The paper will describe and analyze your experiences and observations on an online field trip of your choice, and do so within the context of a systematic assessment of at least three relevant sources (two of which can be required course readings) of your choosing.
In your chosen field exploration, you should think about and reflect on issues such as:
how water moves through those ecosystems and sustains their biotic and human communities
what kinds of pressures urban or suburban development exert upon these ecosystems
the impact of such pressures on water quality, flooding, wastewater treatment, etc.
conservation and/or restoration strategies that can improve the quality and sustainability of these aquatic ecosystems (such as green infrastructure)
the significance of water quality to the overall sustainability of urban systems, both in terms of nature and people
Writing Your Paper
Your reflection essay should thoroughly describe your online field trip, but it should be analytical as well as desrptive (do not simply provide a running narrative of the resources you consulted, how you found them, etc.). Additionally, part of how you evaluate your trip involves systematically assessing at least three relevant sources (two of which can be required 220-course readings) of your choosing.
Toward that end, think about the themes noted above as well as the following questions — but also feel free to generate ideas and reflections that are suggested to you by the trip itself:
How did you decide on your field trip subject? What about this location, water resource, etc. appealed to you?
What types of online resources did you explore and review? How would you assess their scope and quality? Be sure to list these online resources/documents in your References list at the end of the paper.
Describe and discuss your key observations made during your exploration of this water resource.
Were there any aspects of it that surprised you? What key things did you learn about water history, ecology, policy, and/or ethics?
In what ways did the field trip speak to, amplify, or connect to the relevant 220 readings you selected? Were there experiences on the trip that ran counter to any of your impressions from the
Overall, how did the field trip inform your vision of how water systems or resources (whether in the Chicago region or elsewhere) could become more sustainable than they are now? What kind of stewardship on our part is required to ensure their sustainability?