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)
Start with identifying an environmental issue. It needs to be one that humans are affecting or that will ultimately affect humans. Some examples include
- ocean acidification