A.P.E.S Current Event Postings


Environmental science is a dynamic field that is constantly changing and abundant with issues and conflicts. The purpose of these assignments is to put you in contact with the "what's happening."


The goal of this assignment is to move beyond fact memorization toward participation in the ongoing debates about environmental solutions. Students will do the following once every 2 weeks (1st week they search for current events. 2nd week they peer evaluate the posting that was directly below their own posting):

  1. Summarize the findings of research biologists found in professional publications and credible science news sources on the class' Eboards (This week's discussion will be at http://disc.server.com/Indices/225719.html).
  2. The summary must define all vocabulary that is new to the class . The following resources can be used to define words. If you use their definitions, be sure to use quotations and give credit to the source.
  3. Post those summaries to the class Eboards & give the http address to the original source.
  4. Respond to summaries of other class members.
  5. Peer evaluate postings from other members of the class.
  6. You may disagree with peer evaluations by replying to that evaluation and support your reasoning and adjusted score values. The instructor will settle the matter by posting the new score.

Resources you can use (but you are not limited to these):

INFOTRAC This is a comprehensive database of all magazine and journal publications from 1980 to present.
LA TIMES This publication is free for all to see and search. You will need to "register" to use this site.
CNN A searchable news source, but be sure you click the radio button CNN.com to stay on this site.
MSNBC Search this source for key words, but please use the search text box at the bottom of the left menu column.
BBC A good source of news from a non-US perspective.

Grade Rubric:

Grade Item Beginning Developing Accomplished Exemplary
Summary Completeness (+10) Summary is attempted but it seems rushed and incomplete (+15) Summary seems somewhat incomplete (+17) Summary seems mostly complete but it seems at least one thing is missing or was not said. (+20 pts) Summary is complete enough for the reader to understand 1) where is this occuring; 2) who are the players; 3) what is (are) the issue(s);
Terms Defined (+0) The writer does not really understand or attempt to help others understand the summary (+1) At least one term is defined, but several difficult terms are not defined or understood by the writer (+3) Most difficult terms are defined, but at least one is not. (+5) All difficult terms used in the article are understood and defined by the writer (in parentheses following the term)
Connection to APES Class (+0) Connections to class are not made (+1) Writer connect article only in that it is about the environment (+3) Write connects article contents only to class topics that have been studied (+5) Writer gives their analysis, opinion, and connection to this class or other posted articles.
Organization, Grammar, & Word Choice (+0) Try again, this is very difficult to read! (+1) Summary has several places that trip the readher. (+3) Summary mostly reads smoothly but has at least one place that "trips" the reader due to organization, word choice, or grammar. (+5) Summary reads smoothly due to good organization, word choice, and grammar.
Literature Cited Not from a credible science publication, not about environmental science, no http address or sources, or is plagiarized (-50) (+1) Literature is cited but the link does not work. (+3) Literature is cited but no pictures are included when they were available on the site. (+5) Literature is cited so that the http address can be copied into a browser address bar and brought up.
Discussion Connections (+0) No attempt to join in discussions about other student research summaries. (+1) Student has replied to 1 other student summary with connections or reactions to the article. (+3) Student has replied to 2 other students summaries with connections or reactions to the article. (+5) Student has replied to 3 or more other students' articles with either connections, reactions to the article.


The following checklist can be copied into your peer review and point values awarded according to the above rubric: