardized syllabus is your study guide for this course.

Most EUCLID courses require the sequential reading of the textbooks (and other materials) listed below. By “reading,” we do not mean mere casual reading but rather intense studying with an effort to memorize (highlighting with comments and taking notes is highly recommended).

The “Course Materials” may include textbooks as well as other types of resources including MP3 downloads, webcasts, compiled PDFs, etc.

It is the responsibility of the student to obtain the Course Materials. In most cases, the resources requires for the course are available from the EUCLID online library.

Once you have completed the reading of the course materials, you must contact your course instructor or coordinator to discuss the proposed theme of the required major paper(s).

Even though the quiz assignment is sometimes considered or listed after the major papers, it is advisable to complete this assignment prior to starting work on the paper(s).

For each quiz questions, do not forget to provide a footnote reference to where (text, page) the correct answer can be found. Remember that the instructor will evaluate your ability to create intelligent questions spanning all required textbooks, offer plausible answers, and properly footnote the textbook reference.

For the paper(s), do not forget that you must comply with all ACA-401 guidelines and requirements. Always refer to the latest Word template and ACA-401 checklist which can be found on the Egnyte Platform.

Student Responsibilities:

  • Read (study) all reading assignments carefully and intensely in order to be able to memorize, re-express, inter-relate and engage the information provided.
  • Write biweekly short reaction papers (“journals”) on the assigned readings, not longer than two single-spaced pages.
  • Write 1 or 2 (as directed) high quality, publishable major papers that meet ACA-401 guidelines and that provide several properly formatted citations to the textbooks.
  • Create a quiz that demonstrates your ability to create intelligent questions with plausible answers, and provide footnotes to the correct answers.
  • Prepare carefully for the final oral examination by re-reading the required textbooks. This is not an open book exam and you should have memorized the key terms and concepts in order to be able to offer a professional articulation and presentation when examined by the instructor.

General Course Description:

Ecology is a discipline that explores how living organisms interact with their environments. It however has hardly been successful at providing adaptions to human society. Economics deals with the efficient allocation of scarce resources among all actors of society, be they natural or man-made. The historical focus of economic policy on unrestricted grown had given little consideration to the finite nature of natural resources that drive economic activity.  

Ecological economics is an emerging discipline that seeks to fuse the basic concepts of the two disciplines in a way that addresses the limitations of the natural ecosystems in supporting finite economic growth. It puts into perspective, the idea that the global economy is essentially a subset of the biophysical world, and economic activity must not be pursued at the expense of the capabilities of the world’s ecosystem to regenerate and equilibrate. Furthermore, it explores the options that humans have in maintaining economic development, and not necessarily growth, in a natural environment that retains its ability to support economies across generations.  

This course seeks to provide an overview of economic thought and suggested ideologies on how to merge ecological principles into economic policy, towards a more sustainable future.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Main textbook description:

Conventional economics is often criticized for failing to reflect adequately the value of clean air and water, species diversity, and social and generational equity. By excluding biophysical and social systems from their analyses, many conventional economists overlook problems of the increasing scale of human impacts and the inequitable distribution of resources. Ecological Economics presents an emerging paradigm that addresses this flaw in much economic thought.

The textbook used for this course defines a revolutionary "trans-discipline" that incorporates insights from the biological, physical, and social sciences, and it offers a pedagogically complete examination of this exciting new field. The book provides students with a foundation in traditional neoclassical economic thought, but places that foundation within a new interdisciplinary framework that embraces the linkages among economic growth, environmental degradation, and social inequity. Introducing the three core issues that are the focus of the new trans-discipline -- scale, distribution, and efficiency -- the book is guided by the fundamental question, often assumed but rarely spoken in traditional texts:

What is really important to us? After explaining the key roles played by the earth's biotic and abiotic resources in sustaining life, the text is then organized around the main fields in traditional economics: microeconomics, macroeconomics, and international economics. The book also takes an additional step of considering the policy implications of this line of thinking. Ecological Economics includes numerous features that make it accessible to a wide range of students: more than thirty text boxes that highlight issues of special importance to students lists of key terms that help students organize the main points in each chapter concise definitions of new terms that are highlighted in the text for easy reference study questions that encourage student exploration beyond the text glossary and list of further readings.

