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BIOLOGY AND BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES (L41)  (Dept. Info)Arts & Sciences  (Policies)

L41 BIOL 3900Science for Agriculture and Environmental Policy3.0 Units
Description:Government policies at the local, state, and national levels determine and regulate activities that range from local farmers markets to U.S. membership in the Paris Climate Agreement. Science can and should play a critical role in developing policy. This course focuses on the biological science behind policies for climate change and agricultural practice as well as the role of various organizations in providing science for policy. Now is a particularly interesting time for science-based policy with the election of a new U.S. President and the elevation of the President's science advisor to Cabinet level. This course is divided into three parts. First, we review how policy is developed and how various agencies and actors affect policy. The next section looks at biological topics that have policy implications. These case studies are presented by expert speakers who have had experience in various science-related roles in the federal government, foundations, professional associations, advisory organizations, and scientific publications. Finally, students conduct individual research projects on a science topic that affects current legislative efforts, either state or national. Students investigate the basic science of their chosen topic and how this could affect proposed legislation. As part of the research project, students give a class presentation, lead a class discussion, and write a term paper on the foundational biological science. The goals of this course are as follows: (1) to develop an understanding of how science is used to develop policy by examining case studies presented by experts; and (2) to critique a proposed science-based policy either at the state or federal level.
Instruction Type:Classroom instruction Grade Options:CPA Fees:
Course Type:HomeSame As:L82 3900Frequency:Annually / History


A course may be either a “Home” course or an “Ident” course.

A “Home” course is a course that is created, maintained and “owned” by one academic department (aka the “Home” department). The “Home” department is primarily responsible for the decision making and logistical support for the course and instructor.

An “Ident” course is the exact same course as the “Home” (i.e. same instructor, same class time, etc), but is simply being offered to students through another department for purposes of registering under a different department and course number.

Students should, whenever possible, register for their courses under the department number toward which they intend to count the course. For example, an AFAS major should register for the course "Africa: Peoples and Cultures" under its Ident number, L90 306B, whereas an Anthropology major should register for the same course under its Home number, L48 306B.

Grade Options
C=Credit (letter grade)
S=Special Audit
Q=ME Q (Medical School)

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