Brief lecture summaries for Senior Seminar – Spring 2014

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See the PC Productivity Guide for help with a lot of software and hardware available at JSC.


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20 - 24 January 2014

One of the challenges that you face this semester is to create a suite of web pages that defends your thesis on an environmental issue of great importance for which long-term data exists. Your topic may not be adapted, modified, cribbed, or copied from a paper or project that you, your friend, or an acquaintance previously developed at JSC. Furthermore, each student must have a unique topic. Another challenge is to create a poster that summarizes your web page. There will be other challenges, including numerous deadlines... look up the American Sign Language sign for the word 'like'.

What are some of the key issues facing us today? See the 'Get Involved' page to learn about current issues in the news, think tanks & public awareness groups, and obtain contact information.

Some topics that could be considered this project include:

Consider the Grand Challenges for Engineering for the 21st Century as defined by the National Academy of Engineering:


The content, style, and professionalism of the web pages to be developed should be similar to a properly researched, well-referenced, excellent term paper. Be sure to follow all writing, referencing, and figure labeling guidelines for this course. Each person must find an environmental problem for which long-term data is available. Each person will select one problem and develop an Internet site that:

Some of the features of each web site will include:


Very simple web pages can be developed with little HTML code. Notepad can be used to edit the HTML (hypertext markup language) code however, we will be using FrontPage to build the web pages. JavaScript applets will also be incorporated in some of the pages.

See the basic page example, and be sure to figure out how to view the source code.

All web pages will initially reside on the JSC server in the following location U:\ENV4730S14\lastName. Each student will have his or her own folder designated by their last name. Keep only those files that are related to your web page in this folder above. Please make ample backup copies of your files to your thumb drive.

Some important notes about web design:

See the Web Design Links page and learn how to write HTML code. I will assist you in the development of the code, but you must take the initiative.

We will be using CSS (cascading style sheet) coding with HTML so avoid formatting text in the html files.


Assignment (due 23 Jan 2014): Email [1 point]

Send a properly written email that describes your research project.


Assignment (due 28 Jan 2014): References and Word [3 points]

Please develop a two-section document that addresses your research topic and has the following properties:


27 -31 January 2014

Introduction to FrontPage, linking files, formatting, and file properties.

Continue to build your web site and show me something new on Thursday.


Assignment (due 4 Feb 2014): Expansion of the document [6 points]

Please build on the work submitted on 28 Jan 2014:

3 - 7 February 2014

For HTML, add hanging indents by adding the following script in front of each reference (be sure to do this in the code):

<p class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: -.5in; line-height: normal; margin-left: .5in">


Learn keyboard shortcuts in order to increase productivity: ^a, ^c, ^v, ^x, ^f, ^h, ^s, ^n, ^o, alt-tab, windows-tab, and alt-F4.


For Word, to group a figure (or figures) with a caption:

  1. Select a figure, then right-click > wrap text > tight.
  2. Create a text box: insert > text box > simple (be sure text box is the same width as the figure).
  3. Edit the text, center text, and remove border.
  4. Right-click on text box > wrap text > tight.
  5. Group figure and text: click on the figure, then shift-click the text box.
  6. Click "group" to make it one object.
  7. Right-click on the group > wrap text > tight.


Assignment (due 11 Feb 2014): Expansion of the web page [5 points]

Please build on the web pages already started; bring in the information from the Word document (including text, figures, and references).

Be sure to have an informative and relatively short title – this will be the title posed on the student page.


10 - 14 February 2014

Assignment (due 13 Feb 2014): Anchors [5 points]

Create three unique anchors (from citations in text or figure captions) and link them to appropriately formatted references in the reference list.

See the PC Productivity Guide for help on this topic.


Try BlueGriffon or Microsoft Expression to edit HTML files.


Assignment (due 20 Feb 2014): Anchors again [10 points]


17 - 21 February 2014

Assignment (due 6 Mar 2014): Resume and List of References [15 points]


24 - 28 February 2014

Winter Break – please be careful.


3 - 7 March 2014

Assignment (due 13 Mar 2014): Long-term data [20 points]

JSC was closed on 13 Mar 2014 – please submit the assignment on 18 Mar 2014.


NOTE for all assignments:

Check your typing speed at


10 - 14 March 2014
See a local job description for mid-level Wetland Scientist/Ecologist.

The references in one's reference list should have the following format:

Full name, title
   street address
   city, state zip
   phone number
   web site

Use your standard letterhead and be consistent with font decoration for all information.

Assignment (due 20 Mar 2014): Resume and List of References [25 points]


17 - 21 March 2014
Beth Walsh will visit with us on Thursday, 27 March 2014. We will talk about the cover email, resume, and list of references.


Assignment (due 3 Apr 2014): Video [10 points]


PLEASE, continue to build your web site. Do a LOT of research. Make your website informative.

24 - 28 March 2014

Individual discussions about web site.

Met with Beth Walsh regarding resumes.

31 March - 4 April 2014

All PowerPoint presentations will follow the assertion-evidence format. Carefully review the following two sites about the design of PowerPoint slides:



Assignment (due 17 Apr 2014): First PowerPoint presentation [20 points]

All PowerPoint presentations will be assessed using the following rubric:


7 - 11 April 2014

Spring Break please be careful.


14 -18 April 2014

Extended Classroom Experience Day is 25 April 2014. We are going to have one poster at that event.

Be sure that the landing page (default.htm) is fantastic because that is the page we will put on the poster.

Tuesday we will learn how to use Illustrator.

Thursday you will deliver a ten-minute PowerPoint presentation using the assertion-evidence model.

Finalize the PowerPoint presentations and present to the class.

21 - 25 April 2014

Build an Illustrator poster.



Grading rubric for final version of the web site:

Topic points draft date: 30 Jan 2014
Title page (default.htm) 3 name, date, title, thesis statement, email, links
Thesis statement 3 take a position, not vague
Video description 3 linked; clear (15 sec)
Abstract 5 not an introduction; the details, the facts, the essence
Letters and contact information 10 Succinct, useable, appropriate addresses; linked
Make the case 20 well-written; well-researched
Federal Policy 5 stated clearly
Functionality 10 links obvious; intuitive; menu system; easy to navigate; PowerPoint linked
Creativity 5 not boring; not extravagant; color scheme; font size; page titles; tables; consistent style
Use of data 10 facts; interpret; used appropriately; support thesis; relevant; long-term data
Images and graphs 10 clear; long-term data graph(s)
Reference list 7 links to source; appropriate format; correct style
Citations in text 7 all images and statements that are not yours; appropriate format; anchors
Resume 2 linked; clear
late fee (-10 per calendar day)    
maximum reduction of 36 points for following:  
spelling errors -2  
improper use of the apostrophe -2  
improper use of the long dash -2  
broken links -2  


28 April - 2 May 2014

Continuous improvement on the web pages.


5 - 9 May 2014

Continuous improvement on the web pages.


Assignment (due 8 May 2014): 'Get involved' letters [20 points]

  • Develop two form letters, on appropriate letterhead, with appropriate addresses, that others can send to support the cause espoused by your web site.
  • Save the files in .rtf format and link them appropriately to your web site.
  • The first paragraph should state the problem.
  • The second paragraph should provide evidence that supports your assertion of the problem.
  • The third paragraph should provide what the recipient of the letter should do so solve the problem.
  • The final paragraph should summarize the problem and kindly demand a response.
  • There should be an appropriate signature block.


Assignment (due 8 May 2014): Penultimate draft of website [30 points]

  • A printout of all pages in your website is due by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday.
  • The penultimate version of your website will be uploaded by the end of the class.




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