Final Project – Instructions and Submission:
The Final Project is a mandatory component of the course and accounts for 30 per cent of your final grade.
The Final Project is a term paper (approximately 25003000 words or 1012 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 after you have completed your final assignment. Both components form your grade for the final project:
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 after Module 4, you are encouraged to read through the project and its requirements at the beginning of the course. If you are uncertain about the project requirements or have any questions, you can ask your Open Learning Faculty Member at that time.
This section includes detailed instructions for completing your project.
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:
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.
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
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” for details.)
When you are writing your project, 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.