Biology Biol 1102-A, Assignment 5: Individual Assignment on Human Health and the Environment, Conserving Biodiversity, and Policy, P. 2
Assignment 5: Individual Assignment on Human Health and the Environment, Conserving Biodiversity, and Policy
November 24, 2021; Due via D2L December 2, 2021, 11:59PM
This final assignment of the semester will allow you to delve deeper into a topic we are covering in the latter part of the course, related to applying environmental policy to problems involving either human health and the environment or threats to biodiversity. You should read Module 5.2 in the text before starting your work, including considering the general approach to policy implementation discussed. Potential topics can include any topic under the broad umbrella of human health and the environment or conserving biodiversity, but should have applicability in Georgia or the southeastern U.S. more broadly.
Examples of potential topics include the following:
Human health and the environment:
· COVID-19 and the environment, such as any seasonal trends in cases; crowds (indoor or outdoor) and transmission; understanding and preventing virus spread in sports; infections of animals (in zoos, aquaria, pets, or the wild)
· Influenza and the environment
· Vector-borne diseases (including West Nile virus)
· Air quality and health
· Lead contamination and vulnerable communities
· Other toxic chemicals and health threats, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), mercury, flame retardant chemicals, microplastics
· Climate change and human health – heat stroke, exacerbation of air quality problems, other risks
· Environmental justice – potential for communities of color, low-income communities to have elevated exposures to air pollutants, drinking water contaminants, other pollutants.
· Forest health, such as pest or disease risks; sustainable harvest (e.g. biomass production)
· Invasive species – either imminent threats, or addressing invasive species already established in the state or region
· Protecting a threatened or endangered species in the state or region (including potentially a keystone species)
· Ecosystem-based conservation approaches, including for example longleaf pine restoration, southern pine savannah, coastal dune or wetland restoration, riverine habitat restoration, or other habitats in the state or region
· Urban greening and biodiversity, including efforts to reduce sprawl, increase greenspace, restore more natural landscapes
Topics other than those above can be considered, as long as they fall within the two broad categories above, and are applicable in Georgia or the region.
Your write-up examining your chosen topic will be approximately 400-600 words (1-2 pages, single-spaced), and will include the following:
· Problem statement: Briefly summarize the human health/environment or biodiversity problem or issue you are addressing. (4 points)
· Background: Provide more context on the issue, including any data on the scope of the problem or issue, key factors involved. This section should include at least one citation. (4 points)
· Policy and organizational framework: Briefly identify any relevant policy framework (e.g. Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act, a state law, or local ordinance), and key organizations with some role in addressing the problem, such as USEPA or other federal agency, a state agency, municipal government, industry, or a nongovernmental organization (NGO). In some cases, multiple agencies or organizations may be involved. Note depending on your topic, there may not be any relevant law or regulation, but you can aim to identify some type of relevant program. This section should include at least one citation. (4 points)
· Policy or program implementation: Briefly describe how a particular policy or program is being implemented to address the problem, including the key agency/organization(s) involved. If you have chosen a topic for which are not able to identify a policy or program in place, you can describe what you believe would be an effective policy or program to address the problem. (4 points)
· Policy or program evaluation: Indicate how you would evaluate the effectiveness of the policy or program to address the problem. This should include a hypothesis you could test (you can review the material from Week 2, Module 1.2) to evaluate the effectiveness of the policy or program. (4 points)
Your write-up should be in either Word or pdf format, and as noted above, should include at least two citations. Make sure you do your own work. Once the write-up is completed, upload the document to the Assessments, Assignments module in D2L, for Assignment 5.