Friday, September 7, 2007

889 The final project -- conducting a survey to find a solution to environmental problems

Message no. 889 Posted by Thomas Culhane (1311520071) on Saturday, April 28, 2007 5:18pm Subject: The final project -- conducting a survey to find a solution to environmental problems

Hi guys,

Thanks for your patience with me as I construct our final project! As some of you have pointed out, our chapter options are dwindling, and by now we should all have done a relational summary for each of the 14 chapters in the book, and created a Midterm Eutopia.

The final project should reflect what we've learned through this process, and it should also give us a first attempt at doing some real environmental psychology science.

Science, as you know, is about testing hypotheses through empirical research. That means we try to prove things by gathering data.

If you recall our early chapters, because there are ethical issues involved in conducting experiments on human beings, we tend to use surveys to get information from people.

What I propose for the final project is the following assignment, following the message in Chapter 14, broken into two steps:

Assignment Title: Getting into Hot Water to Get us Out of Hot Water!

Synopsis: Global Warming is considered the greatest environmental threat facing humanity today, forcing behavioral choices upon us that our parents and grandparents generations gave little thought too. Whether we choose to change our personal lifestyle earlier or later , every one of us will be forced to change at some point. This assignment helps us investigate how we can begin to take personal steps out of Global Warming's threat by exploring our ecological footprint, what it takes to reduce that footprint and how we compare with our friends and neighbors.

Part I: Calculate your ecological footprint using the website calculators presented earlier in the course (I will refresh them for you soon). Figure out which part of your consumption pattern contributes the most to global warming.

Part II: Send a survey to at least ten of your friends, family or colleagues (which I will help you prepare) that will help you to get data on their average energy consumption and their willingness to change some of their behavioral patterns.

We will then pool the data and see what trends emerge, and see how close we are to the kind of change our eutopias demand!

In the next couple of days I will send you a copy of a survey I have prepared looking at home energy use for the largest producer of greenhouse houses you produce: the energy required to heat water. Then you can add your own questions to that survey format and throw it back to us. Once we have agreed on all the questions we want in the survey, we will each send it out to the people we know and hope to get at least 10 responses each.

I will clarify more in the next couple of days. For now -- get on the web and start calculating your ecological footprint!


Looking forward to doing some science with you all !

Professor T

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