ECON 3545 Environmental Economics

Instructor Contact

Dr. Alex Hill

About the course

Economics has been central as a cause of natural resource degradation and it is also at the core of the solution to most environmental problems.  A primary goal of this course is to develop insight as to how humans manage natural resources and why.  Once we understand incentives, then we can propose policies aiming at the conservation of natural resources. We will focus on understanding a list of the core concepts that do most of the heavy lifting in environmental economics.  Students will have the opportunity to apply their new knowledge toward understanding current environmental problems.

Course Prerequisites: Requires prerequisite courses of ECON 2010 (minimum grade C-).

Proctoring: This course requires proctored examinations. Exams are proctored which will require planning on your part. Proctors are individuals who administer the exam process following the guidelines provided by University of Colorado Boulder to ensure academic integrity. Some proctoring options require the student to pay a fee.


By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Identify environmental problems, emphasizing the optimal role for public policy relative to a market inefficiency.
  • Determine the economic information and tool required to address an environmental problem and how to apply them.
  • Explain the building blocks and tools of environmental economics so that you can comprehend the research in environmental economic texts and articles.
  • Concisely and effectively communicate environmental economics findings and recommendations to policymakers.

Required Texts

Hanley, N., Shogren J. and White, B. (2019) Introduction to Environmental Economics 3rd Edition. Oxford. ISBN: 978-0198737230

Grading (out of 1000 points)

Assignment Points per Assignment Frequency GRADE POINTS GRADE PERCENTAGE
Written Report 170 1 170 17.0%
Discussions (post + response) 25 6 150 15.0%
Exercises 20 9 180 18.0%
Quizzes* 20 5 100 10.0%
Proctored Midterm Exam 150 1 150 15.0%
Proctored Cumulative Final Exam 250 1 250 25.0%
TOTAL 1000          = 100%

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Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado