Please read the instruction in the uploaded documt to write A Synopsis of Your Personal Impact on the Bay Area
Environment. Make sure you read all the uploaded lab reports and use all of them as references to this term
paper, PLUS 2 other references of your choices to support the paper.
GEOG 301: Bay Area Environments Fall 2016
Final Paper
Due Tuesday, December 13
Throughout this course we ve investigated the basics of sustainability (Social
Ecology Model), what sustainability means to different economy sectors, the longterm
and short-term processes that shape our landforms, how climates play a role in
our lifestyles and how our lifestyles affect microclimates, the importance of climate
change on flooding and droughts, the health of the SF Bay estuary and how
urbanization has affected biodiversity, the benefits and impacts of agriculture, how
intricate and vital water resources are for our future, the value and problems of
transportation on society, current and future energy use in California, the relevance
of trees, parks and wilderness to an urban environment, and the enormity of urban
garbage and waste. Although it is impossible for one individual to enact immediate
change in all these areas, making small personal changes every day can help move
the Bay Area towards a sustainable future.
Project Summary
Your final paper will be a minimum 1,500 word written synopsis of your
personal impact on the Bay Area Environment. You need to address the topics
covered in this course and how your lifestyle choices relate to each topic (e.g.
carbon footprint, water footprint, energy use, transportation habits, dietary habits,
etc.). You should consider formatting your synopsis around the scientific
method/process, where you are asking a question (how can I change my lifestyle to
promote a sustainable future), complete background research by gathering external
sources to support your position, include data (numerical values of your carbon
footprint, water footprint, etc.), and you should also discuss how the Bay Area as a
whole can change (e.g. you can bike to school/work more often, but the Bay Area
can invest in rebuilding our transportation infrastructure to promote increased
public transit). Finally, a strong conclusion detailing how you and how Bay Area
society can reduce your personal impact on the Bay Area environment.
Your final paper is due Tuesday, December 13th before midnight. The paper
format must follow the introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion, and references
sections format. Submit your paper via TurnItIn on iLearn as a PDF or Word
GEOG 301: Bay Area Environments Fall 2016
In order to receive an A on the final paper: First of all, follow the correct
format, i.e. have a strong introduction which sets-up the rest of the paper, body
paragraphs that include specifics, data, and references, and a strong conclusion that
summarizes the most important points of the paper. And don t forget a properly
formatted references section.
First body paragraph: Discuss your personal impacts on the Bay Area
environment. This includes data from your previous labs. Include steps you can take
to reduce our personal impact on the Bay Area environment.
Next body paragraph(s): Make connections between the different topics
we ve covered throughout the semester (e.g. how water use affects the agriculture
industry, the energy sector, the environmental sector, etc.). Every topic we ve
discussed about the Bay Area environment affects some aspect of the other topics,
so connect the dots, so-to-speak. I don t want simple summaries of your previous lab
reports. This final paper needs to connect everything together.
Final Body paragraph: Discuss how the Bay Area as a whole can change to
promote a more sustainable future. You can discuss increasing our tree canopy
cover, investing in green energy, improving our transportation network, etc. These
are changes different from your personal changes discussed in the first body
paragraph, but you can discuss how your personal changes will affect the societal
changes (e.g. installing solar panels on your home). This section definitely needs
supporting information from outside sources. There are numerous posted on iLearn
to get you started. Don t forget to cite the sources in the text of the paper and
include a references section.
The conclusion paragraph is a summary, meaning that all the information has
been laid out in the proceeding paragraphs. Highlight the most important parts of
your paper and leave the reader with a strong concluding message.

Course Syllabus AU/GEOG 301 Fall 2016
AU/GEOG 301.01: Bay Area Environments
F 1510 1650; Science Building 101; Schedule #8965/8980
Instructor: Zachary Lauffenburger Office: Thornton Hall 535
Email: zachary@sfsu.edu Office hours: Tues/Th 1100 1200
(or by appointment)
Teacher Assistant: Deseret Weeks Office: HSS 289
Email: dweeks@mail.sfsu.edu Office Hours: F 1700-1800
Teacher Assistant: Brixby Larzelier Office: HSS 289
Email: brixby@mail.sfsu.edu Office Hours: F 1400-1500
Course Overview
Bay Area Environments is an introduction to the complex nature of human and
environmental interrelationships in the San Francisco Bay Area. It explores patterns
of settlement, landforms, water, weather, climate and ecosystems with special
attention to anthropogenic changes and sustainability across the region, and the
future of the Bay Area.
