Term Project

Project Related Links Interim Report #1 Interim Report #2

Oceanography 204
Winter 1998
Due: last week of class


Imagine you are marine scientists from the planet Gloop. You are here on earth conducting a study of Earth. The class will be divided into groups with each group assigned a different region of the Earth. The groups are expected to report back to the Gloopian Science Foundation (GSF). The purpose of your research is to further the scientific understanding of the Earth. The information you provide to the Gloopian Science Foundation will not be used for military purposes.

Your final report to the GSF, in the form of a poster presentation, is expected to cover the following topics (at a minimum):

Geography and local seafloor features,
Thermohaline circulation,
Plate tectonics,
General Circulation,
Climate and weather,
Biology, and
Environmental concerns.

Finally, each group is required to pose a scientific question or hypothesis about the group’s region and propose an experiment that would address the question. Using these reports, the GSF will decide which experiments merit funding.

Interim Reports

Over the course of the quarter, the groups are expected to be moving along on their projects. After we cover certain topics in class, you will be asked to turn in a mini-poster informing the GSF of progress on your project. You will be asked to apply topics that we have discussed recently in class to your region. A maximum of 4 interim reports will be assigned over the course of the quarter. Each scientist will be expected to turn in his/her own individually prepared report. However, the research should be done by the group.

In addition to the written reports, each person will be expected make one short (3-5 minute) presentation to the class discussing one of the report topics. For example, if there are four reports assigned, and each group has four people, then each person in the group will present one of the interim reports to the class.

Final Project

The form of the final project is to be a poster presentation. Many scientific topics are much better explained by using pictures and graphics. A poster is particularly useful for this type of presentation. The poster should include both text and graphical presentations but the text should be used primarily to explain what the reader is seeing in the pictures. Textual descriptions may also be used in place of pictures if there is no useful way of presenting ideas graphically or if no pictures are available.

During the last week of class, each group will present their poster to the advisory board of the Gloopian Science Federation (the rest of the class). The group should prepare a 10 - 20 minute presentation explaining their findings. The GSF advisory board will have the opportunity to ask questions after the presentation so each scientist should be prepared to answer questions.

The poster should include the following sections:

Title, names of group members,
Introduction and overview (what is your region, why is it important),
Body of report (see above for required content),
Conclusions (summarize your findings, restate why region is interesting or important),


The individual interim reports will be graded individually.

The final project will receive a group grade. However, each person will have the opportunity to anonymously grade the participation of all of the members of their group. Then the final project grade will be modified for each individual based on the average grade given to them by their group.

The group poster and presentation will be graded on content (Did you thoroughly address the assigned topics? Did you do any more than the minimum that was asked?) and readability/presentation style (Is the poster and presentation interesting, informative, cohesive, and easy to understand?) Your hypothesis and proposed experiment will be evaluated for scientific understanding.