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Economics and Environmentalism Online


Economics and Environmentalism Online (EEO) introduces teachers to individual and organizational entrepreneurs who use the economic way of thinking to preserve species, conserve habitat, reduce pollution, and allocate highly scarce water resources more effectively. Participants will use economic reasoning tools to explore how today’s “enviropreneurs” are, paradoxically, “doing well by doing good.”

The purpose of Economics and Environmentalism is to investigate the potential and limitations of one approach to environmental issues. (The course does not attempt a broad or theoretical examination of environmentalism or the environmental movement.) Each lesson uses economic reasoning tools (FTE’s 5 Economic Reasoning Propositions) to examine on-the-ground environmental endeavors that are fundamentally entrepreneurial in design and execution. The wide range of case studies is unified by a focus on the role of property rights in creating incentives for preservation and conservation.

The course is comprised of 3 units (9 lessons). Drawn from the great plains, mountain, and west coast states, cases have a “western” flavor, but all are both representative and applicable nationally and internationally. Lesson topics include:

  • Bee-keepers and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)
  • Big Sky Beef company and the American Prairie Reserve
  • Big game ranchers’ protection of critically endangered species
  • Sport fishing-funded waterway and habitat restoration/enhancement


  • Students must be proficient in basic economic reasoning as embodied in FTE’s 5 Economic Reasoning Propositions (ERP’s), or be willing to develop that proficiency outside the course.
  • Students must have successfully completed at least one previous graduate online course.


  • EEO is delivered online using a free Canvas virtual classroom. FTE instructors do not provide tech support, but participants have access to the Canvas help team.
  • EEO is a 12 week, graduate level course. The course is flexibly paced to accommodate working teachers, but is not independent study and does require submission of written assignments.
  • A 75% final exam score is the standard for mastery. Completion certificate and/or graduate credit issued for mastery.
  • Required text: Free Market Environmentalism for the Next Generation by Terry L. Anderson


  • FTE Registration Fee:  $225
  • (Optional) Credit Fee:  $366. 3 semester hours of graduate credit in economics from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS). Payable directly to UCCS after the course starts.
    • It is the responsibility of the participant to ascertain whether UCCS credit is accepted by other institutions’ degree or certification programs.