Prof Schlenker is one of the most relaxed and enthusiastic professors I have come across. His class suffered from being scheduled at 9am, so attendance was at about 50%. But even at 9am, this man was energetic, and his material was actually really insightful. You'd think going in, that Wolfram is going to be a crazy environmentalist hippie, but he's as skeptical and reasoned as any good economics professor should be; very good at proposing and explaining theories and very conservative with making conclusive statements. The class is quite mathematical, building on concepts in micro with a bit of stat/econometrics at the end. If you are great at solving micro-type problems this class will suit you. Many people did not fit this mold and so pass/failed it after the midterm, which was excellent for the curve. Wolfram keeps the class rigorously in economic analysis, and always explains concepts using examples and often real world data. The class includes concepts on resource pricing when resources are public and private (with consumer surplus calculations), dead weight loss when production has externalities, societal benefit/loss of different types of intervention on polluting industries, statistical analysis on environmental data (like how much air pollution affects house prices for example). I recommend this class not only for anyone wanting to enter environmental economics/policy, but also to people extraneously interested in any of the above, the optimal resource pricing, cost/benefit analysis of intervention and ways to analyze statistical data is broadly applicable. Class is curved to a B/B+, problem sets (20%) count only if you do better on them than midterm+final. Midterm(25%) was tougher than final(55%), and in general problem sets are marginally easier than midterm/final, but valuable preparation for the midterm/final. I stopped doing p-sets after the midterm, but I did them all as final preparation. If there was a text-book, I didn't need it.
If you liked Micro with Susan Elmes, you will love Environmental Econ with Arthur Small. This class is very straightforward and clear. It provides an overview of many issues surrounding the economic policy in regards to the environment, and offers a framework for thinking about these issues. True, there was a lot of basic algebra in this class, but I think Prof. Small values economic intuition more. (The midterm and final both had short answer 'essay' questions on them). NB: The word "environment" has many different connotations. The "environment" in this class is not the ecosystem, conservation, etc. It is more the economics of how people *share* environmental resources.
Professor Small was a solid teacher. He lectures well and tries to keep the class involved (it was a small class, around 25 students). The material is interesting, if a little basic.
Worst class ever. I went in thinking that this was going to be an interesting class about how pollution affects the economy and what I got was Intermediate Micro 2. The class does deal with environmental policy but the mathematical aspect of it. The only good thing is that you don't need a biology background to understand the class. Professor Small is a very respectful individual though and is very responsive to students but that doesn't make up for the way the class is structured
A lucid lecturer for an interesting class. Covers all the underlying issues of environmental policy, and how to analyze them from an economic perspective. Heavy theories, ranging from social justice to microeconomic models.
Sethi is an excellent professor who is open to meeting with students about any problems with the class. He is organized, clear, and presents the information in an interesting manner. A note on the first reviewer for Sethi: why would you assume that all Barnard classes are an easy A? Please get off your high horse and actually take some classes before you make such sweeping assumptions.