Biology

Individual Projects Purpose   To relate environmental issues to your own life and well being and or to your major   To learn about and share with fellow students an aspect of the environment or of sustainability not covered in the class 
Research and Format   You must conduct research on your selected topic using resources other than the textbook and the class handouts and you must provide references and citations. At least 3 references in addition to the text and class lectures must be used. In projects that require collecting materials, the sources of the materials (e.g., Internet articles, manufacturers, waste removal services, power companies) are considered a reference. You should use picture generously and be sure that you cite the source of those pictures.   You may submit your results in any of the following formats:   A written paper of 5 pages (double-spaced) or more, not counting the bibliography   A PowerPoint presentation with at least 15 slides plus one or more with your bibliography   A creative (and detailed) display (3-panel recommended)   A notebook compilation   An audio and/or video recording   A web site   Another form that fully showcases your work and allows you to demonstrate what you have learned from 
your research.   All submissions must be in professional form – experiment with the design capacities of Microsoft Office or 
Macs; avoid submitting hand-written materials unless you are a calligrapher.   Papers must include citations and all projects must include a bibliography of references consulted and/or used, 
including those for photos, graphs, charts and other graphics. Students that turn in projects without a bibliography will receive one grade lower than merited by the work. Project grades will be lowered if less than the required number of references is submitted, at the instructor’s discretion. Wikipedia will not be accepted as one of the references. Papers should include charts and/or graphs and/or photos.   Feel free to discuss your project plans with the instructor. If you wish to do a project other than one that is suggested below, you must discuss it with the instructor in advance for approval. 
PRESENTATON: All projects must be presented to the class. Projects will be turned in, in final form, on 12/3. Instructor will review and provide comments and a grade by two days before the day of the presentations. Students may choose to make changes to improve their grades for their presentation. Grades may be increased on the day of presentation, but they will not be decreased unless the student does not present. You are required to present and to be present for other student presentations. If you do not present, you will lose one full grade on the presentation. Presentations are scheduled for the last lab period of the semester and in one of the last lecture periods. 
Suggested project topics: Compare Marymount’s sustainability program to that of one or two other universities that have a sustainability program. What are other universities doing to achieve sustainability? How successful are they? Answer those same Questions for Marymount and compare the different approaches and their effectiveness. Find an example of Environmental Injustice in the United States and report on it. This topic is not well covered in your text so be sure to look up the definition and include it in your coverage. What is the nature of the injustice and who is affected by it? What problems have been demonstrated that relate to the polluting facility (e.g., heavy incidence of cancer or a disabling disease such Asthma)? Is there a community champion (activist or lawyer or other group such as the NAACP) working to resolve the problems there? Present the story and your analysis of it. Updated: 8/30/2015 Purpose Updated: 8/30/2015 Fashion Design/Merchandising Majors: Investigate and report on one of the organically grown 
fabric fibers: cotton, hemp, wool. How does growing this fiber organically differ from the conventional way of growing it? How and where is the organic version grown? What clothing manufacturers are using the organically grown fiber? What is the market for this organic fiber it right now and how does it compare to the market for the conventionally-grown fiber? Are any top designers using these fabrics? What do you think is the future of this fabric/fiber? Alternative for Fashion Majors: Identify a fashion designer that specializes in environmentally conscious products using recycled or organic materials in the manufacture of the products, and report on his/her history and success with this approach. (This need not be limited to clothing; it could be handbags, shoes, lingerie, jewelry or other fashions.) Interior Design Majors: Investigate the array of “green” materials available for interiors such as flooring, bathroom and kitchen fixtures and accessories, furniture, lighting, upholstery, drapery and other household items. Find pictures and/or samples assemble into a file or notebook for handy reference. Include a written description of why you chose this project and how it can be useful. Alternative for Interior Design Majors: Research and report on the LEED program – how it started, how it works, what is required for certification, how important is it in interior design. Research & report on antibiotics use or hormone use in U.S meats (do not try to do both). A concern about the way our meat is raised today is the frequent use of antibiotics to keep livestock disease-free in feedlots (and to help them grow faster). Investigate and analyze the issue. Alternatively, investigate the use of hormones to spur growth in meat and dairy animals and the impact that the hormone residuals have on the environment and on human health. International Students: Research and report on a significant environmental issue occurring in your country. You may use any of the formats listed above that seem appropriate for your report. The purpose is to help you relate environmental issues to your own life in your own country. Business, Marketing, Management majors: There are two new forms of businesses, one called a B (or Benefit) Corporation and the other is called Low-Profit Limited Liability Company (L3C). What are these? Why are they being formed? What types of businesses are using this approach? Use one or two companies that have incorporated this way and describe what the business is and how it is working. How do these companies achieve sustainability? 10. Business, Marketing, Management majors: There are several major companies and many smaller ones that are “Breaking the mold” and focusing on long-term sustainable solutions. Investigate one and report on what they are doing including their corporate goals and the efforts they are making to reach them and achieve sustainability. If you find a company that is following The Natural Step (TNS) process, report on what that is as well. 11. Psychology majors: Investigate and report on the growing field of Environmental Psychology What does it address? How is it practiced? How does it relate to sustainability? What do you think its future is? How many universities are now including it in their psychology curricula? Note: one notable sub-field addresses the importance of the office environment as it relates to productivity. Please do not include this sub- field as it does not relate directly to this class. 12. Hydropower Alternatives: There are newer forms of hydropower that have a lower environmental impact than traditional large dams; for example, small hydro, low head hydro, and hydro kinetic turbines. Research one or more of these forms and describe them. Explain where they are best used and how much electrical Updated: 8/30/2015 power they can generate. Some potential sources: World Energy Council, Hydro Reform Coalition, and the Congressional Research Service published a 2010 report on small and low-head hydro power. Global Plastic pollution: define the problem. What materials and practices contribute to plastic pollution? Does recycling help? How much plastic are we recycling? What steps are being taken to reduce/eliminate the problem? Solar roadways: What are these? Who is building them? How do they work? How would they benefit us and in what ways? Wind farms/Solar farms: These are springing up everywhere. Where are they found? How much energy are they contributing? What is their future? What problems do they face? Carbon Sequestration: There are multiple methods for sequestering carbon. 1) Define and discuss these methods. Which are already in use today and where? 2) Or, investigate one method of sequestering carbon and report on how long it has been working, how successful is it? What are the economic, social and environmental issues related to this method? Consumer Movements: Much of the effort to protect the environment is accomplished by consumer groups. There are groups forming and groups well established in all of the following areas. Pick one area that interests you and report on what is being done, what group(s) is/are involved and how effective the group(s) has/have been. Healthy food Alternative Energy Strategies Labeling food Urban Farming (Look up Will Allen and Growing Power as one very good example) Community Gardens/home gardens/CSAs Eco villages/communities Vertical Farming: What is this? Where is it being done? What are the benefits and drawbacks of this form of agriculture? What is the future for this method? Air cleaning buildings/posters: Buildings are being designed today that will clean the air around them of pollutants. Research this and report on it. Where is it happening? What types of structures are used? How does a building actually remove pollutants? What are the problems faced with this method? Fracking: What is this method of extracting natural resources (primarily natural gas)? Who’s using it? What are the environmental, social and economic benefits and problems associated with this method? Mountain Top Removal Coal Mining: What is this? Where is it being done? What are the pros and cons of this method of coal mining? Biodiversity Conservation: research and report on a specific project going on in the world to protect biodiversity. Three US-based organizations dedicated to this are World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy. There are many others, but these three are a good source of information on conservation and each will have multiple projects underway choose from.

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