Rationale for the course: The Bay Area has a long history of change, both
environmentally and culturally. This course will address how past changes have
shaped the current Bay Area. How diverse is the Bay Area environment How do
flows of energy and materials shape daily life and link us with other regions How
sustainable are Bay Area lifestyles and what environmental issues seem most
important or controversial today What are Bay Area residents roles &
responsibilities in shaping the Bay Area s future The unique setting of the Bay Area
provides an excellent framework to explore how science is used to understand how
humans and the environment have evolved together, and how scientific
understanding is the basis for the sustainable future of the Bay Area.
Credit: 3 semester units
Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor; designed for nonscience
Course Website: iLearn
1. Login to iLearn with your SF State ID and Password.
2. Find and click on the name of the course (Bay Area Environments)
Course Syllabus AU/GEOG 301 Fall 2016
Text and Materials:
Recommended Textbook: An Introduction to Sustainability
Author: Martin Mulligan
ISBN: 9780415706445
Book available through SFSU Bookstore (New: $63.95)
REQUIRED: iClicker 1, Plus, or 2 (bring to class everyday). Clicker (also
called a remote) is available through the SFSU Bookstore (New: $56.00)
Instructor Communications with the Class: We will frequently send out emails to
the entire class regarding reminders about assignments, changes in the course
calendar, job/internship opportunities, etc. Emails will be sent to your SFSU email
account. You can have emails forwarded from your SFSU account to any other email
program that you use. Please check your email frequently.
SFSU General Education (GE), Upper Division (UD) Program
Bay Area Environments has the following attributes that meet student learning
outcomes as required in the General Education Program put into effect in the Fall
2014 Semester:
Bay Area Environments has Student Learning Outcomes that meet the guidelines
Upper Division Science
The following Overlays
Environmental Sustainability
The following Topical Perspectives
Environmental Interconnections
Ethical Reasoning and Action
Life in the San Francisco Bay Area and/or CA
Personal and Community Well-Being
Additional info about the GE, Upper Division Program is in the bulletin here:
Specific Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) for this Course Related to the New
General Education (GE) Program
The following specific SLOs are keyed to certain activities and assignments, which
are listed below.
Upper Division Physical and/or Life Science
Apply scientific methods of inquiry and analysis (including hypothesis
testing, systematic and reproducible observations, and the analysis of
Course Syllabus AU/GEOG 301 Fall 2016
measurable data) to the physical universe, including either living or
nonliving systems;
Articulate how scientific theories and practices come to be accepted,
contested, changed, or abandoned by the scientific community;
Evaluate the quality of scientific information and claims on the basis of their
source and the methods used to generate the information or claims; and
Show how scientific knowledge can be applied to their own lives and to ways
in which they could contribute purposefully to the well-being of their local
communities, their nations, and the people of the world; to social justice;
and/or to the sustainability of the natural environment.
Environmental Sustainability
Analyze how the well-being of human society is dependent on ecosystems
and the materials and services they provide to humanity; and
Identify the most serious environmental problems globally and locally and
explain their underlying causes and possible consequences.
Environmental Interconnections
Describe interconnections among humans and other aspects of the natural
world, as well as their responsibility to work toward the sustainability of the
natural environment, and as a result, increase the health and well-being of
human societies.
Ethical Reasoning and Action
Discern and analyze ethical issues, evaluate decisions and actions that have
ethical implications, and reflect seriously on the motives of their conduct in
the personal and public arenas.
Life in the San Francisco Bay Area and/or CA
Identify and analyze aspects of life in the San Francisco Bay Area and/or
California that contribute to the region’s distinctive character, appreciate the
complex set of forces that have shaped opportunities for and challenges to
the region’s inhabitants, and recognize how they can seize on opportunities
to improve the quality of life in the region.
