Where are we GOING?
3. Final Project
Goal: Write a substantive essay based on careful thought and rigorous analysis.
There are two versions of the final project. Your instructor will explain which one your class will do, or give an alternate version. Both options involve development of the project in several stages over the quarter. This final paper should reflect a considerable amount of time and research on the topic, as well as at least one thorough revision after consultation with a peer reading group and the instructor. If you're looking for a topic, you might start with resources below (especially Scorecard), The Big Picture or By place. You may also want to consider whether your home town or topic has an environmental justice aspect to it.
Option 1: Field Investigation
Task: Investigate an environmental justice issue in your home community, and write up your findings.
Research should draw upon newspaper accounts, actual interviews with people involved in the issue or conflict (e.g., local government or industry officials, and environmental activists), official documents, and the World Wide Web.
Option 2: Capstone Essay
Task: Based on material from the course, identify your/our role and responsibility in solving an environmental/social issue we’re facing, and write up your findings.
Think through a specific environmental problem, approaching it from an activist, advocacy, entrepreneurial and/or systems point of view. Using evidence from the course materials and beyond, propose a solution with a detailed plan of action that addresses local and larger levels, taking the needs of all the populations affected into consideration.
Note: If you are in a section that meets the C2 requirement, you must also undertake library research for the final project, locating journal articles that speak to your topic and relating that material to your other research.
Blessed Unrest by Paul Hawken. He has created a database (you can search it to find some related to your hometown issue) of many thousands of organizations who are working on social and environmental justice, as well as related concerns (short video explain this). He thinks these constitute a new kind of social movement. The book is the result. Introduction "Emerson's Savants" explores Emerson, Thoreau and Gandhi. Talk at Longnow.org (audio) June 19, 2007 "The New Great Transformation"
Collapse by Jared Diamond, (celebrated author of Guns, Germs and Steel) seeks to understand why so many civilizations have been unable to avoid destroying the environment they depended upon. In this selection he summaries the reasons, which may also be involved in your issue. TEDtalk videoJared Diamond Friday, July 15, 2005 "How Societies Fail-And Sometimes Succeed" Video availablefrom longnow.org
Poisoned Places four part NPR report and interactive map. 11/11
Type in your Zip Code to find out who's poisoning your home town. Right to Know Network
ToxMap shows toxic waste sites in US ***
Mapcruzin by Slug Mike Meuser ***
UCSC Library Guide to Environmental Research is an excellent stating place
Searchable database of organizations working on environmental and related issues (see Wiserearth above)
General Environmental Websites
Environment California activist site Gives articles on various issues in California preservation, energy, global warming, health, oceans, clean water and clean air.
Envirolink A group with many useful links.
About.com environment info
General Science Journals
State of California history, maps, environment and resources, facts, etc.
Sources of Statistics
Historical U.S. Census gives populations of places, towns, and cities in California Years: 1850 – 2000.
U.S. Census Bureau current (2000 – 2007) data including basic population, race, education, housing, and economic data for every state, county, and cities with a population of 25,000 or more.
MapStats: Current stats on various subjects; organized by State, County, City.
Patchwork Nation divides the U.S. by county into 12 community types using demographic, political and socioeconomic data. Tracks 24 representative communities to see how economic trends play out at the local level. Analyzes national data by community type to give the big picture more context.
Biodiversity/Endangered Species See also Bio-diversity Page
California Gardens lists all native plants in California and provides information about the plant, but does not provide location.; plant names in Latin
Dept. of Fish and Game creates  of rare plant and animal species in California. Adds to the current rare species lists inside California’s National Forests. Contains maps and links to other resources
List of endangered animals in the state of California.
U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife has many news articles about current endangered fish and wildlife all over the country.
Air (See also Air Page
Airnow ia a government website tracking air quality by state; contains air conditions and forecasts for 46 states and 300 cities.
Key events in history of California's air quality
Port of Oakland Air Pollution (audio)
Chemicals/Pesticides (See also Chemical Page)
History of pesticide use in CA
Climate (See also Global Warming Page)
Information concerning California climate and what affects it.
Historical weather for any desired location
NOAA gives an overview of the California climate for every month throughout the year, as well as the migration patterns of certain species; has a timeline of the climate history of California dating back to 100,000 years.
James Howard Kunstler (TEDtalk video) "Public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life -- the physical manifestation of the common good. Instead, he argues, what we have in America is a nation of places not worth caring about." note: political views and some profanity).
Kenneth T. Jackson Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States McH Stacks HT384.U5J33 1985
Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, & Jeff Speck. Suburban Nation: the Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream. New York: North Point Press, 2000. McH Stacks HT384.U5 D83 2000
American Green book on lawns
Water (See also http://www.ic.ucsc.edu/college8core/c8wiki/index.php/Category:Water Water page])
California Coastal Commission Water Quality Program contains information about water quality along California’s coasts. There are also other links and resources for information about important coastal projects.
California Department of Water Resources has a lot of information on the current drought in California and the plan to create a 2009 Drought Water Bank.
Great general site: info on Colorado River and general info on your city (thanks to P. Meier)
Specific Water Issues:
Video overview on ocean health (beware greenwash ad at end).
California Water wars PBS story on allocation.
Plastic's effect on Marine ecosystems. Includes videos.
Peripheral Canal around the Delta
Thanks to Terry Terhaar for suggestions. If you know of sources that have information that might be useful to other students working on similar topics, please send them to mailto:email@example.com.