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Environmental Law and Policy NRE 486: Course Intro

course being taught by Dr. Rory Fraser

Course Description

This course provides students with an understanding of laws that regulate the environment as well as the skills to analyze and apply these laws to current issues.  By the end of this course, students will be able to communicate about environmental laws and determine whether and how to use legal tools to resolve environmental issues. Topics include the structure and operation of the legal system, the development of environmental laws, policy issues and rsk assessment, federal and state laws applicable to habitat and species protecion, air quality, water quality, toxic substances, solid and hazardous waste, energy production, government agency regulation and enforcement, citizen and public enforcement, and international environmental law.

Learning Outcomes


At the end of this course students must:

*To understand the concept of policy and the policy-making process.

  A part of the course is devoted to understanding the rationale for and the process by which public policy is developed.  A policy analysis framework: issue identification, agenda setting, policy, etc. will be adopted for use.


* To understand who the participants are in the policy making process.

A part of the course is devoted to exploring the role of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government as well as the role of private organizations such as special interest groups and the media in the policy process.


* To understand the evolution and relevance of current environmental policy.

A part of the course is devoted to examining the major events and trends in the history of environmental policy in the United States while becoming aware of the fundamentals of current environmental laws.


* To understand the evolution of current global environmental issues.

Guest lecturers' presentations, either in the classroom or in the field, will be featured. This semester students will develop an understanding of environmental issues in Alabama.

*To gain experience in critical thinking, writing and speaking.

Students' participation in class discussions provides an opportunity to really engage a subject and stimulate research on a designated topic.  In the process, students garner much of the resources needed to complete a term paper and to make an oral presentation. 


Classes will consist of lectures or seminars presented by the instructor, guest speaker or a panel of students.  All students will be expected to have completed the assigned readings by the date indicated, participate in class discussions of the materials, write copious notes on the topics and be able to provide comprehensively written answers to questions/issues discussed in class, readings, or course text.



Students will be expected to demonstate mastery of core competencies through writing and speaking about environmental policies and laws.





Subject Guide

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Information Literacy
4900 Meridian Street
Normal, AL 35762
(256) 372-4712