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Publication Date


Access Type

Open Access


Environmental Studies

Course Number


Context of Activity or Assignment

Over the course of the semester, students are asked to read chapters from The Environmental Case: Translating Values into Policy by Judith A. Layzer.[1] For each reading, students are asked to focus on a specific section of the text (e.g., the Introduction, the Background, the Policy Analysis, Policy Outcomes, or Conclusions) in order to understand the purposes and structure of case analysis.

This particular lesson focused on Chapter 8 titled “Jobs versus the Environment: Saving the Northern Spotted Owl.” Students were asked to read the text, with a focus on “The Case” section of text, which includes the policy analysis from the 1970s to the present decade. In class, students identified stakeholders, broke into groups that represented these stakeholders, and identified the needs and interests of their individual stakeholder group and to look for evidence within the Endangered Species Act and Recovery Plan.

[1] Layzer, Judith. 2016. The Environmental Case: Translating Values into Policy. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

Purpose of Activity or Assignment

  • Effectively reading in our discipline – focused on Text-Based Discussions
    • Collaborative Meaning Making – reading as an inquiry into meaning and a purposeful engagement with ideas. [1]
    • Setting Reading Purposes and Adjusting Reading Processes – reading for a specific, disciplinary-relevant purpose.[2]
  • Identifying and analyzing stakeholder perspectives
  • Applying policy to understand stakeholder perspectives

[1] Schoenback, Ruth, Cynthia Greenleaf, and Lynn Murphy. 2012. Reading for Understanding: How Reading Apprenticeship Improves Disciplinary Learning in Secondary and College Classrooms.

[2] Ibid.

Potential Pitfalls and Teaching Tips

This assignment was designed to help students read and analyze policy, and think about policy in the context of multiple stakeholder perspectives. Students avoid reading primary sources for policy, so this assignment is designed to make reading policy more accessible and relevant.

Activity / Assignment Type


Additional Activity / Assignment Type

Problem Solving

Undergraduate Learning Outcome

ULO 1: Intellectual Skills

Additional Undergraduate Learning Outcome

ULO 3: Integrative Knowledge

GE Area



Single Class

Final Deliverable


Analyzing Policy and Stakeholder Perspectives – the Case of the Spotted Owl