Learning Outcomes:
Learn Actively – Learning is a personal, interactive process that results in greater expertise and a more comprehensive understanding of the world.
Understand the major forces and processes that have shaped Earth’s systems (*)
Identify and describe pertinent feedback loops and cycling among Earth’s systems (*)
Describe basic processes of ecosystem function (*)
Explain the causes and consequences of human-induced change(s) (*)
Deepen conceptual understanding of Earth system concepts through group discussion and assignments

Think Critically, Creatively and Reflectively — Reason and imagination are fundamental to problem solving and critical examination of ideas.
Distinguish between the functions and characteristics of Earth’s systems (*)
Compare rates of natural and human-induced environmental change (*)
Critically examine the foundations and plausibility of sustainability (*)
Examine and generate sustainable solutions to environmental problems (***)
Describe how evolving scientific theories and methods shape our understanding of Earth’s systems and its changes (*)

Communicate with Clarity and Originality – The ability to exchange ideas and information is essential to personal growth, productive work, and societal vitality.
Draw conclusions from graphical and statistical representations of data (*)
Communicate environmental concepts through peer interaction and written reports
Use computer resources to enhance current understanding and presentation of environmental concepts

Interact in Diverse and Complex Environments – Successful negotiation through our increasingly complex, interdependent and global society requires knowledge and awareness of self and others, as well as enhanced interaction skills.
Use well-reasoned argument based on reliable data to discuss an environmental case study from scientific, political, and socioeconomic perspectives (*)
Explore natural ecosystems and activities undertaken to address environmental changes within them (*)
In all group work, listen and contribute with respect and honesty

Overall Objective:
Find a current article pertaining to environmental science and apply class topics and learning outcomes to the article for a group discussion on the holistic theme of “Ecosystem Functions”.

FIRST……Find the Article!
Find a news article that is dated from March 1, 2012 or more current.
Print out the article – note that you will be turning in this article for grading on the day of the discussion. You can submit the copy that has been highlighted or has notes on it; as long as I can read the article you may submit that copy.
You may use various sources for articles, including library databases, periodicals, and newspapers. The library is a GREAT place to start looking for an article. I highly recommend looking at a few different periodicals (such as National Geographic, Popular Science, Environment, National Wildlife, etc.); find an article that you are genuinely interested in……the assignment will be much less painful if you choose the subject and are engaged!
If you use an article from a database, the entire article must be included and not just the “abstract”. Please note that articles from internet sources that do not have a corresponding hardcopy in print are NOT acceptable (i.e. a newspaper found online and also in print is okay but an article only found on a website is NOT acceptable).
When choosing articles, please keep in mind that while there is no required minimum length, there must be enough content to apply class topics. Consequently, an article with only a few paragraphs is very unlikely to be suitable for this assignment.
Please do not hesitate to ask for help in the library; learning to navigate through the library and being exposed to the varied resources available will be extremely helpful for you as you continue on in your academic career.

Second…..Read the Article!
Read the article….several times. Each time you will likely pick up different pieces of information and possibly be spurred on to related thoughts.
Read the article sloooooowly ? and highlight different pertinent pieces of information.

Third…….Summarize Information (this section will be turned in and must be typed using paper saving techniques as discussed in the syllabus)
Outline the article using bullet points (NO complete sentences or essay style writing)
Source must be cited using APA format (please put immediately after the end of your text – a separate page is not necessary).
Pick two to three Learning Outcomes with an asterisk at the end (*) and incorporate those outcomes as it applies to your article. Warning: this will likely require you to think outside the box! ? Type the outcomes out and briefly explain the application for each one.
Do you believe the “Ecosystem Approach” was considered in the research and/or writing of the article? Why/why not?
Lastly, under the “Think Critically, Creatively, and Reflectively” category of outcomes, apply the specific learning outcome denoted by three asterisks: “Examine and generate sustainable solutions to environmental problems” (***). Consider and reflect on at least one possible sustainable solution for mitigating the impact of human alterations that are [inevitably] discussed in your article. Are there any challenges to implementing your solution? What are the benefits of using this solution over other possible scenarios?
Are there any possible incorrect statements made in the article (briefly explain). Do you agree with statements made?

This should be a creative and thought provoking activity; try to integrate the various ideas presented and discussed during class and relate it to current news articles. Apply and relate the articles to the given area/situation, but also take it outside of the constraints it was written for – in other words, apply it globally and locally. Environmental issues are inherently complex and incorporate many different disciplines. Hence, the purpose is to develop a holistic and integrated thought process regarding environmental issues. While some of the analysis can be subjective, I expect most of the discussion to be related to objective information presented in class and in your textbook.

**All written information is to be in an outline/bullet format (except for citation)**
(complete sentences tend to foster reading of the material to your classmates……which is boooooooring! ? The objective is to have a ‘discussion’ and not be read to by fellow classmates.)

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