This assignment requires you to examine an environmental problem relevant to the local Trent community. You are asked to make sense of and describe the problem using the main themes of the ERSC 1010H course.
The learning objectives for this assignment include:
to engage with and learn about an environmental issue from multiple perspectives;
to think critically about connections between academic concepts and real-world cases;
to practice research and writing;
to format your document using some of the built-in tools of Microsoft Word (so that you are prepared to deliver more detailed and complex documents in the future); and
to learn about expectations for academic integrity at university by completing the Trent Academic Integrity Modules.
The main themes of ERSC 1010H are described in the first course lecture (see Figure 1). Please review the slides and/or video that accompany this lecture.
You will need Microsoft Office for your computer, which is free for Trent students. Instructions for downloading the latest version are available here: https://www.trentu.ca/it/services/user-guides/microsoft-advantage-programs-download
A set of short introductory videos about using the built-in tools of Microsoft Word are posted in the ERSC 1010H Blackboard site. You need to be familiar with the tools of Microsoft Word so that you can format larger, more complex documents in future assignments and courses.
Some links to resources about environmental issues at Trent and at universities in general are posted in ERSC 1010H Leganto reading list. You can access these here.
Academic Integrity at Trent 2021-2022 is a separate course on your Trent Blackboard homepage. At the conclusion of each of the three sections, you will be required to take a multiple-choice quiz. You must earn 100% on each of the three quizzes, and you may take each quiz as many times as you need. You may be in other courses that require completion of this module. If so, you only need to complete the module successfully once; your marks will be valid for all courses through August 2022 though you will need to provide proof of these marks for each course separately. If you completed this module before August 15, 2021, you are required to complete it again.
Figure 1. A figure showing the cross-cutting themes for examining and understanding environmental issues used in ERSC 1010H.
Choose an environmental problem relevant to the Trent community. You can choose a problem from the list below or something else you wish to study (although it would be smart to ask us if your topic is a good one first).
Invasive species: Dog-strangling vine on Trent’s campus.
Too much waste: what to do about organic “food waste” from Trent cafeterias.
Too many cars: how do people get to and from campus?
Dogs in Trent’s nature areas: are they a problem?
Water wasters: reduce water consumption by Trent stakeholders.
How green is Trent’s electricity?
How should the Clean Tech Commons be developed?
Research the issue. In lecture and your first seminar, we will introduce some of these issues. You can also walk around campus on your own to make observations. You will also need to do some secondary research and reading. Normally in university, your papers require academic sources and you should be able to find some about how your problem is dealt with on other campuses or in a general context (e.g., there are lots of academic papers about dog-strangling vine in general). But a challenge with a local issues is that they have not been studied by academics and written about in peer-reviewed journals. So, you need to research local sources to fully understand the problem at Trent (we’ve provided a few here). These might include Trent websites, newspapers or TV articles, government documents, meeting minutes, or social media. You’ll need to make decisions about the credibility of your sources. We encourage you to work with others in doing your research learning about the problem but the final report must be your individual work.
Summarize the problem using the most relevant themes from Figure 1. You don’t have room to write about each theme so you will need to decide which ones are most important based on the nature of the issue and your research about it. Each theme you write about should be a separate sub-heading in your document.
Your final document should be about 750 words, not including references. Your document should follow the following formatting:
Title and your name: Include a title that fully describes the report (i.e., not “Assignment #1) at the top of the first page. There is no need for a title page. Please insert your word count of after your name (e.g., Word count = XYZ, not including references).
Your document should have an introduction and concluding section. Each theme that you write about should be a heading in the body of the document.
11 pt Calibri font, left justified, single spaced.
Paragraphs after a heading are not indented. All other paragraphs are indented. There should be one line between paragraphs.
Headings should be formatted using the Styles tool so that your headings and sub-headings are consistently formatted.
Your writing should be concise, and carefully edited for spelling and grammar.
Page numbers are required and should be centred at the bottom of each page.
Table of Contents: Include a table of contents after the title and your name. Use the Word Table of Content tool to create your table of contents from the headings. Word will do this automatically and update any changes if you use the Styles tool for your headings.
Descriptive captions should be above any table and below any figure or chart. Use the Word Captions tool.
Refer to all sources using in-text citations in the body of the document and use APA formatting in your “References” section at the end of the document. Trent Academic Skills has information on how to do this: https://www.trentu.ca/academicskills/documentation-guide/apa-style/apa-7-style-references. You can also consider learning to use the Word referencing tool or another citation management tool to format your citations (e.g., Zotero, Mendeley, Endnote).
Overview This assignment requires you to examine an environmental problem releva
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