AREC - Agricultural and Resource Economics
AREC200 The Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem: Intersection of Science, Economics, and Policy (3 Credits)
The Chesapeake Bay is one of the most studied and monitored ecosystems in the world. To develop effective policies to restore this system to a healthier status requires integrating what we know about the biological and physical properties of the system with our understanding of the human dimension. Issues such as achieving nutrient reduction goals, restoring healthy blue crab and oyster fisheries in the bay will be used to demonstrate how economics interacts with science to guide policies that can be effective in achieving Bay restoration goals.
AREC210 The Food Chain: What Happens As Your Food Goes From Farm to Table (3 Credits)
Food supply chains link farms, input providers, traders, food processors, and retailers. We assess how supply chains are organized, how they use technologies, and how they are adapting their organization and technologies to meet the challenges facing the food system and society. The challenges include: 1) Producing enough food to meet a growing global population, while reducing damages to air, water, and soil resources; (2) Meeting the health challenges posed by obesity and food insecurity, while also meeting consumer preferences for how food should be produced; and (3) Doing all this in the face of climate change.
AREC240 Introduction to Economics and the Environment (3 Credits)
Costs and social impacts of pollution and human crowding in the modern environment. The economic, legal and institutional causes of these problems. Public policy approaches to solutions and the costs and benefits of alternative solutions.
AREC241 Environment, Economics and Policy (4 Credits)
Studies the relationship between the economy, environment and policy. Causes of modern environmental problems and policies to address them. Importance of production, consumption, externalities, property rights and public goods in environmental issues. Technological and incentive-based solutions to environmental problems.
AREC250 Elements of Agricultural and Resource Economics (3 Credits)
An introduction to economic principles of production, marketing, agricultural prices and incomes, farm labor, credit, agricultural policies, and government programs.
AREC260 The Science of Gender in Economics and Development (3 Credits)
Describes the process by which various scientific disciplines, including anthropology, evolutionary biology, psychology and economics do research on the topic of gender. We will examine the current state of the literature on the reason why different sexes exist and how sex translates into gender across different societies today. With a better understand of the source of gender, we will examine how researchers are learning about the reasons behind the highly divergent economic outcomes for men and women today. The class will discuss these issues in the context of the labor market in developed countries like the US (why are there fewer women in high paying STEM jobs?, for example) and in the context of a wide variety of markets in developing countries (what role do women play in agriculture, health and politics?, for example). A particular focus of the class will be on techniques for learning more about the underlying reasons for these differences, how they can be overcome and whether women play a special role in improving economic outcomes in the poorest parts of the world.
Recommended: Completion of introductory statistics recommended but not required.
AREC280 Harvesting Big Data to Examine Agriculture and Climate Change (3 Credits)
Can agricultural production keep up with climate change? Data analytics and data science are driving the force behind the digital revolution, which has changed the way we are able to analyze and interpret the world. The explosion of data offers both opportunities and challenges that require new tools and methods of analysis. This course applies sophisticated digital tools to an age-old concern: the impact of environmental change and extreme weather on agricultural productivity. In this hands-on introduction to data analysis and visualization with real-world data, students acquire the tools to understand the impacts of environmental change and more.
AREC306 Farm Management and Sustainable Food Production (3 Credits)
The organization and operation of farm businesses are explored through principles of management, financial analysis, production economics, marketing, and business planning. These farm management principles are presented in the context of a sustainable food production system.
AREC326 Intermediate Applied Microeconomics (3 Credits)
Deepens and broadens your ability to apply rigorous economic analysis skills to a broad range of problems.
AREC345 Global Poverty and Economic Development (3 Credits)
This interdisciplinary course explores social and economic development around the world. Topics include geography, democratization, political instability and conflict, health and education, agricultural development, micro-entrepreneurship, and an introduction to impact evaluation methods used to evaluate the efficacy of public policy aimed at alleviating poverty.
