In this project, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following competency:
- Use natural sciences methodologies to explain natural phenomena
You work for Eco-Focused Response (EFR), a nonprofit environmental organization that provides resources and support to help communities prepare for and recover from natural phenomena; it also develops and implements strategies to address issues such as pollution, hazardous material, and waste disposal. As part of a community outreach effort, the organization would like to increase understanding of the scientific methods used by the organization and at the same time provide useful information concerning a natural phenomenon and a specific problem related to that phenomenon.
The organization asked visitors to their website to identify a natural phenomenon that has impacted them personally and that they would like to learn more about. The top three responses were hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes. Your manager has asked you to select one of the top three natural phenomena and create a brief informative article that provides information about the phenomenon and uses scientific methods to explore a specific problem caused by the phenomenon.
Once you have selected a phenomenon (hurricane, wildfire, or earthquake), gather information about that phenomenon that can be used to form direct and indirect observations—you may also include your personal experiences with this phenomenon—and then complete the process listed below. You must include the following information for the chosen phenomenon in your 500- to 750-word informative online article. (For additional information, see the Sample Nor’Easter Article document in the Supporting Materials section.)
- Make and describe observations you notice based on the resources you have gathered.
- What are the conditions that exist?
- What are the environmental factors?
- What is the location of the occurrence?
- What similarities and differences exist between different events of your chosen phenomenon?
- Define and provide details about a specific problem caused by the phenomenon you selected. Specific problems might include environmental effects (habitat destruction, pollution or waste releases, etc.), public health issues (access to safe water, exposure to communicable diseases, human displacement), infrastructural damage, and so on.
- Develop a hypothesis from the information you have gathered.
- Gather empirical evidence. You must use a minimum of three resources that meet the CRAAPO (currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, purpose, and objectivity) criteria. Use the Getting Started with Research at Shapiro Library link in the Supporting Materials section to access information on this method. For additional information and examples of empirical evidence, see the Sample Nor’Easter Article document in the Supporting Materials section.
- Summarize your results based on the data you used (the information found in the sources and the connection to the hypothesis) and include at least one suggestion individuals could use to reduce the risk and/or impact of the identified problem.
- Formulate a conclusion based on your data.
- Determine whether your conclusion supports or refutes (or does not support) your hypothesis.
What to Submit
Every project has a deliverable or deliverables, which are the files that must be submitted before your project can be assessed. For this project, you must submit the following:
Informative Online Article
Your organization is looking for an informative 500–750 word online article that details the use of the scientific method to explain a natural phenomenon and a specific problem caused by that phenomenon.
The following resource(s) may help support your work on the project:
Need help citing your sources? Use the CfA Citation Guide and Citation Maker.
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