Kirsch Center

Kristin Sullivan - Environmental Studies

Instruction For Oral Presentation

The oral presentation is worth 12% of your grade. This assignment consists of four parts (for detailed explanation on each part, please read II-VI below):

  1. A concept map summarizing the major points of your event, trip, conference, or article;
  2. Additional facts or studies supporting/ refuting your event, trip, conference, or article,
  3. Information on how the event, trip, conference, or article relates to you, your family, your (primate) ancestry, the environment, and/or society in general
  4. The oral presentation itself which consists of a 5-minute power point presentation. 

You have a choice of completing ONE of the following (in either A or B below):

A. EVENT, TRIP, CONFERENCE, ETC.- You may attend an event, a trip, a conference, or the like (See IX below). The information gleaned from this trip would be written down (take good notes!) and then used in the corresponding listed steps, III-VII below. For example:

  1. For a history topic, one could go on a guided tour of Coyote Creek Regional Park to gather information on past and present Native American life in that area,
  2. For ethics, law, and politics, one could visit a toxic waste dump
  3. For environmental issues one could: go to a water sampling day with a non-profit organization, such as CWC; tour a water or sewage treatment plant; go to a community food garden; check out a hemp expo.; go to a watershed series conference; go to a FOR conference
  4. For waste prevention, reduction, or management topics, one could tour a landfill or a recycling center
  5. For ethics topics, one could read more from Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac. There are many other ways to meet this requirement; please let me know if you have another idea so that I may approve it before you get started on the work!

B. SELECTING AN ARTICLE - The article you select should relate to any part of this environmental studies course. Therefore, it may be on the subject of humans and nature, environmental history, wilderness concepts, natural resources, environmental ethics, environmental politics, environmental economics, environmental issues, waste management, energy management, or sustainable living. The article you select must come from a SCIENTIFIC source such as an article from a journal or magazine (i.e., any reputable environmental/ ecological/scientific journal) such as Sierra, Linkages, Nature, Nature Conservancy, Science News, Discover, Scientific American, JAMA, New England Journal of Medicine, Science, Environment, Issues in Ecology, Wild California, or Natural History. Your article may also come from the Science and Technology section in Tuesday's San Jose Mercury News. It is fine to get your article off of the Internet provided that it comes from any of the above-listed scientific sources.

Other web sites include:

It is not acceptable to just "grab" information off of the Internet at random; it must be from a scientifically cited source. Please talk with me if you have any questions regarding whether your article meets the above-stated criteria (there are a few (exceptions). Thank you. PLEASE be sure that your article is as current as possible. Please submit your article (with your name on the top right hand corner of the article) upon completion of your oral presentation.

After attending the event, trip, or conference, or after "reading" the article using the PQ3R method of reading, summarize your information in concept map form. Your concept map may be any style, including the flow chart style that I will use so often this semester. Your map should be 3-4 tiered and should include main points, sub-points, supporting detail, and examples. Words should be kept to a minimum. Color and shapes (such as boxes and circles) should be included. Your concept map must be readable from the back of the room for credit(i.e., at least 30 font size!). The overhead projector merely projects onto a screen: it does not make your font size larger! Please see me if you have questions on whether your concept map has large enough letters. Thank you. Please submit your concept map (with your name written on the top right hand corner of your concept map) upon completion of your power point oral presentation.

Part of your power point oral presentation should include additional facts or studies supporting or refuting your article. To include additional facts, consult another source such as your textbook, or another article (or talk with me). Then, add this additional information into your oral presentation. Additionally, discuss whether these facts support or refute your article. This section is really meant to be a way for you to critically analyze your information or article.

Questions you may want to consider, for the last part of your oral presentation, include: How does the information relate to you, your family, your (primate) ancestry, the environment, and or society in general? and, What did you learn from the information? You should finish off your power point oral presentation with a conclusion statement.

As stated above, the powerpoint oral presentation consists of a 5-minute presentation that will be presented in class. Please do not exceed the 5-minute time limit. This oral presentation is meant to be very relaxed and low key (you do not even need to stand up); it is a great way for all of us to learn from one another. Ideally your presentation should include three major parts: the summary, how the information/article relates, and additional facts. Additionally, I would suggest that you have your concept map on power point if possible; otherwise, use a transparency (for an easy and concise oral presentation). Additionally, it is helpful to use the classroom "pointer" in your presentation.

