Penn State NASA

Capstone: Assignment 1


Capstone: Assignment 1

The goal of the capstone is for you to focus on the impact of climate change on communities. We center this assignment on communities because while the impacts of climate change are global, certain communities will be hit harder, as we will learn all semester. By community, we mean a village, a town, or, at largest, a city. A state or country is not considered a community. Moreover, topics that aren't related to the class such as earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunami will not receive credit.

You will be responsible for doing the research, choosing the topic, and finding the community. We suggest that you use sources like the New York Times, Washington Post, Wikipedia, or Google Scholar to do your research.

    You must write this in your own words. Paraphrase everything. This means absolutely no direct copying will be tolerated and you will also lose credit even for copying with quotation marks. TurnItIn is remarkably clever at detecting plagiarism from a wide variety of sources including old student papers! Please see more information in the Orientation.

    You should aim to write between 250-300 words excluding references. Any more than 325 words will receive a penalty.

    Instructions for this week

      Step 1: Choose a topic and a community (a village, a town, or, at largest, a city). Possible topics for this module include hurricanes, fires, drought, heatwaves, ice melting. Please note topics that are not related to the course for example earthquakes, tsunami and volcanoes will not receive credit.

      Next, consider:

      1. What is the threat?
      2. Why is that community vulnerable?
      3. What are the forecasted impacts on the community?
      4. What are the solutions to the threat?

      Step 2:

      Write a maximum of 300 words of text in Microsoft Word that summarizes the questions (1-4) above for your community on your topic of interest


      Submit your script during Module 4, along with your Capstone Assignment 2 entry, to the Capstone: Assignment 1 and 2 (Submission) Assignment. 

      Even though the assignment is not due this week, I strongly recommend you complete the work now to stay on track. You can resubmit Entries 1 and 2 to be regraded but all other entries are final.

      Each time you write a script, you will add it to the same document, so that in the end you will have one document with six different vignettes included.


      There is a TurnItIn dropbox attached to this assignment in Canvas. PLEASE DO NOT USE the TurnItIn link in the menu or go to the external website. You do not need to leave the assignment to upload your submission. You WILL NOT RECEIVE CREDIT if your submission is. not in the correct dropbox.

      Grading Rubric

      Grading Rubric
      Each script is worth up to 5 points as outlined below.
      Assessment Criteria Acceptable Partially Acceptable Unacceptable
      Script discusses an original environmental threat without any ambiguity 1 .5 0
      Concepts are explored in a detailed but in the most succinct manner possible 1 .5 0
      Script focuses on a specific community 1 .5 0
      Script is well-written, free of grammatical errors and typos, and does not overuse quotations 1 .5 0
      Script contains references .5 0 0
      Script is less than 325 words in length, not including references .5 0 0