Breath of Clarity

Environmental Economics Mid-Term Reflection

It’s midway through the course and your reflection and feedback is very helpful as we enter the second half.

1) Reflect on the course learning to date. What are the three most important ideas that you have learned so far?

2) Feedback:

a) What has gone well in the class?

b) What could be better?

3) This is also the area where you can ask questions of a general nature and add any comments or observations. Chances are that a few of your classmates have some of the same questions and your post here will be helpful to others in class.


The three most important ideas that I have learned during this class are willingness to pay, elements of efficiency, and the crucial interplay between strategies designed to improve environmental economics. It was interesting to investigate how willingness to pay is impacted by opportunity cost and values (not just income level). It was also intriguing to consider willingness to pay can be applied to both a consumer and a corporation looking to decrease marginal cost. Before the course, I perceived efficiency in my daily life as quickly finishing a task while still producing a quality final result. At a macro-level, I defined it as generally getting the best quality for the lowest price. Now, I compare social efficiency to equity for a single firm. I also understand it is crucial to define how I am measuring efficiency before designing a plan for cost-effectiveness. Lastly, I learned the combination of environmental management systems, incentives, education along with command-and-control is optimal. Understanding environmental economics as a range of forces working together, rather than a debate about which mechanism is best to put in place, is fascinating.


I appreciate the array of prompts in every individual discussion board. It helps me draw the intersection between concepts both within a single chapter and across the entire board. Since there are so many choices of prompts, I am able to select the ones I particularly resonate with. As a result, I find myself forcing my writing less compared to other courses. I also enjoy the discussion questions asking students to interpret statements such as “I like clean air more than you do” or “Efficiency is cost-effective but cost-effective is not always efficient”. The simplicity in the statements aids my understanding of the key concepts. At the same time, challenging students to stick to peer-reviewed articles has definitely improved the content of my discussion postings. I am glad to be stretched in that way. Also, thank you for emphasizing “start early” when we did our class introductions the first week. It has brought me ease in life both inside and out of academia. I am also receiving more detailed feedback on my postings and comments on my submissions than any of my other EPM courses thus far. So, thank you for keeping up with the discussion throughout the week. Considering the energy I put into my writing, it is awesome to get feedback from a professor who is super qualified in the field. The feedback within the discussion boards also definitely extends the conversations which evokes additional intelligence out of the students. Further, my team is communicating well. I am so glad we considered group-dynamic concepts and task allocation principles so explicitly for the team charter assignment. It helped make everything clear.


My main suggestion for improvement is to provide thorough assignment instructions. Understanding the assignment directions has been one of my main struggles in all the EPM online classes I have taken thus far. Nonetheless, I am glad to have a professor who checks Canvas throughout the class discussion which shows you are available to answer questions sent to the Canvas inbox, as well.


Questions for other students:

Now that we are partially done with the course, are there specific ways you can apply it to your current career or professional aspirations? What is your procedure for finding articles on the world wide web that support discussion points? Are there any specific techniques you use for efficiently finding peer-reviewed articles so you are not spending a lot of time scrolling looking for a fitting one?