Fall 2020 - REM 621 G100

Ecological Economics (5)

Class Number: 3656

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu, Th 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM

  • Instructor:

    Duncan Knowler
    1 778 782-3421
    Office Hours: Office hours will be at a fixed time. Students are best to contact the instructor ahead and arrange to meet remotely or by email during office hours.



Introduction to economic concepts for management of the environment and specific natural resources. Key issues are definitions of sustainability, the substitution capability between human-made and natural capital, and the appropriate application of economics to sustainable development analysis and policies. Equivalent Courses: MRM621 MRM662


Course Objective
To familiarize students with basic concepts, analytical tools and policy instruments in resource and environmental economics, as well as to introduce the discipline of ecological economics.

“One studies economics to avoid being fooled by economists” (Joan Robinson)

Course Format
The course will be offered synchronously using a remote lecture/seminar format. To the extent possible, we will try to integrate discussion papers/presentations, group exercises/games and at-home computer labs. Recording of portions of the classes (e.g. lectures) may be a possibility but is not certain nor necessarily desirable. If recording takes place, SFU’s privacy rules will be respected.


  • Take-home Assignments (2 x 20%) 40%
  • Group Presentation Assignment (if feasible) 10%
  • Lab Assignment 10%
  • Midterm quiz 10%
  • Final exam 30%


The Group Assignment consists of group presentations of short assigned readings (see items with '*' in the reading list). All students should read these before class and be prepared to participate in the classroom discussion. The midterm quiz consists of a set of multiple-choice questions administered in class to test your progress, while the final exam consists of written response questions and covers the entire course.



Hanley, J. Shogren and B. White, 2019. Introduction to Environmental Economics, 3rd Edition, Oxford University Press (purchase e-book via bookstore or hard copy via Amazon).

SFU Bookstore website: http://www.sfu.ca/bookstore/coursematerials

Additional readings will be assigned to highlight key points or cover gaps in the main text. These readings and all lecture slides will be posted at the course’s Canvas site.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).