Environmental and Natural Resource Economics


Bachelor of Science - Environmental & Natural Resource Economics Major

The objective of this major is to provide students with the necessary training for the application of economic theory and analysis to environmental and natural resource issues. The flexibility of this major allows students to design (with their advisor) a program of study which focuses on environmental and natural resource issues tailored to the student’s own interests (such as water use and quality, soil protection, waste management, ecosystem management, and land use). The curriculum reflects the breadth of training required to prepare students for careers in private and government sectors dealing with environmental and natural resource management and policy analysis.

Students with this major can expect to find employment with state and federal government agencies or with private industry in environmental policy analysis and management of natural resources. Many students, upon completion of this degree, may find it desirable to obtain a graduate degree to expand their career opportunities. Students completing this degree will be prepared for graduate study in environmental and natural resource economics and policy.

Click here to view the Suggested Plan of Study

General Education FOUNDATIONS

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills3-4
F4 - Society & Connections3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)9
Total Hours31-37

Please note that not all of the GEF courses are offered at all campuses. Students should consult with their advisor or academic department regarding the GEF course offerings available at their campus.

Curriculum Requirements

GEF Requirements29
*Must include two 4 credit courses each with a laboratory.
WVUE 191First Year Seminar1
AGEE 110Microcomputer Applications in Agricultural Education3
ARE 150Introductory Agricultural and Agribusiness Economics (GEF 4)3
ARE 187Energy Resource Economics (GEF 8)3
ARE 220Introductory Environmental and Resource Economics3
ARE 382Agricultural and Natural Resources Law3
ARE 410Environmental and Resource Economics (Counts as Writing Course Requirement)3
ARE 445Energy Economics3
ARE 450Agriculture, Environmental and Resource Policy3
ARE 494Seminar1
ARE 496Senior Thesis (Capstone Experience) *3
ECON 202Principles of Macroeconomics3
ECON 225Elementary Business and Economics Statistics (or equivalent)3
ECON 301Intermediate Micro-Economic Theory3
ECON 302Intermediate Macro-Economic Theory3
ECON 421Introduction to Mathematical Economics3
ECON 425Introductory Econometrics3
Calculus Requirement:3
Applied Calculus
Calculus 1a with Precalculus
and Calculus 1b with Precalculus
Calculus 1
RESM 440Foundations of Applied Geographic Information Systems3
RESM 442Introduction Geographic Information Systems Social Science2
RESM 480Environmental Regulation3
Restricted Electives (selected in consultation): **22
Principles of Soil Science
Principles of Soil Science Laboratory
Student must select either an approved minor or at least four courses at the 300 or 400 level in AGRN, ARE, ECON, ENVP, FMAN, or FOR.
Free Electives11
Total Hours120

Consult with Undergraduate Coordinator for approval of Capstone Experience (Senior Thesis).

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
ARE 187 (GEF 8)3AGEE 1103
BIOL 101
BIOL 103 (GEF 2B)
4ARE 150 (GEF 4)3
ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3ENVP 155 (Suggested GEF 8)3
WVUE 1911GEF 5, 6, 73
Select one of the following (GEF 3):3Select one of the following:3
 14 15
Second Year
ARE 2203AGRN 202 (Suggested Restricted Elective)3
ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3AGRN 203 (Suggested Restricted Elective)1
ECON 2023GEF 5, 6, 76
MATH 1503Restricted Elective3
CHEM, GEOL, or GEOG w/ Lab (GEF 8)4Free Elective3
 16 16
Third Year
ARE 3823ARE 440 (Suggested Restricted Elective)3
ARE 4941ARE 4453
ECON 3013ECON 3023
ECON 4213RESM 4803
Restricted Elective3Free Elective3
Free Elective 2 
 15 15
Fourth Year
ENVP 355 (Suggested Restricted Elective)3ARE 4103
RESM 4403ARE 4503
RESM 4422ARE 4963
Restricted Electives6ECON 4253
 Free Elective3
 14 15
Total credit hours: 120

Major Learning Goals

Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

Students who complete this major should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to apply economic theory and quantitative analysis to environmental and natural resource problems and policies.
  • Understand how to apply the tools of economics (such as benefit-cost analysis and environmental impact analysis) to specific environmental issues such as cap and trade or emission fees; land conservation, environmental degradation and water quality.
  • Think logically and creatively about how economics and economic policies apply to: (a) the management of non-renewable natural resources (such as optimal depletion); and (b) renewable natural resources (such as forestry and fishery economics).
  • Carefully explain laws and regulation to promote environmental protection, land conservation and agriculture.
  • Apply GIS and similar computer software to better visualize and solve natural resource management problems.
  • Write clearly and logically in business and professional settings.

ARE 110. Agribusiness Accounting. 3 Hours.

Introduction to accounting for agricultural, rural, and small business managers. Emphasis on the accounting cycle, analysis and interpretation of financial statements, income taxes, and managerial accounting. (Students having prior college credit in accounting are not eligible for this course.).

ARE 150. Introductory Agricultural and Agribusiness Economics. 3 Hours.

Introduction to basic agricultural economics and agribusiness concepts, and the application of these concepts to agricultural and agribusinesses issues.

ARE 187. Energy Resource Economics. 3 Hours.

Dilemmas posed for developing and modern societies by rising energy demands amid concerns for the world's environment. Economics of fuel sources and technologies, and historical and new concerns over resource scarcities.

ARE 199. Orientation to Agriculture and Resource Economics. 1,2 Hour.

