Applied Economics Teaching Resources

an AAEA Journal

Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

Teaching and Educational Methods

FIRE Sustainability Analytics: An Innovative Approach to Engaging Undergraduate Students in Economics Research

Thanich(a) Ruangmas(a) and Lars J. Olson(a)
(a)University of Maryland

JEL Codes: JEL Codes: A22, C8, Q2, Q5
Keywords: Course-based undergraduate research experience, data analytics, higher-order proficiencies, sustainability, teaching applied economics

Publish Date: June 26, 2024
Volume 6

View Full Article (PDF) | Request Teaching Notes/Supplemental Materials


In response to the growing demand for undergraduate research experiences in economics, the FIRE Sustainability Analytics program offers a compelling solution. This program provides a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) in empirical environmental economics for first-year students at the University of Maryland (UMD). This paper outlines the program’s instructional design, highlights its role in advancing students’ higher-order economic proficiencies, discusses the institutional support behind the program, describes its research projects and their outcomes, and shares insights gained from nine years of program implementation.

About the Authors: Thanicha Ruangmas is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Maryland (Corresponding Author Email: Lars J. Olson is a Professor at the University of Maryland.

Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Dr. Patrick/Patricia Killion, Director of The First-Year Innovation and Research Experience (FIRE), for their comments and graphics in the article.

Copyright is governed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA


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