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Syllabus: Political Science 130: U.S. Environmental Politics(20 May-28 June 2013)
Robert V. BartlettDepartment of Political ScienceUniversity of VermontEmail: robert.v.bartlett@uvm.edu“We Americans want it all: endless and secure energy supplies; low prices; no pollution; less globalwarming; no new power plants (or oil and gas drilling either) near people or pristine places. This is awonderful wish list, whose only shortcoming is the minor inconvenience of massive inconsistency.”Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post
 In this course we will study the politics of environmentalism in a particular, peculiar political system--that of the United States of America. Trends, patterns, and processes will be examined, the historical basisfor them will be analyzed, and theoretical approaches to understanding and addressing them will beexplored.
 Although POLS 021, American Political System, is officially a prerequisite for this course, anyone withcollege-level reading and writing skills and a willingness to work hard should be able to do well in thecourse.
 Regular access to a computer and a connection to the Internet.Firefox Browser on the Mac or Windows platforms (other browsers may work, butbehave inconsistently). You can download Firefox browser at:http://www.uvm.edu/software;enter your "netid" and password for UVM email to proceed. You need aSkype account (you can call anyone else with a Skype account for free).
 All books been ordered through the UVM Bookstore. If you buy them elsewhere, be certain you havethe right edition and translation!Alm, Leslie R., Ross E. Burkhart, and Marc V. Simon.
Turmoil in American Public Policy: Science, Democracy, and the Environment.
Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2010.Ibsen, Henrik.
 An Enemy of the People, in Four Great Plays,
trans. R Farquharson Sharp. New York:Bantam, 1981. (This translation and this edition ONLY--no other translation or edition is acceptable!)Klyza, Christopher McGrory, and David Sousa
. American Environmental Policy, 1990-2006.
Cambridge,MA: The MIT Press, 2008.Layzer, Judith A.
The Environmental Case: Translating Values into Policy, 3rd ed.
Washington, DC: CQPress, 2012.Miller, Norman.
 Environmental Politics: Stakeholders, Interests, and Policymaking, 2nd ed 
. New York:Routledge, 2009.
 By the end of the term, the student should be able to:
Demonstrate mastery of basic concepts and theories of American politics and public policymaking and to demonstrate the ability to apply these to matters of environmental politics.
Analyze the distinctive character of environmental problems and politics.
Describe and analyze basic characteristics of the American political system, the key actors andinstitutions, and the main processes through which these actors engage in environmental politics(people, patterns, and processes in a system).
Describe basic features of the development of U. S. environmental politics over the past 150 years,particularly the past 40 years, and to explain basic ways that U.S. development has differed fromthat of other countries.
Explain the basic premises and arguments of major theorists and critics of environmental politics.
Use a set of arguments from one reading and apply them to critically analyze a different issue orset of arguments.
Advance a normative position on critical matters of environmental politics and policy, backingthis judgment with sound arguments and evidence.
Demonstrate the above skills in written essays, in brief prepared presentations, and inextemporaneous discussions.
 The University as a whole has adopted a policy that states the work expectation for all UVM classes is,at a minimum, two hours of work outside of the classroom for each hour of class meeting time, or at least120 hours total (40 in class, 80 outside of the classroom) for a three-credit course. The work expectationfor a totally online course then is also at least 120 hours. That means for this course, offered in a six-week term, you should expect to spend at least 20 hours a week in online and offline activities.
I view this as a fascinating, exciting, terribly important subject. I will do my best to make learningabout it interesting, fun, and rewarding by using a variety of learning exercises. All of these involve you insome mode of active learning, of learning by doing. This is not a class in which you can sit back and watchand memorize, and expect to do well. Learning should be fun, but it isn't just fun--it requires work anddiscipline.In our postindustrial world, the three skills most important for college graduates are the ability to think critically, to write well, and to speak articulately. People who have these skills succeed and become leaders(and in crass material terms, usually get paid more over their lives). These may also be the three mostimportant citizenship skills you will need in order to contribute positively to the creation of a better futureenvironment. An overarching goal of this course, therefore, is to help you improve your writing, speaking,and critical thinking skills.To that end, rather than mere comprehension of facts and memorization of details, we will emphasizehigher-level cognitive skills such as application, analysis, evaluation, and synthesis.
 Achieving all of the above requires active discussion, questioning, and dialogue. I welcome thepresentation of a range of perspectives, positions, and experiences. I encourage you to present relevantarguments, experiences, and stories for the consideration of all of us, subject to time availability. I insist,however, on the following protocol in all class meetings:
Students are expected to complete all assignments and participate in all required activities by thedeadlines specified.
Students are expected to treat faculty and fellow students with respect. This requires an activeeffort on the part of all students with regard to:
ACTIVE READING AND LISTENING—reading and hearing is not the same as understanding andlistening. Conscious attention to a writer's or speaker’s words and potential meanings is essential.ACTIVE RESPECT—showing consideration for alternative viewpoints in a manner that continues thedialogue without denigrating the dignity of other participants.ACTIVE REFLEXIVITY—a willingness to employ self-critique and to consider collegial constructivecriticism.This is a participation intensive class, a class in which you can develop and refine some really valuableand important skills. Routine daily participation, including involvement in online discussions, is alsorequired and a part of your grade. I expect students at this level to demonstrate their professionalismroutinely by preparing to participate on time. I expect you to do all the readings before the due date and tobe ready to discuss them. Your grade for participation will be based on a roughly equal weighing of thequantity and quality of your contributions, so you must participate and your contributions as a whole oughtto be the kind that advance, in a positive way, your own education and the learning of others. Some of youmay find involving yourself in discussion difficult, but it is no less important for being difficult. One of thebest ways to prepare to participate is to pose questions to the whole class that you would like to haveanswered or discussed.Students must review all content in the Blackboard course posted in the lessons duringeach week. Participation in discussion forum topics must be timely (within each week’s assignments) withmultiple postings per week anticipated. Students should expect to log into the course at least four times perweek.
Class Communication
I will use the Announcements box on the course home page to communicate reminders, updates, andspecial interest topics. During the first week, I will have online office hours Monday 21 May at 11-noon,3-4, and 8-9 EST; and on Thursday 24 May at 11-noon, 3-4, and 8-9 EST. You may email me during thesetimes for an immediate response, or you may arrange to speak with me via Skype. After the first week, Iwill post my online office hours in Announcements on Blackboard.
Response Turnaround Time
 Please use UVM email for communication with the instructor. During the first week (21-25 May),expect a 12-24 hour turnaround on email and discussion postings. For 26 May-29 June, expect a 24-48hour turnaround on email and discussion postings. Normally other assignments will be graded within 72hours of being due.
For a complete description of all graded assignments, please see “Assignment Descriptions” located inthe Online Lessons section (see Course Menu to the left). The following weights will be given to each of these components:Blackboard readings journal blog 20%Current event paper 20%Current event blog 10%Discussion board participation 20%Wiki paper 10%Final essay 20%

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