California Coast: Science, Policy and Law


Course Code:
LAW 514
Law Honors/Pass/R credit/Fail


This interdisciplinary course integrates the legal, scientific, and policy dimensions of how we characterize and manage resource use and allocation along the California coast. We will use this geographic setting as the vehicle for exploring more generally how agencies, legislatures, and courts resolve resource use conflicts and the role that scientific information and uncertainty play in the process. Our focus will be on the land-sea interface as we explore contemporary coastal land use and marine resource decision-making, including coastal pollution, public health, ecosystem management; public access; private development; local community and state infrastructure; natural systems and significant threats; resource extraction; and conservation, mitigation and restoration. Students will learn the fundamental physics, chemistry, and biology of the coastal zone, tools for exploring data collected in the coastal ocean, and the institutional framework that shapes public and private decisions affecting coastal resources. There will be 3 to 4 smaller written assignments addressing policy and science issues during the quarter, as well as a take-home final assignment. Special Instructions: In-class work and discussion is often done in interdisciplinary teams of students from the school of law, the school of engineering, and the school of earth sciences. Students are expected to participate in class discussion and field trips. Elements used in grading: Participation, including class session and field trip attendance, writing and quantitative assignments. Cross-listed with Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE 175A/275A) and Earth Systems (EARTHSYS 175/275).

Future Offerings

2015-2016 Spring

California Coast: Science, Policy and Law LAW 514 Section 01 Class #26075

  • 4 Units
    • 2L3LADV

Notes: Cross-listed with Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE 175A/275A) and Earth Systems (EARTHSYS 175/275).

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