Group Writing Assignment

This week we will do something a little different for our writing assignment. I would like you to work in groups to develop three different scenarios that focus on leverage points for the use of GIS. You will have the opportunity to imagine a realistic situation and propose different roles for GIS during the disaster. Each group has its own page in this Lesson where you can edit the page content and add in your scenario.

Here are the topics and students I have assigned to each group:

**For Fall 2013**

Group 1: Susan, Mitch, Brady

Group 2: Josh, Milan, Karen, Adrienne

Group 3: Mallory, Rob, Alison, Sarah

DO

Lesson 7 Group Writing Assignment Description

  • Group 1: Develop a scenario about a major hurricane causing damage to the island of Kauai in Hawaii. Split your scenario into five 6-hour long time periods, starting with the time period 12 hours prior to initial impact.
  • Group 2: Develop a scenario about a cyber attack that impacts the power grid in the Northeast US. Split your scenario into five 6-hour long time periods, starting with the time period 6 hours prior to the attack.
  • Group 3: Develop a scenario about a major flood occuring along the Susquehanna River from Williamport, PA to Harrisburg, PA. Split your scenario into five 8-hour long time periods, starting with the time period 16 hours prior to the water levels cresting on the river.

Lesson 7 Group Writing Assignment Guidelines and Criteria

Here are some criteria for developing these scenarios:

  • For each time period, write two short paragraphs describing what would happen to people, infrastructure, and the natural environment considering the type of disaster you have been assigned and the local geography.
  • You will notice that I have not provided detailed specifics on certain aspects of each disaster, such as how fast the hurricane is moving, or how effective the cyber attack was at interrupting the power supply. I encourage you to fill in those gaps in your writing and to imagine plausible answers to those sorts of questions.
  • For each time period, identify at least one example of how GIS could be used to prepare, mitigate, respond, or recover from a specific aspect of the disaster.
  • Embed at least two pictures, maps, or other graphics to help tell your story. If you have ideas for GIS workflows, include them in graphical form.
  • Your scenario should be compelling and realistic in a way that would make it easy for an organization to use it as a starting point for developing a disaster preparation plan.

I encourage you to use the commenting areas on each page and email to coordinate your group activities and make sure that everyone in your group shares the burden of this assignment. If you don't contribute anything, your classmates will tell me about it, so be a good citizen and make solid contributions.

Lesson 7 Group Writing Assignment Submittal Instructions

The pages following these instructions are blank and identified by group number and topic (Group 1: Fall 2013 Scenario, for example).

To complete the group writing assignment you will need to click on the "edit" tab at the top of your group's page and enter content using the editor. You can embed pictures, format sections, change colors, etc... using this editor.

To embed an image, see the figure below. First, click on the icon with the landscape on it to view the image embedding dialog.

Then, you will click "browse server" in the pop-up window:

In the next window, you should automatically be in a subdirectory called /student. There you can click the upload button at the top left and add your file. Once you upload the file, it should appear in the file list on the server, and to embed that image in your page, simply click on the filename and then the insert image button in the toolbar. This will take you back to the image properties window where you can resize the image and when you're ready, click "OK" to go back to the page editor.

I recommend you save your edits *frequently* by clicking the Submit button at the bottom of the editor page.

If you have problems editing/submitting content using the page editor, email me so I can help!

Lesson 7 Group Writing Assignment Grading Criteria

I'll assign grades by group, and your grade will be based on your work's content, clarity, impact, and the degree to which your submission satisfies assignment guidelines. For each of the four criteria I will assign points on a scale from 1-5, with 5 being excellent and 1 being very poor. I define "Impact" as the strength and logic of the arguments and analytical insights you provide with your writing. I define "Content" as the level of understanding and knowledge of relevant topics you demonstrate with your writing. I define "Clarity" as the readability and organization of your writing (including formatting and appropriate graphic design where applicable). I define "Meets Criteria" as the degree to which your work satisifies the guidelines provided with the assignment.