Political Ecology of Land
Last Updated: 11/14/2007
Major areas of study include land use planning and growth management, policy analysis, statistics, principles of economics, American government and federalism, case studies in environmental policy and implementation, research methods and projects.
Class Standing: Juniors or seniors; transfer students welcome.
This upper-division program will provide an interdisciplinary, in-depth focus on how land has been impacted from human use and how land use regulations are applied to achieve socially defined goals for land stewardship. We will give special attention to the political, economic, social, cultural and environmental contexts of land use. The concept of a "land ethic" will be developed as a foundation for evaluating specific land use goals and objectives. Key land use tools such as the Federal Endangered Species Act, Wilderness Act, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Washington State Growth Management Act, Shorelines Management Act, State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), Forest Practices Act, conservation easements and purchase of development rights programs will be examined. Several day long field trips will facilitate a practical understanding of land use and land stewardship issues as they actually impact property owners and communities. By the end of the program, students will have been exposed to the key elements of land use regulations and will be familiar with the diverse career opportunities in the land use field.
Several social science disciplines will be explored. Selected aspects of the following topics and disciplines will be used to evaluate human impact on land, primarily in the United States: history and economic development, the structure and function of American government and federalism, public policy formation and implementation, land use planning theory and practice, growth management, elements of environmental and land use law, economics, fiscal analysis of state and local governments, and selected applications of qualitative and quantitative research methods. Taken together, these topics encompass the diversity of ideas and skills required for developing an in-depth analysis of land use.
The program will include lectures, seminars, guest speakers, workshops, field trips, research projects and student presentations. Our goal is to have students leave the program with a comprehensive understanding of the breadth of issues, laws and policies governing land as well as the diverse career opportunities that exist in this field. In the past, many of our students have secured professional level internships and entry level professional employment in the land use field.
Credits: 16 per quarter
Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in land use and environmental planning, policy development and fiscal analysis, environmental and natural resource management.
Planning Units: Environmental Studies