Winter Institute - Innovative Economics

2020 Teacher Workshop

Special St Cloud University Winter Institute Teacher Professional Development Workshop

8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 21

Registration is closed

Viewing the Environment through an Economic Lens and Saving the Environment with Economic Ideas

Introducing two new innovative sets of lessons for high school teachers in social studies, business, agriculture education, and science-related fields.

Many students have a keen interest in the environment.  Social studies, business, agriculture education and science teachers can bring environmental and social challenges to life for students by teaching sustainability through an integration of economics, ethics and ecology, and by demonstrating how solutions to environmental challenges can be found in economic ideas.  Be one of the first to be introduced to 16 new lessons in economics and the environment applicable to a variety of courses and aligned with standards.  Leave inspired!



Workshop Schedule

8-8:30 a.m. Registration; continental breakfast
8:30-10:30 a.m. Viewing Sustainability through an Economics Lens: How to be Green While Staying in the Black; Emily Anderson, instructor.
10:45 a.m.-noon Winter Institute Keynote:  Professor Catherine Wolfram, "Economics of Energy and the Environment: A Global Perspective".
12:05-12:45 p.m. Networking Lunch
1-2 p.m. Saving the Environment with Economic Ideas; Julie Bunn, instructor.

Emily Anderson's Bio

Emily Anderson teaches at Blaine High School where she is a co-leader of the Social Studies Department and Educators Rising advisor. She is an MCEE Master Teacher and enjoys presenting workshops to teachers throughout the state. She attended Bethel University, majoring in Secondary Social Studies Education and minoring in Political Science and Leadership Studies. Her master's degree, also from Bethel, is in Educational Leadership. The focus of her master's research was active learning in economics education. In her spare time, Emily enjoys running, cooking, photography, coaching, spending time with her husband and five kids, and camping. Emily also owns her own photography business and is a Moms on the Run coach.

8:30-10:30 a.m. session description

Viewing Sustainability through an Economic Lens:  How to be Green while Staying in the Black was developed by the Minnesota Council on Economic Education with a team of content experts and 9-12 Master Teachers. The curriculum aims to equip high school students with a basic understanding of selected sustainability issues and inspire them to champion innovative solutions to address environmental, ecological and related economic challenges facing the planet and its people. Students are challenges to find sustainable solutions in energy, water, waste, and agriculture and food. The final lesson encourages social entrepreneurship as students use their entrepreneurial talents to solve social, cultural, and economic problems related to sustainability. 


  • Lesson 1: Viewing Sustainability through an Economic Lens – Introduction Module
  • Lesson 2:  Ground Water Depletion and Market Failure
  • Lesson 3:  Clean Water and Tradeoffs
  • Lesson 4:  Ethanol Subsidies and Related Markets
  • Lesson 5:  Food Production and Specialization
  • Lesson 6:  Fast Fashion and Externalities
  • Lesson 7:  Commuting and Incentives
  • Lesson 8:  International Cooperation and Game Theory
  • Lesson 9:  Green GDP and Economic Growth
  • Lesson 10: Capstone:  Making a Difference – Social Entrepreneurship in Action

Professor Catherine Wolfram's Bio

Catherine Wolfram is the Cora Jane Flood Professor of Business Administration and associate dean for Academic Affairs at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.  

​Dr. Wolfram is the program director of the National Bureau of Economic Research's Environment and Energy Economics Program, faculty director of The E2e Project, a research organization focused on energy efficiency and a research affiliate at the Energy Institute at Haas. She is also an affiliated faculty member of in the Agriculture and Resource Economics department and the Energy and Resources Group at Berkeley.

Wolfram has published extensively on the economics of energy markets. Her work has analyzed rural electrification programs in the developing world, energy efficiency programs in the United States, the effects of environmental regulation on energy markets and the impact of privatization and restructuring in the United States and United Kingdom. She is currently implementing several randomized controlled trials to evaluate energy programs in the United States, Ghana and Kenya.

She received a Ph.D. in Economics from MIT in 1996 and an AB from Harvard in 1989. Before joining the faculty at UC Berkeley, she was an assistant professor of Economics at Harvard.

Julie Bunn's Bio

Julie Bunn is Executive Director of the Minnesota Council on Economic Educationjbunn@umn.eduJulie is a policy analyst and educator whose work and influence have spanned three sectors:  academia, government and nonprofits. Julie began her career as a research economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, in Washington, DC.  After receiving a PhD in economics from Stanford University, she taught on the economics faculty of Macalester College, served on its Environmental Studies Program coordinating committee, and chaired its first committee on service learning and action research.  Julie has also served in the Minnesota State Legislature.

1-2 p.m. session description

Free lessons for high school students on Saving the Environment with Economic Ideas:  A set of Six Case Studies. Written by Dr. Bill Bosshardt, Florida Atlantic University, for the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank (available online via the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis), these lessons  allow students to explore how economic ideas can be a source of ideas for addressing environmental challenges and the economic impacts of environmental policies.


  • Lesson 1: Water Rights – Managing the Colorado River System  
  • Lesson 2: Property Rights – Bargaining, Costs and Efficient Allocation of Resources
  • Lesson 3:  Marginal Analysis:  How Clean is Clean Enough
  • Lesson 4: Supply and Demand for Pollution
  • Lesson 5: The Emissions Simulation  
  • Lesson 6:  Green is the New Gold

Benefits for Teachers

  • Attendees will leave with a better understanding of the relationships between economics, eco-systems and ethics, and the role of economic ideas in formulating economic policy.  
  • Attendees will receive two new curricula, containing 16 lessons, adaptable to a variety of courses, and that can be used as standalone lessons or in combinations. 
  • Attendees will leave the workshop ready to implement lessons in their classrooms.
  • A continental breakfast and lunch are included.
  • Teachers will receive 6 CEUs for attending the workshop.