Orientation to degree programs and requirements, departmental resources, curriculum options, student responsibilities and opportunities.

ARE 201. Principles of Resource and Energy. 3 Hours.

PR: Third-year standing. Analyzes problems important or peculiar to mineral industry economics; exhaustion, externalities, risks, production cycle, industry structure, pricing, role of minerals in development and trade, resource planning. Energy, metals, industrial minerals. (3 hr. lec.).

ARE 204. Agribusiness Management. 3 Hours.

Overview of the agribusiness decision-making process, and the functions of agribusiness management; analysis of financial statements and budgeting for evaluating profitability of alternative enterprises and practices.

ARE 220. Introductory Environmental and Resource Economics. 3 Hours.

Economic analysis of environmental pollution, natural resource conservation and management, outdoor recreation, public land use, wildlife resources, water use, property rights, and benefit-cost issues.

ARE 293. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

ARE 298. Honors. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Students in Honors Program and consent by the honors director. Independent reading, study, or research.

ARE 360. Current Issues In Agriculture. 3 Hours.

Course focusing on the current scientific, ethical, legal, economic and political issues relating to agriculture. Students conduct group and individual research, discuss topics in an informal debate format and summarize positions in a written form.

ARE 370. Recreation/Tourism Economics. 3 Hours.

PR: ARE 220 or consent. Principles of economic analysis as applied to recreation and tourism resources, including economic impact and cost-benefit analyses.

ARE 382. Agricultural and Natural Resources Law. 3 Hours.

Introduction to legal concepts, principles and practices related to environmental, natural resource, and agricultural issues; in the context of the legal system within which statues are enacted, administered and enforced.

ARE 393. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

ARE 401. Applied Demand Analysis. 3 Hours.

Consumer demand economics applied to environmental, natural resource, and agricultural issues; analysis of factors that influence demand and determine prices; special applications to non-market, environmental, and natural resource amenities.

ARE 406. Applied Quantitative Methods. 3 Hours.

PR: ARE 150. Application of basic quantitative concepts and methods applied to agribusiness and natural resources. Topics include applied economics, statistics, mathematics, and financial concepts and decision-making tools for determining optimum allocation of resources for production processes.

ARE 410. Environmental and Resource Economics. 3 Hours.

PR: (ARE 401 and ARE 402) or ECON 301 or consent. Economic analysis of natural resource and environmental problems; management of renewable and non-renewable resources and environmental amenities; market failure, externalities, benefit-cost and risk analysis; property rights and the taking issue.

ARE 411. Rural Economic Development. 3 Hours.

Economic trends, development policies, and analysis of rural economies in the United States. Rural diversity, development concepts, rural planning, public programs and policies, and community analysis methods.

ARE 421. Rural Enterprise Development. 4 Hours.

PR: ARE 110 and ARE 204 or consent. Introduction to concepts, methods and strategies involved in starting a successful small private enterprise in a rural area: assessing a community for enterprise opportunities, identifying and developing an enterprise idea, and preparing an enterprise plan.

ARE 431. Marketing Agricultural Products. 3 Hours.

Organization, functions, and analysis of the agricultural marketing system. Food consumption, exports, price analysis, marketing costs, market power, commodities futures market, food safety, and government regulations.

ARE 435. Marketing Livestock Products. 3 Hours.

Livestock marketing practices and policies. Supply and demand, livestock price cycles, grading, marketing alternatives, processing and retailing. Economic analysis of alternatives, current issues, and trends.

ARE 440. Futures Markets and Commodity Prices. 3 Hours.

Analysis of price-making forces which operate in the market place; emphasis on major agricultural and mineral commodity and futures markets.

ARE 445. Energy Economics. 3 Hours.

Analysis of the energy sector and its relationship to the rest of the economy; energy security, deregulation, full cost pricing, substitutability among energy sources, transmission, new technologies, environmental considerations.

ARE 450. Agriculture, Environmental and Resource Policy. 3 Hours.

PR: (ARE 401 and ARE 402) or ECON 301 or consent. Economic analysis of agricultural, natural resource and environmental policies; problems of externalities and market failure, and alternative policies for addressing such problems; benefits and cost of alternative policies.

ARE 461. Agribusiness Finance. 3 Hours.

An overview of financial analysis and the application of financial principles to small, rural and agricultural businesses. Includes applications of financial analysis computer software.

ARE 482. Enterprise Operation Law. 3 Hours.

Course focusing on laws applicable to businesses and the management of risks associated with operating a business. Students will learn to read and interpret laws and apply them to real-life business scenarios.

ARE 484. Agribusiness Strategic Management. 3 Hours.

PR: Senior standing. This course is designed to enhance understanding of business strategy formulation and implementation. The course provides a balance between theoretical concepts, principles, and practice of agribusiness management. Case studies are used to illustrate the crafting, implementation, and execution of optimal strategies.

ARE 490. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Teaching practice as a tutor or assistant.

ARE 491. Professional Field Experience. 1-18 Hours.

PR: Consent. (May be repeated up to a maximum of 18 hours.) Prearranged experiential learning program, to be planned, supervised, and evaluated for credit by faculty and field supervisors. Involves temporary placement with public or private enterprise for professional competence development.

ARE 492. Directed Study. 1-3 Hours.

Directed study, reading, and/or research.

ARE 493. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

ARE 494. Seminar. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Presentation and discussion of topics of mutual concern to students and faculty.

ARE 495. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

ARE 496. Senior Thesis. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent.

ARE 497. Research. 1-6 Hours.

Independent research projects.