Environmental Science

Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Assessment
SHORT Essay (PART 1)

Riparian Zones: Their Significance to Rivers

Using the references provided explore the following within 1500 words (3-4 pages)

Streams and rivers are often described as open systems, especially with reference to energy and nutrient flux. Riparian zones are an important component of these ecosystems.

Discuss (a) the importance of the riparian-stream linkage in both a physical and biological context and (b) if the impact of catchment land-uses such as agriculture or urbanization could be offset in streams and rivers by maintaining a healthy riparian zone.

You must use the following:

Baxter, C.V.,K.D. Fausch and W. Carl Saunders (2005). Tangled webs: reciprocal flows of invertebrate prey link streams and riparian zones. Freshwater Biology 50(2):201-220.

Cummins, K.W., Wilzbach, M.A,Gates, D.M, Perry, J.B and Taliaferro, W. B. (1989) Shredders and riparian vegetation. Bioscience 39: 24-30

Gregory, S.V. et al (1991) An ecosystem perspective of riparian zones. Bioscience 41:540-551

Wiens, J. A (2002) Riverine landscapes: taking landscape ecology into the water, Freshwater Biology 47:501-515

Sponseller, R.A, E.F Benfield and H. M. Valett (2001) Relationships between land use, spatial scale and stream macro-invertebrate communities. Freshwater Biology 46: 1409-1424

Within this assignment you should attempt to use correct referencing methods, write in succinct sentences with correct paragraphs.

This assignment should be completed within 1500 words, 3-4 pages)

SHORT ESSAY (PART 2)
Type: Critical Analysis
Short Essay: Evaluating environmental education for sustainability¨
Length: 1000-1500 words¨¨¨
Task: This assessment item provides you with an opportunity to identify an interest in environmental¨education for sustainability and to develop it in a practical way. The assignment takes the form of an¨evaluative case study of an environmental education for sustainability programme. Your essay¨needs to include the following:
â–ª A description of the programme’s rationale and structure (what are the programme goals, aims, objectives and how to do they work to achieve these?)
â–ª A critical analysis of the programme in light of the Tbilisi Declaration (in light of the goals, objectives and guiding principles outlined in Tbilisi, how well or not do you think your selected programme meets these?)
â–ª Recommendations for further development of the programme so that it is better able to meet the ideals
â–ª outlined in the Tbilisi Declaration (what else could be done or what could be done differently by the programme you have looked at to enable them to better meet the goals, objectives and guiding principles outlined in Tbilisi?)
The Education for Sustainability Organisation page lists a range of programs which might be of interest to you.

The aim of this assessment item is for you to demonstrate that:
(a) you are able to independently find and evaluate an environmental education for sustainability programme;
(b) you have fully understood and are able to use as an evaluative tool, the Role, Objectives and Charactersitics of Environmental Education, as outlined in the Tbilisi Declaration (in particular, the goals, objectives and guiding principles outlined on p.3 of the Tbilisi Declaration);
(c) that you are able to critically evaluate the programme, that is, not only describe the programme but also analyse it in light of Tbilisi; and
(d) you always use evidence to support your argument.

Criteria & Marking:
Assessment Criteria: Essays are assessed according to the following three key criteria:
¨1. knowledge and comprehension;¨2. critical analysis and evaluation; and¨3. communication and referencing.
Critical analysis and evaluation is the most heavily weighted criterion.¨¨1. Knowledge & Comprehension
â–ª Full coverage of the topic/question
â–ª Comprehensive knowledge of issues
â–ª Understanding of the Tbilisi Declaration
â–ª Comprehensive coverage of the relevant literature
¨2. Critical Analysis & Evaluation
â–ª Topic dealt with in depth
â–ª Logically developed argument
â–ª Evidence of critical reading
â–ª Critical use of evidence and examples to support claims and conclusions
â–ª Emphasis on evaluation and critical analysis not description

¨3. Communication & Referencing
â–ª Well structured writing using introduction, body and conclusion
â–ª Fluent and succinct writing style
â–ª Correct spelling, punctuation and grammar
â–ª Correct word length
â–ª Effective use and citation of figures, tables and illustrations, as required
â–ª Correct and consistent in-text references
â–ª Correct and consistent presentation and punctuation of bibliography

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