Welcome to University of Michigan's NRE 392, Applications of Environmental Justice

Winter 1997 Facilitators

Click here for the case study template.

Purpose of NRE 392

The purpose of this course is to examine, question, and discuss the issues of race, class, and ethnicity as they relate to envrionemntal problems. The study of environmental justice requires us to constantly implement both various pedagogic and pragmatic tools--from economic and ethical analysis to an examination of technological and social-power structure problems.

Similarly, to fully study environmental justice, we cannot solely learn in the classroom. All of the students in this class will therefore engage in an environmental justice field experience at one several sites throughout the state of Michigan. We hope that this experience will help you come away from this class with not only a better cognition of the theoretical basis of environmental justice, but also a realistic, hands-on understanding of the subject.

And finally, we hope that through our study of environmental justice, we might begin to discover possible solutions to the problems we have seen. That is, education is futile if we do not recognize its power.

History of NRE 392

This course was originally initiated by two Master's students at the University of Michigan as a project called LEAD, a program designed to instill principles of leadership, education, and equity in environmental disciplines. Each year, the facilitators turn over the course to a small group of students who wish to facilitate the course the following year; the offering of the course each Winter semester is due entirely to the will of students to continue to teach it. This is the fifth year of the course. That is, we facilitators were all in the course last year. OVer time, the course has evolved, and this year is no exception.

Coursework and Grading

Grades will be based on the sum of an individual's scores in the following areas. Each area is scaled for points as listed below:

The case study presentation and accompanying paper are worth a total of 350 points. This project is based on your experience at the site where you will spend time throughout the semester. The presentation component, consisting of an illustration of what your experience was like, what you learned, etc. is worth 100 pots, while the paper, written in a case study format, is worth 250 pts.

Participation and attendance are worth 250 pts. Obviously, if we thaink that participation and attendance are worth a quarter of your grade, then it is important that all students attend class on a regular basis. Each student will be allowed one non-penalized day of absence without question. After that day has been used, conversely, each subsequent absence will result in a deduction of 10 pts from your participation and attendance grade. However, the bottom line is that we hope everyone enjoys this course enough that everyone wants to attend class.

Quizzes are also worth 250 pts. Quizzes will be given every other week, and they are worth 15 pts. each. You will have the opportunity to take six quizzes throughout the semester if you attend class on the days they are given, and if you do take all six, you will have the opportunity to drop the lowest quiz grade at the end of the semester. Although five quizzes at 15 pts. each doesn't add up to 250 pts., your total score on the quizzes will be worth 250 pts, or a quarter, of your final grade. (Each quiz is worth 5% of your final grade.) Our intent in giving quizzes is not to stress you out, but rather to evaluate whether or not you are doing the assigned readings, where the questions on the quizzes will be taken from.

Last, but not least, journals are worth 150 pts. Journals will be handed in every other week, on the weeks when there are no quizzes. Basically, you will turn in a journal entry or take a quiz every week, alternating weeks. Journals are intended to provide an extra medium for students to express their thoughts on topics studied in the course. The journal's content is solely up to the individual, given the one restriction that the content must relate to the course. Journal entries can be as long as one wishes, but should not be shorter than one and a half written pages. There will be a total of five journal entries, which will be read by a different facilitator each week and assigned a grade of check, check plus, or check minus. Each journal entry is worth 3% of your final grade. Further details will be provided in class.

Return to Courses

This page is authored by Catherine Britt (brittce@umich.edu) and Andrew Hanson (anrew@umich.edu).