All Undergraduate Courses

AREC 200 The Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem: Intersection of Science, Economics, and Policy (3) The Chesapeake Bay is one of the most studied and monitored ecosystems in the world. To develop effective policies to restore this system to a healthier status requires integrating what we know about the biological and physical properties of the system with our understanding of the human dimension. Issues such as achieving nutrient reduction goals, restoring healthy blue crab and oyster fisheries in the bay will be used to demonstrate how economics interacts with science to guide policies that can be effective in achieving Bay restoration goals. 

AREC 240 Introduction to Economics and the Environment (4) Costs and social impacts of pollution and human crowding in the modern environment. The economic, legal and institutional causes of these problems. Public policy approaches to solutions and the costs and benefits of alternative solutions.

AREC 241 Environment, Economics and Policy Studies (3) The relationship between the economy, environment and policy. Causes of modern environmental problems and policies to address them. Importance of production, consumption, externalities, property rights and public goods in environmental issues. Technological and incentive-based solutions to environmental problems. 

AREC 250 Elements of Agricultural and Resource Economics (3) An introduction to economic principles of production, marketing, agricultural prices and incomes, farm labor, credit, agricultural policies, and government programs. 

AREC 306 Farm Management and Sustainable Food Production (3) The organization and operation of farm businesses are explored through principles of management, financial analysis, production economics, marketing, and business planning. These farm management principles are presented in the context of a sustainable food production system.

AREC 326 Intermediate Applied Microeconomics (3) Deepens and broadens your ability to apply rigorous economic analysis skills to a broad range of problems.  

AREC 345 Global Poverty and Economic Development (3) Two hours of lecture and one hour of discussion/recitation per week. This interdisciplinary course explores social and economic development around the world. Topics include geography, democratization, political instability and conflict, health and education, agricultural development, micro-entrepreneurship, and an introduction to impact evaluation methods used to evaluate the efficacy of public policy aimed at alleviating poverty. 

AREC 360 Global Agriculture: Developing Extension Education & Agriculture Technologies in Africa (3) 
NOTE: This is a Global Classroom course. Permission of AGNR-Agricultural & Resource Economics department is required. 
Identifies challenges faced by farmers in Nimba County, Liberia, and works collaboratively across borders to discuss these challenges and develop extension education programming that will be implemented in the region in order to empower local farmers. The course is designed to create a paradigm shift for both cohorts of students who will educate and learn from each other in what is now becoming a critical context - the globalized workspace. UMD and LICC students will be grouped together to identify and develop particular thematic areas most needed by local farmers, and then as a cohort create a week-long extension program to be implemented on the ground.

AREC 365 World Hunger, Population, and Food Supplies (3) An introduction to the problem of world hunger and possible solutions to it. World demand, supply, and distribution of food. Alternatives for leveling off world food demand, increasing the supply of food, and improving its distribution. Environmental limitations to increasing world food production. 

AREC 382 Computer-Based Analysis in Agricultural and Resource Economics (3)  Formerly: AREC182. Analysis of economic data using computer spreadsheets. Exercises include analyses of forest land shares, farmer willingness to pay, farm production planning, fisheries management, corn prices, and index numbers. Analyses features use of cell formulas, spreadsheet functions, Excel's Data Analysis Tool and Solver. This is a lab course featuring experimental learning. 

AREC 386 Experiential Learning (3-6) Prerequisite: Permission of AGNR-Agricultural & Resource Economics department. Restriction: Junior standing or higher. 

AREC 388 Honors Thesis Research (3-6) Restriction: Must be in the AGNR Honors program. Repeatable to 6 credits if content differs. Undergraduate honors thesis research conducted under the direction of an AGNR faculty member in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the College of AGNR Honors Program. The thesis will be defended to a faculty committee. 

AREC 399 Special Problems (1-3) Repeatable to 6 credits if content differs. Concentrated reading and study in some phase of a problem in agricultural and/or natural resource economics. 

AREC 404 Applied Price Analysis (3)  An introduction to the economic analysis of price behavior, with applications to agricultural commodities. The use of price information in the decision-making process, the relation and supply and demand in determining price, and the relation of prices to grade, time, location, and stages of processing in the marketing system. 

AREC 405 Economics of Production (3) The use and application of production economics in analysis of firm and policy decisions. Production functions, cost functions, multiple product and joint production, and production processes through time. 

