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Resource Economics

Resource Economics | Courses | Faculty

201 Stockbridge Hall

Degree: Bachelor of Science

Contact: Richard Rogers
Office: 218 Stockbridge Hall
Phone: (413) 545-5741
Website: www.umass.edu/resec

Chair of Department: Professor Julie A. Caswell. Undergraduate Program Director: Bernard Morzuch. Professors Alhabeeb, Field, Lass, Moffitt, Morzuch, Rogers, Stevens, Stranlund; Associate Professors Lavoie, Mammen, Spraggon; Assistant Professors Brandt, Rojas.

The Field

Resource Economics is an applied field of economics in which quantitative techniques and economic principles are combined to study private and public decision making. Emphasis is on the food system, natural resources, environmental policy, managerial economics, and consumer and family economics. Areas of employment range from management, marketing, and administration to research, education, consulting, and regulatory activities. Although most graduates accept jobs immediately after completing the B.S. degree, the program also provides excellent preparation for graduate school, when supplemented with additional math courses.

The Major

Students in the Department of Resource Economics choose among four options: Consumer and Family Economics, Food Marketing Economics, Managerial Economics, and Natural Resource Economics.

Required coursework includes university General Education requirements, a common departmental core of 12 courses, and 10 additional courses specified by the elected option. Departmental core courses have been selected to provide the basic tools of economic theory and quantitative analysis and a perception of how our economic system works. They provide a base of understanding on which to build an applied economics specialization. Departmental option requirements enable students to focus coursework on particular career specialties within the food, natural resource, environmental, managerial or consumer and family areas. Students are allowed considerable flexibility within the options. By careful selection of courses, it is possible to design a program which prepares a student for employment in a specific career or which provides a good foundation for graduate study. Some students also prepare for international careers.

Requirements for All Options

An introductory course in the department other than the requirement of the student’s option. Introductory courses are 121 Hunger in a Global Economy, 140 Managing Your Own Business, 162 The Consumer in Our Society, 241 Introduction to Food Marketing Economics, 262 Environmental Economics, and 263 Natural Resource Economics.
102 Introduction to Resource Economics
112 Computing: Foundations to Frontiers
211 (212) Introductory Statistics for the Life (Social) Sciences
305 Price Theory
312 Introductory Econometrics
313 Quantitative Methods in Applied Economics
COMM 260 Public Speaking
ECON 104 Macroeconomics
ECON 204 Intermediate Macroeconomics
MATH 127 or 131, Calculus I
SCH-MGMT 310 Management Communications

Each option requires an additional set of courses, with some flexibility in each to complete a particular career emphasis.

Consumer and Family Economics Option

162 The Consumer in Our Society
360 Personal and Family Finance
460 Family Economics
470 Family Economic Policy: Issues and Implication
An internship is required (9-12 credits)
Six additional courses selected from a list available from the department.

Food Marketing Economics Option

241 Introduction to Food Marketing Economics
343 Food Merchandising
452 Industrial Organization in Resource Economics
453 Public Policy in Private Markets
MANAGMNT 301 Principles of Management
MARKETNG 301 Fundamentals of Marketing
Four additional courses selected from a list available from the department

Managerial Economics Option

324 Small Business Finance or FINOPMGT 301 Corporation Finance
428 Managerial Economics
452 Industrial Organization in Resource Economics
453 Public Policy in Private Markets
ACCOUNTG 221 Introduction to Accounting I
MANAGMNT 301 Principles of Management
Four additional courses selected from a list available from the department

Natural Resource Economics Option

262 Environmental Economics
263 Natural Resource Economics
471 Benefit-Cost Analysis of Natural Resource Programs
472 Advanced Topics in Resource and Environmental Economics
ENVIRSCI 213 Introduction to Environmental Policy or POLISCI 382 Environmental Policy
Five additional courses selected from a list available from the department

Note: Departmental core and option requirements may not be taken on a Pass/Fail basis.

For the requirements for Commonwealth College Departmental Honors in Resource Economics, see the Undergraduate Handbook at www.umass.edu/resec/undergraduate/docs/undergradbook.pdf.

