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  • Managing Life's Future: Species Essentialism and Evolutionary Normativity in Conservation Policy, Practice, and Imaginaries  Maggiulli, Katrina ( University of Oregon , 2024-01-10 ) Folk essentialist and normative understandings of species are not only prevalent in popular layperson communities, but also end up undergirding United States conservation policy and practice due to the simplistic clarity ...
  • Unsettled Ecologies: Alienated Species, Indigenous Restoration, and U.S. Empire in a Time of Climate Chaos  Fink, Lisa ( University of Oregon , 2024-01-10 ) This dissertation traces environmental thinking about invasive species from Western-colonial, diasporic settlers of color, and Indigenous perspectives within U.S. settler colonialism. Considering environmental discourses ...
  • Futuremaking in a Disaster Zone: Everyday Climate Change Adaptation amongst Quechua Women in the Peruvian Cordillera Blanca  Moulton, Holly ( University of Oregon , 2024-01-10 ) Indigenous women in Peru are often labeled “triply vulnerable” to climate change due to race, gender, and economic marginalization. Despite Peru’s focus on gender, Indigeneity, and intersectionality in national adaptation ...
  • Land Acts: Land's Agency in American Literature, Law, and History from the Colonial Period to Removal  Keeler, Kyle ( University of Oregon , 2024-01-10 ) This dissertation examines land’s agency and relationships to land in the places now known as the United States as these relationships appear in literature and law from early colonization to the removal period. Land Acts ...
  • PALEOTEMPERATURE, VEGETATION CHANGE, FIRE HISTORY, AND LAKE PRODUCTIVITY FOR THE LAST 14,500 YEARS AT GOLD LAKE, PACIFIC NORTHWEST, USA  Baig, Jamila ( University of Oregon , 2024-01-09 ) The postglacial history of vegetation, wildfire, and climate in the Cascade Range (Oregon) is only partly understood. This study uses high-resolution analysis from a 13-meter, 14,500-year sediment core from Gold Lake to ...
  • On Western Juniper Climate Relations  Reis, Schyler ( University of Oregon , 2022-10-26 ) Western juniper woodlands are highly sensitive to climate in terms of tree-ring growth, seedling establishment and range distribution. Understanding the dynamics of western juniper woodlands to changes in precipitation, ...
  • Stories We Tell, Stories We Eat: Mexican Foodways, Cultural Identity, and Ideological Struggle in Netflix’s Taco Chronicles  Sanchez, Bela ( University of Oregon , 2022-10-26 ) Food is a biological necessity imbued with numerous social, cultural, and economic implications for identity production and everyday meaning-making. Food television is a unique medium for the meanings of food and foodways ...
  • Soil Nutrient Additions Shift Orthopteran Herbivory and Invertebrate Community Composition  Altmire, Gabriella ( University of Oregon , 2022-10-26 ) Anthropogenic alterations to global pools of nitrogen and phosphorus are driving declines in plant diversity across grasslands. As such, concern over biodiversity loss has precipitated a host of studies investigating how ...
  • Multispecies Memoir: Self, Genre, and Species Justice in Contemporary Culture  Otjen, Nathaniel ( University of Oregon , 2022-10-04 ) Liberal humanism articulates an individual, rational, autonomous, universal, and singularly human subject that possesses various rights and freedoms. Although the imagined subject at the heart of liberal humanist philosophy ...
  • Understanding How Changes in Disturbance Regimes and Long-Term Climate Shape Ecosystem and Landscape Structure and Function  Wright, Jamie ( University of Oregon , 2022-10-04 ) Long-term and anthropic climatic change intersecting with disturbances alters ecosystem structure and function across spatiotemporal scales. Quantifying ecosystem responses can be convoluted, therefore utilizing multiproxy ...
  • Ikpíkyav (To Fix Again): Drawing From Karuk World Renewal To Contest Settler Discourses Of Vulnerability  Vinyeta, Kirsten ( University of Oregon , 2022-10-04 ) The Klamath River Basin of Northern California has historically been replete with fire-adapted ecosystems and Indigenous communities. For the Karuk Tribe, fire has been an indispensable tool for both spiritual practice and ...
  • Grassland Restoration in Heterogeneous, Changing, and Human Dominated Systems  Brambila, Alejandro ( University of Oregon , 2022-10-04 ) Ecological restoration is a powerful tool to promote biodiversity and ecosystem function. Understanding underlying system variability and directional change can help predict outcomes of restoration interventions. Spatial ...
  • Restoring What? And for Whom? Listening to Karuk Ecocultural Revitalization Practitioners and Uncovering Settler Logics in Ecological Restoration.  Worl, Sara ( University of Oregon , 2022-05-10 ) What does it mean to restore a landscape degraded by settler colonialism? How might a well intentionedprocess like ecological restoration end up causing harm from underlying settler colonial logics? This thesis explores ...
  • Instigating Communities of Solidarity: An Exploration of Participatory, Informal, Temporary Urbanisms  Meier, Briana ( University of Oregon , 2021-11-23 ) This dissertationexamines the potential for participatory, informal urbanisms to buildcollaborative relations across ontological, cultural, and political difference. This research contributes to thefield of urban, environmental ...
  • The Holy Oak School of Art and Ecology: A Proposal for Arts-Based Environmental Education Programming  Best, Krysta ( University of Oregon , 2021-11-23 ) The following is a proposal for arts-based environmental education programming in elementary schools, after-school programs, and day-camp programs, entitled the Holy School of Art and Ecology. Ecophenomenological, arts-based ...
  • Settler Colonial Listening and the Silence of Wilderness in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area  Hilgren, Bailey ( University of Oregon , 2021-11-23 ) The Boundary Waters Canoe Area soundscape in northern Minnesota has a long and contested history but is most often characterized today as a pristine and distinctly silent wilderness. This thesis traces the construction and ...
  • Species Dynamics and Restoration in Rare Serpentine Grasslands under Global Change  Hernandez, Eliza ( University of Oregon , 2021-11-23 ) Conserving rare serpentine grasslands is a challenge with ongoing nitrogen deposition. Nutrient-poor patches are fertilized by nitrogen-rich smog and exotic grasses can rapidly spread. Water resources are also being altered ...
  • Place-making and Place-taking: An Analysis of Green Gentrification in Atlanta Georgia  Okotie-Oyekan, Aimée ( University of Oregon , 2021-11-23 ) Despite the benefits of urban greenspace, Atlanta’s Westside Park is causing gentrification and displacement pressures in Grove Park, a low-income African-American community in northwest Atlanta, Georgia. This study used ...
  • Prairie Plant Responses to Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest  Reed, Paul ( University of Oregon , 2021-09-13 ) Understanding how plants respond to climate change is of paramount importance since their responses can affect ecosystem functions and patterns of biodiversity. At the population level, climate change may alter phenology ...
  • Understanding Freshwater Mussel Distribution, Abundance, and Demography in the South Umpqua River Basin, Oregon: Impacts of Land Use and Stream Hydraulics  Johnson, Laura ( University of Oregon , 2021-04-27 ) Freshwater mussels are both keystone and indicator species within aquatic ecosystems and are declining across their historic ranges within the Pacific Northwest (PNW). This thesis provides baseline information necessary ...

