BIOL321 Urban Ecology Spring 2015
Mid-Term Project Instructions
Throughout this first half of the semester, we have been considering the interdisciplinary nature of urban ecological systems, with the focus on water and vegetation. In Module 1, I introduced the conceptual framework as a way that scientists organize research questions to examine these complex systems. Specifically, I described the NSF ISSE framework (attached). For this mid-term, I would like for you to apply the ISSE framework to write a research proposal to assess a social-ecological water or vegetation issue within the Los Angeles region. This could be a specific policy, program, or project of either a public agency or a non-profit or partnership organization. This will be considered your external driver. Your driver can range in scale from something like the development of a rain garden on campus, to a citywide or regional driver like the restoration plan for the L.A. River. You can choose from among the different projects and policies introduced in class so far, or come up with another example of your own interest.
First, once you’ve chosen the driver, identify the factors that make up the system—presses and pulses, ecosystem structure and function, human behavior and outcomes, and ecosystem services—and fill in the different sections of the framework. A blank framework is uploaded to My LMU Connect, so that you can fill it in to organize and visualize your concepts. There is also an accompanying table that you can use to describe each in more detail.
Next, consider how the framework questions may be applied to your system. The questions are listed below the figure on the next page. Try not to be overwhelmed by the terminology, just think about how to describe the interactions in each of the arrows of the framework.
DIRECTIONS FOR WRITER
Research proposal topic is: **From implementing green infrastructure such as community gardens, in Los Angeles, what are the anticipated socio-ecological (including economical) outcomes? What problems could it solve and what are all the outcomes like positive and negative?**
Your completed proposal should include, at a minimum:
1) an introduction to describe the issue/driver you’ve selected and why it’s important,
2) the completed framework (See in attachments) with a caption, the completed table (Table 1) with a caption, 3) the proposed research questions,
4) a several page narrative describing your system and what you hypothesize you would find when examining these questions (support these expectations with citations)
5) a conclusion that summarizes your points and the importance of your proposed research, and
6) references cited. You may include other tables or figures if that is useful, especially any data on your proposed area of study.
(SEE FRAMEWORK MODEL IN ATTACHMENTS)
Q1. How do long-term press disturbances and short-term pulse disturbances interact to alter ecosystem structure & function?
Q2. How can biotic structure be both a cause and consequence of ecological fluxes of energy & matter?
Q3. How do altered ecosystem dynamics affect ecosystem services?
Q4. How do changes in vital ecosystem services feed back to alter human behavior?
Q5. Which human actions influence the frequency, magnitude, or form of press and pulse regimes across ecosystems, and how do these change across ecosystem types?
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