3 Points = concept map, readable with large font (please use in your presentation)

3 Points = "additional facts" and "relating" your information or article

1 Point = submitting the information/article and concept map; following directions

3 Points = 5 minute power point oral presentation (speak loudly please!)              

10 Points Total

Please note the subjects listed under the "week" column on your tentative class schedule. Please think about the subject upon which you would like to present. Begin thinking about where you want to go or begin searching for a scientifically sound article right away. Once you have selected a subject, please sign in under the subject listed on the oral presentation sign-up sheet. PLEASE SIGN UP ASAP. THANKS!

Sign up under one of the following sections:

  1. Biodiversity
    1. Coyote Hills Regional Park: (510) 795-9385. This assignment deals with cultural diversity of humans. Coyote Hills Regional Park is an East Bay regional park with Native American archaeological sites. They have open houses where naturalists guide you to the sites (call for a tour) and they have a visitor's center.

    2. A Sand County Almanac: Read and report on Aldo Leopold's wilderness and/or conservation chapters.

    3. Wildlands Restoration Team: # is (831) 423-2801. KenMoore has an "education for natural systems" program which deals with non-native plant removal. Two programs: a) Saturday's- from 10:00 am-1:00 pm - call (831) 464-9141, b) Sunday's- from 9:00 am-4:00 pm; for hard-core nature persons (they go into more remote areas). You may also call for a brochure or go to for more information. Additionally, you may go on other days too. Group projects can be set up as well.

  2. Water
    1. Water Quality Sampling: A day with the CWC or another comparable NPO. Talk with me about going out on a Saturday.

    2. Lecture, conference, symposium, etc. on the topic.

  3. Food
    1. Community Food Garden: For a tour, contact ONE of the following:

    • Andy Scott at Hidden Villa at (650) 949-8647

      • Live Earth Farm at (831) 763-2448

      • Mariquita Farm at (831) 761-3226

      • Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UCSC at (831) 459-3240. They have public tours every Thursday (10:00 am-12:00pm) and Sunday (2:00pm-4:00pm).

  4. Waste Prevention/Management
    1. Water Treatment Plant: Rinconada Water Treatment Plant at 400 More Ave. in Los Gatos. (408) 265-2607 ext. 2139= Virginia-- for educational tours. Or, a self-guided tour with information, brochures. (Santa Clara Valley Water District takes Rinconada phone calls too @ (408) 265-2600).

    2. Sewage Treatment Plant: Water Pollution Control Plant at 700 Los Esteros Rd. in San Jose. (408) 945-5300. Tours T, W, and Th from 8:00 am-2:00 pm. Saturday tours at ~ 10:30 am = Rene Fitzsimmons (wildlife refuge tours) at (408) 262-5513.

    3. Landfill/Recycling Center: Newby Island Landfill (BFI) at 1601 Dixon Landing Rd. The recyclery: there is an educational facility there for self-guided tours. They are open from T-F from 9:00 am-5:00pm. There is an observation deck here as well where you may watch them take large piles through conveyor belts, etc. Group tours are available for seven or more people. Spoke with Bill at Solid Waste Management at (408) 441-1198. There are also general PRE-APPROVED tours (call them!) available at the Smart Station in Sunnyvale (a transfer station).

    4. Worm Composting: Worm Composting Workshops and Bins at (408) 299-4147 (spoke with Ken Kelly). Talk with me about getting a schedule for the workshops.

  5. Energy
    1. AlTrans: On the WVC campus, call Greg at (408) 741-2684. Go meet with someone there and learn how to make your commute alternative plan. Report information to the class.

    2. Conference on energy, transportation, De Anza information, etc.- See me for details.

  6. Living Sustainably
    1. Conferences, etc.

    2. Any individual and/or societal environmental solution in which you take part

    3. Volunteering time for an environmental NPO: i.e., SVTC at (408) 287-6707 or CWC at (831) 426-9012 (ask us about non-native plant removal).

    4. City Council and/or Board of Supervisors meeting: On an issue of ecological and/or environmental concern.


Last Updated: 9/10/09