Undergraduate Course Descriptions Spring 2020

Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Spring 2020

All information in this guide is tentative and subject to change. Check the course catalogue for updates. Unless stated otherwise, all of the following courses are offered at the Blacksburg campus.

Offered in Blacksburg

UAP 1024: Urban Public Issues

Instructor: Stephanie Davis

CRN: 19354

Offered: M W F 10:10 AM - 11:00 AM

Classroom: SURGE 104B

Delivery Mode: Lecture

Course Description: The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the field of public affairs, including basic concepts, terms, and strategies for addressing urban public issues. Issues include poverty, economic inequality, housing, race/ethnicity issues, environmental issues, sustainability, and how to increase democratic capacity of societies. We also seek to develop the critical thinking, problem-solving, research, communication skills, and self-efficacy of students.

UAP 2004: Principles of Real Estate

Instructor: David Bieri

CRN: 19355

Offered: M W F 12:20 PM - 1:10 PM

Classroom: TORG 2150

Delivery Mode: Lecture

Course Description: Why are American cities getting more congested and less affordable?  How does zoning work? What do Jefferson and Trump have to do with it? Why is central Paris rich and downtown Detroit poor? What role did ninjas play in the great financial crisis? How does Zillow and Zestimate work?

UAP 3224: Policy Implementation

Instructor: TBD

CRN: 19356

Offered: W 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Classroom: AA 07

Delivery Mode: Lecture

Course Description: Systematic analysis of the field and practice of public policy implementation. Includes analysis of the structure and dynamics of the policy process as well as specific analytic approaches to understanding policy implementation. Includes analysis of intra-organizational, interorganizational and intergovernmental implementation processes

UAP 3264: Local Government Administration

Instructor: Stephanie Davis

CRN: 19357

Offered: M W 5:00 PM - 6:15 PM

Classroom: AA 114

Delivery Mode: Lecture

Course Description: This class focuses on the uniqueness of VA local government. Five (5) focus areas: political environment and elected officials; service delivery and intergovernmental relations; finance, human resources and performance management; economic development and planning for communities; and the future of local government and trends in the profession.  

UAP 3344: Global Environmental Issues

Instructor: Andrew Scerri

CRN: 19358

Offered: M W 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Classroom: AA 114

Delivery Mode: Lecture

Course Description: Critical examination of major global environmental problems (e.g., global warming, atmospheric ozone depletion, acid rain, tropical deforestation, toxic waste) with emphasis on their social, economic, political, ethical, and policy implications and solutions. Completion of Area 4 of University Core required.

UAP 3434: Public Administration

Instructor: Brandy Faulkner

CRN: 19360

Offered: T R 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM

Classroom: AA 114

Delivery Mode: Lecture

Course Description: The role and context of public administration in the contemporary United States, administrative organization and decision-making, public finance, human resources administration, and program implementation.

UAP 3444: Administrative Law and Policy

Instructor: Brandy Faulkner

CRN: 19361

Offered: T R 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Classroom: AA 114

Delivery Mode: Lecture

Course Description: The legal context of the exercise of discretion by public administrators in the United States. Adjudication and rule-making; access to administrative processes and information; legislative and judicial control of administration. Pre: PSCI 1014.

UAP 3744: Public Policy Analysis

Instructor: Jaimie Edwards

CRN: 19362

Offered: T R 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Classroom: NCB 110B

Delivery Mode: Lecture

Course Description: Methods and approaches used in the analysis and evaluation of public policy; strengths and limitations of various analytic tools; normative issues in the practice of policy analysis.

UAP 4214: Gender, Environment, and International Development

Instructor: M.E. Christie

CRN: 20832

Offered: M W 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Classroom: NCB 130B

Delivery Mode: Lecture

Course Description: Key concepts and critiques related to the intersection of gender, environment, and international development. Development institutions and organizations with relationship to gender and environment. Theoretical and applied perspectives on eco-feminism; bio-diversity; climate change; feminist political ecology; agriculture and natural resources; participatory methods and empowerment. Case studies from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Pre: Junior Standing.

