Energy and Sustainability Policy
Program Office

Part-time Lecturer: Business and the Environment


New York University

Location:  Washington, DC

Description:  NYU Washington, DC, is seeking a local, part-time lecturer to teach an undergraduate course, Business and the Environment at the academic center in Washington, DC in Fall 2020. The course will meet once per week for 3 hours for 14 instructional weeks (3 hours each session) plus a 15th session during "finals week" for the final exam. You may refer to the NYU Washington DC Academic Calendar for additional details. Class sessions are typically scheduled in the morning, afternoon, or evening on each weekday. Class sizes are small (usually 10–20 students).

The instructor role includes all preparation, delivery, and grading. Using Washington, DC as a learning tool (e.g., a guest speaker, an excursion) is an expectation for the course. Some administrative assistance is available to support the preparation of course materials. Courses are to be intellectually challenging in content, and rigorous student assessment is required.

Course DescriptionThe course exposes the students to the many nuances that characterize the interaction between the business world, the environment, and environmental policy. Most business activity impacts directly or indirectly the environment, by consuming non-reproducible resources, polluting water, air, and grounds, and contributing to climate change. There is both a risk to the environment from business practices, and also risks to business from environmental problems, including rising temperatures and sea levels, invasive species, freshwater shortages, overexploitation and extinctions, and global pandemics. Because of externalities, the market system is bound to produce more pollution than efficient. This is the normative rationale for environmental policies whose goal is to reduce pollution-producing business activities. While economic science has often stark recipes for optimal regulatory instruments, in practice environmental policy is the outcome of a complex political process that mediates the desires of the citizenry, expressed via voting and interest groups, and those of the businesses themselves, channelled via the lobbying process.

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