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Summer Project

As per usual, this class requires that you get a head start on the workload by performing a few typical tasks during the summer.  These tasks are not unlike the tasks that you will be performing all year long.  They include critical analysis of a current environmental movie, review of several periodical entries, and familiarization of the terms from the Chapter 1 of the text for this class (Miller's Living in the Environment). 
Let's be clear, this assignment is a test of your interest in this class.  Those who blow it off are indicating that they lack commitment to the class and are just using it to promote themselves on their college applications.  Consequently, you will be docked the standard 10 points for every week day that your assignment is late. 
The Assignment
Task #1 (3 hours) - Watch the movie HOME  and then answer the following questions based on the movie's narration.  This is a feature-length movie (1.5 hours) so be prepared.  It is a great primer for many of the discussions we will be having in class this year and it should give you a sense of the major themes of his subject.

1. List the series of events that led to the formation of the Earth.

2. Distinguish between archeobacteria and cyanobacteria.

3. Explain how salt (NaCl) entered into the ocean and how oxygen formed in the atmosphere.

4. Explain the meaning of this quote “All the successive species on Earth have drunk the same water”

5. How old is the human population? Where do the majority of humans live? Why?

6. Discuss the role that animals have played in the development of human life.

7. Explain the development of agriculture, cattle production, and fishing as it relates to global food production.

8. Summarize the impact of oil on human life.

9. Describe the evolution of the city of Shenzhen, China.

10. Explain the meaning of pieces of stars in the following quote:  “Everywhere machines dig, bore, and rip from the Earth the pieces of stars buried in its depths since its creation...”

11. Why has Dubai become the culmination of the western model?

12. What caused the destruction of biodiversity in Borneo?

13. Analyze the brief history of human habitation at Easter Island (you may have to do additional research on this).  Why are lessons learned from this tiny island applicable to our earth?

14. List specific examples from the video of how humans have upset the climatic balance of the Earth.

15. Briefly state the basic message of the video.

Task #2 (3 hours) - Read three (3) of the following articles and prepare a critical analysis of the stories you read as per the directions here
Task #3 (2 hours) Research Questions - Answer two of the following questions and demonstrate to me that you have researched each topic and that you understand the issues.  Don't just give me a few sentences with the basic facts.  Show me that you have a deeper understanding of the topic.
  a)  Easter Island inhabitants and Anasazi Indians- Compare and contrast how these two ancient groups met their demise and what implications their failure suggests about the human race's survival.
  b) Love Canal - Describe how this one former chemical plant became the most notoriuos environmental site in the world, and how it changed the way we approach the redevelopment of properties.
  c)  Describe what happened in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster last year and how this one disaster has polarized opinions on nuclear energy power plants across the world.
  d)  Biofuels, such as corn ethanol, were touted as the US's solution to foreign oil.  But these alternative fuel sources have not lived up to our expectations.  Identify and describe as many problems with biofuels as you can find.
  e)  Explain the epic failure of the levees along the Mississippi River in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.  What are the root causes of the failure and what could have been done to prevent their failure?

4) Get yourselves a copy of the Princeton Review AP Environmental Science Study Guide.  We will use it throughout the year, and you will find that trying to buy a study guide the week before the exam is not always possible.  You could even ask a 2011-2012 APES student to give/lend/sell you their copy. 
Again, please complete this assignment over the summer and bring it to class on Friday the 5th.  It will be counted as a project grade and will be worth 10% of your MP1 Grade.