University of California, Davis

ESP 162: Environmental Policy

Winter 2018


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

office hours: Wednesdays 2pm, in my office (if crowded we'll go to 2120J)
Teaching assistants:

Tiffany Hoang ( -- contact for
students with last names starting A-I.   
office hours: Thursdays noon-1pm, location: 2120J Wickson

Ernst Bertone Oehninger ( -- contact for students with last names starting J-Z.  
office hours: Mondays 3-4pm (NEW!) 10-11am, location: 2120J Wickson

Pierce Donovan (
(NEW!) office hours (in weeks we have a problem set only): Friday 11am-noon, location: 2120J Wickson

***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, 4:40 - 6:00pm, 126 Wellman 198 Young
Discussion/Lab: Wed., 9:00/10:00/11:00/12:10; Location: SCILAB 2060.
Midterm:  in class,  TBD
Final: Tue., March 20, 1:00pm

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.  (NOTE: not intended as a comprehensive study guide)

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 and 2017 (Not provided: 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: there will be a voluntary sign-up sheet to create study groups in the first week

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).

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.