EC 341/EV 341/SW 341: Ecological Economics and Sustainability Block 1 – Sept. 1 – 24, 2008 (as of July 4, 2008) Policy Decision Memo The capstone element of the course and field trip will be individual student Policy Decision Memos providing assessment of the field trip issues and recommendations for moving the region and its problems towards sustainability. Such recommendations will draw upon the theories, concepts and tools studied and your “field notes” from the field trip in making specific suggestions for transition towards sustainability. The objective is for each student Policy Decision Memo to provide a vision of sustainability for the region studied, including its ecological, social, and economic aspects, and an agenda as well as recommended set of tools for making the transition to regional sustainability. This paper is a major part of the course. It is intended as a way for each student, individually, to synthesize the course readings, class sessions, and field visits so as to shape your thinking and allow you to come to terms with the challenges of making a societal transition to sustainability. The format, as a Decision Memo, is intended to give students experience with the types of “final products” that occur in consulting jobs or within resource management agencies. In both situations you are reporting to very busy “superiors” who have little time for badly organized reports. They expect you to distill your thoughts down to the essence, to have logical organization of materials, and to be clear but concise in defining the problem, providing a foundation of theory and conceptual material, reporting on your “desk” and “field” explorations, and concluding the Memo with a series of recommendations. Thus, your Policy Decision Memo in this course must follow these guidelines: Cover Memo: Maximum of 4 double spaced pages that summarize the assignment, the theoretical foundations for the problem, the analysis carried out, and your recommendations for improved sustainability. Be sure to refer here to the Attachments below that amplify on what you summarize in your cover Memo. Theory Survey Attachment: Maximum of 4 double spaced pages that explain to high-level managers the contributions of Ecological Economics to an understanding of the problem being investigated (a few graphs and illustrations can be added in addition to the 4 pages of text). Field Investigation Log: Maximum of 4 double spaced pages that document the field observations and investigations made, including dates, places and persons contacted or places observed. Matrix of Available Solutions: Maximum of 4 double spaced pages or a table that provide in an organized fashion a framework for thinking about and sorting through potential solutions. Your Cover Memo will discuss those actually being recommended from this broader universe of options for improved sustainability of the region being studied. Optional additional Attachments: Maps and/or illustrations Photos Other Your Policy Decision Memo is expected to be about 12-16 pages long, typed double- spaced (attachments such as diagrams, maps, etc. may be extra as described above). It must be neat, proofread, and reflective of your grasp of the course topic. Be sure to use footnotes, endnotes, or other means of citing particular written materials, talks, or field visits. To make your Policy Decision Memo more relevant and interesting address it to a decision-maker, such as the Governor, a public lands manager, or some other authority with some power to make changes required. Make sure your paper provides a concise description of the region being studied and its particular issues and problems observed and studied during the fieldtrip. Inform the reader about the theoretical foundations of ecological economics and sustainability that provide a framework for suggesting how the region and its issues can move towards sustainability. Finally be sure that you make specific policy recommendations and identify the entities or constituencies that must change their behavior if sustainability is to be achieved. Supplement your written analysis with maps, pictures, and diagrams as is appropriate. The person receiving this paper will judge (i.e. grade) its usefulness by how well you carry out this assignment. A passing grade can be earned by including the sections and coverage discussed above. Higher grades will be earned by thoughtful use of the paper length, creativity, and a demonstrated enthusiasm for using ecological economics “thinking” to solve real-world regional problems of sustainability. You are encouraged to talk with individuals you encounter on the field trip since they are valuable resources with first-hand knowledge of the region and expertise in their respective fields. You are also encouraged to talk with the course instructor about how you plan to structure and write your paper. Some helpful hints on writing such a paper are contained at the CSU Writing Program Site: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/documents/policy/ Your Policy Decision Memo is due by Noon on the last day of the Block in the following forms: 1. Turn in a printed version of your entire paper, with a cover sheet including your name and the course title and date, stapled in the upper left corner. 2. Turn in on a disk or CD a copy of your entire Memo; BE SURE TO PUT YOUR NAME ON THE DISK!!! 3. Consider placing all or part of your Memo on your class Web Site. Be sure that your completed paper meets the attached Check List for completed papers; these guidelines will assure that your paper is acceptable and can earn the highest grade possible for the quality of work performed. Check List for Ecological Economics Policy Paper Completion: 1. Use a fresh, dark printer cartridge to print your paper! 2. Follow paper length guidelines: approximately 12 - 16 pages plus any graphs, illustrations, etc. 3. Place your name and course title, date on the front page which will serve as a cover sheet, staple in upper left corner. 4. Cite materials you use either with shorthand references in the body of the paper or as footnotes. ALSO list these materials in a bibliography at the end of the paper. 5. Be explicit in using the theory and concepts from the text and class. Much of your grade will depend upon the sophistication with which you do this. 6. Put graphs right behind the page(s) where they are discussed or if you are drawing them with the computer on the page where you discuss them, never put all of your graphs together at the end of the paper. 7. Number the pages of your paper; if you wish, have the computer generate numbers for pages of text, then number by hand pages with graphs xx-a, xx-b, etc. and insert them following page xx which explains the graphs. 8. Proofread your paper before you turn it in. 9. Sign the Honor Code. 10. Relax, and look upon the Policy Decision Memo as an opportunity to consolidate and demonstrate to yourself and its readers that you have a comprehensive understanding of the course materials and how they can be applied to helping a region make the transition towards sustainability.
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