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Resource Economics

Resource Economics | Courses | Faculty


220 Stockbridge Hall

Degree: Bachelor of Science

Contact: Barry C. Field

Office: 212F Stockbridge Hall

Phone: 545-5709

Web site: www.umass.edu/resec

Chair of Department: Professor P. Geoffrey Allen. Undergraduate Program Director: Barry C. Field. Professors Caswell, Field, Lass, Moffitt, Morzuch, Rogers, Stevens; Associate Professor Stranlund; Assistant Professors Brandt, Lavoie, Murphy.

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, and community development. 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 five options: Managerial Economics in Food and Resource Industries, Food Marketing Economics, Natural Resource Economics, Economics of Public Policy for Natural Resources and the Food System, or Agricultural Economics.

Required coursework includes University General Education requirements, a common departmental core of 11 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 or agricultural 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

102 Introduction to Resource Economics

197A Using PCs in Resource Economics

211 (212) Introductory Statistics for the Life (Social) Sciences

303 Writing in Resource Economics

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

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

Managerial Economics in Food and Resource Industries Option

121 World Food or 241 Introduction to Food Marketing Economics or 262 Environmental Economics or 263 Natural Resource Economics

324 Small Business Finance or FOMGT 301 Corporation Finance

428 Managerial Economics

452 Industrial Organization in Resource Economics

453 Public Policy Affecting the Food Industry

ACCTG 221 Introduction to Accounting I

MGT 301 Principles of Management

Four additional courses selected from a list available from the department

Food Marketing Economics Option

121 World Food or 262 Environmental Economics or 263 Natural Resource Economics

241 Introduction to Food Marketing Economics

343 Food Merchandising

452 Industrial Organization in Resource Economics

453 Public Policy Affecting the Food Industry

MGT 301 Principles of Management

MKTG 300 Fundamentals of Marketing

Four additional courses selected from a list available from the department

Natural Resource Economics Option

121 World Food or Introduction to Food Marketing Economics

262 Environmental Economics

263 Natural Resource Economics

471 Benefit-Cost Analysis of Natural Resource Programs

472 Advanced Topics in Resource and Environmental Economics

ENVSCI 213 Introduction to Environmental Policy or POLSCI 382 Environmental Policy

Six additional courses selected from a list available from the department

Economics of Public Policy for Natural Resources and the Food System Option

121 World Food or 241 Introduction to Food Marketing Economics or 262 Environmental Economics

263 Natural Resource Economics or 452 Industrial Organization in Resource Economics

453 Public Policy Affecting the Food Industry

471 Benefit-Cost Analysis of Natural Resource Programs

ECON 313 Public Finance

POLSCI 280 Introduction to Public Policy

or POLSCI 320 Public Administration

Four additional courses selected from a list available from the department

Agricultural Economics Option

121 World Food: Opportunities and Constraints

140 Managing Your Own Business

241 Introduction to Food Marketing Economics

262 Environmental Economics

324 Small Business Finance

PLSOIL 120 Organic Farming and Gardening or PLSOIL 297A Sustainable Agriculture or PLSOIL 350 Crop Science or any management-related PLSOIL or ANSCI course.

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 Departmental Honors track, a student must, in addition to meeting the above major requirements, meet the requirements of the University Honors Program, take four honors courses of which at least three must be departmental honors courses, and complete a senior honors thesis or project.

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.

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 microcomputer usage, accounting, finance, decision making, business strategies, and market demand analysis. Micro-economic models and case studies drawn from the natural resources and food distribution systems 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, especially in food and natural resource related industries. Areas of concentration aimed at specific career goals include: food industry management, environmental consulting, energy demand analysis, market research, financial analysis, and strategic planning.

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 which is becoming more dependent upon professional management.

The food marketing economics program provides students with a basic 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.

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.

Economics of Public Policy for Natural Resources and the Food System Career Opportunities

The economics of public policy option focuses on the application of economics and quantitative analytical methods to decision making in the public policy sector. Students become skilled in economic and quantitative analysis, with focus on problems encountered in the evaluation of public policy alternatives. Emphasized are the tools of policy analysis, such as applied welfare economics, benefit-cost analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, and risk analysis. Applications are drawn from problems in natural resources and environmental policy, agricultural policy and policy toward the food industry.

Career opportunities include public policy analysis groups within private businesses, private consulting firms, and government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels.

Agricultural Economics Career Opportunities

Growing demand for food, both domestic and foreign, increases the need for planning and management in agricultural production and marketing. Changing technology and legislation in agriculture creates challenges and opportunities in agricultural production, marketing, journalism, and government agricultural policy for graduates with training in agricultural economics.

The agricultural economics program prepares students for domestic and international careers in agricultural production, marketing, business management, finance, education, research, extension, and regulation.

A specialization is available for majors wishing to use their training in internationally focused careers. They prepare for work in developing countries, for positions with international agricultural trading companies, and for careers in many other types of international agencies. Most students with this interest complete the major requirements plus the seven courses of the Specialty Program in International Agriculture and plan on two years in the Peace Corps or similar organizations after their B.S. degree, as well as on graduate work.

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 EC 211 or 212 or STATIS 111 or 140

3. RES EC 102 (or ECON 103)

4. Four departmental courses as specified by option:

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 (prerequisite: RES EC 305)

453 Public Policy Affecting the Food Industry

471 Benefit-Cost Analysis of Natural Resource Programs (prerequisite: RES EC 305)

472 Advanced Topics in Resource and Environmental Economics

497A Experimental Economics

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 (prerequisite: RES EC 305)

453 Public Policy Affecting the Food Industry

472 Advanced Topics in Resource and Environmental Economics

497A Experimental Economics

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 (prerequisite: RES EC 305)

472 Advanced Topics in Resource and Environmental Economics

497A Experimental Economics

Economics of Public Policy for Natural Resources and the Food System Option

Required:

453 Public Policy Affecting the Food Industry

471 Benefit-Cost Analysis of Natural Resource Programs

Elect two of the following:

263 Natural Resource Economics

305 Price Theory

312 Introductory Econometrics

452 Industrial Organization in Resource Economics (prerequisite: RES EC 305)

472 Advanced Topics in Resource and Environmental Economics

497A Experimental Economics

Agricultural Economics Option

Elect four of the following:

140 Managing Your Own Business

241 Introduction to Food Marketing Economics

305 Price Theory

313 Quantitative Methods in Applied Economics

324 Small Business Finance

497A Experimental Economics

Notes: No required course may be taken on a Pass/Fail basis. ECON 203 may be substituted for RES EC 305 as a prerequisite for other courses, but ECON 203 cannot be counted as one of the four departmental courses students must take under each option.

Resource Economics | Courses | Faculty