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Home > CNS > ECO > Environmental Conservation Masters Theses Collection

Environmental Conservation

Environmental Conservation Masters Theses Collection

Theses from 2023 2023.

Modeling the Effects of Forest Management Practices on Ecohydrologic Processes in the Antalya River Watershed of Turkey , Hilal Arslan, Environmental Conservation

HYDRO-SOCIAL TERRITORIES AND OIL PALM PLANTATIONS: INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, AGRIBUSINESS, AND SAFE WATER ACCESS UNDER POWER RELATIONS IN KAIS, WEST PAPUA, INDONESIA , Briantama Asmara, Environmental Conservation

Evaluation of Acoustic Telemetry Array Performance and Fine- Scale and Broad-Scale Spatial Movement Patterns for Coral Reef Species in Culebra, Puerto Rico , Roxann Cormier, Environmental Conservation

Improving Energy Efficiency of School Buildings with Solar-Assisted Cooling for the Maldives , Ahmed Fathhee, Environmental Conservation

Pine Barrens Wildlife Management: Exploring the Impact of a Stressor and Active Management on Two Taxa at Camp Edwards , Andrew B. Gordon Jr, Environmental Conservation

Factors Affecting the Distribution of Malayan Sun Bear in Htamanthi Wildlife Sanctuary, Northern Myanmar , Min Hein Htike, Environmental Conservation

A Multi-Regional Assessment of Eastern Whip-poor-will (Antrostomus vociferus) Occupancy in Managed and Unmanaged Forests Using Autonomous Recording Units , Jeffery T. Larkin, Environmental Conservation

Climate Change Attitudes of United States Family Forest Owners and their Influence on Forest Management Practices , Logan Miller, Environmental Conservation

The Relative Effects of Functional Diversity and Structural Complexity on Carbon Dynamics in Late-Successional, Northeastern Mixed Hardwood Forests , Samantha Myers, Environmental Conservation

Factors influencing the occurrence and spread of aquatic invasive species in watershed systems , Hazel M. Ortiz, Environmental Conservation

PARTICIPATORY WETLAND GOVERNANCE IN RAMSAR – ASSESSING LEVEL OF PARTICIPATION IN INDIA , Seema Ravandale, Environmental Conservation

A REVIEW AND ANALYSIS OF THE LINKED DECISIONS IN THE CONFISCATION OF ILLEGALLY TRADED TURTLES , Desiree Smith, Environmental Conservation

Effect of Alliaria petiolata management on post-eradication seed bank dynamics , Chloe Thompson, Environmental Conservation

Bog Turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) Population Dynamics and Response to Habitat Management in Massachusetts , Julia Vineyard, Environmental Conservation

Theses from 2022 2022

Assessment of the Economic and Ecosystem Service Contributions of USDA Forest Service Landowner Assistance Programs in the Conterminous United States , Jacqueline S. Dias, Environmental Conservation

