Breath of Clarity

Summary of My Courses in the University of Denver Environmental Policy and Management program

Course Descriptions


6066 EPM 4200 Environmental Protection Law 3/30/20-6/05/20- Aaron Ray

This course reviews a wide spectrum of laws which protect our environment and health. Students will discuss the purpose, context and implications of the most important laws, regulations and court cases that affect the quality of our lives. Coverage includes: National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and related toxics laws. It provides an overview of the legal system and the roles of Congress, the President, executive agencies, states, and courts in shaping environmental laws.


4003 Environmental Finance and Economics 06/15/20-08/21/20- Scott Thomas

This class provides an overview of economics and finance in an environmental context. Topics include; the overview of the economic system, efficiency, equity, market failure, environmental regulation, and benefit-cost analysis, and valuing the environment, pollution control, energy, conservation of natural resources, performance metrics, risk and return, time value of money, cost of capital, returns on investments, and standard financial reports. The class uses reading assignments, written assignments, case studies, and class participation. The course emphasizes relationships between business management and environmental quality, and provides students with a financial and economic decision-making framework for understanding and analyzing environmental issues. Prerequisite: Full understanding of Algebra strongly suggested for this course.

4910 Research Practices and Applications 06/15/20-08/21/20- Jeral Kirwan

This course develops competency in principles of research and measurement for use in the professional setting. As an initial course in the program of study, students will learn research methods to apply to program and systems design and evaluation to achieve successful measurement of outcomes and goals. Students will become critical consumers of pertinent literature to provide background and support for the choice and application of proper qualitative and quantitative research methods and data analysis for professional application. Critical thinking through comparing and contrasting cause and effect is used to build logic models. Research, design, and evaluation processes that address issues of implementation, feasibility, and sustainability are emphasized. At the conclusion of this course students will be prepared to apply and clearly communicate the practice of scientific research principles in the professional environment to ensure that the question being asked can be answered through rigorous research and the design and formative assessment of the program or system. Completion of Institutional Review Board (IRB) training via CITI Program is required as a basis for discussion of research ethics and IRB procedures. Competencies gained in this course, including practices of inquiry, self-analysis, and evaluation, will be applied and integrated throughout the course of study and demonstrated in the culminating capstone work of the master’s degree.

FALL 2020

4115 Introduction to Ecology 09/14/20-11/20/20- Fenton Kay-

This course examines the concepts of the ecosystem, populations, communities, the flows of energy, material cycles, and the necessity of diversity. Concepts including the unity of organisms and inseparable interactions with the physical environment are analyzed. Class discussions include topics such as the formation, distribution, and organization of ecological communities; plant succession and nutrient cycling; evolutionary trends of plant and animal populations; and species interactions in subalpine and alpine forests, prairies, and plains.

Environmental Project Management 09/14/20-11/20/20- Leonard Pasquini

Students will discuss environmental project management from the government, industry, and contractor perspectives. The course looks at successful project management organization, planning, and communication strategies. Using examples, students will also examine complex projects needing management. The types of contractual assistance needed will be reviewed.

Environmental Policy Analysis 09/14/20-11/20/20- Ann Morgan

This course provides a basic introduction to the field of public environmental policy analysis. Specifically, it serves as a foundation course that introduces contemporary methods of policy analysis, agenda-setting, models of policy formulation and implementation, and policy evaluation. The focus is principally on concepts, analytical approaches, and research methods.

WINTER 2020: 01/04/21-03/12/21

Intro to Natural Resource Management 01/04/21-03/12/21- Frank Turina

This course provides an introduction to natural resource management with an overview of historic and contemporary management systems and principles. Students examine key policies, guidelines, and planning procedures of governmental agencies, resource-based industry and the public. Topics include the simultaneous consideration of biological, physical, social, and economic aspects of lands, waters, and natural resources to achieve sustainable conditions. Other topics are multiple use/sustained yield management; soil and water conservation and protection; use, restoration, and preservation of renewable and non-renewable resources; and the preservation and management of natural resources for recreation, spiritual renewal, and other amenity values.

Endangered Species and Wildlife 01/04/21-03/12/21- Fenton Kay

This course provides an overview of the basic principles, trends, challenges, and controversies of the administration of maintaining certain wildlife species. Threats from water and air pollution, poaching and other illegal actions, interrelationships of wildlife and their habitats, and biodiversity will be discussed. Students gain an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of various federal, state and local agencies, environmental and wildlife interest groups, and other organizations involved in wildlife management issues.

SPRING 2021: 03/30/21-06/05/21

Impacts of Recreational Use: 03/30/21-06/05/21- Fenton Kay

The practical and managerial theoretical basis of recreational use of public and private lands is examined in the context of ecosystem management. The statutory and regulatory policies and current issues regarding the management and use of lands in wilderness systems, wild and scenic river corridors, parks, and open spaces are discussed in detail. The impacts of recreational uses on the environment and conflicts with other uses of land and resources are discussed. Land use planning policies and decisions, decisions which respond to recreation, wilderness, wilderness and open space issues will be are examined. At this end of this course, students will create a visitor impact use assessment using the Inter-agency Visitor Use Management Framework (IVUMF).

SUMMER 2021: 06/15/21-08/21/21

Wetland Ecology and Management: 06/15/21-08/21/21- Kathryn Flanagan

This course provides a detailed examination of aquatic communities and habitats with an emphasis on freshwater systems. The recognition, identification, classification, and maintenance requirements of various wetland communities are stressed. Students analyze Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and the permitting process. Guidelines for placing dredge and fill materials in wetlands and other construction projects that directly or indirectly affect these areas are reviewed. Students explore concepts related to regulatory enforcement, mitigation, and the need for additional policies and actions to sustain as well as protect these critical communities.

FALL 2021: 09/14/21-11/20/21

Leadership for Environmental Managers: 09/13/21-11/19/21- Robert Gnuse

This course provides students with fundamental leadership skills with an emphasis on topics and contexts relevant to environmental professionals. It addresses three main subject areas: leadership principles necessary to positively influence their work environment; how to effectively communicate; and developing a vision and mission for their personal leadership success. Students will assess their own leadership attributes, characteristics, and skills and construct a personal leadership development plan. The class will make use of reading assignments, written assignments, video assignments, situational role-play, and class participation.

WINTER 2022: 01/04/22-03/12/22


The purpose of the Capstone Seminar is to develop and apply transferable professional skills to persuade decision-makers. The course requires students to identify a question, problem, or issue in their field of study or profession to research in order to create a report that argues for an applied solution. Over the duration of the quarter, students will focus on the following: developing an argument in both written and oral format to support their solution through consideration of purpose, audience, and evidence; gathering and evaluating sources in their field or industry; the connection between discipline, style, and format; and their individual writing process.