Summarize Available Data Showing Envs 171 Environ

Summarize Available Data Showing Envs 171 Environ

Summarize Available Data Showing Envs 171 Environ

What is a policy memo?

The purpose of a policy memorandum is to research an environmental policy and evaluate the policy’s effectiveness in addressing an emerging environmental issue and suggest new policy measures that could improve its efficacy. A policy memo is a professionally written document that provides analysis and/or recommendations directed to an audience regarding a specific situation or topic. A well-written policy memo is clear and concise in presenting evidence regarding a public issue or problem in a way that assumes the audience possesses limited time, attention and knowledge of the issue or problem. The purpose of a policy memo is to provide analysis of current policy and provide recommendations on how to improve current policy to address emerging issues or problems.

An additional purpose of the policy memorandum is to provide documentation that you have in-depth knowledge about an environmental issue and a policy (or lack of a policy) and are qualified to address this issue in the first few years of your career. Students can choose a policy or issue at the state or federal level.


Students should write on the Clean Water Act or Endangered Species Act. Students should identify an issue or problem related to one of acts. The issue/problem can be focused at the national or state levels or to a specific water body or species.

The policy memo should be 800 words of text excluding figures, tables, title page, and references. Submit the paper in Microsoft Word. Citations should be in APA format.

Introduction: Briefly describe an environmental problem and why it is important to society or a social group. Make an argument for why the problem should be addressed by the government, and if a policy is in place, why the policy is not adequate for addressing the problem.

Problem Statement: Describe in depth why an environmental problem is occurring. Give specific examples and summarize available data showing trends or patterns relating to the environmental problem. Describe who is responsible for causing the problem and who/what is affected by the problem. Describe those who are or should be involved in addressing the problem, including government agencies, industry, community groups, non-governmental organizations, and individuals.

Policy Analysis and Recommendation: The purpose of the policy analysis is to understand how a policy was developed, who was involved in the process of developing the policy, and what we currently know about the success of a policy in addressing an environmental problem. Below is a guide for developing your analysis.

1. Describe the policy that has been developed, adopted, and implemented to address the environmental problem. What are the policy goals? What are the policy mechanisms which ensure that the problem is addressed? Who is responsible for implementing the policy? Is cooperation between multiple interests needed in order to ensure success? How are costs and benefits distributed? Students should make an argument for whether the issue is adequately being addressed by a policy and provide evidence to illustrate the policy’s effectiveness. If the policy does not adequately address the issue or solve the environmental problem, describe why you believe this to be true.

2. Make a determination if an existing policy does not adequately address the environmental problem recommend changes/additions to the existing policy. If the policy has been implemented, is there information on how successful the policy has been? How did the agency or researchers evaluate the success or failure of the policy? How does the agency responsible for implementing the policy track success? What are the factors they measure (economic, ecological, social)? Is the manner in which the policy is implemented and monitored adequate in meeting the goals of the policy? Why or why not? Explain why the existing policy does not adequately address the issue and use data and/or literature to support this claim.

Conclusion: Summarize the environmental problem, the policy that has been adopted and/or the policy alternative recommended by the group, and provide a brief discussion of the success (or failure) of the environmental policy. Restate the argument from the introductory section and describe how that argument was supported in the subsequent sections of the paper.

Expectations and Evaluation:

The memo will be graded based on the rubric provided to students on Canvas. In general, students will be evaluated based on their ability to describe the problem, describe the process in which policy was developed and adopted, ability to apply theory and class concepts to the problem and policy formation, describe individuals or groups involved in forming and passing policy, and their evaluation of the effectiveness of the policy in addressing an environmental problem. Students will also be evaluated on their ability to communicate their ideas in a clear and concise manner.

The student will be evaluated on their ability to clearly and competently communicate about an issue and the solutions. Students are expected to be able to support ideas and information they provide in the policy memo. Types of references in the paper should be from credible sources. Credible sources include government agencies, peer-reviewed journals, research institutions (e.g. Brookings Institute, Gallup), and news media (e.g. newspaper, magazine). Webpages are acceptable from credible sources only. Our expectation is that we should be able to recreate your paper using the same references you cite. The number of citations will depend on how well the argument is supported by prior research and data. If the paper presents an idea in order to support the argument of the paper it should have facts from a publication to back up that idea- your opinion alone is not sufficient support (although your opinion is framing the paper and is included in other parts of the paper).