Exploring Urban Forestry Non-Governmental Organizations in the Temperate Forest Region of the United States , Alexander J. Elton, Environmental Conservation

Songbird-mediated Insect Pest Control in Low Intensity New England Agriculture , Samuel J. Mayne, Environmental Conservation

Perception and Value Assessment of Ecosystem Services in Rural and Urban Regions in Ecuador , Roberto S. Navarrete Arias, Environmental Conservation

Identifying New Invasives In The Face Of Climate Change: A Focus On Sleeper Populations , Ayodelé C. O'Uhuru, Environmental Conservation

A Tipping Point in the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest: Current and Future Land-Use and Climate Change Trends , Alula Shields, Environmental Conservation

Dynamics of Water Supply and Demand in the Bandama River Watershed of Cote d'Ivoire , Sarah Alima Traore, Environmental Conservation

Theses from 2021 2021

Applying Ecological Theory to Amphibian Populations to Determine if Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) are Ideal and Free when Selecting Breeding Habitat , Taylor M. Braunagel, Environmental Conservation

Assessing the Impacts to Society Associated with the Use of Alternative Ammunition for Hunting on National Wildlife Refuges , Christopher Cahill, Environmental Conservation

Evaluation of Environmental Factors Influencing American Marten Distribution and Density in New Hampshire , Donovan Drummey, Environmental Conservation

Can Volunteers Learn to Prune Trees? , Ryan W. Fawcett, Environmental Conservation

The Efficacy of Habitat Conservation Assistance Programs for Family Forest Owners in Vermont , Margaret E. Harrington, Environmental Conservation

The Role of Vegetative Cover in Enhancing Resilience to Climate Change and Improving Public Health , Anastasia D. Ivanova, Environmental Conservation

Assessing the Structure and Function of Utility Forests in Massachusetts , Ryan Suttle, Environmental Conservation

Factors Influencing Stopover and Movement of Migratory Songbirds within the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge , Jessica Tatten, Environmental Conservation

Patterns and mechanisms of intraspecific trait variation across thermal gradients in a marine gastropod , Andrew R. Villeneuve, Environmental Conservation

Theses from 2020 2020

Habitat Associations of Priority Bird Species and Conservation Value on Small, Diversified Farms in New England , Isabel Brofsky, Environmental Conservation

Autonomous Recording Units as an Alternative Method for Monitoring Songbirds , Lindsay Clough, Environmental Conservation

Impact of Predators on Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Hemiptera: Adelgidae) in the Eastern and Western United States , Ryan Crandall, Environmental Conservation

New England’s Underutilized Seafood Species: Defining And Exploring Marketplace Potential In A Changing Climate , Amanda Davis, Environmental Conservation

Improving Growth and Survival of Cultured Yellow Lampmussel (Lampsilis cariosa) for Restoring Populations , Virginia Martell, Environmental Conservation

From Intentional Awareness to Environmental Action: The Relationship Between Mindfulness and Pro-Environmental Behaviors , Nischal Neupane, Environmental Conservation

The Ecological Value of Spruce Plantations in Massachusetts , Calvin Ritter, Environmental Conservation

In-vitro Propagation and Fish Assessments to Inform Restoration of Dwarf Wedgemussel (Alasmidonta Heterodon) , Jennifer Ryan, Environmental Conservation

Theses from 2019 2019

Hydrologic Structure and Function of Vernal Pools in South Deerfield, Massachusetts , Charlotte Axthelm, Environmental Conservation

Ecological and Economic Implications of Establishing Quercus spp. in the Urban Environment , Tierney Bocsi, Environmental Conservation

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) Management Effectiveness and Plant Community Response , Erin Coates-Connor, Environmental Conservation

Defining and Addressing Interconnected Goals in Groundwater Management Planning Across the USA , Allison Gage, Environmental Conservation

Root-Driven Weathering Impacts on Mineral-Organic Associations Over Pedogenic Time Scales , Mariela Garcia Arredondo, Environmental Conservation

Using Visual Media to Empower Citizen Scientists: A Case Study of the Outsmart App , Megan E. Kierstead, Environmental Conservation

Urban Biodiversity Experience and Exposure: Intervention and Inequality at the Local and Global Scale , Evan Kuras, Environmental Conservation

Arboriculture Safety Around The World , Jamie Lim, Environmental Conservation

Ecological Considerations and Application of Urban Tree Selection in Massachusetts , Ashley McElhinney, Environmental Conservation

The Women's Action: Participation through Resistance , Michael Roberts, Environmental Conservation

Eastern Whip-poor-will Habitat Associations in Fort Drum, NY , Kimberly Spiller, Environmental Conservation

The Role of International River Basin Organizations in Facilitating Science Use in Policy , Kelsey Wentling, Environmental Conservation

An Examination of Tern Diet in a Changing Gulf of Maine , Keenan Yakola, Environmental Conservation

Theses from 2018 2018

Mapping Sandbars in the Connecticut River Watershed through Aerial Images for Floodplain Conservation , Bogumila Backiel, Environmental Conservation

