I want my final exam for this course to be its pièce de résistance — a vehicle for students to demonstrate how well they can apply their knowledge about the relationships between economics and the environment. I also want the application of knowledge to happen in an authentic, real-world context, where writing has a clearly-defined role, audience, purpose, and format. So here is the exam:
A Plan for Louisiana’s Future
You are the Director of the Office of Planning and Budget for the State of Louisiana.
The governor of Louisiana
Recommend to the governor whether Louisiana should either:
- Raise taxes to build the southern part of the state to a 10,000 year flood standard, or
- Stop all public infrastructure spending in areas unprotected by existing levees.
These are your only policy options. Write a 2-3 page rationale for choosing one of them. Discuss why your choice is economically best for the state. For evidence in support of your rationale, refer to relevant course readings and
- Kevin Sack and John Schwartz, “Left to Louisiana’s Tides, A Village Fights for Time,” The New York Times, 24 February 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/02/24/us/jean-lafitte-floodwaters.html.
- John Schwartz and Mark Schleifstein, “Fortified But Still in Peril, New Orleans Braces For Its Future,” The New York Times, 24 February 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/02/24/us/new-orleans-flood-walls-hurricanes.html.
For an example of how your report should be organized, see main recommendation (page ix), key findings (pages xv-xvi), and recommendations (pages xvii-xviii) in:
- Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission, The Oregon Resilience Plan: Reducing Risk and Improving Recovery for the Next Cascadia Earthquake and Tsunami – Executive Summary (on Canvas).
See the rubric below for guidance on how your report will be evaluated.
Links to the full series of posts on redesigning this course: