ECON275 -70: Environmental Economics

Georgetown University Qatar

Summer Session 2021



Instructor: Dennis C. McCornac, Ph.D.             Email:


Office Hours. Please arrange an appointment either before or after class.


Course Description: This course uses microeconomics to analyze environmental and natural resource management issues. Topics may include market-based regulations, valuing the environment, air pollution, global warming, biodiversity conservation, fisheries, natural resource scarcity (minerals and oil), and tradeoffs between environmental quality and economic growth. Coverage of the topics will balance textbook applications of environmental economics with analysis of environmental and natural resource policy. Instruction will consist of a mix of lectures and class discussion. 


Course Outline:


Goals of the Course:


·       Understanding the fundamental building blocks and tools of environmental economics that underly and support environmental policy and management.

·       Develop critical skills for analyzing competing policies and economic theories.

·       Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of various environmental policies.

·       Critically discuss the characteristics and properties of measures of benefits and benefit estimation procedures and their applicability to specific situations.

·       Define the basic conditions of the optimal use of renewable and exhaustible resources.


Students are expected to prepare for class by completing all readings PRIOR to each class meeting. Thoughtful and constructive class participation is expected, as it will both help you to better understand the material and enhance the learning process for all.  In addition, students will be expected to read a newspaper or news websites on a daily basis to keep abreast of events related to environmental issues.  


Required Text: The required text is Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, 11th Edition, by Tom Tietenberg and Lynne Lewis, Publisher: Routledge. The E-book version of the text is available in Canvas.


Required Readings: Required and optional readings will be posted on the course outline and additional articles webpages. The power point presentations may also contain links to additional readings.

Additional Readings: Additional readings will be put on the additional articles’ webpage (link from course outline page).


Course Requirements: Exams and Short Papers:


The course requirements are listed below:


1.   Three short written assignments. Details and due dates are available on the course outline. Each assignment is worth 10 points.

2.   There will be one midterm exam worth 25 points on the date specified on the course outline.

3.   Class Participation and attendance are worth 10 points.

4.   The final exam is worth 25 points and will be cumulative.


Grading Scale


Method of Evaluation

Points Possible

Assignments (3) – 10 points each


Exam 1


Class Participation and Attendance


Final Exam





Class Policies:


1.   Written Assignments: All written assignments must be turned in by the date and time specified on the course outline and Canvas. They can be submitted in class or on Canvas under the listed assignment by the 11:59 pm of the due date. Written assignments must be word-processed and 1.5 or double-spaced, using 12-point Times New Roman font. You must cite outside work when appropriate. You may use any citation style as long as you use it correctly and consistently.


2.   Late Work: Late work will be penalized by one full letter grade each day. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE.


3.   Absences: You are expected to attend all class meetings. Attendance will be taken and counted towards your class participation grade. Unexcused absences will strongly negatively impact your participation grade.


Honor Code: Every student has the responsibility to abide by the GU Honor Code.  Review academic policies and the honor system on the GUQ webpage. 


Suspected infractions of the Honor System will be referred to the Honor Council.  If a student is found in violation of the Honor System, I reserve the right to award a failing grade on the assignment or the course as a whole, in addition to any sanction that the Honor Council and the Dean may apply.


Title IX & Non-Discrimination:


As faculty at Georgetown University, we are committed to our responsibilities under Title IX, as well as the University’s non-discrimination policies.  For details of University policies, please refer to the following links:


Use of Cameras During Online Classes:


There is no university policy on camera use in online classes. However, students are strongly encouraged to turn on their computer/device cameras when participating in class. Students are required to understand and abide by the university's policy on virtual learning security which prohibits any student from photographing or videorecording another student's image via Zoom or another online platform, as well as the dissemination of any such photographs or video recordings. Violations are subject to adjudication under the Code of Student Conduct.