An accompanying workbook presents an innovative, applied problem-based learning approach to teaching economics. While many books have been written on ecological economics, and several textbooks describe basic concepts of the field, this is the only stand-alone textbook that offers a complete explanation of both theory and practice. It will serve an important role in educating a new generation of economists and is an invaluable new text for undergraduate and graduate courses in ecological economics, environmental economics, development economics, human ecology, environmental studies, sustainability science, and community development.

Course Objectives:

The main aims of the course are to advance the interdisciplinary concepts of ecological considerations necessary for sustainable economies and to equip students with appropriate ecological economic tools for solving environmental and social problems. This will be done through the following:

· An examination of the background of neo-classical economic theory, its evolution and environmental/resource economic concepts

· Elucidation of the macroeconomic role of natural resources

· The exploration of relevance of ecological considerations in economic activity

· Debates on the shortfalls of classical economics in dealing with ecological disruptions associated with growth

· Discussions of prominent themes in ecological economics and their relationships with steady-state economic theory

· Explanation of fundamental concepts of efficient resource distribution required for environmental accountability and policy

Course Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, the student is expected to able to:

be conversant with fundamentals of ecological economics as a trans-discipline and is able to apply the ecological economics approach to project evaluation. In particular, the student is able to:      

     - Use and explain relevant terminology

     - Discuss cases and applications studied in the textbook.

Required Readings and Resources:

* A Primer of Ecolog by Nicholas Gotelli

* Principles and Applications (Hardcover)  by Joshua Farley, Herman E. Daly 

* Ecological Economics: Principles and Applications (Hardcover)  by Joshua Farley, Herman E. Daly 

* Ecological Economics: A Workbook for Problem-Based Learning (Paperback) by Joshua Farley, Jon Erickson, Herman E. Daly

Supplemental Readings and Resources:

* Ecology: From Individuals to Ecosystems by Michael Begon, Colin R. Townsend, John L. Harper

Useful Templates and Resources:

Word Template Use this single-spaced template (DOCX) for Response Papers
Word Template Use this double-spaced template (DOCX) for Major Papers
Quiz Template Use this single-spaced sample (DOCX) for the Quiz
Sample RP This is a sample response paper for ACA-401
Sample MP This is a sample major paper for DIP-401
Checklist This PDF is a checklist to use before submitting a paper

Organization and structure of course studies:

Period 1 (Typically, weeks 1-2)
Reading Assignments A Primer of Ecology (Gotelli) (concepts only, no quantitative methods)
MP3s or Videos N/A
Method of Instruction Reading
Tasks / Assignments Study course material + writing response paper 1
Deliverables Response paper 1

Period 2 (Typically, weeks 3-4)
Reading Assignments Ecological Economics - An Introduction (Common and Stagl) (entire book)
MP3s or Videos N/A
Method of Instruction Reading
Tasks / Assignments Study course material + writing response paper 2
Deliverables Response paper 2

Period 3 (Typically, weeks 5-6)
Reading Assignments Ecological Economics: Principles and Applications (Farley and Daly), Chapters 1-11
MP3s or Videos N/A
Method of Instruction Reading
Tasks / Assignments Study course material + writing response paper 3 + Work on first major paper
Deliverables Response paper 3

Period 4 (Typically, weeks 7-8)
Reading Assignments Ecological Economics: Principles and Applications (Farley and Daly), Chapters 12- end (and Glossary)
MP3s or Videos N/A
Method of Instruction Reading
Tasks / Assignments Study course material + writing response paper 4
Deliverables Response paper 4 + Proposed topic for first major paper

