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⚠️ Information and Updates Regarding COVID-19's Impact on the College of Agricultural Sciences

Full course descriptions


Environmental and Natural Resource Economics majors will have the opportunity to choose among several courses taught by professors renowned for their accomplishments in both teaching and research. We encourage taking additional courses in other departments such as Engineering, Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, Global Environment and Sustainability, Natural Resources, Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism, Sociology, or Soil and Crop Science.  Examples of courses we teach are:


Issues in Environmental Economics (AREC 240) – Learn how the core principles of economics apply to environmental issues and comprehend the virtues and limitations of markets and allocations through prices. The course is currently taught by Dr. Stephan Kroll.  He is particularly interested in the public acceptability and feasibility of environmental policies, and he uses economic experiments in his research and in this class extensively.

Economics of Natural Resources (AREC 340) – Be introduced to economic models of renewable and nonrenewable natural resources. We will cover economic approaches to fuels and minerals, forests, fish, water, land, agriculture, outdoor recreation, and biodiversity.  The course is currently taught by Dr. Andy Seidl.  He does research on natural resource-based economic development. His recent work has illustrated the vulnerability of the Colorado ski and agriculture industries to climate change and the effect of differential taxation for agriculture on the Colorado economy.

Environmental Economics (AREC 341) – Learn how to identify efficient levels of environmental goods and services (e.g., habitat protection, air quality, or even recreational activities such as skiing, biking, and hiking) and the conditions under which a market achieves these levels.  This course builds on AREC 240.  We cover economic methods for valuing non-market environmental goods and use economic theory to explore cost-effective policies to correct market failures.    Dr. Dale Manning currently teaches this course.  His research focuses on the linkages between natural resource management and broader economic outcomes such as household income and the development of non-resource economic sectors.  For example, Dr. Manning investigates the distributional implications of water transfers from agricultural to urban uses in Colorado.

Water Law, Policy, and Institutions (AREC 342) – Be introduced to the laws and policies governing the allocation of water throughout the United States; with particular attention being paid to the southwestern U.S. Comparisons to alternate systems utilized internationally are presented when relevant. Students are also provided an overview of the institutions and parties that influence the allocation, administration, and development of policies (e.g. state and federal agencies, conservancy districts, utilities, etc.). The course is currently taught by Dr. Chris Goemans.  His research aims to develop a better understanding of how households and producers make decisions relating to water use, as well as, studying alternative ways to meet future demands associated with population growth.

Economics of Outdoor Recreation (AREC 346) – Learn the principles of benefit cost analysis, monetizing benefits of outdoor recreation, how to determine the economic impacts of tourism, and economic principles to guide pricing of congested outdoor recreation sites to increase revenue and reduce congestion.  The course is currently taught by Dr. John Loomis.  He uses economic valuation techniques to estimate the economic values of different ways to ascend Pike’s Peak, the value of instream flows in the Poudre River, downhill skiing, and river rafting in the Grand Canyon.


Advanced Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (AREC 440) – This course covers land use, water resources, and energy.  It is a capstone to the major, you will focus on how to integrate and apply the tools and knowledge that you have gained in your other ENRE courses. Students apply their knowledge to applied problems within each of these topics and meet with decision makers from the respective fields. The course is currently taught by Dr. Jordan Suter.  In his research, he analyzes behavior related to the use of land and water resources and incorporates his findings into the design of policies aimed at improving resource management.

Agriculture and Resource-based Economic Development  (AREC 460) – Discuss global and local challenges surrounding hunger and poverty, the drivers of sustainable, natural resource-based economic development, and the likely long term solutions that lead to a world without hunger. This course is taught by Dr. Seidl whose recent research in this area includes work with the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on green, inclusive growth, mainstreaming environmental values into national accounts, planning, budgeting and decision making.


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