M.A. in Environmental Policy Design

The Environmental Initiative (EI) at Lehigh University offers two interdependent graduate programs that focus on how to understand and solve environmental problems from a variety of standpoints. These programs can be taken independently, or consecutively, and provide students with training in how to analyze present law and to address its deficiencies by creating new policy designs.
The certificate in environmental law and policy provides students with basic instruction on how ethics, politics, and science policy influence the natural environment and shape human relationships to it. Certificate courses are more immediately practical and career-oriented in that they offer expertise in the existing positive law and policy that regulates environmental pollution and planning. In contrast, the master’s degree in environmental policy design has a more wide-ranging mandate. Here students can take a comprehensive look at the many facets of policy analysis, including the design of new policies that are informed by the moral, social, economic, political, and legal dimensions of environmental problems, as well as by the inherent values and principles of past and present policy solutions.
The master’s degree is a two-year program, that, unlike traditional market-based approaches to policy analysis, encourages both the critical analysis of past and current environmental policy and constructive policy arguments for future change in how we justify and legislate humanity’s relationship to nature. The degree is an all-inclusive effort to combine basic skills in traditional policy techniques with unique skills in applying various philosophical, legal, economic, and political models to problems of local, national, and global importance. Training in policy design is training in the facilitation and formulation of environmental policy solutions that span many disciplines and geographical spaces. Students will acquire a deeper understanding of the complexity of public policy and the codified law that emerges from it. Graduates will be able to contextualize environmental problems within a broad set of global interactions, and to identify and justify the range of potential policy responses, given the distinct values of those involved in synthesizing solutions to dialectically opposed ideas and institutions.
The Program
The M.A. in Environmental Policy Design trains scholars and practitioners alike for the demanding task of designing environmental policy that can protect or restore an increasingly degraded natural environment while sustaining the benefits of economic growth and providing for the needs of an ever more vulnerable (and growing) human population. Achieving this goal will require policy professionals to understand and analyze environmental problems in the context of complex natural systems and levels of law, and amidst rapidly globalizing governance structures, institutions, and regimes that cut across geographical and political boundaries. Specifically, the M.A. program in Environmental Policy Design assumes that traditional economic analysis of policy is a point of departure rather than the sole and adequate approach to addressing policy questions. We seek to prepare policy professionals who can more fully address environmental dilemmas as philosophical questions that have technical, social, political and economic dimensions. Students will learn to understand policies as arguments and to evaluate their logic and persuasive power when assessing both the adequacy of current law and the requirements of future policy.
With this background an Environmental Policy Designer can better entertain two questions. First, how are legal institutions, regulations, and public management responding to the political, social, moral and economic dynamics affecting the natural environment at the local, regional, national and international level? Second, how should legal institutions, regulations, and public management respond to the impact of these various dynamics in order to ensure the integrity of ecosystems and a sustainable natural environment for humanity? Overall, we seek to create a generation of policy practitioners that can (1) critically assess and analyze the multiple conditions and conceptual logics that create environmental problems, (2) generate novel investigations and arguments as policy solutions to those problems, and (3) justify those solutions as persuasive public policy or codified law.
The deadline for the fall semester is July 15; however, the deadline for financial aid consideration for the fall semester is March 1, 2013. Those interested in spring admission must have their application in by December 1, 2012.

Please note, after March 1 deadline, there is no consideration of financial aid for that academic year.

