Homework Assignment #1 involves expounding upon your current understanding of environmental issues.
Homework Assignment #2 consists of several essay questions in response to a brief newspaper excerpt.
Homework Assignment #3 builds on the previous assignment and the understanding of the interconnections and trophic interactions within an ecosystem. In addition, the two exercises will provide you with insight regarding the unintended effects that humans can have on the ecosystems balance.
Homework Assignment #4 involves plotting three population pyramids and interpreting the graphs to determine the current and future needs of these populations.
Homework Assignment #5 consists of plotting a graph and extracting information from the plotted data. Several essay questions are posed based on the information you gained from plotting the graphs and related data.
Three Quizes are assigned from information contained in the text and online readings.
One Paper is assigned and described below.
An extremely important component of this process is peer-review. Colleagues and others knowledgeable in the subject area review the paper before it is published to esure it is credible. Papers are reviewed for scientific validity, to check for errors in the experimental desgin or data used, to ensure that the paper builds on other published work, that the paper addresses potential criticism, fills in gaps in the knowledge base, and truly contributes to furthering our understanding of the subject.
Similarly, you will be writing a paper on a pre-determined topic. You will then submit your paper for 'peer-review'. That is, your paper will be reviewed by other student colleagues, just as in a traditional scientific peer review process. The purpose is not to criticize, but rather capitalize on the diversity and depth of knowledge that is cotained in the group. You should make changes to your paper based on these comments and submit your final draft after three 'colleagues' have commented on your work.
The peer reviewer's assessment of your final work will constitute part of your grade. The Instructor's assessment of your final work will consist of a major portion of your grade for the paper. You may feel uncomforatble with this manner of evaluation. However, this is how it is conducted in the Real World of Science, and you are here to learn science as well as humanities.
Combining topics should allow you to view the topic from a scientific standpoint AND allow you to consider some of the different philosophical perspectives involved in solving the problem. You may also want to address or percieve the problem [the philosophical perspective] by considering both the scientific concerns as well as the technological, economic, social, judicial, ethical, and or cutural aspects of the topic. For example, SCUBA diving is more environmentally sound than mining coral reefs for lime. But, is it ethical or just to limit local coastal persons from developing coral reefs to their greatest economic advantage? These are questions that must be incorporated when environmental managers act. This will require you to think 'out-of-the-box' (a bit overused). But more importantly, it will allow you to appreciate the cross-disciplinary and complex nature of environmental issues.
Evaluating Information found on the Internet may help you determine which Web sites give reliable information. Plus, the Princeton University Writing Center's Getting Started Web site may help you during the actual writing process.
The writing process should consist of these steps:
Return to top of page