Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Last chance

What were your favorite topics? Least favorite?
What did you gain from the course? 
If you could change the course, what modifications would you make?

11 comments:

Nnadozie Ekeocha said...

My favorite "sub" topic I would say is Regulatory Takings. It was very interesting to read up all those rules and amendments and actually see some practical examples in effect. In some way I feel it exploited landowners especially when the compensation wasn't in most cases equal to the value of the foregone property.
My least favorite topic was Forest Economics. As much as I thought I had it understood, I didn't.
The only modification I would make to this class will be to reduce the class size to allow for a more intimate setting because the topics covered are very conversational.
It was still a very beneficial class to me as it showed me how most of these economic theorems I've learned are applied to natural resources.

Lauren Anderson said...

My favorite topics of the course were the solutions to pollution as well as trash and recycling. I found it really interesting and confusing at the same time that we continue to rely on command and control methods when they prove to be less effective than incentive-based standards or combination policy. Once explained, it seems so straightforward that you could lower overall pollution for a lower total cost with cap & trade while also giving continued incentive to reduce pollution. I had also never thought of how much difference pay-per-throw pricing would reduce trash and increase recycling rates. I hope to see it come to Charlotte (my hometown) soon. My least favorite topic was optimal rotation time for trees. I found myself lost with all the details and graphs instead of approaching it by looking at the bigger picture. From this course, I gained a better understanding of the reasons behind natural resource policy and how people make decisions based on the environment. I can't think of any specific way to alter the course for next time except hearing real life stories helps me to remember topics.

Gary McFee said...

My favorite topic was debt for nature swaps. I had never before thought of the concept of debt as a market and the fact that there are third party organizations which purchase debt in order to change a country in such a way that causes benefits for everyone. The fact that so many organizations (TNC, CI, WWF, etc..) work together for helpful outcomes is really neat. This course had so many subjects throughout that made me stop and think about the society I'm in. I came into this class with zero background knowledge in anything that has to do with the economy and I loved how all my prior perspectives were challenged and questioned. I had no idea how industries and organizations calculated how much different aspects of nature was worth. Here I was, perched atop ignorance, thinking it was some disturbing insult that nature could have a price tag. Learning about valuation methods gave me a whole new perspective and respect for economists. The different types of valuation methods were very interesting to me as well, especially contingent valuation.

I'd have to say that the worst part of the course were all of the supply and demand curves and graphs. Not having a background was a hindrance for sure. It was beat into my head though by sheer repetition and I feel so much more comfortable with the material. If there was anything I would change it would just be the addition of more real life examples. Schuhmann's stories are awesome.

Daniel Buckholz said...

I would have to say that my favorite topic was our unit on fisheries economics, as it really helped me on another paper I was writing on the economics of lionfish invasion of Southern Caribbean fisheries.
I really didn't have a least favorite. I feel like they all played an equal role in helping me to develop my understanding of environmental economics.
From this course, I finally gained a direction for what I want to do with my life. It has shown me that there is more to environmental studies than what I ever knew was possible. I'm honestly not sure I would change anything, except having it three days a week instead of just two, so we could cover even more!

Matt Oberst said...

My favorite topic is the idea of cap-and-trade as a whole. It came in in the beginning of the course in an example with abatement costs of new and old factories and again later when talking about a global system of carbon trading. This concept is awesome because it lowers pollution, creates incentives to invest in new technology, and is efficient. I hope to see this system implemented on a state-wide and national scale in the near future as society will be better off because of it.

I also throughly enjoyed the presentation on Barbados following our first exam. Pretty pictures are always a nice change from graphs. Plus, seeing examples of how the things we were learning put to use in the real word was fascinating.

The regression analysis was my least favorite.

Overall, I gained a much better understanding of the allocation, use, and preservation of natural resources.

Samuel Kirk said...