You Must Estimate Before You Indicate: Design and Model-Based Methods for Evaluating Utility of a Candidate Forest Indicator Species , Jillian Fleming, Environmental Conservation

Performance of Floristic Quality Assessment in Massachusetts Forested Wetlands , Carolyn Gorss, Environmental Conservation

The Impact of Intraspecific Density on Garlic Mustard Sinigrin Concentration , Mercedes Harris, Environmental Conservation

Plants, Parasites, and Pollinators: The Effects of Medicinal Pollens on a Common Gut Parasite in Bumble Bees , George LoCascio, Environmental Conservation

Human and Climate Change Influences on Black (Diceros bicornis) and White (Ceratotherium simum) Rhinos in Southern Africa , Hlelolwenkhosi S. Mamba, Environmental Conservation

Watershed-Scale Modeling for Water Resource Sustainability in the Tuul River Basin of Mongolia , Javzansuren Norvanchig, Environmental Conservation

Impacts of Small, Surface-Release Dams on Stream Temperature and Dissolved Oxygen in Massachusetts , Peter Zaidel, Environmental Conservation

Theses from 2017 2017

Accounting For Biotic Variability In Streams With Low Levels of Impervious Cover: The Role of Reach- and Watershed-Scale Factors , Catherine Bentsen, Environmental Conservation

Juvenile River Herring in Freshwater Lakes: Sampling Approaches for Evaluating Growth and Survival , Matthew T. Devine, Environmental Conservation

DIRECT AND INDIRECT EFFECTS OF CLIMATE ON BIRD ABUNDANCE ALONG ELEVATION GRADIENTS IN THE NORTHERN APPALACHIANS , Timothy Duclos, Environmental Conservation

EVALUATION OF THE RECREATIONAL CATCH-AND-RELEASE FISHERY FOR GOLDEN DORADO SALMINUS BRASILIENSIS IN SALTA, ARGENTINA: IMPLICATIONS FOR CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT , Tyler Gagne, Environmental Conservation

Botswana’s Elephant-Back Safari Industry – Stress-Response in Working African Elephants and Analysis of their Post-Release Movements , Tanya Lama, Environmental Conservation

Factors Influencing Shrubland Bird and Native Bee Communities in Forest Openings , H. Patrick Roberts, Environmental Conservation

A Mixed-methods Study on Female Landowner Estate Planning Objectives , rebekah zimmerer, Environmental Conservation

Theses from 2016 2016

Factors Influencing Household Outdoor Residential Water Use Decisions in Suburban Boston (USA) , Emily E. Argo, Environmental Conservation

Understory Plant Community Structure in Forests Invaded by Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) , Jason Aylward, Environmental Conservation

Factors Affecting Habitat Quality for Wintering Wood Thrushes in a Coffee Growing Region in Honduras , Brett A. Bailey, Environmental Conservation

Invasive Species Occurrence Frequency is not a Suitable Proxy for Abundance in the Northeast , Tyler J. Cross, Environmental Conservation

Population Genetic Analysis of Atlantic Horseshoe Crabs (Limulus polyphemus) in Coastal Massachusetts. , Katherine T. Johnson, Environmental Conservation

Modeling Historical and Future Range of Variability Scenarios in the Yuba River Watershed, Tahoe National Forest, California , Maritza Mallek, Environmental Conservation

The Life History Characteristics, Growth, and Mortality of Juvenile Alewife, Alosa pseudoharengus, in Coastal Massachusetts , Julianne Rosset, Environmental Conservation

Specific Phosphate Sorption Mechanisms of Unaltered and Altered Biochar , Kathryn D. Szerlag, Environmental Conservation

Trophic Relationships Among Caribou Calf Predators in Newfoundland , Chris Zieminski, Environmental Conservation

Theses from 2015 2015

Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Assemblages in Three New York Pine Barrens and the Impacts of Hiking Trails , Grace W. Barber, Environmental Conservation

Niche-Based Modeling of Japanese Stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) Using Presence-Only Information , Nathan Bush, Environmental Conservation

Assessing Mammal and Bird Biodiversity and Habitat Occupancy of Tiger Prey in the Hukaung Valley of Northern Myanmar , Hla Naing, Environmental Conservation

Generating Best Management Practices for Avian Conservation in a Land-Sparing Agriculture System, and the Habitat-Specific Survival of a Priority Migrant , Jeffrey D. Ritterson, Environmental Conservation

Experimental Test of Genetic Rescue in Isolated Populations of Brook Trout , Zachary L. Robinson, Environmental Conservation

UNDERSTANDING STAKEHOLDERS PERCEPTION TOWARDS HUMAN-WILDLIFE INTERACTION AND CONFLICT IN A TIGER LANDSCAPE-COMPLEX OF INDIA , Ronak T. Sripal, Environmental Conservation

Impacts of Land Cover and Climate Change on Water Resources in Suasco River Watershed , Ammara Talib, Environmental Conservation

