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GEOG 432 - Energy Policy

This is a sample syllabus.

This sample syllabus is a representative example of the information and materials included in this course. Information about course assignments, materials, and dates listed here is subject to change at any time. Definitive course details and materials will be available in the official course syllabus, in Canvas, when the course begins.


GEOG 432 is an exploration of the government, corporate, and public perspectives on the analysis, development, and implementation of energy- and climate-related policies, regulations, and initiatives with particular emphasis on their climate change implications.

  • Unit 1: we build foundational knowledge about the context of energy policy as climate policy and learn more about our semester-long project in energy efficiency.
  • Unit 2: we dig into the nuts and bolts of how policy ideas become realities, primarily in the public policy spheres of local, state, and federal governments, and continue to work on the final project.
  • Unit 3: we look ahead to our future. Recognizing that we’re undertaking this course during a presidential administration transition, a lot of the detail for this last unit will be emerging in real time. 


At the successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify energy and climate policy knowledge gaps and needs at various governmental and entity levels.
  • Examine existing and proposed energy and climate policy critically to expose errors, find unintended consequences, and contemplate improvements.
  • Identify the drivers of energy and climate policy from political, environmental, and economic perspectives to explain how these drivers and exist either in conflict with or complement each other.
  • Articulate the goals and outcomes of energy and climate policy to diverse audiences, translating oftencumbersome language into a more accessible format for stakeholders and the public.

Required Materials

Typically, there are no required materials for this course. If this changes, students will find a definitive list in the course syllabus, in Canvas, when the course begins.


EBF 200, EGEE 120, and PL SC 490


We have worked hard to make this the most effective and convenient educational experience possible. How much and how well you learn is dependent on your attitude, diligence, and willingness to ask for clarifications or help when you need them. We are here to help you succeed. Please keep up with the class schedule and take advantage of opportunities to communicate with us and with your fellow students. You can expect to spend an average of 8 - 10 hours per week on class work.

Major Assignments

Various Weekly Lesson Activities (60% of total course grade)

Each lesson contains an activity to assess your understanding of the associated content. These are a mix of automated quizzes, discussion forums, and writing assignments.

Semester Long Project (40% of total course grade)

  • Preliminary Research (2.5%)
  • Mid-semester Exec Summary Draft (5%)
  • Mid-semester Update (5%)
  • Contribution to Group Presentation (10%)
  • Slides (5%)
  • Group Executive Summary (10%)
  • Groupmate Peer Review (2.5%)

Course Schedule

Course Schedule
1Energy in Transition 
  • Lesson 1 Quiz
2The Future is Local
  • Lesson 2 Quiz
3Local Project – Application of IRA and IIJA Funds in a Non-Profit Context
  • Lesson 3 Quiz or Writing Assignment
  • Preliminary Research for final project
4The Climate Citizen
  • Lesson 4 Quiz
5Climate Policy is the New Energy Policy
  • Lesson 5 Quiz
6Policy Drivers
  • Lesson 6 Writing Assignment
7Considerations for Effective Climate Policy
  • Lesson 7 Writing Assignment
8Implementation and Monitoring
  • Lesson 8 Writing Assignment
9Project work week
  • Mid-semester Executive Summary
  • Mid-semester Reflection and Plans
10Policy Analysis
  • Lesson 9 Writing Assignment
11International Cooperation on Climate
  • Lesson 10 Quiz
12Federal Action for a Sustainable Energy Future
  • Lesson 11 Discussion
13Project Work---
14White Paper Analysis
  • Lesson 12 Assignment
15Project Work
  • Project Presentations
  • Peer Review