Case Studies in the Environment
A journal of peer reviewed environmental case studies

Prize competition

Case Studies in the Environment prize competition

Case Studies in the Environment prize competition

University of California Press and the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS)

We are pleased to announce that, in collaboration with the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS), Case Studies in the Environment, a peer reviewed journal, is offering a $2,000 prize for the best environmental case study, as well as two $500 honorable mention prizes.

Many learners are more inductive than deductive reasoners. Case studies can help to facilitate learning by helping them reason from examples, as well as from basic principles. Studies surveying faculty and student learning results associated with the use of case studies demonstrate significant increases in student critical thinking skills and knowledge acquisition, as well as enhanced ability to make connections between multiple content areas and to view issues from different perspectives. Case studies also promote active learning, which has been proven to enhance learning outcomes. Through careful examination and discussion of various cases, "students learn to identify actual problems, to recognize key players and their agendas, and to become aware of those aspects of the situation that contribute to the problem".

Moreover, because case-based instructional methods usually employ empirical or realistic narratives to afford students the opportunity to integrate multiple sources of information in real-world contexts in ways that might not be captured through experimental or survey research methods. It also often affords students the opportunities to engage with ethical and societal issues related to their disciplines, as well as facilitating interdisciplinary learning. The fostering of effective integrative learning experiences in the classroom was identified as one of the four essential learning outcomes in the Learning for the New Global Century report of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Case studies are also a valuable tool for environmental practitioners. They can provide guidelines for best practices, as well as lessons learned by others in any given professional sector, including in the environmental arena. Case study research can help to identify relevant variables to facilitate subsequent statistical research. Moreover, case studies can be employed in organizations for training purposes to foster problem-based learning and ability to formulate solutions.

Most instructors and environmental professionals that have utilized case studies in the classroom and in their work have found them to be a valuable tool. However, within the classroom environment one of the main obstacles to using case-based instructional method is lack of preparation time, with most instructors currently preparing their own case studies. Moreover, there is imposing challenge of developing effective discussion questions to scaffold case-based learning exercises. Case studies also often not subjected to sufficient academic rigor, undermining their effectiveness and credibility.

Cases will be evaluated for their contribution to teaching environmental concepts to students or practitioners. This includes making the best use of the complement of learning support features that the journal provides, such as Case Study Questions, Teaching Notes, and Slides. 

To be eligible for consideration for the prizes, submitted pieces to the journal will have to initially clear our peer review process and be accepted for publication. After acceptance, a selection of the 5 best cases will be made by the Editors and passed to a selection committee appointed by AESS. The selection committee will pick the winner and honorable mentions. All cases submitted before the deadline 01 June 2017, including those submitted prior to this announcement will be eligible, except any cases written by members of the editorial team, selection committee, or their family members.

How to enter
To enter, follow our guidance for Article Cases as outlined in our Author Information. Manuscript templates are provided within the Author Information for your convenience.
Submit your Article Case no later than 30 June, 2017. 
Winners will be notified in October 2017. 
All entries should be submitted via our online submission system at:    
Questions should be directed to Liba Hladik, Managing Editor, via our contact form:    

About Case Studies in the Environment
Coming in mid 2017, Case Studies in the Environment is a journal of peer-reviewed case study articles with slides and teaching notes, articles on case study pedagogy, and a preprint server for editor-reviewed case study slides. The journal aims to inform students, faculty, educators, professionals, and policymakers on case studies and best practices in the environmental sciences and studies. 

Organized around six content sections: Climate Change Mitigation and AdaptationEcology and Biodiversity Conservation, Environmental Law, Policy and Management, Sustainability, Energy and the Environment, and Water Management, Science and Technology, and a seventh section on Case Study Pedagogy—Case Studies in the Environment is your trusted, go-to resource for understanding important environmental lessons.

About Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences
The Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) is an independent faculty-and-student-based professional association in higher education, designed to serve the needs of environmental scholars and scientists who value interdisciplinary approaches to research, teaching, and problem-solving.  Founded in 2008, the Association seeks to provide its members with the latest environmental information and tools to create better courses, strengthen research, develop more satisfying careers, harness the power of a collective voice for the profession, and enjoy each other’s company at national and regional meetings.

A major aim of AESS is to encourage interdisciplinary understanding of environmental science, policy, management, ethics, history, and all of the other vital contributions of traditional disciplines.  From its beginning, the Association has been envisioned as a community of environmental scholars and scientists, not a confederation of disciplines. Fundamental to its members’ embrace of higher education is the notion that broad advances in environmental knowledge require disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary approaches to research and learning.



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Do you have questions before or during your manuscript submission? Get in touch with Liba Hladik, our friendly Managing Editor, to work it out.


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