Personal and Community Well-being
Develop the knowledge and skills needed to promote personal and
community well-being for both current and future generations. Well-being
includes social, economic, physical, occupational, and environmental
components. The courses will address subjects of environmental
sustainability, environments that are fit habitations for human beings,
community revitalization, and intellectual and emotional development across
the life span.
Course Syllabus AU/GEOG 301 Fall 2016
Course Topics, Assignments, and Assessment Tools
Assignments & Assessment:
Reading/Video assignments: Posted on the iLearn page. Reading/watching
will help with in-class iClicker questions and iLearn forum discussions.
NOTE: Reading/video assignments are NOT listed in the Course Schedule
below, see iLearn page for readings and videos.
iClicker Assessment: We will use clickers to: (1) help students keep up in the
class by reviewing material from previous classes, and the reading &/or
video assignments; (2) help students learn new concepts and help each other
to learn peer instruction; (3) help the instructor assess students
understanding of new concepts. When learning anything new, practice and
repetition are essential. You will receive points in two ways:
o Participation points: For every question, one point will be received for
answering the question, whether right or wrong.
o Quiz points: For most questions, one point will be given for choosing the
correct answer.
iLearn Forums: Every week there will be a required iLearn forum
discussion. You will be randomly assigned to a small discussion group in
iLearn. Weekly participation is mandatory. The goal of these forum
discussions is to review the previous week s topic and use peer-to-peer
iLearn Quizzes: Short, interactive quizzes hosted on iLearn. Multiple choice,
matching, fill-in-the-blank type questions.
iLearn Labs: These will be longer, more detailed, and involve simple
calculations. These will involve using online resources; such as, GoogleEarth
and NOAA climate data. These lab assignments will be synthesized and
condensed into your final project, the ePortfolio.
Final Project: This course has addressed how past changes have shaped
current Bay Area environments and how scientific understanding can serve
as the basis for a more sustainable future. Based on what you have learned,
how sustainable do you think Bay Area lifestyles are today What regional
environmental issue seems most important or controversial to you What
role do you expect to play & what responsibilities are you prepared to take
on in promoting a more sustainable Bay Area future in this regard Please
address these questions in a 750-word essay, citing course materials that
have helped shape your views.
Final Exam: Multiple choice, true-false, fill-in-the-blank type questions from
throughout the semester (iClicker questions, iLearn quiz questions, and
questions generated from the iLearn forums).
Self-Guided Field Trips: Each student is required to complete a least one
throughout the semester. There will be numerous field trips to choose from
and will be posted on iLearn. You will be required to submit a 2 page report
about where you went and what you learned. Report submissions will be
through TurnItIn on iLearn.
Course Syllabus AU/GEOG 301 Fall 2016
Grading: Points will be combined in each of the following categories, and then
weighted by the percentage shown towards your final grade.
iClicker Assessment (15%)
iLearn Forums (20%)
iLearn Quizzes (10%)
iLearn Labs (20%)
Final Project (15%)
Final Exam (10%)
Self-Guided Field Trip(s) (10%)
Letter grades will be based on the percentage of possible points earned as shown
A = 93-100% = 4.0 C+ = 76-79% = 2.3 D- = 60-62% = 0.7
A- = 90-92% = 3.7 C = 73-75% = 2.0 F = <60% = 0.0
B+ = 86-89% = 3.3 C- = 70-72% = 1.7
B = 83-85% = 3.0 D+ = 66-69% = 1.3
B- = 80-82% = 2.7 D = 63-65% = 1.0
Syllabus and Course Calendar are Subject to Change:
This syllabus and course schedule are subject to change. If you are absent
from class, it is your responsibility to check on announcements made while you
were absent. All major changes will be announced in class and via email.
