University of California, Davis

ESP 162: Environmental Policy

Winter 2017


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

office hours: Tuesdays,  1:50 - 2:50 (in my office)
Teaching assistants:

Jack Gregory ( -- contact for
students with last names starting A-I.   
office hours: Thursdays 11am, location: 2143 SSH

Ernst Bertone Oehninger ( -- contact for students with last names starting J-Z.  
office hours: Wednesdays 3pm, location: 2124 Wickson

Matt Gammans (

Class lectures: T/Th, 3:10 - 4:30, 1003 Giedt
Wed., 9:00/10:00/11:00/12:10; Location: SCILAB 2060.
Midterm:  in class,  TBD
Final: Thrs, March 23, 3:30-5:30pm

Announcements (newest first)

* 2/23: Homework 4 has been posted below.

* 2/23: The UC Davis Environmental Law Society invites you to attend this year's symposium, The Future of California Climate Law & Policy: View to 2030.  Friday, March 10, Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom, King Hall room 1001, 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM


Schedule of lectures and assigned readings (includes links to most articles--NOTE: some readings are "gated" and you will have to be logged in to Smartsite for the link to work)

Syllabus details (see course description, texts and grading)    
Study groups: there will be a voluntary sign-up sheet to create study groups in the first week

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:  2014, 2015, 2016  (Answer keys are not provided.)  Exam study priorities:
  • Crucial: (a) problem sets, (b) key concepts list
  • Important:  (a) readings (in particular questions posed); (b) notes from lecture.

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 policy

Each homework assignment is due at the beginning of class.    

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 (10 points each): 
  • May be handwritten or typed.

  • 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.

1.  Homework 1: Problem set 1 (Versions: MS Word), due by the beginning of class on Thrs 1/19.
     - Data from the lab experiment for questions 1 & 2.

Homework 2:  (Versions: MS Word), due by the beginning of class on Thrs 2/2.

3.  Homework 3: you may hand in at the beginning of class on Thrs 3/2, or in the box outside my door (2104 Wickson) by 1pm on Fri 3/3.

4.  Homework 4:
you may hand in at the beginning of class on Thrs 3/9, or in the box outside my door (2104 Wickson) by 1pm on Fri 3/10.