Government and Natural Resources

Two maps of Wisconsin, one shows the highest state park and trail visitation is in the southern and eastern parts of the state; the other shows the most acres of public lands per person is in the northern part of the state

5-week session | June 10–August 9
Monday-Wednesday, 9:30 a.m.–noon
3 credits

Requires junior standing or higher


Tyler Byrnes

Course Description

Governments exercise substantial power to shape the environment by managing natural resources. How do they exercise that power, and what are their limits? How are decisions about the natural resource management made and who makes them? What can I do to be part of this process? This five-week course begins to answer these questions.

Drawing from a variety of disciplines, including law, economics, geography, and public policy, course topics focus on the systems of governance that manage natural resources and the environment at multiple scales, from national to local. It also introduces students to key roles that people inside and outside government play in shaping these systems, through guest presentations from environmental professionals.

In-class activities and group projects demonstrate how resource management happens and provide opportunities to practice key skills needed to participate in the process. Natural resource management in Wisconsin will receive special attention throughout the course.

Fulfills Environmental Studies


UW Designations


Social Science