Fall 2022 - REM 321 D100

Ecological Economics (4)

Class Number: 4282

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 7 – Dec 6, 2022: Mon, 10:30–11:20 a.m.

    Sep 7 – Dec 6, 2022: Thu, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 8, 2022
    Thu, 12:00–3:00 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



Introduces students to the concepts and methods of ecological economics. Provides students with grounding in the core principles of conventional economics applied to the environment but then extends this to the integration of economics and ecology to create a new ecological-economic understanding of environmental change and sustainability. Students with credit for ENV 321 cannot take REM 321 for further credit. Breadth-Social Sciences.


REM-321 will introduce you to the concepts and methods of ecological economics. We will learn, critique, and apply several tools from ecological economics, including cost-benefit analysis, valuation of ecosystem services, measures of economic growth versus development, and definitions of “sustainability.” We will draw from real-world examples of environmental problems, including climate change, fisheries management, and biodiversity loss.

Lectures will include one 10 minute break after every ~50 minutes of lecture. I will combine lectures (slides, examples) with group work, discussion, and dialogue. PDF versions of lecture slides will also be posted to Canvas. Each week will include a live, in-person tutorial, led by your TA. Tutorials will supplement, reinforce, and critique material presented in readings and lectures. Several short “modules” will be delivered to train students on skills relating to assignments. The TA will also run small and large discussion groups, and where possible, simulation exercises and other activities. Given the participatory nature of this class and topic, you are expected to attend all tutorials, and to participate. All students will be called on to share at some point. You will also need to take notes in class—the lecture slides will not include all material covered in discussions.


Once you complete this course, you will be able to:

  • Define and explain the major modern environmental problems.
  • Critically evaluate the strengths and drawbacks of economic concepts of the environment.
  • Apply course concepts and tools to real-world environmental problems (e.g. as portrayed by media coverage).
  • Challenge your own assumptions regarding environmental and economic issues, and understand/develop your personal values.
  • Develop collaborative, interdisciplinary learning and thinking skills.


  • Participation 15%
  • Assignments 35%
  • Quizzes 5%
  • Midterm exam 20%
  • Final exam 25%



Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: A Contemporary Approach, 4rd Edition (2018), Jonathan Harris and Brian Roach, M.E. Sharpe. Digital version available SFU Library: https://sfu-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/f/1u29dis/TN_cdi_askewsholts_vlebooks_9781317216209

A number of additional online (electronic) readings will be uploaded to the Canvas site, including reports and journal articles.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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