SRJC Course Outlines

7/24/2024 1:36:47 AMSOCS 12 Course Outline as of Fall 2015

Changed Course

Discipline and Nbr:  SOCS 12Title:  ENV POLICY & POLITICS  
Full Title:  Environmental Policy and Politics
Last Reviewed:2/7/2022

UnitsCourse Hours per Week Nbr of WeeksCourse Hours Total
Maximum3.00Lecture Scheduled3.0017.5 max.Lecture Scheduled52.50
Minimum3.00Lab Scheduled017.5 min.Lab Scheduled0
 Contact DHR0 Contact DHR0
 Contact Total3.00 Contact Total52.50
 Non-contact DHR0 Non-contact DHR Total0

 Total Out of Class Hours:  105.00Total Student Learning Hours: 157.50 

Title 5 Category:  AA Degree Applicable
Grading:  Grade or P/NP
Repeatability:  00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP
Also Listed As: 

Catalog Description:
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Introduction to environmental studies, examining the political processes and institutions involved in implementing public policy to address environmental problems with emphasis on national and international issues.


Recommended Preparation:
Eligibility for ENGL 1A or equivalent

Limits on Enrollment:

Schedule of Classes Information
Description: Untitled document
Introduction to environmental studies, examining the political processes and institutions involved in implementing public policy to address environmental problems with emphasis on national and international issues.
(Grade or P/NP)

Recommended:Eligibility for ENGL 1A or equivalent
Limits on Enrollment:
Transfer Credit:CSU;UC.
Repeatability:00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP


Associate Degree:Effective:Fall 1981
Social and Behavioral Sciences
CSU GE:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 DSocial ScienceFall 1981
 D1Anthropology and Archeology  
 D3Ethnic Studies  
 D4Gender Studies  
IGETC:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 4Social and Behavioral ScienceFall 1981
 4JSociology and Criminology  
CSU Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 1981Inactive:
UC Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 1981Inactive:

Certificate/Major Applicable: Major Applicable Course


Student Learning Outcomes:
At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:
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1.   Analyze how political institutions and processes impact environmental policy-making and
2.   Identify domestic and international environmental issues and trends, and engage in political
      discourse on these issues and trends applying critical thinking skills and analysis to support
     a point of view.
3.   Assess the gravity of environmental problems and the role of the individual in political
     advocacy and action.

Objectives: Untitled document
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
1.  Identify and assess contemporary environmental problems (e.g. air, water, land, toxics,    
      endangered species biodiversity, climate change).
2. Describe major U.S. environmental policies, their origins, key policy actors, and alternative
    proposals for policy change.
3. Apply the analytical framework of public policy-making to connect environmental policy
     to the  political process.
4. Identify and evaluate the role of environmental groups and public opinion in
    environmental politics.
5. Research both domestic and international issues and trends drawing on diverse sources.

