The Scope of the Paper
For this research project the entire class will be constructing their papers around a central theme. In this case, we use critical thought, technology, and environmentalism as our portals for inquiry. You will use primary source documents (i.e. newspapers, interviews with town personnel, town governing documents, scientific reports . . . ) alongside analytical material to construct a sound argument.
Long Island was once a bountiful area of farms, particularly potato ones. But, with progress, the growth of the LIRR, the bridges connecting LI to Queens and the larger country, and the ferries to Connecticut and Rhode Island the area has drastically changed into an urban setting still within the ideal of suburban living. Accordingly, with this rapid growth, the island has not always kept up with demand in the most accessible and feasible ways for the benefit of health. Long Island is used as a marker for suburban trends by researchers, as its location, size, and population base provide data miners ample variances for query.
Long Island traffic is often worse than driving in NYC, as old carriage routes cannot be widened enough to accommodate the millions of cars rolling down the path during rush hour (example: the Northern State or the North and South Forks). Alongside these major thorough fares, that were not meant to be major roads, comes the traffic along Northern Boulevard, Jericho Turnpike, Hempstead Turnpike, and Sunrise Highway. The Long Island bus system is frequently not on-time, and it underserves the community as routes are often difficult to find or locate affordable housing near. Yet, traffic is not the only environmental concern of disarray intertwining with island life.
Long Island has long been noted as a center of a breast cancer cluster, and conspiracy and controversy concerning the Brookhaven Labs complex only adds fuel to the fire. Recycling programs have been instituted in residential areas, but they are not mandated. Instead, often, residents can choose to recycle. Carpooling is not mandatory, and in the middle of everyday concerns Long Island continually faces the burden of illegal residents. These individuals are not just unregistered foreign nationals (in some cases, but . . . ). Here, the issue is people subletting homes, dividing homes into multi-family units, and rooms for rent. These instances cause strains on the sewer systems and water lines—even electric—as each area is zoned for a designated amount of use. Exceeding zoned use puts pressure on pipes and lines that were not constructed as such. The result? Electric outages, water line ruptures, sewage tank back ups . . . homes that were once beach homes, now used as year around homes, use more electricity and water . . . from use and from lack of proper insulation and pipes. These, and many more, cause a quandary of problems for island residents.
Therefore, your research project will examine an environmental concern for your local community as an example of a national issue. As such, you will be required to use resources . . . this means you might speak to the city major, talk to someone who works with the parks department, or discuss your issue with someone at the sewage plant. Your topic must fall within these guidelines. Additionally, you MUST interact with your community. You know you have this assignment now, the first day of class. It is also available for viewing on Blackboard.
Appropriate topics are those connected to your local community that are a national topic. They MUST be environmental. You will not be permitted to change a topic at the last minute. If you attempt to present on a topic different from the proposal, or you contact me days before the end of term saying you are changing topics, you will fail this assignment. Why? In order to construct an adequate research project you need to spend time cultivating the ideas and sources. And, as I have stated, this project is service learning based. You must explore your local community, use its resources, and engage in local civil affairs.
For this project, you will look at an environmental issue and question it for how it reflects cultural life and how it connects to the large national and global platform we have been discussing all semester.
You must use a minimum of eight sources, four of them must be academic. The readings we have done for the course must be additional and not part of the eight sources.