Theses from 2014 2014

A Comparison of American, Canadian, and European Home Energy Performance in Heating Dominated – Moist Climates Based on Building Codes , Stephanie M. Berkland, Environmental Conservation

Spatio-Temporal Factors Affecting Human-Black Bear Interactions in Great Smoky Mountains National Park , Nathan Buckhout, Environmental Conservation

Estimating the Effective Number of Breeders of Brook Trout, Salvelinus fontinalis, Over Multiple Generations in Two Stream Systems , Matthew R. Cembrola, Environmental Conservation

An Assessment of Environmental Dna as a Tool to Detect Fish Species in Headwater Streams , Stephen F. Jane, Environmental Conservation

Assessing Wild Canid Distribution Using Camera Traps in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts , Eric G. LeFlore, Environmental Conservation

Quantifying the Effect of Passive Solar Design in Traditional New England Architecture , Peter Levy, Environmental Conservation

Ecology and Conservation of Endangered Species in Sumatra: Smaller Cats and the Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus Sumatrensis) As Case Studies , Wulan Pusparini, Environmental Conservation

The Cumulative Impacts of Climate Change and Land Use Change on Water Quantity and Quality in the Narragansett Bay Watershed , Evan R. Ross, Environmental Conservation

Patterns in Trash: Factors that Drive Municipal Solid Waste Recycling , Jared Starr, Environmental Conservation

Theses from 2013 2013

Greening the Building Code: an Analysis of Large Project Review Under Boston Zoning Code Articles 37 and 80 , Sandy J. Beauregard, Environmental Conservation

Vernal Pool Vegetation and Soil Patterns Along Hydrologic Gradients in Western Massachusetts , Kasie Collins, Environmental Conservation

Implementation of Aquaponics in Education: An Assessment of Challenges, Solutions and Success , Emily Rose Hart, Environmental Conservation

Aquatic Barrier Prioritization in New England Under Climate Change Scenarios Using Fish Habitat Quantity, Thermal Habitat Quality, Aquatic Organism Passage, and Infrastructure Sustainability , Alexandra C. Jospe, Environmental Conservation

The Energy Benefits of Trees: Investigating Shading, Microclimate and Wind Shielding Effects in Worcester and Springfield, Massachusetts , Emma L. Morzuch, Environmental Conservation

The Effect of Leaves and Steel Support Cables on The Dynamic Properties of Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) with Co-Dominant Trunks , Mark Reiland, Environmental Conservation

Growth and Establishment of Newly Planted Street Trees , Alexander R. Sherman, Environmental Conservation

Theses from 2012 2012

Population Size, Habitat Use and Diet of Kittlitz's Murrelets in Prince William Sound, Alaska , Andrew J. Allyn, Environmental Conservation

Investigation of Compliance with the Ansi Z133.1 - 2006 Safety Standard in the New England Tree Care Industry , Alexandra K. Julius, Environmental Conservation

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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Developing Strong Thesis Statements

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These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing.

The thesis statement or main claim must be debatable

An argumentative or persuasive piece of writing must begin with a debatable thesis or claim. In other words, the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people.

Example of a non-debatable thesis statement:

This thesis statement is not debatable. First, the word pollution implies that something is bad or negative in some way. Furthermore, all studies agree that pollution is a problem; they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. No one could reasonably argue that pollution is unambiguously good.

Example of a debatable thesis statement:

This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it. Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money. Others might feel that we should be spending more money on education. Still others could argue that corporations, not the government, should be paying to limit pollution.

Another example of a debatable thesis statement:

In this example there is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. Some citizens might think focusing on recycling programs rather than private automobiles is the most effective strategy.

The thesis needs to be narrow

Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start, generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be. Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. The broader your claim is, the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right.

Example of a thesis that is too broad:

There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. First, what is included in the category "drugs"? Is the author talking about illegal drug use, recreational drug use (which might include alcohol and cigarettes), or all uses of medication in general? Second, in what ways are drugs detrimental? Is drug use causing deaths (and is the author equating deaths from overdoses and deaths from drug related violence)? Is drug use changing the moral climate or causing the economy to decline? Finally, what does the author mean by "society"? Is the author referring only to America or to the global population? Does the author make any distinction between the effects on children and adults? There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open. The author could not cover all of the topics listed above, yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate.

Example of a narrow or focused thesis:

In this example the topic of drugs has been narrowed down to illegal drugs and the detriment has been narrowed down to gang violence. This is a much more manageable topic.

We could narrow each debatable thesis from the previous examples in the following way:

Narrowed debatable thesis 1:

This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just the amount of money used but also how the money could actually help to control pollution.

Narrowed debatable thesis 2:

This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just what the focus of a national anti-pollution campaign should be but also why this is the appropriate focus.

Qualifiers such as " typically ," " generally ," " usually ," or " on average " also help to limit the scope of your claim by allowing for the almost inevitable exception to the rule.

Types of claims

Claims typically fall into one of four categories. Thinking about how you want to approach your topic, or, in other words, what type of claim you want to make, is one way to focus your thesis on one particular aspect of your broader topic.