AREC357 Germany: Energy Transition, Climate Change, and Sustainability (3 Credits)
Interdisciplinary examination of Germany as a leading model in dealing with contemporary issues of sustainability as well as the economic, social, and political impacts of climate change in a global world. Students will learn the basics of climate change, examine policy tools (e.g. carbon taxes, regulations, incentives, etc.) and technological innovations to curb the causes of climate change and promote sustainable practices. Students will also learn how cultural values and traditions inform policy making by examining the history of the environmental movement in German cultural artifacts (e.g., art, literature, grass-roots social movements, etc.). Designed to appeal to students with a variety of backgrounds (technical, policy and government, and humanities), the course blends site visits (e.g. coal mines, government offices, technical universities, artist studios, grass-roots collectives, museums, parks, etc.) with academic lectures by experts in pertinent fields and faculty-led discussion groups. Students will receive an overarching and holistic overview of the economic, political, and cultural costs of climate change as well as current efforts to offset the negative impacts through greater sustainability. Taught in English.Cross-listed with: GERS457.
AREC360 Global Agriculture: Developing Extension Education & Agriculture Technologies in Africa (3 Credits)
Identifies challenges faced by farmers in Nimba County, Liberia, and works collaboratively across borders to discuss these challenges and develop extension education programming that will be implemented in the region in order to empower local farmers. The course is designed to create a paradigm shift for both cohorts of students who will educate and learn from each other in what is now becoming a critical context - the globalized workspace. UMD and LICC students will be grouped together to identify and develop particular thematic areas most needed by local farmers, and then as a cohort create a week-long extension program to be implemented on the ground.
AREC365 World Hunger, Population, and Food Supplies (3 Credits)
An introduction to the problem of world hunger and possible solutions to it. World demand, supply, and distribution of food. Alternatives for leveling off world food demand, increasing the supply of food, and improving its distribution. Environmental limitations to increasing world food production.
AREC380 Data Science for Environmental and Resource Economics (3 Credits)
An introduction to principles of data science using modern, open source software tools with applications to important problems in environmental, energy and resource economics. Topics include data wrangling, exploratory data analysis and visualization, modeling, forecasting, practices for reproducible research, and communication of results.
AREC386 Experiential Learning (3-6 Credits)
Prerequisite: Permission of AGNR-Agricultural & Resource Economics department.
Restriction: Junior standing or higher.
AREC388 Honors Thesis Research (3-6 Credits)
Undergraduate honors thesis research conducted under the direction of an AGNR faculty member in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the College of AGNR Honors Program. The thesis will be defended to a faculty committee.
Restriction: Must be in the AGNR Honors program.
Repeatable to: 6 credits if content differs.
AREC399 Special Problems (1-3 Credits)
Concentrated reading and study in some phase of a problem in agricultural and/or natural resource economics.
Repeatable to: 6 credits if content differs.
AREC405 Economics of Production (3 Credits)
The use and application of production economics in analysis of firm and policy decisions. Production functions, cost functions, multiple product and joint production, and production processes through time.
AREC422 Econometric Analysis in Agricultural and Environmental Economics (3 Credits)
This course offers a hands-on introduction to econometrics. Students will explore the linear regression model from the ground up by analyzing real-world datasets and learning how to distinguish causation from correlation. They will gain practical experience using econometrics to address important questions in agricultural economics and environmental economics.
AREC426 Economic Methods and Food Consumption Policy (3 Credits)
An overview of major econometric tools used by policy makers, economists and social scientists to analyze the effects of food consumption policy. Major food assistance programs in the United States such as SNAP, the School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program will be discussed.
Credit Only Granted for: AREC489O or AREC426.
AREC427 Commodity Pricing and Markets (3 Credits)
Economic theory as applied to the marketing of agricultural commodities. How commodity prices vary with current demand and production, and how prices are linked over time, across space, and across grades. The role played by contractual arrangements, cooperative marketing, vertical integration, and governmental policies in commodity marketing strategies.
AREC430 Introduction to Agricultural and Resource Law (3 Credits)
Survey of law with emphasis on problems and applications related to agricultural and natural resource economics. The course emphasizes strategies for managing legal risk arising from ownership, management, and use of agricultural resources. Students will get practical information to utilize in personal or professional settings. Contract law, constitutional law, tort law, property law, real estate transactions, business organization, estate planning, and debtor.
Credit Only Granted for: AREC430 or AREC489K.
AREC431 Agricultural Water Quality: Policy and Legal Issues (3 Credits)
An overview of the American and Maryland legal systems and sources of legal information as it pertains to water quality and agriculture.
Credit Only Granted for: AREC489L or AREC431.