AREC 422  Econometric Applications in Agricultural, Environmental and Natural Resources (3) Formerly: AREC489F. An introduction to data-based thinking and empirical methods in microeconomics with a focus on development and resource economics.  Includes multiple regression models, instrumental variables, panel data techniques, and causal inference.  Students will learn how to read and evaluate basic empirical research independently.

AREC 425 Economics of Food Sector (3) Formerly: AREC489B. Economic analysis of food sector issues, including food safety, agricultural biotechnology, and coordination mechanisms in the food supply chain. 

AREC 426 Economic Methods and Food Consumption Policy (3)  An overview of major econometric tools used by policy makers, economists and social scientists to analyze the effects of food consumption policy. Major food assistance programs in the United States such as SNAP, the School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program will be discussed.

AREC 427 Economics of Commodity Marketing Systems (3)  Basic economic theory as applied to the marketing of agricultural commodities. Current developments affecting market structure including contractual arrangements, cooperative marketing, vertical integration, and governmental policies. 

AREC 430 Introduction to Agricultural and Resource Law (3) Formerly: AREC489K. Survey of law with emphasis on problems and applications related to agricultural and natural resource economics. The course emphasizes strategies for managing legal risk arising from ownership, management, and use of agricultural resources. Students will get practical information to utilize in personal or professional settings. Contract law, constitutional law, tort law, property law, real estate transactions, business organization, estate planning, and debtor.

AREC 433 Food and Agricultural Policy (3)  Economic and political context of governmental involvement in the farm and food sector. Historical programs and current policy issues. Analysis of economic effects of agricultural programs, their benefits and costs, and comparison of policy alternatives. Analyzes the interrelationship among international development, agricultural trade and general economic and domestic agricultural policies. 

AREC 435 Commodity Futures and Options (3) The economics and institutional features of commodity futures and options markets. Students will develop a basic understanding of the underlying price relationships between cash and futures markets and will apply this information to business risk management decision making. 

AREC 445 Agricultural Development, Population Growth and the Environment (3)  Development theories, the role of agriculture in economic development, the agricultural policy environment, policies impacting on rural income and equity, environmental impacts of agricultural development. 

AREC 446 Sustainable Economic Development (3) Formerly: AREC489G. The course will examine why socially equitable and environmentally sustainable economic growth is difficult to achieve. It explores the interactive dynamics of environmental degradation, human capital, inequality and institutions. Emphasis is on the role of market imperfections and political failure in explaining the persistence of extractive economic institutions that hinder sustainable development.

AREC 447 The Economy of China (3) An introductory survey course of economic development in China with emphasis on understanding the process of economic reform in mainland China since 1978.

AREC 453 Natural Resources and Public Policy (3)  Rational use and reuse of natural resources. Theory, methodology, and policies concerned with the allocation of natural resources among alternative uses. Optimum state of conservation, market failure, safe minimum standard, and cost-benefit analysis. 

AREC 454 The Economics of Climate Change (3) Formerly: AREC489C. The role of economics in the formation of climate policy; basic concepts of environmental economics including efficiency, externalities, and policy instruments; economic models of intertemporal decisions and decision making in the face of uncertainty. Applied economic analysis of specific issues and current policy initiatives. 

AREC 455 Economics of Land Use (3) Fundamentals of location theory. Microeconomics of land use decisions, including determination of rent and hedonic pricing models. Impacts of government decisions on land use, including regulation (e.g., zoning), incentives (transferable development rights), provision of public services, and infrastructure investments. Impacts of land use on environmental quality, including issues relating to sprawl, agricultural land preservation, and other topics of special interest. 

AREC 456 Energy and Environmental Economics (3) Formerly AREC489J. This course uses economic theory and empirical methods to study problems of energy, the environment, and the economy. It examines the extraction, production, and use of energy and market institutions and regulatory approaches used to correct market failures. Topics covered include: oil and natural gas markets, management and design of electricity markets, renewable energy, non-market valuation , climate change, and transportation policies.

AREC 481 Environmental Economics (3) An exploration of the use of economic incentives for protection of the environment and the determination of appropriate (or efficient) level of environmental quality. Also covers the choice of policy instruments for the attainment of environmental standards.

AREC 489 Special Topics in Agricultural and Resources Economics (3) Repeatable to 9 credits.


HONR 228N Evaluating Global Development Assistance (3) An examination of foreign aid and the effectiveness of global poverty reduction programs.  The role of incentives and institutions in determining the success or failure of development assistance.  Impacts of global economic integration on growth and poverty in developing nations. This course is taught by an AREC faculty member.