Claims of fact or definition: These claims argue about what the definition of something is or whether something is a settled fact. Example:

Claims of cause and effect: These claims argue that one person, thing, or event caused another thing or event to occur. Example:

Claims about value: These are claims made of what something is worth, whether we value it or not, how we would rate or categorize something. Example:

Claims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution or policy approach to a problem. Example:

Which type of claim is right for your argument? Which type of thesis or claim you use for your argument will depend on your position and knowledge of the topic, your audience, and the context of your paper. You might want to think about where you imagine your audience to be on this topic and pinpoint where you think the biggest difference in viewpoints might be. Even if you start with one type of claim you probably will be using several within the paper. Regardless of the type of claim you choose to utilize it is key to identify the controversy or debate you are addressing and to define your position early on in the paper.

Writing a Paper about an Environmental Issue

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thesis statement on environmental issues

  • Ph.D., Wildlife Ecology, University of Maine
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  • B.S., Biology, Université du Québec à Rimouski

Are you a student tasked with writing a research paper on an environmental issue? These few tips, along with some hard and focused work, should get you most of the way there.

Find a Topic

Look for a topic that speaks to you, that grabs your attention. Alternatively, choose a topic about which you are genuinely interested in learning more. It will be a lot easier to spend time working on something of interest to you.

Here are some places you can find ideas for a paper:

  • Global warming
  • Biodiversity
  • Deforestation
  • Fossil fuels
  • Water Pollution
  • The science or environment sections of major newspapers and news organizations will feature articles about current environmental news and events.
  • Environmental news websites like Grist or Environmental News Network .

Conduct Research

Are you using internet resources? Make sure you can assess the quality of the information you find. This article from Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab is useful to help with assessing the quality of your sources.

Print resources are not to be neglected. Visit your school or city library, learn how to use their search engine, and talk to your librarian about accessing the resources available.

Are you expected to constrain your sources to primary literature? That body of knowledge consists of peer-reviewed articles published in scientific journals. Consult your librarian for help with accessing the proper databases to reach those articles.

Follow Instructions

Carefully read the handout or prompt given to you and which contains instructions about the assignment. Early in the process, make sure you choose a topic that will satisfy the assigned requirements. Once half-way through the paper, and once when it’s done, check it against the instructions to make sure you didn’t drift away from what was required.

Start With a Solid Structure

First craft a paper outline with your main ideas organized, and a thesis statement . A logical outline will make it easy to gradually flesh out ideas and eventually produce complete paragraphs with good transitions between them. Make sure all the sections serve the purpose of the paper outlined in the thesis statement.

After you have a good draft produced, put the paper down, and don’t pick it up until the next day. It’s due tomorrow? Next time, start working on it earlier. This break will help you with the editing stage: you need fresh eyes to read, and re-read your draft for flow, typos, and a myriad other little problems.

Pay Attention to Formatting

Along the way, check that you are following your teacher’s formatting instructions: font size, line spacing, margins, length, page numbers, title page, etc. A poorly formatted paper will suggest to your teacher that not only the form, but the content is of low quality as well.

Avoid Plagiarism

First, make sure you know what plagiarism is , you can then more easily avoid it. Pay especially close attention to properly attributing the work you cite.

  • How to Write a Research Paper That Earns an A
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  • How to Write a Good Thesis Statement
  • How to Develop a Research Paper Timeline
  • How to Write a Great Book Report
  • Writing an Annotated Bibliography for a Paper
  • 10 Steps to Writing a Successful Book Report
  • Write an Attention-Grabbing Opening Sentence for an Essay
  • How to Write a Persuasive Essay
  • How to Write a 10-Page Research Paper
  • An Introduction to Academic Writing
  • 5 Steps to Writing a Position Paper
  • Tips on How to Write an Argumentative Essay
  • How To Write an Essay

Persuasive Essay: Environmental Issues

Persuasive Essay: Environmental Issues

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Critical stance and development of a strong argument are key strategies when writing to convince someone to agree with your position. In this lesson, students explore environmental issues that are relevant to their own lives, self-select topics, and gather information to write persuasive essays. Students participate in peer conferences to aid in the revision process and evaluate their essays through self-assessment. Although this lesson focuses on the environment as a broad topic, many other topics can be easily substituted for reinforcement of persuasive writing.

Featured Resources

  • Persuasion Map : Your students can use this online interactive tool to map out an argument for their persuasive essay.
  • Persuasive Writing : This site offers information on the format of a persuasive essay, the writing and peer conferencing process, and a rubric for evaluating students' work.
  • Role Play Activity sheet : Give your students the opportunity to see persuasion in action and to discuss the elements of a successful argument.

