Environmental Law & Politics

Syllabus (*experimental interactive)
Kingsborough Community College
of the City University of New York

Course Number and Title: Pol 58 Environmental Politics
Meets: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 12:40-1:40 PM
Credits: Three
Professor: Jason M. Leggett, J.D.

Office Hours, Location, and how to reach me.
Office: D-221 on Mondays 10:20 – 12:20
Email me: jasonmleggettkbcc@gmail.com or jason.leggett@kbcc.cuny.edu

Statement: Some people believe the syllabus is a contract but I do not for one simple reason: a contract requires an offer and acceptance with a bargained for exchange. We have not bargained, there is no exchange, and you did not have a chance to reject the syllabus. So why is this thing important? In short, this document provides a snapshot of what we (you, me, and your classmates) hope to accomplish with our time together. It represents our commitment to higher education, to the CUNY system, and to this college that we take this job seriously. It also gives you a chance to see how your grade will be determined and what topics we will study in case you want to take this class with someone else or take a different class.

CUNYFIRST Course Description:
The nature and causes of hazards that pose threats to the global environment and the policies that have been put forth to solve these problems. The roles played by political parties, interest groups and government in shaping public policy on the state, national and international levels are also examined.
Successful completion of this course satisfies one Civic Engagement interaction.

Student Learning Outcomes
If Pathways See: This is not a Pathways Approved Course

If Liberal Arts See: This is an “Global Politics” Course

Required Materials and Class Preparation:

See Cuny First: cuny.edu; this is an Open Educational Resource, or Zero Cost Textbook Course. All materials will be made available for free on Blackboard and our Course Website.

See Department for previous syllabi and materials: D-309

See Program or Liberal Arts for resources: College Catalogue Online

What should students bring to class?
1. You should bring a blank copy of the Lecture Notes Template or have a copy open on your digital device.
2. You should bring a blank copy of the Discussion Notes Template or have a copy open on your digital device.
3. You should bring a notebook to take additional notes, an audio recording device, or a digital device to take notes.

Attendance Policy: CUNY Kingsborough expects that you will not miss more than 6 hours of class during the semester. If you are experiencing challenges coming to class you must come talk to me in person or over email. If it is evident you are missing a significant number of classes or are not completing the course work you will receive a grade of WU (Withdrawl).

SPECIFICALLY – You should review and get familiar with your rights and responsibilites, including any punishments you might receive and the grade appeal information from the Student Conduct office and pay special attention to the Student Handbook – see: https://www.kbcc.cuny.edu/studentaffairs/student_conduct/Pages/default.aspx

Class “etiquette” or behavioral assessments/expectations:
In general you are allowed to eat in class, use your mobile device, and go to the bathroom without permission. I expect you to behave like an adult and professionally. If you are distracting me or other classmates I will let you know. You should try to be in class and ready to learn within 5 minutes of the starting time. You will not be given participation credit if you are habitually late, leave early, are not a productive participator, or fail to evidence comprehension of learning materials. Higher Education is intended to be training for a career and a better life, both individually and socially. I will work with you on this improvement within reason.

Kingsborough Email, Announcements, Blackboard, other websites:

1. Your Kingsborough email is important because you get a variety of notifications including scholarships, financial aid, problems with your registration, class information, college closures, events, and more.

2. You should check Blackboard daily. I will use the following sections for this course: Announcements, Course Information; I will not use: Grade Center, TurnitIn, or other features.

3. I make my own website using the CUNY Commons because I have more control over the design and work that you submit using this interface. It is accessible on any device and browser. You should save or bookmark this website because it is the one I will refer to most often: https://jasonmleggett.commons.gc.cuny.edu

Academic Integretity and what is plagiarism?

1. You are supposed to produce your understanding of the learning materials and not copy work produced by others.

2. You should not copy or use other classmates work.

3. You should not copy and paste words from websites or journal articles into your essays.

4. You should read and refer often to this website: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/teacher_and_tutor_resources/preventing_plagiarism/avoiding_plagiarism/index.html

Accessibility and Campus Services

1. I utilize a motivational framework for all students to learn.
2. You should contact me if you have any questions or
3. You should review the policy on accessibility and services at: https://www.kbcc.cuny.edu/access-ability/Pages/faculty.aspx
4. You can visit the Accessibility office at D-205 or email at AAS@kbcc.cuny.edu.