Period 5 (Typically, weeks 9-10)
Reading Assignments Ecological Economics: Workbook (Farley and Daly) (Entire book)
MP3s or Videos N/A
Method of Instruction Reading
Tasks / Assignments Study course material + writing response paper 5
Deliverables Response paper 5 + Major Paper 1

Period 6 (Typically, weeks 11-12)
Reading Assignments Write Major Paper 2
MP3s or Videos N/A
Method of Instruction Reading
Tasks / Assignments Write Major Paper 2
Deliverables Submit major paper 2

Period 7 (Typically, weeks 13-14)
Reading Assignments Write Major Paper 2 + Reviewing all reading materials (catch up on previous readings)
MP3s or Videos N/A
Method of Instruction Reading
Tasks / Assignments Conduct Final Exam (Interview)
Deliverables Submit all assignments due - course completion

Special Course Comment / Review of Required Assignments to Complete Course:

This course requires some knowledge of ecology as a disciple. This is provided by the Period 1 textbook. This course is focused on the ability to integrate, memorize, interconnect and express many complex concepts.


In addition to the short response papers, the standard required assignments are:

Quiz:

The student must create a multiple-choice or missing word quiz with 10 questions, based on the textbook(s), and with footnoted references to the correct answers (with page number in textbook).

A sample is available at http://www.euclid.int/syllabi/quiz.docx  and can also be found on the Egnyte platform under Courses > ACA-401

Major paper(s):

This course requires the presentation of 2 major paper(s) (standard length is 12-24 pages using the MP template which is double-spaced).The theme is the student’s choice, but must be selected and confirmed in consultation with the assigned instructor, and be based on the required study materials.

The major paper(s) must (1) comply with all ACA-401 guidelines (2) make at least 3 properly formatted references to the textbook(s).

Final Examination:

Once the paper(s) and quiz have been submitted, this course is capped by an extensive oral examination and interactive interview conducted by the assigned instructor using web-conferencing technology (WebEx, Skype).

Composite Evaluation and Grading:

  • 10% of the final grade is based on the response papers
  • 60% of the final grade is based on the major paper(s) and quiz
  • 30% of the final grade is based on the final oral exam / closing interview.

Failure to obtain a passing grade on the final oral exam will result in course failure.

Standard grading scale and academic policies apply to this course.

Standard EUCLID Grading Scale:

Even through there is no internationally standardized grading system, EUCLID uses a scale that is fairly standard, namely:

  1. Grades are numeric (0 – 4) and convertible to letters (F – A)
  2. A+ is a novelty and is not used
  3. EUCLID has a strict grading policy and does not engage in ‘grade inflation’
  4. Grading is based on standards, not ranking within the group
  5. Because of (3), 2.35 or C+ is the pass standard for all courses, provided that a full academic review of all grades under 2.5 conclude that the student does meet requirements for graduation.

Numeric grades are converted to letter grades as follows:

Numeric

Letter

Explanation / Standards

4

A

All objectives are fully met

3.7

A-

All objectives are fully met with minor suggestions for improvement

3.5

B++

Rarely used: All objectives are fully met with minor suggestions for improvement

3.35

B+

All objectives are met with specific suggestions for improvement

3

B

Satisfactory output, but improvement are expected to fully meet all the objectives of the program

2.85

Almost B

Rarely used: Satisfactory output, but improvement are expected to fully meet all the objectives of the course(s)

2.75

B-

Passing but less than satisfactory output. Improvements in more than one course standards are expected to fully meet all the objectives of the course(s)

2.5 - 2.35

C+

Minimum passing grade: Improvements are mandated in more than one course standards are expected to fully meet all the objectives of the course(s)

2

C

Failing grade: does not meet mandatory objectives of the course(s)

1.65

C-

Failing grade: does not meet in any way the objectives of the course(s)

0

Fail

Assignment to does meet in any way the objectives of the courses or contains plagiarism / academic violations

 


   

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