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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University
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Belize

The Economics of Tropical Seascapes

ECON 288A

4 Credits

9 Days in Belize

Professor Jim Casey

ECON 288A takes an interdisciplinary approach to environmental economics by allowing students to learn economic theory in the classroom, apply it in the field, and learn about coastal ecology by living in Belize. The primary question to be addressed in this course is how to value coastal resources-specifically-coral reef ecosystems.

This course will introduce techniques economists have developed to value non-market environmental resources. The two valuation techniques to be explored are (1) Choice Models (CM), and (2) Contingent Valuation Method (CVM).

At the end of this course students will be able to (1) read the literature on coastal valuation and management, (2)  determine for themselves the validity of environmental valuation for policy purposes, and (3) more deeply understand the importance and value of environmental resources as they will have spent one week studying and living in the coastal ecosystems of Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Preference will be given to students with more economics and environmental studies coursework.

Program Fee (paid to W&L): $2,240.  This includes airfare, other transportation costs, room and board, and activity fees.

Estimated Additional Expenses:  $300 spending money.

Mandatory Pre-departure Orientation:  Friday, March 23, 2012 at 7 p.m. in Northen Auditorium (Leyburn Library).

Contact Professor Casey for further information.