From Theory to Practice

  • The main purpose of persuasive texts is to present an argument or an opinion in an attempt to convince the reader to accept the writer's point of view.
  • Reading and reacting to the opinions of others helps shape readers' beliefs about important issues, events, people, places, and things.
  • This chapter highlights various techniques of persuasion through the use of minilessons. The language and format of several subgenres of persuasive writing are included as well.
The inquiry approach gives students the opportunity to identify topics in which they are interested, research those topics, and present their findings. This approach is designed to be learner-centered as it encourages students to select their own research topics, rather than being told what to study.
  • The Saving Black Mountain project highlighted in this article exemplifies critical literacy in action. Students learn that, in a democratic society, their voices can make a difference.
  • Critical literacy goes beyond providing authentic purposes and audiences for reading and writing, and considers the role of literacy in societal transformation. Students should be learning a great deal more than how to read and write. They should be learning about the power of literacy to make a difference.
  • Endangered species and the environment are compelling topics for students of all ages and excellent raw materials for literacy learning.

Common Core Standards

This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.

State Standards

This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.

NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts

  • 3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
  • 4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
  • 5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
  • 7. Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.
  • 8. Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.

Materials and Technology

  • Chart paper and writing materials
  • Computers with Internet access

Role Play Activity sheet

Preparation

Student objectives.

Students will

  • Develop a critical stance in regard to environmental issues
  • Research information to support their stance
  • Write persuasive essays
  • Participate in peer conferencing
  • Evaluate their writing through self-assessment

Independent Work

Students should complete their revisions and prepare a final draft of their persuasive essays to be submitted on the established due date. In addition, students should self-assess their essays using the “Persuasive Essay Rubric.” Finished essays should be submitted, along with the ”Conferencing with a Peer” handouts, the self-assessment rubrics, the persuasion map printouts, and any notes or information printed off the Internet that was used to support the writing.

  • Have students share their essays with the class and discuss or debate the topics. Students can also examine the essays to see which ones do the best job of persuading the audience and why.
  • Encourage students to write their essays in the form of a letter and send them to a particular person or organization that has an interest in the specified topic. For example, it may be appropriate to send letters to politicians, corporations, the President, etc. Students can use the interactive Letter Generator to compose their letters.

Student Assessment / Reflections

  • The “ Conferencing with a Peer ” handouts should clearly show that the writer followed the persuasive essay format. If any elements were missing from the conference sheet, the final draft should reflect that revisions were made to incorporate comments and suggestions from the peer conferencing session.
  • The “ Persuasive Essay Rubric ” can be used as a guide to determine whether the student understands all the elements of writing a persuasive essay. Weak areas should be discussed with each individual student for future writing pieces. Strong areas should be reinforced and commended. Individual conferences between the teacher and student would allow for discussion of particular strengths and weaknesses, as well as future goals for the student as a writer.
  • Evaluate the completed persuasive essay to assess each student’s ability to compose a thesis statement and to use appropriate language and voice in the essay. Does the essay include an introduction, body, and conclusion? Does it include supporting information to support the student’s stance in the essay?
  • Engage students in thinking about how they envision they will be able to use this style of writing in the future. Do they feel this skill will benefit them and in what ways? (This reflection can be completed during individual conferencing, through journal writing, or added to the self-assessment rubric.)
  • Calendar Activities
  • Lesson Plans
  • Student Interactives

Students analyze rhetorical strategies in online editorials, building knowledge of strategies and awareness of local and national issues. This lesson teaches students connections between subject, writer, and audience and how rhetorical strategies are used in everyday writing.

The Persuasion Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to map out their arguments for a persuasive essay or debate.

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Home > Environmental Studies > Student Theses 2001-2013

Student Theses 2001-2013

Student Theses 2001-2013

Theses/dissertations from 2017 2017.

The Disappearing Wetland Act: Climate Change, Development, and Protection , Jessica P. Doughty

Theses/Dissertations from 2013 2013

The Centrality of Ecological Design: Achieving Sustainability in an Era of Free-Market Capitalist Framework , Eddy Andrade

A Vicious CERCLA, Or The Twilight of the Superfund , Donald Borenstein

Saving the World’s Remaining Tigers: Panthera’s Work and the Role of Non-Profits in Wildlife Conservation , John Byrne

New York City’s Water Challenges: History, Politics, and Design , Jessica Crowley

Giving Back to the Community: Addressing the Environmental Literacy Gap Through Socially and Environmentally Responsible Business Practices , David Garcia

Wasting Plates: Addressing Food Waste in the United States , Sarah Geuss

Too Pig to Fail: Considering Regulatory Solutions to the Environmental Damages Caused by Industrial Hog Farms in North Carolina , Samir Hafez

Sandy and the City: The Need for Coastal Policy Reform , Jonathan Hilburg

Drilling for Arctic Oil: Is it Worth the Risk? , Emily Kain

The Pedestrianization of New York City: An Environmental History and Critique of Urban Motorization and A Look at New York City’s New Era of Planning , Anna Kobara

Hurricane Sandy: Using Environmental History, Economics, Politics and Urban Planning to Prepare For the Next One , Julia Maguire

Our Failing Food System: Productivity Versus Sustainability , Alyson Murphy

Exploring the Drivers of CSR and Creating a Sustainable Corporate Institution: Environmental Education, Politics, and Business Practices , Eric Osuna

Composting Food Waste: A Method That Can Improve Soil Quality and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions , Gentiana Quni