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Required Courses: (2 courses—6 credits)
ES 401  Philosophical-Policy and Environmental Legal Design (3)
ES/EES 402  Scientific Foundations for Environmental Policy Design (3)

Core Courses: (at least 4 courses—12 credits)
ES 431  U.S. Environmental Law I: Pollution & Risk Abatement (3)
ES 432  U.S. Environmental Law II: Natural Resources & Public Lands (3)
ES 433  International Environmental Law & Policy (3)
ES 435  Environmental Valuation for Policy Design & Legal Analysis (3)
ES 443  Comparative Environmental Law & Policy (3)
ES/POLS 455  Environmental Justice and the Law (3)
ES 465  International Law and Policy Design (3)
ES/SSP 497  Information Ecology (3)
ES/IR 498  Philosophy, International Law & Policy Design (3)

Electives (6 or 12 credits)
Thesis track: Two elective courses (6 credits) which must include at least one “Context” course.
Non-thesis track: Four elective courses (12 credits) which must include at least one “Foundation” course and one
“Context” course. The remaining electives may be “Core”, “Foundation”, or “Context” courses.

Foundation Courses
ECO 311  Environmental Economics* (3)
EES 325  Remote Sensing of Terrestrial and Aquatic Environments* (3)
EES 358  Microbial Ecology* (3)
EES 365  Ecophysiology* (3)
TLT/ES 368  Teaching and Learning with Geospatial Tools (3)
CEE/EES 379  Environmental Case Studies*
EES 396  Geographic Analysis in Earth and Environmental Sciences* (3)
POLS 402  Methods of Policy Analysis (3)
POLS 421  Research Methods (3)
POLS 468  Political Economy (3)
CEE 471  Environmental Risk Management (2)
ES-497  Urban Environmental Policy Workshop (3)
*Prerequisites can usually be waved for EPD students with instructor consent

Context Courses
HIST 315  American Environmental History (3)
POLS 416  American Public Policy (3)
POLS 438  Markets, Justice and Law (3)
POLS 448  Land Use, Growth Management and the Politics of Sprawl Methods (3)
ES/EES 461  Wetland Policy and Valuation (3)
SSP 461  Globalization & the Environment (3)
POLS 475  Seminar: Green Polity (3)
ES 496  Urban Farming (3)
POLS 498  Urban Policy & Planning (3)


A six credit thesis (ES 490) can be taken in lieu of two Foundation/Context Courses with the approval of the EI Graduate Curriculum Committee. The student must find a thesis supervisor and a second reader and produce a five page thesis proposal to the specifications of the program format. This proposal, signed by the student and the primary and second readers, must then be submitted to the committee six weeks before the beginning of the term in which the first thesis credit is to be taken. If the proposal fails to be approved, the student will be required to fill out his/her program with courses.
Graduate Courses
EES 401 Philosophical-Policy and Environmental Legal Design (3)
A basic class for graduate students on the idea of policy design, as opposed to standard economic analysis of public policy and its application to various domestic and international environmental dilemmas. The course will also introduce the idea of Philosophical-Policy, or the use of integrated philosophical systems to justify specific policy design arguments, through the use of two distinct theoretical paradigms that focus on, specifically, the integrity of the natural environment and the capabilities of humans in relation to ecosystems. Gillroy/ Holland.

ES 402 (EES 402). Scientific Foundations for Environmental Policy Design (3)
This course explores the science behind the environmental issues that bear on the policy process at local, national and global scales. It delves into the science of selected environmental issues that have either arisen from anthropogenic activities, or that impact social systems, or that help policy makers understand the consequences of different policy options. The course will consist of readings and discussions of timely topics and one major project. Sahagian.

ES 431. U.S. Environmental Law I: Pollution and Risk Abatement (3)
The study of bureaucracy and problems of public and nonprofit organization and management; executive leadership; personnel management systems and regulatory administration. Gillroy

ES 432. U.S. Environmental Law II: Natural Resources & Public Lands (3)
This course combines a study of natural resources law with an understanding of the politics and legal processes that create, change, and regulate the economic use of nature. It studies extraction law from two models of regulation: the Market Sector Approach and the Ecosystem Approach. Using these two standards for charting the relationship between humanity and nature, students will analyze timber, water, mineral extraction, public lands regulations, wildlife, wilderness and federal planning and environmental impact assessment in terms of their ethical, political, economic and policy components. Gillroy
ES 433 International Environmental Law & Policy (3)
This course examines the basic international legal setting for the protection and management of the global environment. It examines how international law concerning nature is made and applied, the role of international environmental regimes or institutions, enforcement strategies, and compliance mechanisms. Emphasis will be placed on a review of various regulatory regimes for the protection of the global commons, including the history and legal sources of the Global Climate Change Convention. Gillroy

