Courses

Economics & the Environment

The Economics of the Environment module equips MSc students in SoGE with the foundational concepts, methods and analytical tools to navigate the interface of economics and the environment across a range of contexts, scales and threats. In 2017-18, the module will be organised in two phases during Michaelmas term, leveraging the world-class interdisciplinary economic research and teaching across the School. Phase I covers the foundations of economics and the environment, examining the economic roots of environmental problems and providing a survey of economic approaches to environmental policy ranging from pricing to property rights. The second phase of the module shifts from foundations to applications, organising the students into specialised tracks tailored to each MSc with interactive lectures and exercises. The specialised tracks in phase II are problem-based, fostering critical examination and application of economics to water challenges.

Graduate programs at the School of Geography and the Environment

Water Policy

Policy sets the principles and priorities guiding institutions and society. The policy process is dynamic and contested, moulded by laws, custom and politics. This module explores water policy providing an introduction to theory, methods and practice drawing upon case studies from around the world. The first three classes introduce key concepts around policy, politics and institutional analysis. The following five classes explore the translation of policy into thematic domains applicable in the global context, including Human Rights, Property Rights, Decentralisation, Competition, Social Choice and Evaluation. The overall learning outcome of the module is to provide students with the skills and knowledge to understand, interpret and evaluate policy from design to implementation to evaluation. The module will comprise lectures, discussions and group activities. Lectures of two hours duration will be given, with discussion time included within each lecture. Students will be given short preparatory reading lists prior to lectures. Students will have opportunities to engage more deeply with this material through activities in the Water Management module, including reading circles, policy debates and workshops, and field trips.

WSPM MSc Course Handbook

Student Highlights

I am an associate professor at the University of Oxford's Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. I have supervised nearly 30 masters students and currently supervise 4 PhD students. I am also an adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo, and was previously at McMaster University in Canada. 

Charles Wight

Charles' research focuses on understanding how water sharing mechanisms can maximize benefits to both the environment and people. His work draws on synergies across the disciplines of hydrology, governance, and economics. Prior to his role at Oxford, Charles was the lead freshwater scientist for the Global Water markets team at The Nature Conservancy (TNC). At TNC he worked with local field units in water scarce areas in the United States and Latin America to develop projects and strategies aimed at delivering environmental benefits via water markets. Charles hold as master’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin where he developed an environmental vulnerability index to assess dam impacts in the Amazon basin. He holds a dual bachelor’s degree in Geography and Philosophy, also from The University of Texas at Austin. As a consultant, Charles has worked for USAID, International Rivers, InfoAmazonia, and The Strauss Center for International Security and Law. His work has been published in Nature, World Development, and Environmental Research Letters.  

Jesper Svensson

 

Jesper is finishing his DPhil at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford. He strives to explain the diffusion, diversity and performance of water markets in China the last 20 years from a coupled-infrastructure systems perspective. He is also working as the Senior Editor of Global Water Forum. Prior to joining University of Oxford, Jesper worked as a Research Assistant for the Transboundary Rivers and Adaptation to Climate Extremes in North America (TRACE - North America) project under Dr Dustin Evan Garrick. Previously, he was a Visiting Scholar at China Academy of Sciences where he conducted research on the water-energy-food nexus in the Yellow River Basin.

Safa Fanaian

 

Safa is a doctoral student at the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford and an Oxford-Indira Gandhi Scholar at the Oxford-India Centre for Sustainable Development. Ms. Fanaian’s DPhil research focuses on the understanding and mapping governance of water-related risks faced by riverine cities in the global south, specifically of the intermediate category (< 1 million population). The case of Guwahati and its rivers are explored as it an emblem of urbanization on the Brahmaputra River. Particular focus is given to risk of inadequate water supply, wastewater/sewage released into rivers, and urban floods. Ms. Fanaian has an MSc. in Water Management from IHE-Delft, Institute for Water Education, Netherlands and an MSc. in Ecology and Environmental Science from Pondicherry University, India. She has more than seven years of experience working on collaborative research projects to improve water security in South Asia. She is also the recent recipient of the National Geographic Exploration Grant to support her DPhil research. 

Kelsey Leonard

 

Kelsey currently represents the Shinnecock Indian Nation as the Tribal Co-Lead on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body of the U.S. National Ocean Council. As a Shinnecock citizen and environmental leader, Kelsey strives to be a strong advocate for the protection of Indigenous waters through enhanced interjurisdictional coordination and meaningful consultation. She has been instrumental in protecting the interests of Tribes with the development of the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan and building a sustainable ocean future by valuing Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge. In 2012, Kelsey received a MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management at the University of Oxford. Currently, she is a Ph.D. student in Comparative Public Policy in the Department of Political Science at McMaster University where she focuses on Indigenous water security and its climatic, territorial, and governance underpinnings. She is McMaster University’s Philomathia Trillium Scholar in Water Policy and is a Research Assistant for the Water Economics, Policy and Governance Network (WEPGN). Kelsey has previously worked for the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) as a legislative associate on tribal climate change adaptation. She holds an A.B. in Sociology and Anthropology from Harvard University and a J.D. from Duquesne University. Kelsey is an enrolled citizen of the Shinnecock Indian Nation.