Environment (Sarah)

Research Project & Group project

My plan for the research project is to let students choose a specific topic to research from a list of issues and topics that I give them. Some of these are issues we’ll have touched on in class, and some aren’t. At the moment, this is what the list looks like.

Air pollution
• Traffic curbing/Clean transportation - Regulating driving, bike-share, car-share, public transportation, cleaner fuels
• Urban design - Walkability, tight vs. sprawl, non-polluting buildings, tree planting/green space
• Power sources - Solar power, wind power, biofuels, carbon capturing

Water pollution
• Stormwater runoff - Rain gardens, improved infrastructure
• Farm runoff - Clean farming techniques, improved infrastructure
• Medicines/chemicals in water - Proper disposal, change in products
• Ecology - Native species, healthy ecological balance, natural filters for runoff
• Sanitation/Sewage - Improved infrastructure

Toxic sites and trash dumps
• Location choice - Environmental Justice concerns (How chosen? Changed over time? Who impacted?)
• Cleanup - How cleanup happens, when cleanup happens
• Recycling options - High-tech trash, bottles cans and paper, cost, accessibility

Energy and buildings
• Power use - Improved appliances, power use monitoring per home, carbon-neutral lifestyle
• Building materials/design - Green roofs, recycled materials, efficiency
• Power sources - Solar power, wind power

The students will be finding their own readings in this section of the course, but I will want to talk to them about the kinds of sources they should use for this project, using the readings we’ve already done as examples. Since I have not planned to assign them a serious scientific article earlier in the semester, I might ask them to look at this article on Spring Valley, so they can contrast it with the government document and newspaper article they’ve already seen on the subject:

Thomas Burke, et al. "Evaluating The Community Health Legacy Of WWI Chemical Weapons Testing." Journal Of Community Health 35.1 (2010): 93-103. Academic Search Complete. Web. 6 July 2012.

For the group component of the research project, I will group students whose topics deal with the same (or similar) broad issue together.

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