Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thoughts on the course?

Happy Thanksgiving to those in the US.

Please feel free to provide your thoughts on the topics that we covered this semester.

Which aspects of the course did you find the most (or least) useful? Were there topics that we didn't cover that you would have liked to cover?  Anything that we could have spent more (or less) time on?  What will you take away from the course?

14 comments:

Sara Kidd said...

I was really dreading having to take this class, but it turned out to be one of the most interesting and relevant classes I've taken at UNCW. The topics that I personally found the most interesting were using subsidies and taxes to promote using resources differently and how some methods work for certain resources and some don't. One thing I wish we would/could have covered a little more is how some the US governments natural resource managing agencies handle their economics I.e the forest service and BLM loosing money and selling resources below market value. A little history and politics mixed in with the economics. Otherwise I think the topics we covered were pretty spot on in their importance and instructional value.

Brett Greiner said...

I really enjoyed the topics we covered dealing with Pollution and municipal solid waste disposal. I never really realized how many ways there are to fix problems in the world dealing with pollution and too much trash disposal. I feel I don't recycle as much as I should because there is no incentive to. If there was some sort of 'pay per throw' or 'bag and tag' system instead of flat rate pricing in the area I lived, everyone would definitely be more inclined to recycle. I think we spent just the right amount of time on all the topics we covered in this class, none too long, none too short. Overall this class gave me a lot of knowledge, economically, about the environment that I did not know prior and I definitely believe I can use much of it in the future.

Drew T. said...

This course has been far more interesting than I anticipated. All the topics covered were enlightening in the sense that I had never thought about any of the ideas behind processes I see on a regular basis (solid waste removal, recycling, pollution, etc...) It helped to relate these topics to real-life situations to build a better understanding. One topic that would have been nice to learn about is the environmental impacts of agriculture. Overall great course that I am glad to have taken.

Benjamin Calhoun said...

Very interesting class, that provided a good mixture of information on economics and environmental topics. I especially liked how you were able to connect the most basic forms of economics (Marginal benefit/cost, supply/demand)to the most complex models we discussed. Land rents and the CVM were the most interesting topics I believe we covered this semester. I would like to have more politics and legislation that is related to natural resource economics and topics that involve sustainable energy options mixed into the course, those would be my only suggestions!

Jeanne Metivier said...

I thought the valuation chapter was very interesting, as well as your presentation about the CVM. The chapter concerning the relation between mineral extraction, MSW and recycling, was very interesting as well, especially because it relates directly to us/households. I liked that the homework were related to real life situations, it showed us the application of what we learned in class to real life examples. About including politics in this class, I think having a neutral approach is better to understand the issues.

Elizabeth said...

I was a bit skeptical in taking this class because I am a science major and I have not had any economics classes. Through this class I have seen how interconnected both fields are though. I always see the science aspect but because of the real life examples you have provided I was able to look at the econ part as well. I really enjoyed the recycling and pollution section because I was fully aware of how important it is to recycle but when looking globally it can really make a massive impact. Overall I really enjoyed the class and am glad I ended up taking it.

Blair Brannon said...

This was one of my favorite classes in college! I really liked how we connected the different view points of economists and scientists/environmentalists. It was eye opening to see it from another point of view and changed a lot about what I thought on subjects like fisheries and deforestation. The subject on forests was one of my favorites because I found out theres so much more to it than what meets the eye. I would have liked to talked more about the details of recycling though.

Casey Buddenbaum said...

Some of the topics that interested me the most were incentive based strategies and the concept of rents. I guess I am just a visual person, so I thought it was interesting to graphically see why a newer firm would sell its units of abatement to an older firm in order to increase net gains. Rents interested me because you could see the concept in real life. They explained why cities such as Boston and NY are flourishing. A lot of EVS material focuses on the problems themselves, but this class had specific solutions and methods to combat these problems, which made it more engaging.

David W. said...

I loved this class. The fisheries unit was something that I looked forward to all semster and did not disappoint. Also, I found the minerals and trash section quite interseting. One topic that I would have loved to have gone into more in depth is the topic of fracking.I will walk away from this class with a new understanding of conservation and the overall importance, and intrigue that comes with the valuation of natural resources

Chris A said...

I really enjoyed taking this class. The idea that a universal understanding of the value of a dollar being able to promote conservation and sustainability is pretty cool. The class focused on modern day answers to environmental questions that hopefully will be addressed sooner rather than later. I feel that every topic was sufficiently covered and gave me a nice overview of relevant issues.

Zachary Smith said...

At the beginning of the year, this was one of the classes i was most concerned about. I am a Marine Biology major trying to squeeze out an EVS minor in my last semester. After the first class with all the warnings about not proceeding without any economics background I left unsure if I would be coming back; I am so glad heeded the warning. This has been my favorite class this semester and one of my favorite of my collegiate career. It makes me wish I had dabbled in economics earlier in my life. I'm interested in a potential career in fisheries so a different perspective on fisheries conservation was a breath of fresh air. Learning about our catch techniques as well as the poor state of our global fisheries is depressing but one with a sliver of hope if we are able to successfully able to continue implementing smart fishing practices such as using ESY baselines instead of MSY. Another topic I enjoyed was on municipal waste disposal and recycling. I had never thought about the problem in that way before, changing the incentives from an intrinsic, morally based claim to one that in monetary based. Providing incentives for creating less trash as well as a discount system for recycling more. They both were very logical and straightforward solutions to create both a more economically viable system while reducing our environmental footprint in the process. This class was as enjoyable to take as the experiences and information I learned is valuable towards my future job search.

Clark Spooner said...

I really enjoyed the class! I thought the section on non use valuation was cool because it is a creative way to use economic principles in a non traditional way. It is nice to learn about using business principles in a way that is concerned with societal benefits and not just maximizing profits. It is crazy that it can all be pulled together and help to maximize the benefits to both. I think that we spent the perfect amount of time on subjects, we learned a lot but didn't dwell on any topics long enough for me to lose interest. I thought the concept of cap and trade was a genius was to promote efficiency. The idea of ITQ's was also another really cool concept that before this class I probably would have thought would be a ridiculous suggestion.

Pierce H said...

After taking this class I feel that I have gained a very good basic understanding about how natural resources are extracted, controlled, and distributed in our economy. From an Economics major standpoint I thought that the valuation section was the most interesting. The ability to give monetary value to a non-market non-use benefit to protect the resource from extraction is an extremely practical and useful practice. I think that I have gained a new perspective in how to look at natural resource cases that I have already been able to apply looking at the Bonner Bridge case in my home town.

Brandon Gerringer said...

This was probably my first challenging economics class I've taking yet. Most of the concepts made you think more than one step ahead, which if you ask me made the class more interesting. I wish we had more time at the end with fishery's, temperate forests and tropical deforestation. And also as a math major I'd like to see the more difficult problems with changing variables.

All of that said this was by far my favorite economics class I've taken so far and would recommend it to anyone interested.