Course Descriptions

IGERT Courses

Water Science and Systems

This course is required for all policy science and diplomacy students, and taught by Drs. Islam, Levine, and Reed with student peer-leaders from natural sciences and engineering. Course content will be rigorous but not filled with excessive disciplinary jargon, while the Peer-Led Team Learning model will bring fresh perspectives to the content in a contextual and relevant format. This course emphasizes concepts and methods including fundamentals of hydrologic and ecological processes at various scales; dimensional analysis; water cycle (precipitation, evapotranspiration; infiltration; runoff; groundwater flow) water quality; hydrograph analysis and watershed modeling; water systems and multi-objective optimization.

Fall 2012 Course Syllabus

Water Policy and  Economics

This course is required of all natural science and engineering students and taught by Drs. Roach and Portney and student peer-leaders from policy sciences and diplomacy. Topics will include introduction to the legal and regulatory foundations of environmental and natural resource policy at the national and international levels with specific attention to water and issues of externalities, property rights, public goods, public choice, and trust. This course will also cover identification of alternative options, economic assessment of those options, role of vested interests that might oppose particular rational strategies, and how to develop policies that take political realities into account.

Fall 2012 Course Syllabus

Water and Diplomacy

This course is required for all IGERT students, and will build on the concepts and methods covered in the above two courses. It will focus on water conflicts, negotiations and cooperation (CNC) and synthesize scientific origins of water conflicts – arising from the competition between societal and natural domains – with negotiation theory. This course will include (a) three core concepts of negotiations: Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement, Reservation Value and Zone of Possible Agreement; (b) four steps to mutual gains negotiations: Prepare, Create Value, Distribute value, and Follow through; and (c) three intersecting domains of negotiation: Substance, Process, and Relationship. It will emphasize quantitative and descriptive approaches to analyzing water conflicts in the United States and South Asia through negotiation theory. It will also integrate a negotiation simulation exercise that brings together technical and policy challenges of water management to give students a hands-on experience with conflict resolution and negotiation tools in a real world context.