Marine Policy Project Overview 2014 15

Topics: Research, Scientific method, Ocean Pages: 5 (1616 words) Published: April 11, 2015
Marine Policy Project: Overview

Blue Ice Antarctica (from B. Longworth (WHOI) with permission)

This research project will be completed in four (4) parts throughout the term and will require students to identify, research, and build an argument (pro or con) regarding a specific issue related to the oceans. At the end of the term each student will have produced at least three (3) concisely written “letters of appeal,” that may be sent to three different local, regional, national, international political organizations, corporations, or research institutions. See Calendar for due dates.

This project is worth 20% of the Final Grade Part 1: Identify the Issue: I will start out by saying that this is the most important part of any research project. If you take the time now to consider your issue carefully, determine that it is not too narrow or too broad, and find 4-5 good primary scientific references, you will have a much easier time writing your research paper in Part 2, and writing your letters of appeal in Part 4. Conversely, if you decide to pick the first topic that pops into your mind, you may be ‘sweating it” during the writing phase.

The only restriction on the choice of an issue is that it must be related to the ocean. Read chapters 14 and 15 in the text book and look online for ideas. Other places to search are the NOAA Ocean Explorer website; the NASA Oceanography webpage; the USGS Pacific Coast and Marine Science Center; and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Some ideas include:

Mining Ocean Resources (choose a specific resource or geographic region): oil, manganese, diamonds, or deep ocean mining, in a specific geographic location.

Tidal and Wave Energy (choose a specific method and/or geographic region)

International Fishing Practices and Legislation: Overfishing, illegal fishing, methods, or fishing regulations, it would be best to focus on a single species and/or geographic region.

The Human Impact on Coastal Zone; choose a specific coastal zone issue and/or geographic region.

Waste Disposal in Oceans: chose one type of waste. For example: plastics, nuclear, sewage, illegal dumping, and coastal dumping. It would be best to also narrow this geographically (for example: the Bay Area, Northern Pacific, or the Galapagos Islands etc.)

Climate change and the oceans is too broad an issue to be adequately covered in a 3-4 page research paper. Students should focus on a single topic related to this issue. For example, ocean acidification impact on a specific marine ecosystem, the melting of polar ice impact on the Arctic or Antarctic, the impact of global sea level change on a specific city or region. Again, global climate change alone is much too large an issue to adequately address in a 3-4 page research paper.

Ocean Dead Zones (choose a specific dead zone/region)

For Grading Part 1:

Submit your proposed issue, explain why you chose it, and why it is important (Max: 1 page, double-spaced) and include several preliminary research sources/references. As soon as your proposal is approved you may continue your research.

Part 2: Research Document

Research and produce a concisely written 4 - 5 page paper on your chosen issue. The research paper should include at least four primary scientific sources that are properly cited using scientific citing formats (APA), for both the text and bibliography.


Pay special attention to the citation of references in the text:

I am expecting to sees (author, year) or (organization, year) in the text. No embedded links!

This paper does not have to be written as an argument, but could be. Your research paper should have all the supporting information and documentation for the “appeal” you will be writing in Part 4.

A few comments regarding primary scientific sources/references:

Primary sources of scientific...
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