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Unlikely Partners: Economics and Environmental Communication

Good Communication for a Great Cause: Unlikely Partners

Jeff Wagner, assistant professor in the Economics department, has taken on a new persona, that of a rock music impresario.  The students in Tom Moran's Environmental Communication class will be vying to help him get the needed permits and approvals to stage a three day concert on government land overseen by the Bureau of Land Management.  The concert will be similar to the program of Farm Aid Concerts started by Willie Nelson in 1986.

The students use this scenario as a background for practicing communication, writing e-mails and memos among themselves, letters to their potential client and the BLM, practicing oral communication and informational interview techniques with a BLM representatives (their instructor), and preparing a proposal to go to Professor Wagner to help him with managing the environmental and permitting aspects of staging his concert.

The students helped set the scope of the concert, worked with actual BLM permitting manuals and applications, and working in groups vie with one another to get their proposals accepted.  During his visits to the class Professor Wagner provides them with insights on the way that economics functions within governmental permitting processes.