Identify a problem, issue, or research question with a scientific and/or environ

Identify a problem, issue, or research question with a scientific and/or environmental angle that interests you.  I would like this to be local or regional. If you pick a larger-scale topic, please find a pertinent local tie-in or personal connection to make it as relevant as possible. This topic does not need to be specific to the Hudson Valley or New York State.  In thinking about your ideas, it may be helpful to think of your topic in terms of a question that needs answering. A well-thought question can be an essential aid in writing a paper.
Beware of trying to save the world! Focus on something specific.  Rather than researching air pollution in general, focus on the debate about local asthma rates or indoor office air quality.  Instead of discussing the general issue of endangered species, focus on one particular species, or on how the Endangered Species Act may affect your local area. Rather than talk about the history of farming, ask how the change in land use in your county has affected people and jobs over the last 200 years.
You’ll need to research some good background information, about both the present day issue as well as the history that led up to that issue.  For example, if you look at urban sprawl in Orange County, look at both today’s challenges and what led up to this situation. Come up with recommendations or a solution to the problem at hand.
“Spotlight” on solutions: I also want you to seek out an organization or individual that is involved in your issue. This may be a local non-profit, town planning board, state agency, or even an individual citizen. Please briefly describe how this organization or person became involved in this issue, what their successes have been, and what their challenges have been. If you have the chance to talk with someone from this organization, that would be great, but not mandatory. As an example of a “spotlight”, if the topic of my paper was wetlands preservation, I might speak with a local planning board about their process of dealing with development in wetlands, or I might gather specific information from the town’s website. As another example, if my paper is on the growth of renewable energy sources in my region, I might speak with a local company trying encourage investment in alternative technologies, or research that company’s efforts through websites and articles. The point here is to have you both create a “traditional” research paper on an issue, as well as take a deeper look at a specific and often more local aspect to that issue.
Brief Presentation: I’d like you to create a multi-media presentation about your topic, such as a brief powerpoint (6-8 slides). This should summarize the main points of your paper, but cannot capture every detail. Keep in mind that a good presentation blends pertinent but limited text with clear useful graphics. Creatively presenting your topic and content is highly encouraged!
References: The research project should include at least 5 references and sources.  This may include scientific technical documents as well as grandma’s stories of “how things used to be.”  You may use any system of referencing and bibliographies you prefer, as long as you are clear and consistent. Make sure that website references are fully cited, not just listed as a URL.

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