BIOL 1140 Project - Spring

"In time the earth will become again incapable of supporting life, and peace will return."
Bertrand Russell

      The United States has shown in its moon, Mars and International Space Station programs that it can set and attain goals it deems important by concentrating manpower, time, and financial resources towards that end. Can this country and its global neighbors set a goal more important than sustaining the integrity of the environment which nurtures and sustains us? I think not.

      Environmental degradation takes many forms, has many facets, and produces a diversity of kinds and degrees of consequences. Attitude changes due to information inputs followed by goal-oriented actions would seem to be the sequence of events necessary to facilitate thoughtful progress. How this can be accomplished efficiently, economically, and rapidly, and what effects and sacrifices are to be expected of an informed citizenry, seem to be major questions in this regard.
      Our current time period has seen a rise in the use of the term "sustainability" when talking about our responsibility to future generations and maintenance for the present. John Dernbach, in his book Agenda for a Sustainable America, argues that "sustainable development is among the most important ideas to come out of the 20th century." His definition of the term is straight forward. "Something is environmentally or ecologically sustainable when it protects, restores or regenerates the environment rather than degrades it."
      Pointing the finger of accusation at previous generations may pinpoint the origin of the problem, but the solutions must come from the present generation. To solve a problem you must define it. To define it you may need to obtain substantial background information. In a word, you and future generations must become educated about the problem.

Your assignment is as follows:
      You have been asked to join a citizens' advisory committee whose job is to provide input to the Environmental Protection Agency about specific environmental problems and potential solutions to those problems.

     YOUR FIRST TASK is to determine your area of interest. Choose only ONE (1) of the three possible environmental problem areas. These are: the challenges facing either (a) the atmosphere, (b)the land masses, or (c) the water (either fresh or salt).

     YOUR SECOND TASK is to compile and synthesize information regarding your area of interest. You must find a minimum of four (4) articles dealing with one of the areas of concern - two (2)of the articles should deal with the problems and two (2) should deal with the solutions. It should be clear as to which area (air, water or land) you are working in. Specific solutions do not have to match the specific problems you have identified. The articles must come from journals and magazines no earlier than 2002 - no Ladies Home Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, Reader's Digests, newspapers or encyclopedias. The articles must be at least a full page in length and I MUST APPROVE THE SOURCE OF EACH ARTICLE!

      YOUR FINAL PRODUCT will be in the form of a research paper which includes (a) xerox copies of signed research articles; (b) copies of any additional research materials. The research paper will be at least 5-7 pages. This means of minimum of five FULL pages. A full page is one which has at least 60% of the space filled. Information from the four signed articles must be included in the paper.
This report summarizes your findings and provides your personal viewpoint on the significance of the problem and the viability of the potential solutions.

     The research report MUST be typed or word processed. It must be double spaced, and margins may be no more than 1 inch on the top, bottom, and both sides (these are standard settings for all word processors). Font size should not exceed 12 and font type may be Times New Roman, Courier New, Lucinda, Georgia or Bookman Old Style. Formatting and referencing, in text and on the final citation page, will follow APA style. The official APA website in indicated on our class webpage.

     The report, including the source materials, is due no later than Tuesday, April 6, 2010. It may be turned in earlier!

Lateness. Reports turned in after April 6, 2010, for any reason, will be reduced in grade by 20% for each school day they are late. Reports turned in after April 12, 2010 will receive a grade of "0."

Plagiarism. Plagiarism is a violation of the Honor Code and will be dealt with as indicated in the Code. Students should consider that instructors have a number of internet and software programs available to them that will quickly and accurately indicate plagiarized work.

Grading Rubric for Project