ESP 804: Environmental Applications and Analysis

ESP 804: Environmental Applications and Analysis

Fall (annual), Wednesdays 3 p.m. - 5:50 p.m.
Dr. Joe Hamm ( or Dr. Jennifer Carrera (


This course provides the opportunity to apply knowledge learned in previous ESP courses. Global, regional and local environmental issues will be presented and explored. Class projects will be identified from these issues. Students will be assigned projects and will use a systems approach to identify and solve environmental problems associated with the assigned issues. This course is designed for graduate students with ecology, biology, physical, or social science backgrounds seeking an interdisciplinary, environmental science approach to problem-solving.

Alternative Course:

FW 868: Water Policy and Management

Fall (odd years) | M, W 12:40 - 2:00 p.m.
Dr. Erin Dreelin,


Broadly speaking, the purpose of this course is to learn about water policy and management from the perspective of a scientist. You will learn about major US environmental laws related to water, such as the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act among others. However, water policy and management is more than just memorizing a set of laws. You will learn about the policy cycle, how agencies make regulations, how property rights and common law affect water management, how the courts have shaped water law and policy, and how science and policy interact (or don't). Many of you will go into careers in which you will interact with policymakers, this course is designed to give you a basic understanding of water policy and management as well as provide you with skills and knowledge that you can use in the future.

Sample Outcomes:

The following are a few samples of publications produced by students as a result of their ESPP capstone research and coursework. 

Brewer, D. (in press). Household responses to winter heating costs: Implications for energy pricing policies and demand-side alternatives. Energy Policy. [ESP 804].

Joshi, A. (2021). Motivating sustainable behaviors by framing biodiversity loss as a public health risk. Journal of Risk Research. doi: 10.1080/13669877.2021.1913634 [ESP 804]

Kirby, C. K., & Zwickle, A. (2021). Sustainability behaviors, attitudes, and knowledge: Comparing university students and the general public. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. doi: 10.1007/s13412-021-00717-x [ESP 804]

Li, Y., Zhang, Y., Tiffany, L. A., Chen, R., Cai, M., & Liu, J. (2021). Socio-environmental sensing to monitor the impacts of large-scale infrastructure development. Environmental Science and Policy, 124, 527-540. doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2021.07.020 [ESP 804]

Shen, Y., Hamm, J. A., Gao, F., Ryser, E., & Zhang, W. (2021). Assessing consumer buy and pay preferences for labeled food products with statistical and machine learning methods. Journal of Food Protection. doi: 10.4315/JFP-20-486 [ESP 804]

Brewer, D. (2019). Institutions and incentives for the efficient use of energy. Doctoral Dissertation, Michigan State University. Retrievable from [ESP 804]

Vrla, S. (2019). Who speaks for deer? Including nonhumans in deliberative democracy through multispecies communicative democracy and democratic education. Doctoral Dissertation, Michigan State University. Retrievable from [ESP 804]