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Cardinal Courses
Courses for credit

Policy Practicum: Smoke: Wildfire Science and Policy Lab

Quarter-long course
Environmental Sustainability
Policy Practicum: Smoke: Wildfire Science and Policy Lab
Clients: California Native American Tribes, prescribed burn associations, federal legislative and executive branch decision makers. Wildfire has emerged as one of the most pressing biodiversity, air pollution and public health threats in the Western United States. Advancing land stewardship at sufficient scale to substantially improve the resilience of western forests to fire is critical to reducing wildfire risks and air pollution exposure for the tens of millions that live downwind. Communities are under threat as never before from catastrophic wildfire. Electric utilities face enormous challenges even as they strive to decarbonize their systems. In short, solving for wildfire resilience is an enormous technical and regulatory challenge. In this course, students will learn the basics of the wildfire policy debate in the west with a focus on California. Lectures will focus on both scientific and legal aspects of the challenge. In addition, students will work in groups on legal and regulatory analysis aimed at supporting better decision making on wildfire at the state and federal level. Students will work in partnership with postdocs and legal fellows on their group projects and may have the opportunity to present the results of their work to both clients and policymakers. The course is intended for students interested in multi-disciplinary approaches to public policy problems. No background in either the Clean Air Act, federal land management or wildfire policy is required. Students will engage in weekly lectures and discussions of wildfire science and policy, including student presentations and guest lectures by scientists, practitioners and policymakers. Students will also meet each week with Professors Sivas and Wara, and other members of the teaching team, in working sessions to discuss progress on team projects. Students may present the results of their research to California legislative and executive branch staff engaged in developing new approaches to wildfire policy. Elements used in grading: Attendance, Performance, Class Participation, Written Assignments, Final Paper. Students enrolled in Section 02 (with instructor consent) will be required to meet the Law School's R paper requirements. CONSENT APPLICATION: To apply for this course, students must complete and submit a Consent Application Form. In answering the application questions, "what skills do you bring to this class" and "what skills do you want to develop," students should also answer the following questions: What is your program of study at Stanford? What experiences and interests do you have relating to smoke or wildfire (including those that might relate to public health, community resilience, insurance, and tribal approaches to wildfire management)? Have you taken other wildfire related coursework? What interests you about policy in this field? What topics relating to smoke and wildfire would you like to learn (more) about? What type of work would you like to be involved in (e.g., drafting white papers/policy briefs, technical or scientific reports, etc.)? Do you have any specific technical skills (Machine learning based methods, GIS, legal research) that may be applicable to project based work? The Consent Application Form can be found at: SLS Registrar See Consent Application Form for additional instructions and submission deadline. We will be accepting applicants past the registrar's deadline. All interested applicants can register on the course offerings webpage or e-mail the course instructors if the deadline has passed. This course is cross-listed with the Doerr School of Sustainability (SUSTAIN 329).





September 26, 2023 | 12:00 AM
* This Application Deadline has passed

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