Avoid this class at all costs. The assignments are overly time-consuming and purposeless. You are assigned a long, dry reading and expected to write an intelligent summary + analysis of the topic without ever discussing the subject in class. Expectations for the analysis are unclear. You lose points for not knowing the correct jargon (the professor and TA, Carolanne Boughton, are unforgiving over slight details) and not analyzing it as expected. Professor Dale is not a helpful professor. She is passive-aggressive and unaccommodating. Do not expect any leeway for health-related issues. This class is not accessible for students with different needs/learning styles. That being said, prof Dale knows a lot about her subject, and the lectures are occasionally interesting. Do not take this class if you dislike public speaking. Active participation and one class presentation (with a partner) are required. This class is framed as an introductory course to US environmental policymaking, but it demands a great amount of previous knowledge. The previous reviews were right in saying this should be a Poli-sci class. Do not take this class unless you are already well-versed in the US government. Find a better class, thank me later.
Overall, this class was worth taking and I learned a lot. Lisa is a GREAT lecturer - one of the most articulate, clear, and knowledgable professors I've had so far. You do genuinely learn a lot about environmental policy and how the US government works. I always left the class feeling like I had learned a ton and her lectures were very digestible and informative. I will, however, give a couple warnings. Lisa is kind of mean - the way she delivers and dishes feedback is odd and does not encourage participation. Sometimes she'll act like the question you asked is stupid or unclear and if you contribute to discussion and answer one of her questions she will often pick apart your answer and basically tell you you're wrong but in kind of a mean way that embarrasses you. A professor should tell you if your answer is wrong but there's a right and wrong way to deliver criticism and Lisa's way is just NOT IT!!! In terms of grading, again, her feedback is often mean and not constructive and sometimes the grading is SO arbitrary. She'll dock points off for random things that you can't really foresee and you obviously can't object to it because she'll just be mean to you. Although her grading is sometimes really strange, it is not hard to do well in her class (B+ is definitely doable, A- and A require effort but also doable). The midterm questions were extremely straightforward and as long as you paid attention in class and did the readings you'll be totally fine. If anyone is interested in understanding the basics of environmental policy, definitely take this class. Just be prepared for some odd and harsh criticism
I've taken a few of Dale's courses (you'll inevitably get her a few times if you're majoring in sus dev) and she's always great. Qual Research Methods was a really hands-on course. Dale teaches a couple of research methods and asks you to apply them through assignments and a semester-long individual project. She provides helpful, actionable feedback and is a fair grader. I'd highly recommend this course to anyone interested in research methods. After taking it, I feel that qualitative research is an under-appreciated field/method.
I took Prof. Dale's class in Spring 2018, the first semester she taught it. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, informative elective. Especially if you are from the West (Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, California, Arizona, etc.) this course will help you understand your home so much more. She comes at the topic from a practitioner's background as well as a policymaking background, and that is very clear throughout the course. While there is some information about ecology/science, it is probably more similar to a political science course than a sus dev course. It is reading-heavy, however, and Dale is an extremely fair grader, so if you're looking for an easy A this isn't it. Her syllabus is very organized, so the workload is certainly manageable if you plan it out.
Before you read on: 100% NO CURVE IN THIS CLASS. Entire grade based off exams and bullshit response papers that are not graded on completion but grammar (super subjective) What did you learn - in terms of knowledge, skills, or perspectives - in this course? --Strengths: you learn a lot about Environmental policy. Improvements: MOST IMPORTANTLY, environmental conservation/ preservation / fucks given about the environment are so so so important. This course makes you HATE caring about the environment. She tries to cover too many topics and issues. if it was an American political science course she could have skipped the first half of the semester and just spent more time on how important the law is to environmental issues. Her way of teaching literally made me want to explode. Lectures were great. Assignments were shit literally pure shit. Should be a Poli-sci course, TOO MUCH BUSY WORK. Busy work and memorization does not = education. We never had a change to conceptualize these issues and write a paper, argue points or demonstrate we clearly understand the content outside of these B.S. weekly responses that are 100% done right before the class. The mid term exam was multiple choice and shot answer. What is the pro on cramming this information that you will never look at again? literally nothing, there is no positive outcome to memorization. I took this course to learn how to contribute to conversations regarding the policy and legal perspective of the environment-- I do not feel I can do that because I spent so much time memorizing crap ill never use again. What is your overall assessment of the course? --Fair Would you recommend this course to another student? --Probably not recommend Please evaluate Lisa Dale. --Strengths: she knows a lot about her field Weakness: is not a teacher, she is a lobbyist. This is demonstrated through her lack of understanding different teaching and testing methods. This is not the 1980's memorization exams do not work anymore this is proved over and over again is psychological reviews of learning. She should spend some time reading those instead of guessing how to teach. Presentations are also very subjective. not all students feel comfortable in front of a class-- this is not a necessary life skill mostly today people work remotely or at home and never have to stand up in front of a crowd. I know I will NEVER in my life present anything due to my fear of encountering a critic like Dale and her TA Sara What is your overall assessment of the effectiveness of the instructor? --Fair What are the strengths and weaknesses of Sara Lytle (TA) --Sara needs to learn humility. She is not a good teacher, organizer or assistant to the course. Held review sessions at 9PM the night before the exam. Grading was VERY SUBJECTIVE. You cannot grade someone on following a different writing style than what you think/ believe is the "right" way. The responses were suppose to hold you accountable for the reading but instead but made you stressed out and feeling hopeless in the class. I hope, actually I know I will never take a course with her as the TA again. I will vet the course more closely next time to assure this. What is your overall assessment of the effectiveness of Sara Lytle? --POOR
Prof. Dale is an outstanding professor. Let me begin by first saying that she radiates positive energy. It is very obvious she just loves what she does. She came to every class smiling and positively oozed with enthusiasm. Her passion for public lands issues is so evident. On that note, Prof. Dale brings a wealth of experience to the classroom. An outside observer sitting in on her class would not be surprised to know she has spent her entire career working on public lands issues in the West. Her background is an invaluable asset in the classroom. It is really cool to hear about how she has seen public lands issues play out firsthand. When it comes to logistics she knows how to manage a course. Her expectations for assignments were very clear. She provided helpful feedback and handed back assignments in a timely manner. P.S. She brought homemade nut-free cookies to class twice! Grading: - 10% participation - 40% quizzes (4 quizzes x 10% each) - 25% group debate - 25% final essay