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The Essay: Evaluating the State of the North American Environment
Your essay must do four things things. (1) Introduce the topic: i.e. situate your paper with respect to our extant knowledge and ideas around state of the environment reporting (SOER), pressure-state-response (PSR) frameworks, etc., state your objectives, explain how you're going to tackle the problem, etc. (2) Evaluate the "state" of two ecosystems from The North American Mosaic that interest you and for which you can explain the systems' ecosystem services (using Table 1 from Tutorial 7). (3) Evaluate the implications of 2 of the suite of pressures outlined in Mosaic for both your particular systems and for the sustainability of the "services" provided by those ecosystems.   (4) Finally,  evaluate the conclusions drawn from Mosaic (as they apply to your systems) using components of the Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI) extracted for Canada, Mexico and the U.S. There is more information and some suggestions about one way you might choose to organize your essay at:

2001-2002 Essay: Evaluating the State of the North American Environment

A direct link to the resources for the essay can be found at:

Essay Resources (The overview documents now have a link to on-line, expanded data from Costanza, et al.)

Locations and times for help sessions around the essay can be found at:

Essay Help

We will now be engaged in a process of cleaning up files. We will clarify language, correct typos, etc.  in response to your questions/comments. Watch the last date modified in the essay files. If we make anything more than minor corrections of typos/grammar, we will adjust the date modified. In the event of major corrections, we will also update the Version number (with the changes identified in alternative font colour). Let us know if you encounter problems.

We will be holding help sessions for those of you having difficulty interpreting the material, but if you have questions about the assignment in the interim, please ask me (either in person or via email), . Professor Ann Zimmerman, 978-3475, drzed@cquest.utoronto.ca