Career Opportunities

Some major career opportunities in each option are identified below. Also, it should be noted that many of our students continue their education in graduate school.

Consumer and Family Economics
The consumer and family economics option focuses on the economic needs and functions of individuals and families. Students are prepared to mediate between the consumer and various financial and business institutions as financial counselors and consumer affairs specialists. This option also provides students with a strong foundation in social and behavioral sciences that will prepare them for careers in the areas of family financial management and consumer policy. Graduates may also become Certified Financial Planners.

Food Marketing Economics Career Opportunities
Food marketing employs more people than any other single industry in the nation. The procurement, processing, packaging, advertising, and retail merchandising of food provides opportunities for careers in this expanding industry that is dependent upon professional management and information technology.

The food marketing economics program provides students with knowledge of economics, marketing, and business management and the skills required to apply that knowledge to food marketing situations. Career opportunities include sales, managerial and research positions with consulting firms, food manufacturers, food brokers, food wholesalers, food retailers, and trade associations. There are also opportunities in government, research, and regulatory agencies serving the public.

Managerial Economics in Food and Resource Industries Career Opportunities
The managerial economics option concentrates on the application of economic principles to problems faced by managers in business decision making. Students develop expertise in information technology, accounting, finance, decision making, business strategies, and market demand analysis. Microeconomic models and case studies drawn from a variety of industries are used to demonstrate how the decision maker can operate effectively within a complex economy consisting of millions of businesses linked by thousands of markets. Career opportunities include research, planning, marketing, and managerial positions in a wide range of firms. Areas of concentration aimed at specific career goals include: food industry management, environmental consulting, energy demand analysis, market research, financial analysis, and strategic planning.

Natural Resource Economics Career Opportunities
The natural resource economics option prepares students to assist in making public and private decisions about environmental and natural resource issues. Increasing population and income are multiplying pressures on our land, water, atmosphere, and energy sources making allocation, management, and protection decisions top priorities. Water quality and supply, land use, acid rain, pesticide policy, waste disposal, and marine fisheries management are some of the issues studied. Students learn to apply decision-making tools such as benefit-cost, risk-benefit, and cost-effectiveness analysis.

The training prepares students for careers in research, planning, education, and administration with federal, state, or community governments, with private consulting firms, or with private businesses operating in the environmental and natural resource area, including waste management and recycling, energy production and conservation, resource harvesting and land development.

The Minor

Students must complete three general courses and declare an option as described below.

1. Introductory calculus: MATH 127 or 131
2. Introductory statistics: RES-ECON 211 or 212 or STATISTC 240
3. Introductory microeconomics: RES-ECON 102 (or ECON 103)
4. Four departmental courses as specified below by option. (Note: many of the courses below have prerequisites; see the Undergraduate Handbook for details.)

Consumer and Family Economics
Required:
162 The Consumer in Our Society
360 Personal and Family Finance

Elect two from the following:
362 Consumer Protection and Legislation
460 Family Economics
470 Family Economic Policy: Issues and Implications

Food Marketing Economics Option

Required:
241 Introduction to Food Marketing Economics
343 Food Merchandising

Elect two of the following:
305 Price Theory
312 Introductory Econometrics
313 Quantitative Methods in Applied Economics
452 Industrial Organization in Resource Economics
453 Public Policy in Private Markets

Managerial Economics in Food and Resource Industries Option

Required:
428 Managerial Economics

Elect three of the following:
305 Price Theory
312 Introductory Econometrics
313 Quantitative Methods in Applied Economics
324 Small Business Finance
452 Industrial Organization in Resource Economics
453 Public Policy in Private Markets
471 Benefit-Cost Analysis of Natural Resource Programs

Natural Resource Economics Option

Required:
262 Environmental Economics

Elect three of the following:
263 Natural Resource Economics
305 Price Theory
312 Introductory Econometrics
313 Quantitative Methods in Applied Economics
471 Benefit-Cost Analysis of Natural Resource Programs
472 Advanced Topics in Resource and Environmental Economics

Resource Economics | Courses | Faculty