What is the IA?
The IA is an independent investigation where you design and carryout your own experiment. You must pick a topic that has relevant local or global context, write a procedure, carry out the experiment, analyze results, evaluate your methods, draw a conclusion, and apply what you have learned to a broader ESS context.
How long is the IA?
1500-2250 words. Moderators will not read beyond 2250 words. Captions, data tables, and citations do not count toward this limit.
What are possible methods I can use?
- Values and attitudes surveys or questionnaires
- Issues-based field inquiries to inform decision making
- Observational fieldwork (natural experiments)
- Field manipulation experiments
- Ecosystems modeling, includes mesocosms or bottle experiments
- Laboratory work
- Models of sustainability
- Use of systems diagrams or other valid holistic modeling approaches
- Elements of environmental impact assessments
- Secondary demographic, development and environmental data
- Collection of both qualitative and quantitative data
What analytic techniques might I use?
- Estimations of NPP/GPP or NSP/GSP
- Application of descriptive statistics (measures of spread and average)
- Application of inferential statistics (testing of null hypotheses)
- Other complex calculations
- Cartographic analysis
- Use of spreadsheets or databases
- Detailed calculations of footprints (including ecological, carbon, water footprints)