Course Work and Grading:

Extra Credit: Water Systems Management & Population
(link to page with instructions and sign up google form)

Assessment: I want you to be able to

understand the relationship between humans, cultures, and societies with the bio-physical environment (ecology).

This includes the ability to evidence your understanding of this “system” through verbal presentations, a written project, and a final collaboration.

You will be given a quiz at the end of Week 2 that will measure your existing skills in: Systems,Reading comprehension, Writing, and Basic grammar.

There will be a quiz during week 4 that will measure your understanding of the material presented in weeks 1, 2, and 3.

There will be a “take-home” midterm that will draw upon OER materials produced by students from the previous two semesters. The topics include: Corporations, Tax Breaks, Profits, Coase Theorom, Externalities, Government Actors, and a Review of Systems Thinking.

You will then work on your final project which involves compiling academic quality materials for a Chapter of our ongoing collaborative OER.

The final exam will: (Project Based Learning: D+CPAR with Stuart Parker)

This work will be graded, along with participation and attendance, as follows and will use the following grading rubric, part of which you will construct and sign in agreement.


Week 4 Quiz: 20%
Midterm: 30%
Writing Assignments: 30%
Group OER and Final Project: 20%
Extra Credit: up to 10% increase in grade.

Rubric: We will make grading rubrics together in this class for final grading.

Your contribution:

Short View: We will be working together (D+CPAR) to design a new chapter for the ongoing, multi-semester collaborative online textbook (OER).

Long View: Systems approach broken down into three examples: 1) Sea; 2) Land; 3) Air

Week 1
Getting to know each other
Reading: Indigenous Rights in Mayan Mine: Write 1 Page Summary – due Thursday

Thursday In Class Writing: 1 Page Generative Essay: Eco-CosmoVision for a Video Game.

Imagine you are working for a video game company that wants to create a new video game that will educate people about how to prepare and respond to a natural disaster but also make the game fun. The levels are already designed but the overall theme has yet to be developed. What points of view should the company consider? How should it be marketed to college students?

Week 2
Continued conversation
Lecture: (Working Title) Systems, Population, Disease, Emergency Response, Apocalypse, Cosmovisions

Extra Credit Writing Assignment: Politics of JBWR Visit and Review –

End of 2nd Week Diagnostic
(link to Google Form)

Week 3
Eco-Fest Teams: Interview Scientists, Table for Information, Make and Distribute Advertising Materials.

Powerpoint: Example SLO – Systems, Wolves, Population (see video-Colon) Media, Profit, Wolfpack, Reporting, Narrow Casting

Big Idea: Population (N in a given set) causes X (wolf behavior, human reaction/journalist behavior, human understanding/action)

Week 4
Quiz – Systems Thinking thus far: Land
Review – Land, Air, Sea

Week 5
Begin Student Produced OER “Chapter 1”
Kids Introduction Lesson in teams: Land, Air, Sea

Week 6
SPOER1 Teams Continued: Land, Air, Sea

Week 7
SPOER1 + Lecture Video/Podcast + Search Materials
for Take-Home Midterm Workbook (Lab Manual Style)

Tax Breaks (corporate welfare/subsidies) – Global Trade
Coase Theorom – External Costs
Governmental Actors (Governmentality- Foucault)
Systems Review

Begin again April 29

Week 8
Review Midterm
HONORS (HEC) Demonstration
Water Systems and Populations (from 2 to scale)

Week 9
Revisit Reading: Indigenous Rights in Mayan Mine: Annotate and bring to class Monday

Video: Pocohantus, Trail of Tears
Lecture: Government & Law (Law and Politics): Law as Ambiguous (exegesis).
Big Idea: Law is not a Universal Ideal but rather a construction of groups overpowering other groups and enforcing will (material interests); resistance is then not “illegal” but…

Week 10
Discussion Groups: Land, Air, Sea
Share Out

Week 11
Draft OER Chapter 2: Land, Air, Sea

Week 12
Draft OER Chapter 2: Land, Air, Sea

Week 13
KCC Nature Walk and Talk

Final Exam: Project Based Learning: D+CPAR with Prof. Stuart Parker (Rubric and Instructions) and a Reflection Essay 3-5 Pages.