My favorite topic would have to be the forestry economics section. Being from a state where forestry is such a big enterprise, it really helped getting a basic understanding of rotation times and how to reduce ecological costs associated with the practice of clear cutting that is evident just driving home on I-40. Originally I thought of timber harvesting as a straight forward growing and cutting operation at a fixed time period and I had no idea the multitude of costs (social, opportunity cost of land, ecological, etc.) could change the optimal cutting time so drastically. My least favorite aspect of the course would have to be the valuation methods. While valuing the environment is an interesting topic, the actual process of developing surveys and identifying the weaknesses within the surveys seems frustrating and unreliable. The only thing I would change in the course would be to spend a little more time on the mineral, recyclable, forest, and fisheries economic markets. I do realize this class is only a semester though. I certainly gained a much better understanding of the complexities of the markets for natural resources and learned a lot about the problems we have today and possible solutions that could be implemented in our future. I very much enjoyed taking this class, Schuhmann always makes it interesting.

Jeffrey Rock said...

My favorite topic in the course was learning about forestry. I found tropical deforestation to be very interesting, as it is a popular topic when it comes to sustainability. Tropical deforestation will affect my generation the most and I enjoy learning the economics of it. Having visited Costa Rica, I thought it was very interesting to learn about PES programs that help preserve the nation's rainforests. My least favorite topic was trash and recycling. The only reason I did not enjoy this topic as much is that it was fairly straightforward. The US has plenty of space for landfills and has little incentive to reduce trash levels. Many communities have recycling programs that reduce landfill demand and provide recycled resources. During my Study Abroad trip to Germany, I witnessed a deposit style incentive system. Their system is very successful in increasing the amount of recycling.

Not only did I learn about Natural Resource Economics, but I also learned how to apply economic principles to multiple topics. By applying economic theory to understanding the natural resource market, I will be able to understand how economics is portrayed in other fields.

Bridget Callahan said...

What were your favorite topics? Least favorite?
My favorite topic we learned this semester was land economics and fisheries. I knew little about these topics before this class. I thought both topics were very relevant to environmental issues today. My least favorite was valuation methods.

What did you gain from the course?
I gained a better understanding of how economics can help people better understand the value of the environment. Using natural resource economics can help guide policy that will protect the environment.

If you could change the course, what modifications would you make?
Reading more cases studies and doing activities like the Duke Energy Ad.

Mackenzie Todd said...

My favorite topic we learned in class would have to include one of the recurring themes of Solutions. It's incredible how there is a way to integrate Economics and Environmental Science into one in order to solve problems. I knew little about using economic incentives on environmental issues. My least favorite topic was probably the Trash and recycling.

What did you gain from the course?
I was able to gain many useful tools in solving real world issues that could help me in the real world when I eventually receive a job in my field of interest. I'm confident in the material I learned in this class to be able to apply it later in life.

If you could change the course, what modifications would you make?
I would have liked to spend more time on Fisheries, and even expand further on coastal and Marine issues and how to economically solve any problems that may arise. Besides that I greatly enjoyed this class and it's one of the few classes where I feel I learned real valuable information that can be later interpreted in any job I acquire.

Elizabeth Tapia said...

My favorite topic is Mineral Extraction and how it is interconnected with recycling materials. I found interesting that just one simple thing like pay-per-throw could restring so much, even behaving our consumption, and favoring the recycling. I was a volunteer in the recycling area at UNCW, and I know how much recycle material we could just have putting those recycle bins around campus. Now I could imagine how much recycling material we could have just with this small change as it is pay-per-throw. I did not have any least favorite topic, I found all the topics interesting and useful that at the end all of those are interconnect each other. Even I could say that this course gave me better understanding of the policy making on behalf of the natural resources. The only thing that I would change in this class will the amount of students, maybe small group will be better for more discussion and group projects.

Kara Dale said...

My favorite topic was Rents, Land Rents, and Discounting. It really put in perspective why people in society make the decisions that they make. Our discussion about the Coasta Rica Farmer, he's not stupid or uneducated, he doesn't hate the environment. He's just trying to feed his family. That is something we would all do if we were in his position.

I loved this class. It put so many things in perspective for me. The only thing I found troubling was understanding the multiple choice questions. I felt like I have a good understanding of the concepts but the answer I was looking for is not a,b,c or d.

Thanks for a great semester. You're a really great teacher!

Kara Dale