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Political Science: U.S.Environmental Politics

POLS 130 Z1 (CRN: 60207)

3 Credit Hours

About POLS 130 Z1

Environmental and natural resources politics in the American context. Analysis of the environmental movement and political theories, issues, processes, and institutions. Prerequisite: POLS 021.


Jody Prescott ()


Dates: June 16 - July 11, 2014; This section has registration restrictions - May not be a student in the following class: 01 (first-year); Prereq: POLS 021


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Section Description

Although it is not an introductory course, POLS 130 is an introduction to the complexities of dealing with the environment at the intersection of policy and science. This course is particularly suited to the non political-science major who is interested in knowing more about the broad range of laws, regulations, politics, and interest groups that effect change in the way we handle environmental issues in the U.S., but who may not have a background in political science or law classes. I was a zoology major as an undergrad, and as an attorney practicing environmental law, to be competent I must understand how things work legally and scientifically. For political science majors, this course is particularly useful as a launching pad for further study because of the case study approach we will take to current and controversial environmental issues, interweaving the law with the relevant politics.

Section Expectation

Because I am a practicing attorney, I do not look at you primarily as students, but rather as new associates. I will use lecture only to set the basis for discussion and analysis of the different environmental political issues we will study. This class will not work unless everyone participates, confident that their opinions and beliefs will be respected, even if their logic and preconceptions are civilly critiqued. It is important to me that you develop an understanding of how these issues play out in the real world, and that you are able to critically assess and understand the functional and dynamic relationships between law, government, and constituencies that play out in the resolution of these issues.


Because of the pace of the course, there will be only two graded events, a two-hour midterm exam at the end of the second week of class, and a cumulative three and three-quarter hour final exam given at the end of the course. Each exam will have a multiple choice portion worth 30 percent of the exam grade, and an essay portion worth 70 percent. The midterm exam will be worth 30 percent of your class grade, and the final worth 60 percent. Your participation will be worth 10 percent of the class grade. The multiple choice questions will assess your understanding of the readings. The essay portions will test your ability to quickly conduct concise and accurate analysis. Exam make-ups are rarely given, and will be at my discretion and convenience, given the pace of the course.


Course runs from to



Old Mill 523 (View Campus Map)


to on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

Important Dates

Note: These dates may change before registration begins.

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Last Day to Withdraw with 50% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw with 25% Refund
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