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ECO 3620. Environmental Economics

Fall 2005 | Calendar

TR 2-3:15, Raley Hall 3013

Instructor: John Whitehead
Raley Hall 3094
Office Hours: MW 9-11, 2-4; appointment, open door
Phone: 262-6121 (office), 262-2148 (department), 268-8991 (home)
Fax: 262-6105


Last Update: 11/30/2006

Catalog Description

Examines the implications of economic theory and how it relates to the environment and environmental activity. The course examines the continuing conflict between market forces and environmental integrity and explains how economic theory views the relationship between economic activity and the natural world. Examples of local, regional, national, and international issues are presented and discussed.

Cover ImageTextbook and Reading Assignments



Additional Readings

Introduction 1, 2, Micro Review The Model of Supply and Demand (Robert Shenk); A Primer on Gasoline Prices (EIA)
Market Failure 3, 4  
Benefit-Cost Analysis 8, 9, 10 A St. Patty's Day Miracle; When is a life too costly to save?; Many hazardous jobs are well-paid
Regulation 16 Read summaries and key ideas of 13 (pp. 266-268), 14 (pp. 281-283)
Nonrenewable Natural Resources 6 (107-111) Hotelling at last; Oil prices: Hotelling's rule, futures and options
Renewable Natural Resources 2 (34-38, 44-48); Forestry  
Sustainability 6, 7  
Climate Change 23 (520-525)  


The grades are based on the project (worth 100 points each), quizzes (100 points) and three exams (worth 100 points each). The maximum number of points is 500. Final grades will be assigned as follows:

Grade A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
% 92.5 90 87.5 82.5 80 77.5 72.5 70 67.5 62.5 60 below 60
Points 462.5 450 437.5 412.5 400 387.5 362.5 350 337.5 312.5 300 below 300


There are three exams during the semester -- two in-class exams and a final exam administered during the final exam period. Each exam is worth 100 points. A university excused or emergency absence is usually necessary to schedule a make-up exam.

Each exam is graded on a 100 point scale. The 300 points are weighted by your scores. Your highest score (H) is worth 43.33%, your middle score (M) is worth 33.33% each, and your lowest score (L) is worth 23.33%. The points from your exams are calculated as follows:


Quizzes are ad-hoc assignments during the semester. These might include homework assignments, in-class pop quizzes, etc. The first quiz assignment is the demand and supply on-line exam. You must pass this quiz with a score of 80% before the first exam in order to pass the class. This exam may be taken more than once. Your three lowest quiz scores will be dropped.


There is one project during the semester worth 100 points. Teams of students will form after the first week of class The division of labor within the team should be determined by the team members. If shirking becomes a problem, a Survivor-style vote will expel individual members of the group. Group castoffs will be assigned an onerous individual project. The project grade will be based on a group presentation and an individual paper. More detail on each project can be found here: Benefit Estimation Project.


Class Attendance: From the catalogue: "It is the policy of Appalachian State University that class attendance is considered to be an important part of a student's educational experience. Students are expected to attend every meeting of their classes, and are responsible for class attendance."

Classroom behavior: The following classroom behaviors are not acceptable: excessive and/or loud chatting with other students, disruptive coming and going, answering your cell phone and other annoying behaviors.

Academic Dishonesty: It is the responsibility of every student to abide by the Appalachian State University Academic Integrity Code. In short: "Students will not lie, cheat, or steal to gain academic advantage."

Disabilty: "If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and the Office of Disability Services, 222 D.D. Dougherty, 262-3053/262-3056 (TTY) as early as possible in the term."

ASU Office Hours Policy: Every full-time faculty member is required to be available seven (7) hours per week during the regular academic year to consult with students. Requirements for part-time faculty will be prorated according to the number of hours taught. Each department will maintain an office hours policy that establishes standards regarding a mix among formal office hours, meetings in other locations, and electronic communications appropriate for faculty members and curricula in that department. A schedule indicating the times available for formal office hours, meetings in other locations, and electronic communications must be posted on the faculty memberís office door, listed on course syllabi, and provided to the departmental office at the beginning of each semester. Electronic communication addresses, URLs, and/or phone numbers must be listed on course syllabi and also provided to the faculty memberís departmental office. During the term of a summer session in which a faculty member teaches, office hours expectations are half of those during the regular academic year.

Last Update: 11/30/2006