Course Schedule
WEEK TOPIC (Assignments (Due Date))
1 Introduction to the course
Mental Maps
Discussion Forum (8/30)
2 Regional Landforms & Landscapes
Plate Tectonic Interactive Map Quiz (9/9)
Discussion Forum (9/6)

3 Regional Climate & Microclimates
Discussion Forum (9/13)
4 Weather Extremes
Microclimate Lab (9/23)
Discussion Forum (9/20)
5 San Francisco Bay Estuary
SF Bay Estuary Lab (9/30)
Discussion Forum (9/27)
Self-guided field trip: SF Bay Model Tour
Course Syllabus AU/GEOG 301 Fall 2016
6 Climate Change
Carbon Footprint Lab (10/7)
Discussion Forum (10/4)
7 Biogeography
Discussion Forum (10/11)
Biogeographies Quiz (10/14)
Self-guided field trip: GGNRA, regional park or nature preserve
8 Bay Area Agriculture
Discussion Forum (10/18)
Agriculture Quiz (10/21)
Self-guided field trip: Alemany Farm Volunteer/Tour
9 Bay Area Water
Water Footprint Lab (10/28)
Discussion Forum (10/25)
Self-guided field trip: Water/Sewage Treatment Plant Tour
10 Transportation
Discussion Forum (11/1)
Transportation Quiz (11/4)
11 Veterans Day: NO CLASS
Discussion Forum (11/8)
12 Bay Area Energy Geographies
Home Energy Audit Lab (11/18)
Discussion Forum (11/15)
14 Municipal Garbage & Waste Disposal
Domestic Trash Audit (12/2)
Discussion Forum (11/29)
Self-guided field trip: Recology Tour
15 Bay Area Wilderness, Parks, & Preserves
Discussion Forum (12/6)
Self-guided field trip: GGNRA, regional park or nature preserve
16 Bay Area Futures
Final Project (12/14)
17 Final examination (16 December, 3:10 4:50 pm)
Course Syllabus AU/GEOG 301 Fall 2016
Course Policies
Computer Skills:
All students will need access to a computer to download the lecture notes
and course materials, which will be posted on iLearn (http://ilearn.sfsu.edu).
Students are required to become familiar with iLearn.
Late Assignment Policy:
Late assignments that are NOT excused due to illness or other prior
approved circumstances will receive a late penalty, as follows:
1 week late = minus 10%
2 weeks late = minus 20%
3 weeks late = minus 30%
I will NOT accept late assignments after 3 weeks.
Attendance Policy:
Attendance is crucial for this course. If you miss a class, you will miss the
learning opportunity, lecture notes, handouts, announcements, assignments, and
exams. Lecture notes posted on iLearn are not 100% complete and require in-class
note-taking on the part of the student. Poor attendance typically results indirectly in
a poor grade. Please be on time to class for the iClicker questions. The beginning of
class is also reserved for important announcements. Being late for class is a
disruption for classroom activities.
Academic Dishonesty:
All forms of academic dishonesty, including but not limited to cheating and
plagiarism will not be tolerated and will be subject to University academic policy.
SFSU defines plagiarism as a form of cheating or fraud; it occurs when a student
misrepresents the work of another as his or her own. Plagiarism may consist of
using the ideas, sentences, paragraphs, or the whole text of another without
appropriate acknowledgment, but it also includes employing or allowing another
person to write or substantially alter work that a student then submits as his or her
SFSU Disability Policy:
Students with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations are
encouraged to contact the instructor. The Disability Programs and Resource Center
(DPRC) is available to facilitate the reasonable accommodations process. The DPRC
is located in the Student Service Building and can be reached by telephone
(voice/TTY 415-338-2472) or by email (dprc@sfsu.edu)
Student Disclosure of Sexual Violence:
SF State fosters a campus free of sexual violence including sexual
harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and/or any form of sex or
Course Syllabus AU/GEOG 301 Fall 2016
gender discrimination. If you disclose a personal experience as an SF State student,
the course instructor is required to notify the Dean of Students. To disclose any such
violence confidentially, contact: The SAFE Place (415) 338-2208;
http://www.sfsu.edu/~safe_plc/ and/or Counseling and Psychological Services
Center (415) 338-2208; http://psyservs.sfsu.edu/
University Deadlines/Policies:
14 September (midnight): deadline for dropping the course and
registering iClicker.
19 October: deadline to request the CR/NC grading option from your
instructor. To receive a CR grade, you must earn a grade of C- or better. The
course grade will not be included in you SFSU GPA calculation, but note that
other institutions often interpret a CR grade as a C and a NC grade as an F .