AREC433 Food and Agricultural Policy (3 Credits)
Economic and political context of governmental involvement in the farm and food sector. Historical programs and current policy issues. Analysis of economic effects of agricultural programs, their benefits and costs, and comparison of policy alternatives. Analyzes the interrelationship among international development, agricultural trade and general economic and domestic agricultural policies.
AREC435 Commodity Futures and Options (3 Credits)
The economics and institutional features of commodity futures and options markets. Students will develop a basic understanding of the underlying price relationships between cash and futures markets and will apply this information to business risk management decision making.
AREC445 Agricultural Development, Population Growth and the Environment (3 Credits)
Development theories, the role of agriculture in economic development, the agricultural policy environment, policies impacting on rural income and equity, environmental impacts of agricultural development.
AREC446 Sustainable Economic Development (3 Credits)
Examine why socially equitable and environmentally sustainable economic growth is difficult to achieve. It explores the interactive dynamics of environmental degradation, human capital, inequality and institutions. Emphasis is on the role of market imperfections and political failure in explaining the persistence of extractive economic institutions that hinder sustainable development.
Credit Only Granted for: AREC446 or AREC489G.
AREC447 The Economy of China (3 Credits)
An introductory survey course of economic development in China with emphasis on understanding the process of economic reform in mainland China since 1978.
Restriction: Must be in one of the following programs (Agricultural and Resource Economics; Agricultural and Resource Economics: Agribusiness).
AREC453 Natural Resources and Public Policy (3 Credits)
Rational use and reuse of natural resources. Theory, methodology, and policies concerned with the allocation of natural resources among alternative uses. Optimum state of conservation, market failure, safe minimum standard, and cost-benefit analysis.
Restriction: Must be in one of the following programs (Agricultural and Resource Economics; Agricultural and Resource Economics: Agribusiness; Agricultural and Resource Economics: Environmental and Resource Economics; Economics Bachelor of Arts; Environmental Science & Policy-Env Economics). Cross-listed with: ECON453.
AREC454 The Economics of Climate Change (3 Credits)
The role of economics in the formation of climate policy; basic concepts of environmental economics including efficiency, externalities, and policy instruments; economic models of intertemporal decisions and decision making in the face of uncertainty. Applied economic analysis of specific issues and current policy initiatives.
AREC455 Economics of Land Use (3 Credits)
Fundamentals of location theory. Microeconomics of land use decisions, including determination of rent and hedonic pricing models. Impacts of government decisions on land use, including regulation (e.g., zoning), incentives (transferable development rights), provision of public services, and infrastructure investments. Impacts of land use on environmental quality, including issues relating to sprawl, agricultural land preservation, and other topics of special interest.
AREC456 Energy and Environmental Economics (3 Credits)
Economic theory and empirical methods are used to study problems of energy, the environment, and the economy. It examines the extraction, production, and use of energy and market institutions and regulatory approaches used to correct market failures. Topics covered include: oil and natural gas markets, management and design of electricity markets, renewable energy, non-market valuation , climate change, and transportation policies.
AREC457 Energy, Climate Change, and Options for a Low-Carbon Economy (3 Credits)
Provides a primer in the physics and atmospheric chemistry of climate change, describes what the effects of climate change may be and explains how energy generation and use in various sectors of the economy contribute to greenhouse gas. It presents policy options meant to curb the use of fossil fuels (e.g., carbon taxes), improve energy efficiency (e.g., standards and incentives), and identifies possible drawbacks or unintended effects of such policies. Students will also study adaptation from the engineering, policy and anthropology points of view. The course further covers other aspects of climate change, as the potential effect of climate change on human health, cultural artifacts and the built environment, and sensitive ecological systems, and the legal implications of carbon storage options.
Restriction: Junior standing or higher.
AREC481 Environmental Economics (3 Credits)
An exploration of the use of economic incentives for protection of the environment and the determination of appropriate (or efficient) level of environmental quality. Also covers the choice of policy instruments for the attainment of environmental standards.
Restriction: Must be in one of the following programs (Agricultural and Resource Economics; Agricultural and Resource Economics: Agribusiness; Environmental Science & Policy-Env Economics; Agricultural and Resource Economics: Environmental and Resource Economics; Economics Bachelor of Arts program). Cross-listed with: ECON481.
AREC489 Special Topics in Agricultural and Resources Economics (3 Credits)
Repeatable to: 9 credits.