Topics and Scope
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I.  Environmental Problems and Politics
     A. Perspectives on Environmental Problems
         1.  Scientific Knowledge and Its Use
         2. Economics and Incentives
         3. Environmental Values and Ethics
     B. The Role of Government and Politics
         1. Defining Environmental Policy
         2. Policy Typologies
         3. Public Policy Responses
     C. Historical Framework for Environmental Protection
         1. From the Colonial Period to 1900
         2. Progressive Reforms and Conservationism: 1900 - 1945
         3. Recreation and the Age of Ecology: Post World War II to 1969
         4. Earth Days and Deregulation: 1970 - present
         5. Global Awareness and Gridlock: 1993 to the present
     D.  Principles, methodologies, value systems and ethics employed in social scientific
           inquiry related to environmental research.
II.  Participants in the Environmental Debate
     A. U.S. environmental organizations
     B. The Environmental Justice Movement
     C. Radical environmentalism
     D. Environmental opposition in the United States
     E. The Role of the media and public opinion
     F. Global Green political parties
      G. International governmental organizations
     H. Transnational advocacy networks
III.  Environmental Policy-Making
     A. The Policy Process Model
          1. Agenda Setting
          2. Policy Formulation
          3. Policy Adoption
           4. Policy Implementation
          5. Policy Evaluation
          6. Policy Change
     B. The Role of the Executive Branch
     C. Congressional Policy-Making
     D. Courts and Environmental Policy
     E. State and Local Policy Making
     F. The EPA's Organization, Budget and Jurisdiction
IV.  Public Lands Debate
     A. Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Management of Public Lands
     B. U.S. Forest Policy
     C. Battles over Wilderness
     D. Grazing Rights
     E. Mining Law and Public Lands
     F. Private Property and Public Lands
     G. The Endangered Species Act
V.  Waste and Toxics Issues
     A. The Nature of Waste: Generation and Disposal
     B. Hazardous Waste
     C. Toxic Chemicals and Health Effects
     D. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and Superfund
     E. The Toxic Substances Control Act
     F. Nuclear Waste
VI.  Energy Policies
     A. The Energy Pie
     B. Corporate Average Fuel Economay (CAFÉ) Standards
     C. Energy Policy Cycles
         1. Carter's National Energy Plan
         2. Reagan's Deregulation of Energy
         3. The Bush's Administration National Energy Strategy
         4. Energy Policy under the Clinton Administration
         5. Energy Policy Under George Bush and Barack Obama
         6. State and Local Energy Initiatives
     D. Energy Use and Climate Change
VII.  The Politics of Water
     A. Trends in Water Use
     B. Water Resource Management in the United States
     C. Wetlands Protection
     D. Water Quality
          1. Pollution of Surface Waters
          2. Drinking Water Quality
          3. Toxic Contamination
     E. The Clean Water Act
     F.  The Safe Drinking Water Act
VIII.  Air Quality: Pollution and Solutions
     A. Sources of Air Pollution
     B. Indoor Air Quality
      C. Acid Precipitation
     D. The Clean Air Act
     E. The Clear Skies Initiative
     F. Transboundary Air Pollution
     G. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Stratospheric Ozone Layer
IX.  Endangered Species and Biodiversity
     A. Endangered Species
     B. The Endangered Species Act
     C. Wildlife Policy
     D. Biodiversity Loss and Implications
     E. International Biodiversity Agreements and Policies
X. The Global Commons
     A. The Atmosphere
     B. Global Climate Change
     C. Stratospheric Ozone Depletion
     D. U.S. Oceans Policy
     E. Global Oceans Policy
     F. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
XI. Population and Sustainability
     A. Trends in Growth Rates and Projected Population Increases
     B. Population and Sustainable Development
     C. The Role of the United States
     D. Global Population and Sustainability Efforts
XII. Emerging Environmental Issues for the Twenty-First Century
     A. Climate Justice
     B. Environmental Disasters
     C. E-Waste
     D. Environmental Policy Toward Sustainable Development
          1. President's Council on Sustainable Development
          2. Sustainable Development at State and Local Levels
          3. Business and the Environment
          4. Citizens and the Environment
     E. International Environmental Institutions and Policies
     F. Global Environmental Policy Issues
         1. Climate Change
         2. Protection of Biological Diversity
         3. Population Growth and Economic Development

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1. Read and study about 30 - 40 pages of texts and anthologies weekly.
2. One to three multiple-choice and essay examinations including a final.
3. One to three writing assignments of 1500- 2500 . These will be either reaction papers, analytical
     essays or research papers.
4. Optional assignments may include written summaries of current events, oral presentations,
     debates or group work.

Methods of Evaluation/Basis of Grade.
Writing: Assessment tools that demonstrate writing skill and/or require students to select, organize and explain ideas in writing.Writing
30 - 50%
Analytical essays, reaction papers, and research papers
Problem solving: Assessment tools, other than exams, that demonstrate competence in computational or non-computational problem solving skills.Problem Solving
0 - 0%
Skill Demonstrations: All skill-based and physical demonstrations used for assessment purposes including skill performance exams.Skill Demonstrations
0 - 0%
Exams: All forms of formal testing, other than skill performance exams.Exams
40 - 60%
One to three multiple choice and essay exams, including a final
Other: Includes any assessment tools that do not logically fit into the above categories.Other Category
0 - 30%
Class participation, oral presentations, and debates

Representative Textbooks and Materials:
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Environmental Politics: Domestic and Global Dimensions, (6th). Vaughn. Cengage Learning:: 2012
Environmental Policy and Politics, (6th). Kraft. Longman: 2014
Comparative Perspectives on Environmental Policies and Issues. Robert Dibie. Routledge: 2014

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