ES 435. Environmental Valuation For Policy Design & Legal Analysis (3)
Reviewing the history and legal context that gave rise to the current use of the “contingent valuation method” for pricing environmental resources, this course assesses empirical and normative strengths of this method, as well as the weaknesses that challenge its effectiveness and political legitimacy. Students will evaluate the recent turn to “deliberative” methods of resource valuation and consider empirical and normative problems that deliberative methods address. Holland.
ES 443 Comparative Environmental Law & Policy (3)
This course studies the different ways in which domestic legal systems handle the regulation of humanity’s relationship to the natural world. The first part of the course concentrates on comparative law that examines the evolution of distinct types of legal systems from their origins in the ancient world. The second part of the course specifically and comparatively examines environmental law as it has developed in Canada, China, the European Union and the United States. Ranges of alternatives for environmental law and policy as practiced in various parts of the world will be explored. Gillroy.
ES 455 (POLS 455). Environmental Justice & the Law (3)
This course is an in-depth exploration of the various ways in which environmental law and policy can have discriminatory effects. It examines the rise and evolution of the environmental justice movement, and the impact of environmental justice claims on administrative rulemaking at both the state and federal level. Reviewing the history of case law concerning environmental justice suits filed under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, it also examines the future of environmental justice in environmental law and policy. Holland.

ES 461 (EES461) Wetland Policy and Valuation (3)
An interdisciplinary exploration of the laws, political context, and administrative issues shaping wetlands policy. Legal component will review the statutory and case law relevant to legislative and judicial decisions about wetlands. Valuation component will consider instrumental and non-instrumental approaches to valuation of wetland ecosystems, and how these approaches bear on the prospects for wetland restoration in light of global climate change. Managerial component will explore the science of wetland structure and function, and how science- based decisions about wetland protection are complicated by conflicting levels – local, state, and federal – of regulatory authority. Integrated activities with EES 386, Wetland Science. Not available for students who have taken EES 386. Booth.
ES 465. International Law and Policy Design (3)
Beginning in the 13th Century, this course traces the various philosophical, historical, and policy design arguments that have been used to explain, justify, and influence the evolution of the rule of law between states (ius gentium). Gillroy.

ES/SSP 497. Information Ecology (3)
Information theory, critical theory, systems theory, and ecological principles are used to model individual cognition, social organization and human ecosystems. Course concepts are applied to environmental policy analysis using case studies. Casagrande.

ES 490. Thesis (1-6)
ES 495. Independent Study (1-4)

Lehigh University Course Catalog
Core Faculty

Derick G. Brown: Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (Ph.D. Princeton)
David Casagrande: Associate Professor of Anthropology (Ph.D., University of Georgia)
Stephen H. Cutcliffe: Professor of History and Director of Science, Technology and Society (Ph.D. Lehigh)
Benjamin Felzer: Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences (Ph.D., Brown University)
John Martin Gillroy: Professor of Comparative Policy & International Law (Ph.D. University of Chicago; M.S.E.L. Vermont Law School; LL.M. Wolfson College, University of Cambridge)
Bruce R. Hargreaves: Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences (Ph.D. U.C. Berkley)
Breena Holland: Associate Professor of Political Science (Ph.D. University of Chicago)
Kristen L. Jellison: Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (Ph.D. MIT)
Donald P. Morris: Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences (Ph.D. Colorado)
Joan M. Ramage: Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences (Ph.D. Cornell)
Dork Sahagian: Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences (Ph.D. University of Chicago)
Albert H. Wurth, Jr.: Associate Professor of Political Science (Ph.D. North Carolina)