Signature Assignment – Geology 1405/Environmental Science 1401

Counts as 10% of your final grade!

First Draft – One Page Concept Outline, Due March 1 st (counts as one homework grade)

Second Draft – 5-8 page Draft to be Peer Reviewed by your partner, Due April 5 th

Partner Peer Review Form – due back to your partner April 12 th

(This and the above count

together as a quiz grade)

Final Product – 5-8 page Finished Paper, Due April 24 th

(counts as 10% of your final grade)

Please read this whole document before beginning your paper!

A list of topics for you to choose from is on the last page of this document! If you feel inspired to write about a topic that is not on the list, please e-mail me so we can discuss whether it is appropriate for this assignment.

Style Guide: Worth 30 points of your project grade!!!

Proper length, formatting, spelling, and grammar is a must!!

At least 5 pages not counting lines for titles.

Proper grammar and spelling is very important!! Points will be deducted for

excessive errors.

12-pt, Times New Roman Font, Double-spaced. No highlighting or text colors.

If you want to break your paper into sections such as “Introduction” and

“Conclusion”, the section titles need to be in Bold and centered. Be sure your

paper is at least 5 pages without these titles!!

Use at least 2 different scientific papers as references. Use at least 7 sources total!

Start by going to www.navarrocollege.edu/library/ to look for papers. No Wikipedia!!!!

Another good search engine for scholarly articles is scholar.google.com

You can also look up and use the scientific papers that OTHER sources, such as websites,

used as their sources! I would prefer that you do not use the textbook as a reference.

You must cite your sources within your text!!!

You are writing a scientific paper. Scientific papers do not use another

author’s content word-for-word EVER!!! Do not even use direct

quotations!!! Everything must be paraphrased in your own words!!!

“Quotes” can be taken out of context; that’s no good! Instead, scientific papers

summarize a whole thought from a source, followed by a citation (in Parenthesis

like this). Usually the citation occurs at the end of the sentence. The full

reference will then be included in your reference page.

How to cite sources within text:

One Author – Text text text text text (Last name of Author, Year Published).

Two Authors – Text text text text text (Last name of First Author and Last name

of Second Author, Year Published).

Lots of Authors – Text text text text text (Last name of First Author, the exact

phrase “et. al,”, Year Published). Why? Because I said so, that’s why.

Examples: (let’s pretend my paper is about lizards)

Many factors affect the diversity of lizard species in any particular patch of desert,

but the most important appears to be the available vegetation (Pianca, 1967).

Research of escape tactics of the lizard species such as Lacerta vivipara have

indicated that survival is directly proportional to how close a lizard allows a

predator to approach before fleeing (Bauwens and Thoen, 1981).

The Northern Curly-tail Lizard, common in the Florida Everglades, has only one

natural predator, the Great Blue Heron (Smith et. al, 2006).

You must include a satisfactory “References Page” that lists all references you

used, and it must be in the proper format.

Use http://www.citationmachine.net/ which is a site that formats your references for you!

References must be in APA style.

The final product of your Signature Assignment is to write a polished, 5-8 page topic paper. The

purpose of the paper is to strengthen scientific researching/writing skills, critical thinking skills,

and to participate in an approximation of scientific peer review. Your grade on the paper will be

based upon: (1) proper length, formatting, grammar and citation, (2) depth of research, (3)

effectiveness of communication, (4) the accuracy of information in the paper.


Again, if you have a different topic that you are burning to write about, please e-mail me

first to discuss whether it is appropriate for this assignment.

 Discuss the environmental arguments for and against the production and use of Ethanol.

 Outline the negative environmental impacts of consuming bottled water.

 Discuss the ways in which the U.S. Government is using taxpayer dollars to subsidize

environmental damage.

 Profile 3 invasive species in the United States and compare/contrast their respective

impacts. Also include information on any control measures that have been implemented.

 Discuss the effects of urban green spaces on endangered/imperiled as well as migratory


 Discuss the possible future (or lack thereof) of the world’s coral reefs. What can be done

to help them?

 Summarize the facts and debate surrounding the global decline of honeybee populations.

 How might certain environmental problems become alleviated by increased space travel

as well as space mining? How might others become worse?

 What are some of the downsides of various sources of renewable energy and how [are

they being/can they be] addressed?

 Discuss the human health effects of a pesticide, herbicide, or toxic synthetic substance

that is currently in use in the United States (i.e. NOT banned) that you think should be

banned. Is there any public pressure to have it banned? Is there any resistance to

banning it? Why?

 Discuss the impact of forest fires. Are we currently managing forests responsibly? In

what ways will we have to change forest management to accommodate global climate


 Compare/contrast how Japan and the United States dispose of waste, recycling, and


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