Climate Change Law (Summer 2020)

Summer 2020 Draft 4-2-2020 Climate Change Syllabus

5-10-2020 Course Note:

Dear Students:

A few items that I would like to share with you ahead of our first course meeting.

  1. In addition to the option to do a 7-10 page final paper due June 15 (worth 33% of the course grade), students may also choose to prepare a short (5-10 minute) documentary film about a climate change issue chosen by the student and approved by me. (For examples of past student documentary film projects, please see this link.)  I recommend that such a film project be undertaken as a group of 2-3 students.  If you are interested in the film final project option, I also strongly recommend that you contact me well before the course starts so that I can provide guidance on how best to go about completing it.  I am also willing to increase the weighting of the film project grade to 50% of the course grade, if that would help the students (since such projects can be time-consuming but also very rewarding).  I am also willing to provide additional time for completion of the film project.
  2. I expect to make these student documentary films available to the public in a “virtual” film festival later in the summer (unless students specifically request that the film be kept private).
  3. As students might have already expected, the course will be conducted entirely online (via Zoom). I will email the Zoom meeting ID, password, and registration requirements to course participants by May 21.
  4. Students will also be expected to view Youtube lectures covering various class materials. These lecture videos will count toward our overall course class time.  I will announce the availability of such recorded lectures during the course.
  5. Please note that when classes are conducted via Zoom. Attendance at those Zoom classes is mandatory (unless I have specifically agreed with any particular student otherwise).  All students MUST keep their video-feed turned on during the entirety of the class.  (However, as in a regular in-person class, it is OK to briefly get up to stretch, to use the restroom, or to do other things as is reasonably necessary.)  [I understand the challenges of long periods of time meeting via Zoom, and I will make every effort to address the short-comings of learning through this medium.)
  6. Please make sure that you will have stable broadband internet access to support Zoom meetings during our class time. Please also have a second internet enabled device available (such as your smart phone, if you use your laptop computer for the Zoom meeting).  We will make use of the second device for Kahoot quizzes and potentially other parts of the course.  If you foresee a likely problem with regard to your internet access/speed and/or availability of a second device, please let me know asap so that we can see if there is a work-around.
  7. You may use the chat function to communicate with (or pose questions or comments to) me and the entire class (public chat) or privately with an individual classmate. However, please note that I expect to record the class.  In Zoom recordings, ALL PRIVATE chat communications become visible to the viewer of the recording.  Hence, do not make statements in a “private chat” that you would not want to make to the entire class.


4-11-2020 Update Note:

  1.  The course book will be Yang, Telesetsky, Harmon-Walker, and Percival, Comparative and Global Environmental Law and Policy (2020). There is a hard copy version of the book, which will be available in the campus book store or by direct order from the publisher or other online seller.  However, there are also electronic versions of the book available, including in Kindle format, which come at a significantly lower cost.  Before you make a purchase decision, consider what is most advantageous to you, since the hard-copy can be re-sold, but the electronic version cannot.
  2. For this summer course, I will be allowing films as an option for the final course project/paper.  These films should be no longer than 5-10 minutes in length.  For examples of documentary film projects for courses in the past, please see this post on