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Discussion 1

 Calculate your personal ecological footprint using Global Footprint Network’s Footprint Calculator and briefly summarize your results. Were you surprised by any aspect of your ecological footprint?

Discussion 2

  • Select a pressing environmental issue that has personal relevance. You may find ideas from the textbook, from mainstream media, or from the list provided. Once you choose a large-scale issue, think about how the issue impacts you personally. For example, you may be interested in water quality (the larger issue). You could then consider how water quality impacts you in your daily activities such as drinking water that is contaminated with pharmaceuticals or agricultural waste (personal impact).
  • Compose a brief (1- to 2-paragraph) introduction to your topic by stating why it is a pressing issue. Be sure to support your statements with facts and details from credible sources.
  • State how the issue impacts you personally (1 paragraph) and include a summary of at least one local or regional problem associated with this issue (1 paragraph).

Discussion 3

Then, search Science Daily or a news story about a natural science topic that’s less than six months old. Make sure to choose a story that interests you, because you’ll use this news story for all the projects in this course.

Once you’ve chosen a news story, summarize the main ideas from the article. Then, draft two questions that a natural scientist might ask about the topic. Include both the summary and the two questions in your initial post. As you write your questions, think about what you’ve learned about the natural sciences and scientific thinking in the module overview. For instance, if you chose an article on volcanic eruptions, you might ask: what causes eruptions to happen and how do we predict when they’ll occur? Make sure to include the news story title and a link to it in your post.