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Environmental Policies and Laws

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2010
Bolin Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

Monday Wednesday Friday 10:00 10:50

Dr. Rebecca L Dodge (view Profile)


Course Objectives


To learn about policy, legislation, and regulation to protect the environment at all levels of government from the international to the local level.  Students will be able to

  •  Explain current and historical perspectives on environmental policy and law
  • Explain pollution law, including that related to air, water, toxic substances, and waste management
  • Explain natural resources law related to wetlands, endangered species, energy, and water
  • Understand Environmental Impact Statements
  • Investigate Texas Environmental laws and regulations
Course Expectations

Textbook readings, content lectures, guest speakers, in-class projects and presentations, and individual projects will be the foundation of the class.  Your notes, together with the text, will be the basis for in-class tests.

Required Text:Environmental Law and Policy by Salzman and Thompson, 2nd Edition or Environmental Law and Policy by Salzman and Thompson, 3rd Edition.

  • Two tests will be given; each test will cover only the new material presented since the previous test.  Class grades will be posted on WebCT, and will be given during office hours or by appointment.  Make-up exams will only be given when a written excuse is provided.  In order to take a make-up, a written excuse must be provided before or within one class period of the scheduled exam.(25% each of class grade; 50% total)
  • Periodic (unannounced) quizzes will assess class readiness (read the assigned chapters!) and class understanding of DVDs concerning environmental issues.  (10% of class grade)
  • Assignments will include two team activities focused on Texas Commission on Environmental Quality air, land and water-related topics that will be presented to the class (PowerPoint presentation). (10% each of class grade; 20% total)
  • Two individual projects will comprise (10% each of class grade; 20% total)
    • a Journal of newspaper articles about current environmental policy and law topics, with comments and self assessment of your new perspectives (weekly journal with 12 entries required).
    • a presentation concerning case study of the implementation of environmental policy and/or law (PowerPoint presentation).
Final Exam 12/08/2010 10:30 - 12:30
Submission Format Policy

Case studies will be presented to the class orally in PowerPoint format

Team presentations will be given in PowerPoint format, orally, to the class

Journals will be submitted in print form enclosed in a folder

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.
Late Paper Policy


Late assignments will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  Communication concerning late assignments must be received by email before or within one class period of lateness, at

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Attendance is required; be on time and do not leave early.  Students with 3 or more unexcused absences will be dropped from the course.  Excused absences must be communicated to Professor Dodge at

before or within one class period of absence.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at