Penn StateNASA

Capstone: Assignment 1


The goal of the capstone is for you to summarize your learning by selectively reading one of two possible reports on the impacts of climate change on the US and the world. This exercise will require you to produce short video clips that relate to what you have learned. Videos need to be reports on the impact of various aspects of climate and environmental change on specific places.

The two reports are

  1. 2017 Fourth National Climate Assessment, a document that summarizes the threats to the US
  2. The Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability section of the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from 2014

The capstone will require an entry every two weeks and will be related to the module material for that week. You should look at the chapter in the report and find an element that interests you. You do not need to summarize the whole document but find a small part about the impact of that part of climate change on a place of interest and write a small vignette about it. Length of each entry must be a minimum of 200 words and a maximum of 400 words, so very short. Required elements are laid out in the rubric below. It is imperative that you keep up with this assignment.

We focus this assignment on places because while the impacts of climate change are global, certain regions will be hit harder as we will learn all semester. Thus you should look for a place or region in each chapter of the report and focus on why that place is vulnerable and what is being done about it. For each entry, please follow the general format:

  1. What is the threat?
  2. Why is that place/regional vulnerable?
  3. What are the forecasts in terms of environmental change?
  4. What are the forecasted impact on communities?
  5. What are the solutions? (If applicable)

The final product will be text that you hand in via Turnitin and video clips of the text that you record using screencast-o-matic software. You will place these videos at the relative place on Google Earth map and save the file as a kmz. So the steps are to:

  1. Write 200-400 words of text that summarizes the questions (1-5) above for your place on your topic of interest.
  2. Record video clips for each text on screencast-o-matic.
  3. Place each clip at the relevant place in Google Earth by attaching it to a Pin (see video) and save as a kmz file
  4. At the end of the semester, save the complete Google Earth kmz file and place it in the Canvas Dropbox. Turn the text in via Turnitin

Instructions for This Week

Step 1: Choose one of the articles from list A below and read it. Also, read the one item under B.

A. US. Choose between

B. Global:

Step 2: Consider how the element of climate change you chose to read about impacts a place of interest to you, then write a small vignette (200-400 words). You should focus on why that place is vulnerable and what is being done about it. Your vignette should include answers to the following questions:

  • What is the threat?
  • Why is that place/regional vulnerable?
  • What are the forecasts in terms of environmental change?
  • What are the forecasted impacts on communities?
  • What are the solutions? (If applicable)?

Step 3: Using screencast-o-matic, record your voice reading your vignette.

Step 4. Place your video clip at the relevant place in Google Earth by attaching it to a Pin (VIDEO TO COME SHORTLY!) and save as a kmz file.

Grading Rubric

Download Grading Rubric

Grading Rubric
Assessment Criteria Excellent Above Average Average (Acceptable) Below Average Unacceptable
Script discusses key concepts relevant to each of the six stages 5 4 3 2 1
Concepts are explored in detail 5 4 3 2 1
Script is place-based 5 4 3 2 1
Script is well-written 5 4 3 2 1
Script contains references 5 4 3 2 1
kmz file functions and tour is audible 10 8 6 4 2

Back-Up Plan

For any Module, if you cannot find a topic relevant to the material, you can find more regional summaries of impacts from the following regions, at the base of the IPCC Impacts page. Please feel free to find relevant material in the following:

22. Africa - 4.9MB

23. Europe - 13.1MB

24. Asia - 3.0MB

25. Australasia - 5.2MB

26. North America - 4.2MB

27. Central and South America - 4.4MB

28. Polar Regions - 7.1MB

29. Small Islands - 3.8MB

30. The Ocean - 20.1MB