Research and evaluate suggestions for climate change policy post- Kyoto.

Final Project

Introduction

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The final examination in this course is a project exam. It is a mandatory component of the course and accounts for 30 per cent of your final grade.

The project exam is a term paper (approximately 2500–3000 words or 10–12 pages) on a climate change-related topic of particular interest to you. You will communicate with your Open Learning Faculty Member as you develop your project idea and submit a proposal, and you will complete and submit your project exam after you have completed your final assignment. Both components form your grade for the project exam:

  • Proposal: 5 per cent
  • Final written paper: 25 per cent

While you will complete and submit your proposal after Module 3 and the final project exam after Module 4, you are encouraged to read through the project exam and its requirements at the beginning of the course. If you are uncertain about the project exam requirements or have any questions, you can ask your Open Learning Faculty Member at that time.

Instructions

This section includes detailed instructions for completing your project exam.

Choose a Topic

You are expected to choose a topic with which you have some personal interest or connection. For instance, if you have a personal interest in the field of medicine, you may want to examine the potential impacts of climate change on human health; if you are interested in international issues and the developing world, you may want to learn more about how climate change may affect human security in a region of your choice; if your real passion is community or regional planning, you may want to take a critical look at the climate change plan developed for the city or province in which you live. You will be expected to address the scientific, social, political, and legal aspects of your topic and to suggest realistic actions for the future.

Additional Topic Ideas

If you don’t have a personal connection to a specific climate change topic or if you haven’t yet identified a particular issue of interest, here are some additional topic ideas that you might consider for the project exam:

  • Discuss the vulnerability and potential effects of sea-level rise on small island states.
  • Examine the potential value of marine and geologic carbon sequestration in climate change mitigation efforts.
  • Discuss global glacial ice loss and climate change.
  • Examine the observed and potential impacts of climate change on flora and/or fauna.
  • Examine the relationship between climate change and human security.
  • Examine the potential impact of climate change on agriculture in Canada.
  • Evaluate the renewable energy options for British Columbia.
  • Examine the potential impact of climate change on forestry or fisheries in British Columbia.
  • Research and evaluate suggestions for climate change policy post- Kyoto.
  • Describe our understanding of abrupt climate change in past climates and the relationship between abrupt climate change, human activity, and future changes in climate.
  • Examine the relationship between climate change and ocean acidification, and the potential impacts on marine shell-forming organisms (e.g., corals) and their dependent species.

Note

Keep in mind that regardless of the topic or research question you choose, you will need to develop a clear thesis and provide evidence from your research to support your argument (i.e., to defend your position). Recall that TRU Library can provide guidance on how to locate information or research more effectively; they can also direct you to online resources for help writing essays.

Developing the Project Exam

We recommend that you take an organic approach to building your research paper. Keep notes of ideas, points, and issues as your work through the course modules. Start writing before you start your literature research! Get your own voice on paper first, including the questions that you have in your mind. Then research to explore your own thinking further, to learn what others think of the issue, and to find facts that support or refute your initial views. Answer the questions that were on your mind.

Develop a draft proposal as you are formulating your ideas and locating research sources that you intend to use. After you have completed Module 3, submit your polished proposal to your Open Learning Faculty Member, who will evaluate your proposal and provide feedback. (See “Proposal for the Project Exam” for details.)

When you are writing your project exam, revise your draft as you go along. Keep each of your drafts (GEOG 3991 Project draft 1, 2, 3, etc). This helps you follow the evolution of your own thoughts.

Proposal for the Project Exam

The proposal for the project exam is out of 100 marks and is worth 5 per cent of the total grade (30 per cent) for the project exam. There are two components to the proposal:

  • A one-page description (50 marks)
  • An annotated bibliography (10 marks for each annotated reference; total of 50 marks)

Proposal Requirements

In paragraph form, provide information on your research topic and the major issues you intend to examine. The one-page description must include a working thesis statement. You also need to include an annotated bibliography (following APA style) for five references that you will use in your research. Each citation should be followed by a brief (around 100–150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph. The descriptive aspect of the annotation involves describing the main ideas presented in the source. The evaluative aspect of the annotation informs the reader of the quality of the source and its relevance to the essay topic. For more information about annotated bibliographies, consult TRU Library’s “Annotated Bibliography – What Is It?” web page at http://libguides.tru.ca/c.php?g=193929.

Note

Your final paper should include at least ten references, and at least five of these references should be peer-reviewed.

Submitting Your Proposal

Complete your proposal for the project exam and send it to your Open Learning Faculty Member for evaluation and feedback. Follow the same submission procedures as outlined for the assignments. Be sure to write your full name, student number, the course code (GEOG 3991), and date on a title page for your project exam proposal so that your Open Learning Faculty Member can easily identify your submission.

Completing and Submitting the Project Exam

After you have completed Module 4, complete your final project exam and submit it to your Open Learning Faculty Member for evaluation. Follow the same submission procedures as outlined for the assignments. Write your full name, student number, the course code (GEOG 3991), and date on a title page for your final project exam so that your Open Learning Faculty Member can easily identify your submission.

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