UAP 4344: Law of Critical Environmental Areas

Instructor: Thomas Skuzinski

CRN: 19364

Offered: T  R  8:00 AM - 9:15 AM

Classroom: ROB 210

Delivery Mode: Lecture

Course Description: This course examines the legal principles and policy debates involved in the regulation and protection of critical environmental resources. Specific topics vary but will likely include wetlands law and policy, endangered species habitat, open space, forestland and farmland protection, coastal zone management, and floodplain regulation and policy.

UAP 4394: Community Renewable Energy System

Instructor: John Randolph

CRN: 19365

Offered: T 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Classroom: AA 07

Delivery Mode: Lecture

Course Description: Practical design fundamentals for small scale renewable energy systems: solar building heating and cooling; solar domestic hot water; wind, photovoltaic, and hydroelectric systems; alcohol, methane and other biomass conversion systems. Developing plans, programs, and policies to stimulate development of renewable systems.

UAP 4914: Public and Urban Seminar [Honors SuperStudio]

Instructor: Ralph Hall

CRN: 19367

Offered: T R 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Classroom: Squires Student Center in Old Dominion Ballroom

Delivery Mode: Lecture

Course Description: SuperStudio students will take one of five coordinated courses and a 1-credit co-requisite (UH 4984/CRN 20958) to examine THE GREEN NEW DEAL and pursue coordinated transdisciplinary responses to its potentials and challenges.  

UH 4504 / CRN 20945 - Environmental Policy and Social Change

UH 4504 / CRN 20946 - “Medicare for All”: Data Analysis for Health Reform

UH 4504 / CRN 20947 - “Drone-Age” Innovation for the Public Good

UH 4504 / CRN 20948 - The Future of Higher Education

UAP 4914 / CRN 19367 - The Future of Employment

SPIA 2024: Community Systems Thinking

Instructor: Diane Zahm

CRN: 19018 

Offered: T R 8:00 AM - 9:15  AM

Classroom: AA 114

Delivery Mode: Lecture

Course Description: Introduction to systems thinking concepts and their application to community-based problem solving and decision making. Emphasis on identifying interactions between technical and contextual dimensions of persistent, complex global problems. Introduces systemic frameworks for defining problems, identifying and engaging stakeholders, ideating interventions, selecting and employing criteria for decision making, and creating feedback mechanisms for iterative design. Ethics of community engagement is considered. Includes problem- based service-learning projects.

SPIA 2244: Sustainable Urbanization

Instructor: Robert Oliver

CRN: 19019 

Offered: T R 5:00 PM - 6:15 PM

Classroom: NCB 220

Delivery Mode: Lecture

Course Description: Process of urbanization and theories and approaches of urban development. Debates on the meanings of sustainable urbanization and development in cities and how they are measured. Urban sustainability initiatives in the context of urban political economies, land-use practices, urban inequality and diversity, urban nature, and urban policy and politics. Programs and policies designed to enhance sustainable urbanization. Comparative approach and global perspective.

SPIA 2314: Active Transportation for Health

Instructor: Steven Hankey

CRN: 19841 

Offered: T R 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Classroom: WAL 340

Delivery Mode: Lecture

Course Description: Connections among active transportation (e.g., bicycling, walking) and significant global challenges such as physical inactivity, health, the environment, and the economy on local to global scales. Methods to assess walkability among communities with different worldviews and the influence of the built environment on rates of active transportation. Approaches to evaluate demographic and psychosocial predictors and physical and policy barriers to the use of active transportation. Successful strategies to increase active transportation through community design guidelines, behavior change tools, transportation planning, and policy.

