Geology Question

Learning Goal: I’m working on a geology writing question and need a sample draft to help me learn.

  1. Choose one of the essay prompts below for your critical thinking essay:
    • Recent studies suggest oceanic global conveyor belt circulation is slowing as a result of climate change. Discuss the evidence that supports this statement, including how climate change could be responsible for a slowing oceanic circulation system. Discuss ocean circulation in the geologic past – has such slowing occurred previously? What is the probability that ocean conveyor belt circulation may stop completed? Thinking to the future, what is the impact of a slowing (or stopped) global ocean circulation system? Finally, why should we care about this issue? What is the impact to the everyday global citizen?
    • Tidal energy is another solution to dependence on fossil fuels, especially for locations with a very large tidal range. Do you think tidal energy is a viable solution to reducing our usage of fossil fuels? Thinking about the two types of tidal energy systems presented in your text, choose one and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of that type of system, using specific examples. Consider location on Earth that would be ideal for tidal energy (or that is already creating it) and discuss why it is ideal. Also discuss the challenges to developing tidal energy for that location. Support your answer with specific examples and data from your research.
    • Coastal wetland loss in the Gulf of Mexico is occurring at an alarming rate – should governments and organizations be spending money to mitigate this loss? In your answer describe the benefits of coastal wetlands to coastal and oceanic environments. In the Gulf Coast, discuss the natural and human-caused reasons for wetland loss, drawing on specific examples. What are the effects of this loss? Again, use specific examples. And finally, discuss solutions to this loss and efforts of local governments and organizations to restore wetlands.
    • Overfishing is a serious concern in Earth’s oceans, but solutions are available. Choose a specific aspect of overfishing (excess fishing capacity, illegal fishing, non-target bycatch, fishery-related wildlife killing, endangerment of non-target species, high seas fishing, etc.). Discuss the problem, its causes, its effects, and its solutions. Highlight specific examples of failures and successes in solving that issue. End with an answer to the question: Can we fix overfishing before we run out of seafood products?
    • Climate change and warming are already having devastating effects on organisms, like coral reefs, that cannot tolerate rapid changes in ocean temperature. Focusing on the issue of coral bleaching, is there anything that we can do to prevent the loss of reefs? In your answer, discuss the biology of coral, and why climate change impacts reefs. Use the NOAA Coral Reef Watch website to discuss what areas of Earth are most vulnerable to bleaching. Then, discuss the effects of bleaching on the entire tropical coral ecosystem, using specific examples. Finally, discuss what can be done about this issue. Can we save the corals? Do corals have any natural defense to warming oceans? Are any groups or organizations working on this problem?
    • More than half of the fish species consumed by humans is farmed. But, fish farming (aquaculture) presents its own set of environmental concerns, including destruction of land, displacement of poor populations, and the spread of disease and parasites. Discuss the current status of aquaculture in the world, include its advantages. Highlight one prominent seafood product that is produced via aquaculture. Then, describe one or two serious concerns with aquaculture and finally, discuss possible solutions to those concerns.
    • Did you know that Indiana was once a marine environment? Research the geologic history of Indiana, and describe the Ordovician, Silurian, and Devonian time periods. In your discussion, talk about where Indiana was geographically, what our climate and environment was like, and what life lived here. Be sure to use specific examples to support your response. End with a discussion of how we know about past life and climate in Indiana – how do scientists study and understand the past environments of Indiana. Use specific examples throughout your essay.
  2. Compose an essay response to the prompt you chose above. Your essay should:
    • be written as a 750-1000 word essay, with a thesis statement, complete sentences and paragraphs, and a conclusion;
    • include at least TWO captioned and referenced images or diagrams that help exemplify and support your response,
    • have the support of at least three high-quality primary or secondary sources cited in-text and in a Works Cited section in MLA format, and
    • integrate your knowledge of academic honesty guidelines for this course.
  3. Post your essay to this Canvas Discussion by the due date listed in the course calendar.
    • You may submit by typing the essay within the discussion, or copying-and-pasting your text from another word processor into this discussion.
    • DO NOT post your essay nor images as an attachment. Attachments will not be graded (will earn 0 points).
    • Use the editing tools of this discussion to format your posting to integrate line breaks, italics, indentations, figures and captions, etc.
    • Check your posting after submission to ensure it looks as you would like.
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