Thursday, June 16, 2016

Parting shots

As our course wraps up, I'm curious to know which topics you enjoyed the most and the least. Which topics you'd would have like to spend more time on (or less)? What are your overall impression of the course and the field of study?


Nathan Smith said...

For me the most enjoyable part of the course was talking about fisheries and ways to perserve them. I grew up on the Outer Banks and being on the water is just a way of life there and preserving the fisheries is important to me. Even though I have family members who fish for a living they realize that if they catch to many fish now that the next generation might not be able to do the same. I believe if all fisherman thought this way then fishing could be less regulated and more about trusting the people fishing, but sadly most individuals never see a benefit from not fishing more and thus it is forced to be regulated.
I didn't really enjoy the section about land rent and who gets to enjoy the rents from Central Park. I understood the concept I believe but it still was slightly confusing to me. I think its more of the fact that I just am not sure how everybody doesn't enjoy the rent because even people that don't go might still enjoy seeing pictures of Central Park.
Overall the course was interesting and had many great points on the environmental side of economics. I never realized how big of a role economics plays in are everyday lives. While the fishery conversation interested me the most, all the topics in the class had valid points and were great reads.

Evan Schillmoller said...

I definitely enjoyed the discussions and material surrounding forests the most, probably because I'm an EVS major and my focus has been primarily on deforestation and conservation of marine and forest ecosystems. The concept of non-use value was pretty interesting to study as well.

Like Nathan, I didn't really enjoy the topic of rents much, and apparently I still don't understand them like I should. I misunderstood what exactly the discussion question regarding rents for Central Park was asking, and the whole topic is still a bit confusing to me.

Overall, this class has been very interesting, and I can honestly say I've learned a lot. It has also been challenging, which is more than I can say for a handful of online courses I have taken in the past. The organization of the course was on point, and the expectations are clear. Due dates for discussion questions were a bit confusing at first, but after the first week it was pretty cut and dry. Thank you for your help and guidance throughout the semester, it has been much appreciated!

Haley Larabee said...

The topics that I enjoyed the most was forests and tropical forests as well as recycling. I am really interested in conservation and sustainability so I am really glad that recycling was presented to me in a totally different way than I am used to. It got my thoughts going about how you could possibly make recycling more beneficial rather than costly, and that it may be something I would be interested in working in the future.

There isn't a particular topic that I disliked, and overall the class was very organized and challenging! I learned a lot in the last month and I think that having discussions was beneficial to me and I was able to "hear" others opinions even though this is an online class.

Thanks for the help this summer and best wishes!

Kristen Hillson said...

My favorite topics this semester were fisheries and tropical forests. I personally found those sections the most interesting. Both topics were more specific and in-depth than others we covered in the beginning of the course.
I enjoyed discussing and reading about the economic reasonings behind the deforestation and how it is a prime example of the tragedy of the commons. I was surprised at the poverty in some countries with tropical forests being a major cause and incentive to remove the trees and alter the use of land to agriculture. I liked comparing tropical and temperate forests, and would have liked to compare economics of other forests as well.
Fisheries interested me particularly because I enjoy water and marine life. The discussion question for this section was my favorite because I got to research a real example of a solution to a current efficiency problem in the industry. The successful results in the study I focused my post on helped to show how important natural resource economics is, and how small alterations in procedures can benefit the environment and increase efficiency. This was a great ending topic and really helped me tie together the whole process of researching and implementing solutions to environmental issues.

Dennis Mburu said...

I really enjoyed reading the topics on discounting, recycling and forestry. Honestly, it opened up my view of things especially since I grew up in a country where people used to cut trees and sell it as charcoal as a way of making ends meet. Through this experience, I was able to learn that its due to high discount rates that triggers any aspect of survival as these people prefer to do all they can to get some value in the present time but not getting too concerned about future promises. That got me so much interested that I'd be willing to some day help these people learn how to protect the environment in general. Overall, I enjoyed reading articles, learning and discussing (though not a fan) in this class which I think was beneficial to me as it was so engaging. Otherwise its a great course!!

Lexie Dempsey said...

My favorite part of this class was learning ways of non market valuation. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each type is essential to conducting your own research which I'd love to do. I was also interested in discounting as well as the complexities of renewable resources. The solid waste and recycling lecture was the most interesting to me and made me reconsider the feasibility of recycling as a main route towards sustainability. I think the types of policies was the most brutal section of the class, but it was straightforward and there's really no way to make that part very interesting. I think that we spent a solid amount of time on each topic given the time we had. This course has been one of my favorites I have taken because although it was challenging, it was deeply embedded in real world, current situations where the answers aren't straightforward. I deeply appreciated that it was not about telling us "this is what we need to do" but rather it provided us a tool box from which we can make our own conclusions. I think this field it definitely underestimated by society, and I love that it is interdisciplinary in nature. This has changed my perspective on how we allocate natural resources and also how complex combating problems like global warming truly is.

Jordan.Elizabeth said...

I really enjoyed talking about valuation and how resources that start with no value end up with their value bases on discounting and whether they have use or non-use value. Wanting to go into environmental law, this class have given me a good understanding of how people think about resources and the environment depending on where they are. I also found debt-for-nature swap really interesting. In researching more about them, I was surprised to find so many real examples of swaps taking place, but I never knew about them.

I wish we would've had a full semester, but I am glad I learned as much as I did in such a short amount of time. Thank you!

Marc Monace said...

I enjoyed learning about trees. I always overlooked trees as just being there. Never really realized their true worth and significance!