Ensc 450 Term Project

Spring 2010


Term Project Stages (PDFs)

Term Project overview

Proposal Assignment

Paper Review, Scavenger Hunt

Annotated Bibliography

The final paper

Oral Presentation


Text from the project overview:


Each of you will do research on a topic that that relates to Environmental Science. Several stages, graded separately, should help you break the effort into small, manageable elements. Each stage will have additional written instruction – do not try to operate on just this overview. Percentages given are of the term project, not of the course. Due dates are tentative and will be reinforced or modified in-class. All projects will be turned in electronically to Sakai.  Documents in MS Word and presentations in MS PowerPoint will always work; discuss other formats with the instructor before using.

Initial proposal and interest essay

The proposal should describe your topic with a minimal amount of background showing relevance to the course and availability of information. Include references to at least two recent, refereed scientific papers to show that work is actively going on in your area. (10%, due Friday, February 26)

Paper review and analysis

Select one refereed scientific paper that is likely to be one of the references for your term paper. Do a short review of that paper, and do an analysis of its references, graphics, tables, and methods. (15%, due Wednesday, March 10)

Annotated bibliography

From each paper you read for your project, you should write a short set of notes covering the purpose, methods, and major results of the paper. An annotated bibliography is a list of these references with the notes converted into a proper English narrative of a paragraph to a page each. For this project, you are required to turn in an annotated bibliography of at least ten scientific papers related to your topic. It is strongly recommended that you do a few of these and then get feedback from instructor or TA on the appropriateness of the references and the quality of the annotation. (20%, due Monday April 12)

Initial complete paper

This will be a complete version of the term paper, with all of the usual formatting, figures, references, and attention to detail. However, it will be returned to you within a week or so with a suggestions for changes. (0%, but absolutely required, due Wednesday, May 5)

Oral presentation

Oral presentations will be required of each individual, but they will be organized by groups, based on the topics. As a concession to the working world you all face, presentations will be required to make use of electronic slideware (PowerPoint, Keynote, Presenter, Acrobat, or similar). During your research for the other parts of the project, accumulate graphics, tables, and maps for the oral presentation, and keep notes on where to find good graphics in your PDFs. (15%, a schedule covering the last three weeks of class will be announced in April)

Final paper

Your final paper will be turned in by the last day of class. (40%, due Monday, May 17)