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Environmental Program Evaluation

Course Description

Program evaluation is one mechanism for establishing accountability in agencies and organizations. This course focuses on the techniques and application of evaluation methods to assess the effectiveness of organizations and agencies envolved in environmental services. Participants will learn evaluation techniques currently used to determine whether their organization's programs are having the intended effects. Participants will also learn how to develop and implement cutting-edge performance measurement strategies. Topics include:

  • Program evaluation and accountability
  • Practical program evaluation techniques
  • Performance management strategies for effective and efficient programming
  • Access to EPA and NOAA program evaluation procedures and processes.


This graduate course in environmental program evaluation is designed to:

  • Enable students to conduct environmental program evaluations within a variety of organizational and programatic settings.
  • Facilitate student capacity to identify and engage stakeholders in the evaluative process.
  • Prepare students to conduct program evaluation directed toward program and organizational "processes" as well as program "outcomes."
  • Enable students to develop and/or improve upon measures of program performance.
  • Provide students with the skills to understand the relationship between program activities and results.
  • Assist students in generating useful data on program results that may not be regularly collected by an organization.
  • Aid students in insuring that outcome and process data are of high quality and utility.

Texts & Reading Resources:

Emison, Gerald A. (2007) Practical Program Evaluations: Getting From Ideas to Outcomes. Washington, DC: CQ Press. (Available on Amazon Kindle)

Boulmetis, John and Dutwin, Phyllis (2011) The ABC's of Program Evaluation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. (Available on Amazon Kindle)

CDC (1999) "Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health," Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report (MMWR). Vol. 48, No. RR11 (September 17).

National Center for Environmental Innovation (NCEI) (2009) Guidelines for Evaluating an EPA Partnership Program. Washington, DC: USEPA.

National Center for Environmental Innovation (NCEI) (2009) "EPA Program Evalution Worksheet," Washington, DC: USEPA.

National Oceanopgraphic and Atomospheric Administration (NOAA) (2014) "Program Evaluation Guide," Washington, DC: NOAA.

Taylor-Powell, Ellen and Henert, Ellen (2008) "Developing a Logical Model: Teaching and Training Guide," (plus Logical Model Slides) Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Extension.

Michaud, Mary (2002) "Tips on Preparing a Conference Poster," Madison, WI: Uiversity of Wisconsin.

Course Requirements:

  • Weekly submission of homework questions drawn from the texts and readings. (25% of grade)
  • Completion of a comprehensive Exam. (25% of grade)
  • Development of a poster suitable for presentation that depicts a program evaluation outcome drawn from one of the program evaluation cases utilized in the class (see below). (25% of grade)
  • Independently completion of a program evaluation proposal for FGCU's Colloquium Course. (25% of grade)

Environmental Program Evaluation Cases:

  1. Calderon, Margaret M. and Nawir, Ani A. (2006) "An Evaluation of the Feasiblity and Benefits of Forest Partnerships to Develop Tree Plantations: Case Studies in the Phillipines," CIFOR Working Paper No. 27, Bogor, Indonesia: Center for International Forestry Research.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2011) "Introduction to Program Evaluation for Public Health Programs," (See this guide and its associated Case Studies)
  3. Chen-Hsuan Cheng, Judith, Monroe, Martha C. and Gordon, Alison (2010) "Measuring the Effectiveness of Lagoon Quest: A Case Study in Environmental Education Program Evaluation," Gainesville, FL: University of Florida Institute for Food and Agricultural Science.
  4. Enviro-Vision and Herrera Environmental Consultants (2006) "Evaluation of Washington's Industrial Stormwater General Permit," (November) Washington Department of Ecology Contract No. C0600124, Washington, DC: Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation, USEPA.
  5. Martin, Shiela A. et al. (1996) "Eco-Industrial Parks: A Case Study and Analysis of Economic, Environmental, Technical and Regulatory Issues," RTI Project No. 6050FR,
  6. Matirui, Violet and Stewart, Howard M. (2007) "Country Program Case Study: Kenya," Joint Evaluation of the GEF Small Grants Programme, UNDP Evaluation Office (June).
  7. Mendoza, Patricia B. (2007) "Country Program Case Study: Belize," Joint Evaluation of the GEF Small Grants Programme, ABEN Services and Consulting Limited, Belize City, Belize (June).
  8. Minkler, Meredith et. al. (2008) "Promoting Healthy Public Policy Through Community Based Participatory Research: Ten Case Studies," A project of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health and PolicyLink, funded by a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.
  9. U.S. Envirionmental Protection Agency (USEPA) (2012) "Measuring the Effectiveness of the Ocean Dumping Management Program," Washington, DC: USEPA.
  10. Worlen, Christine (2011) "Meta Evaluation of Climate Mitigation - Case Study: Poland's Heating Sector," Berlin, GR: Areopo Consultants