22 November: Deadline to withdrawal from course with a W grade

Carbon Footprint Calculation and Assessment
One of the major environmental problems being dealt today is global warming. Global warming is caused by too much greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere that trap heat, and in turn give rise to unwanted occurrences such as melting of glaciers and ice sheets, increased ocean temperature, ocean acidification, rising sea level, extreme weather conditions, and many more. If global warming is ignored, it will lead to extinction of a lot of species as well as more disasters and catastrophic events. There are several greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere but among them, carbon dioxide or CO2 is said to be the one causing most of the warming and that its presence in the atmosphere gives the worst effects (Union of Concerned Scientists ). It is therefore important that humans be aware of how much carbon dioxide they contribute to the atmosphere (directly or indirectly), that is, their carbon footprint.
A lot of people are not aware that certain human activities and behaviors further aggravate global warming and a lot of people are not aware of the simple things that they can do to fight global warming. The carbon footprint calculator developed by Stanford University is a very useful tool in determining various areas of human life that contribute to carbon footprint such as transportation, home energy and appliances, food, and personal purchases. By going through the carbon footprint calculator, one can be aware which areas contribute more carbon footprint and what actions to take in order to help alleviate global warming.
The first part of the carbon footprint calculator asked about the country or location. Providing the location is vital in gaining insights about CO2 emission and in determining ways on how to reduce emissions. For instance, those in urban areas vs. those in rural areas may differ in the kind of activities that contribute the most carbon footprint since the lifestyle is different.
As mentioned earlier, there are various areas that contribute to carbon emission of individuals. The calculator grouped these areas into four. The result I got from taking the carbon footprint calculator is tabulated below.
Area My CO2 contribution, kg Average CO2 contribution in California
Transportation 372 2557
Home energy & appliances 1738 3757
Food 2653 2223
Personal purchases 238 1191

Generally, my carbon footprint is low, except in the area of food. For instance, my transportation category is low (only 372 as compared to 2557 average) because I live near the campus and I mostly use public transportation in travelling back and forth the campus and even when going out and shopping. In the area of home energy and appliances, my results are also low because we rarely use airconditioning. I do not have much appliances and gadgets. Also, I try to save electricity and water. I do not leave the lights turned on when not in use. My personal purchases carbon footprint is also low because I do not shop that much. I buy new electronics less than once a year. I also like using reusable plastics and bottles. My food carbon contribution is on the other hand, high. This is the area that contributes most to my CO2 emission. One reason is I don t like eating vegetables that much. I like to eat meat and poultry products which apparently produces more carbon emission.
Although my carbon footprint is lower compared with the average person living in my location, it is still high as compared to the ideal carbon emission. The globally stable carbon emission should only be around 1000 kg. In order to decrease my carbon footprint, I will try eating vegetables and fruits. I will limit my consumption of meat products. I will also try walking instead of always using public transportation especially when my destination is just 2 km and below. In terms of energy usage, we could switch to LED lights or bulbs that consume less power. I will also suggest drying clothes by hanging. Lastly, for my purchases, I will be more conscious of the packaging. I will also recycle bottles and containers and not just throw them away.
The local officials can make policies that would help lessen the carbon emission. One, citizens should be urged to use bicycles in travelling around the city. There should be bicycles that can be rented and can be used as a substitute for public transportation. The street lights should also be replaced with those running on solar energy or those consuming less electricity like LED lights. Students in the campus should be urged to use recycled paper and print or write on both sides or as much as possible, go paperless. Bringing drinks in one s own container or bottle should be encouraged than buying bottled or drinks in cans.
To help alleviate global warming, every person s carbon footprint should be closely monitored in order to determine which activities contribute more carbon dioxide in the environment. In my case, I was not aware that by consuming a lot of meat and poultry products, I contribute more CO2 in the environment. The carbon footprint calculator is a very helpful tool in monitoring the carbon footprint and in determining the best ways individuals can reduce their carbon footprint.

Work Cited
Union of Concerned Scientists . Why does CO2 get most of the attention when there are so many other heat-trapping gases (greenhouse gases) n.d. Web. 4 October 2016. .

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