SPIA 3554: Transdisciplinary Problem Solving for Social Issues

Instructor: Shalini Misra

CRN: 19020 

Offered: T R 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Classroom: Cowgill Rom 300

Delivery Mode: Lecture-Zoom

Location: Arlington / Blacksburg

Course Description: Strategies and skills for transdisciplinary problem solving. Emphasis on integrative thinking strategies and cognitive and interpersonal skills required to bridge scientific discipline-based, non-scientific discipline-based and cultural knowledge. Strategies to identify important disciplinary, non-scientific, ethical, cultural, and structural elements of a problem. Problem-based learning, ethics, team work, and effective communication skills.

SPIA 4454: Future of Cities

Instructor: Thomas Sanchez / Mahtot Gebresselassie

CRN: 19023 

Offered: ARR

Classroom: N/A

Delivery Mode: Online

Location: Arlington / Blacksburg

Course Description: Cities as complex systems. Interdependence of social, economic, environmental, and technological components and how these change over time. Theories about city formation, structure, and change, with implications for sustainability, resilience, and globalization.

SPIA 4464: Data and the Art of Policy-Making and Planning

Instructor: Theodore Lim

CRN: 19024  

Offered: T R 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Classroom: AA 111

Delivery Mode: Lecture

Course Description: Critical examination of the use of scientific and technical information in planning and policy-making, exploring issues and challenges through social science lens. Investigation of appropriate and responsible use of data within collaborative and deliberative policy-making and planning processes. Presentation of data and underlying models in accessible and understandable formats. Integrating all forms of knowledge into decision-making, including local and traditional knowledge.

SPIA 4554: Creating the Ecological City

Instructor: TBD  

CRN: 20762 

Offered: W 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Classroom: NCB 130B

Delivery Mode: Lecture

Course Description: Multidisciplinary, team oriented, problem-solving approaches to creating cities that foster healthy interconnections between human and ecological systems. Analysis of problems from practical and ethical perspectives in the context of the diverse knowledge bases and values of decision-makers. Formation and utilization of integrated design teams to solve complex urban design and planning problems at a variety of scales. Senior standing. Pre: HORT 2134 or FREC 2134. (3H, 3C)

The following three Local Government Certificate Courses are open to Graduates and Seniors at the Undergraduate Level:

PAPA 5044: Local Government and the Professional Manager

Instructor: Greg Kelly, Former Town Manager, Town of Abingdon

CRN: 17944

Offered: W 4:00 pm - 6:45 pm


Delivery Mode: Lecture-Zoom

Course Description: Explores the institutions and systems in which public administrators work, and the dynamics of public administration within the larger political, economic, and social environment. Special focus on the local government management profession, the evolution of the council-manager government and the core ethical and democratic values of the profession. Review skills necessary for effective local government managers, including critical strategic thinking, communication, organizational and community leadership competencies. Explores career management approaches for local government managers. Considers the implication of future trends in local government management and the profession. (3 hours, 3 credits)


PAPA 6154: The Context of Local Government

Instructors: John Budesky, County Administrator, Goochland County and Anthony Romanello, Executive Director, Henrico County Economic Development Authority

CRN: 18025

Offered: R 4:00 pm - 6:45 pm


Delivery Mode: Lecture-Zoom

Course Description: Examines the powers, structure, roles, and responsibilities of the local government within the U.S. and Virginia federal system from the perspective of the local government manager. Considers the election process, state legislative process, state/local relations and intergovernmental relations that constitute important internal and external forces in the local management environment. Explores the state/local government delivery systems of public education, public safety, transportation, public health, social services, environmental quality, criminal justice, and public works and utilities, as well as other programs that are provided either partly or wholly by local governments. (3 hours, 3 credits)


PAPA 5784: Local Economic Development Planning

Instructor: Peter Huber, Former County Administrator, Pulaski County

CRN: 17965

Offered: R 4:00 pm - 6:45 pm


Delivery Mode: Lecture-Zoom

Course Description: This course will focus on local government management and community development. It will examine the local government management process that supports community and economic development, including the local and regional planning processes, growth management, urban design for creating livable communities, property law, and local government tools and strategies for securing economic and community development. In addition, it will focus on the managerial competencies required for leading the community and economic activities of local governments. (3 hours, 3 credits)