HONOR 2750 Sustainability Writing Assignment Instructions
The purpose of this writing assignment is to explore a sustainability/alternative energy topic related to energy, water, air or metals. You may choose your own topic, but it must be approved by the instructor. My goal is to avoid duplication of topics, so it is in your best interest to submit your topic idea via CANVAS for approval as soon as possible. The written assignment will count for 25% of your course grade (as described in the syllabus). Toward the end of the semester, you will also be required to give an 5-7 minute in-class presentation summarizing your paper. Guidelines for the preparation of the writing assignment are provided below.
1) Title Page: Should include the title of your paper, your name, the class name, and the date.
2) Abstract: A short (i.e., ˂ 250 word) abstract suitable for publication is required.
3) Body: 8-10 pages of double-spaced text (tables, figures, and references not included). Margins should be 1 inch on each side and font size 12 should be used. This paper does not have a rigid content requirement. Instead, I would like you to explore those aspects of the topic that are of most interest to you. Some potential content ideas to help get you started include: Sustainability Topic Alternative Energy Topic Three pillars of sustainability: environmental, economic, and social. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015- 05/documents/sustainability_primer_v9.pdf Basic theory of how the alternative energy source works Why is the current situation unsustainable? Advantages and disadvantages of the energy source What role will technological innovations play? How much does it cost relative to other energy sources? What social changes will need to happen? Advocacy groups (if any) How can governments or the private sector incentivize change? Government incentives (if any) What are the economic implications of change? Geographical distribution of resources (if applicable) Potential benefits of change? Potential environmental effects Potential consequences of inaction? Barriers to wide-scale implementation Barriers which need to be overcome.
4) References: At least five properly documented sources are required. I suggest that you use the Modern Language Association (MLA) format for preparing references. These guidelines can be found at https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/. Up to 5 bonus points will be awarded if you include a quote from an expert who you personally interview.
5) Tables: All tables should be numbered sequentially and have a desсrіptive title.
6) Figures: All figures should be numbered sequentially, have an appropriate caption, and list the source of the figure.
7) Papers will be checked for plagiarism and turned in electronically through Canvas. Topic Ideas In previous years, I required all students to focus on an alternative energy topic. That requirement has been rescinded, but you may find inspiration in the list of topics below. Bioenergy: Extraction of energy from biochemical processes such as fermentation, digestion, and combustion.
Examples include: Production of ethanol from sugars and starches using yeast Production of ethanol from lignocellulose (wood and agricultural wastes) by bacteria Esterification of oil seed crops such as Conola, Soy, and Sunflower to produce biodiesel fuel Using renewable biomass sources such as agricultural residues, animal waste, forestry crops, forestry residue, municipal solid waste, sewage, or industrial waste (e.g., black liquor from the paper and pulp industry or bagasse from the sugarcane industry) instead of fossil fuels for electricity production Fuel Cells: Convert the chemical energy of a fuel directly into electrochemical energy. Examples include Hydrogen fuel cells (theory) Battery systems Hybrid/Electric vehicles Fuel cell vehicles Hydrogen mass production and storage Environmental ramifications of a hydrogen economy Geothermal Energy: Extraction of energy from naturally occurring temperature gradients between the surface of the Earth and below the surface. Examples include: Hydrothermal power plants Extraction of energy from geopressured geothermal resources (a mixture of hot brine saturated with methane found in large, deep aquifers under high pressure) Hot dry rock energy extraction Geothermal potential/reserves Hydro-Electric Power: Extraction of energy from the gravitational potential energy of water. Examples include: Hydro-electric dams Hydro-electric generators at waterfalls Pumped-storage hydro-electric schemes Environmental ramifications of hydroelectric power generation Nuclear Power: Fusion Fission Environmental ramifications of nuclear fission Thorium-based nuclear power Long-term storage of high-level nuclear waste Ocean Power: Extraction of energy stored in either the thermal or kinetic energy reserves of the ocean. Examples include: Ocean thermal energy conversion Tidal turbines Tidal fences Wave energy extraction: oscillating water column system, tapered channel system, or the Salter Duck fixed buoy system Solar Power: Extraction of energy from sunlight. Examples include: Photovoltaic cells Direct solar thermal systems such as parbolic trough/dish concentrators or power towers with an array of sun-tracking heliostats Solar water heaters Solar ponds: salt gradient ponds or membrane ponds Bio solar cells Biohybrid solar cells Wind Power: Extraction of energy from wind: Examples include: Wind turbine design and efficiency Wind energy potential Blue Sky Renewable Energy program at Rocky Mountain Power Miscellaneous: Cost benefit analysis of raising the federal vehicle fuel mileage standards Gas hydrate (methane) deposits/extraction Oil shale deposits/extraction CO2 sequestration techniques Superconductor developments Ethanol as a fuel source Conservation techniques Improvements in battery efficiency