University of California, Davis

ESP 162: Environmental Policy

Winter 2021


Mike Springborn
Associate Professor
Department of Environmental Science & Policy
2104 Wickson Hall
mailbox: ESP Office 2132 Wickson Hall

office hours: lecture time, after short program for the day is done
Teaching assistants:

Emily McGlynn ( -- lead contact for
students with last names starting A-I.   
office hours:  Thursdays 5-6pm

Kyumin Kim ( -- lead contact for students with last names starting J-Z.  
office hours: Mondays 4-5pm

Tara Ursell (
office hours: Wednesdays 1-2pm

***If you have a concern please (or contact on Canvas) email just your lead TA (or Prof. Springborn) and we will make sure your concern is addressed.  When in doubt, start with your lead TA.   (Please avoid CC'ing additional people unless essential.)

Class lectures: T/Th, 3:10-4:30pm
Discussion/Lab: Wed., 8:00/9:00/10:00/11:00, Location: Zoom
Midterm:  in class,  TBD
Final:  3/19 8:00am

Schedule of lectures and assigned readings
(includes links to articles


Syllabus details (see course description, texts and grading)    
Key concepts list: Useful for directing your reading and studying for exams.

Review of key models used:  A one-stop shop for some of our key models.

useful practice problems and introduction to exam format are found in these old midterms: 2016, 2017 and 2018. (Not provided: 2019/2020 [I didn't teach ESP 162 those years], answer keys or example final exams)  Exam study priorities:
  • Crucial: (a) problem sets, (b) key concepts list
  • Important:  (a) readings (in particular questions posed); (b) notes from lecture.
Study groups: we will create optional study groups of four students each in your lab section.

Master bibliography of relevant papers and references in lecture.

Subscribe to a daily digest of environmental policy news via Greenwire (recommended) 

See this expandable mind map for an overview of the course (adapted from a flow chart by Robert Stavins).

Note: this works for me in my Firefox browser (but Chrome/Edge get hung up on Flash/Javascript)

Here's a PNG file of the entire map.

economic analysis of environmental

  • May be handwritten or typed.
  • Problem sets will be assigned on Canvas
  • Problem sets must be turned in online on Canvas as a single pdf file with all pages in the proper order and orientation
  • To create a PDF your options are: 
    • Complete the assignment in MS Word then print to pdf on your computer
    • Print the assignment to paper and then scan the finished version to pdf
      • Use campus computing lab scanners--there are at least 6 around campus
      • Use the app CamScanner - Phone PDF Creator on an Android or Apple device to use the camera to scan to pdf.  The app is free on Android and Apple. Tip: for multiple sheets in one assignment use Batch Mode.
  • You are allowed to work on assignments with your classmates, however you must produce your own answers in your own words.  As summarized by the Office of Student Judicial Affairs, "even if the instructor permits collaboration, it is never ethical to copy someone's work or let them copy yours."
  • Problem sets will typically be 10 points each. We will typically grade two questions in depth for 2.5 points each and award the remaining five points based on the completeness of the remaining responses.    
  • For some problem sets we will note additional problems to "Read".  These are not assigned and should not be turned in but are strongly suggested for practice and review.