Assessment of Impact of Socioeconomic Factors on Conservation Awareness in the Tarangire-Manyara Ecosystem , Karianne Rivera

The Sustainable Future of the Metropolis: Greening New York City Building By Building , Lizbeth Sanchez

Trash Talk: Solid Waste Disposal in New York City , Alexander Williams

Hurricane Sandy: A Chance to Identify Vulnerabilities, Learn from the Past, and Increase Future Resiliency , Julianne Yee

Theses/Dissertations from 2012 2012

Going Green at New York-Presbyterian: Hospitals As Sustainable Businesses , Samantha Allegro

A Stronger Role For the United States President in Environmental Policy , Elizabeth Anderson

Simulating Climate Risk Into Markets and Policies: A New Approach to Financial Analysis and Policy Formation , Miguel Bantigue

Environmental Education Reform: Using Experiential Learning to Influence Environmental Policy-Making By Fostering a Sense of Environmental Citizenship and Eco-Literacy , Nicol Belletiere

Internship Report: Earthjustice & the Fracking Battle in New York's Marcellus Shale , John Byrne

Coal: How We Achieved Our Dependency and Its True Cost , Kelly Caggiano

Recycling Furniture: The Ecological, Economic and Social Benefits , Michele Calabrese

Internship Report UNEP: The Effects of Climate Change in Arctic Zones , Diana Cartaya-Acosta

Environmental Racism in South Africa: A Sustainable Green Solution , Danielle Darmofal

The Bronx, Beavers and Birthrights: The Case For Urban Wildlife , Richard Day

The Economics of Biodiversity , Paige Doyle

Environmental Communications: Case Study of New York City's Double Crested Cormorant , Marisa Galdi

Not a Walk In the Park: Environmental Justice in New York City , Lindsey Grier

The Economic and Environmental Justice Implications of Hydraulic Fracturing in 21st Century North America , Katie Medved

The Bottling Craze: Exposing the Environmental Effects of Bottled Vs. Tap Water , Michele Paccagnini

How the United States Will Find a Sustainable Future Through Increased Nuclear Productivity , Ian Pruitt

Group For the East End: The Role of Childhood Environmental Education in Improving Learning Behaviors and the Health of Humans and the Environment , Brian Riley

The Role of Modern Zoos in Wildlife Conservation: From the WCS to the Wild , John Scott

Global Climate Change Vs. Global Warming: What Is the Difference "Global Climate Change" and "Global Warming"? , Nadia Seeteram

Lost in Translation: Environmental Communication Issues in Media and Politics , Carolyn Wegemann

Theses/Dissertations from 2011 2011

The Ins and Outs of Corporate Greenwashing , Jennifer Bender

A River Runs Through It: Community Access to the Bronx River in Tremont and Hunts Point , Matthew Bodnar

The Future is Green; Urban Agriculture in the Bronx , Patty Gouris

All in Our Backyard: Exploring how Environmental Discrimination Affects Health and Social Conditions in the South Bronx , Mireille Martineau

Theses/Dissertations from 2010 2010

The Bronx River Alliance: A Model Community Action Organization And an Internship in Development , John Hinck

Enrique Reef: Degradation and Protective Measures , Dana Mitchell

The Human Population Growth and its Ecological Consequences on Kenya and Tanzania , Lauren Noll

Environmental Consciousness: Human Motivation for Thinking Ecologically , Rob Pigue

Economics of Carbon Regulation: An Exploration to the Nuance of Carbon Regulation , Timothy J. Schwartz

New York Botanical Garden Internship: From Photography to Policy , Christine Willeford

Theses/Dissertations from 2009 2009

Environmental Health and Climate Change: The Case of Lyme Disease , Matthew Abad

Recycling Tendencies of Fordham University's Population , Jeremy Aiss, Vincent Ammirato, Anamarie Beluch, and Christopher Torres

The Business of Sustainability , Andrea Brady

Waste Mismanagement: Fighting Environmental Injustice in Mott Haven and Hunts Point , Elizabeth Friedrich

Environmental Internship & The Fordham Eco-Roof Proposal , Anthony Giovannone

The Putnam Railroad Corridor Restoration Project: A Comprehensive Plan for Paired Ecological Restoration and Greenway Construction , Patrick J. Hopkins Jr.

Land Use Policy and Development on Long Island , Richard Murdocco

From the Bronx into the Wild! My Adventurous Experience at the Bronx Zoo , Lauren Noll

For the Birds! , Robert Patterson

Managing Infestation of the Invasive Viburnum Leaf Beetle (Pyrrhalta viburni) at the New York Botanical Garden , Gregory Russo

Environmental History of Japan , Amy Seagroves

Theses/Dissertations from 2008 2008

A Healthy Environment is a Healthy Body , Matthew Abad

Stormwater Runoff, Combined Sewer Overflow, and Environmental Justice in the Bronx , Natalie Collao

Solving a Crisis: Water Quality & Storm Water Infrastructure in New York City , Kelsey Ripper

The New Social Movement: Environmental Justice in the Bronx , Kelsey Ripper

Environmental Justice and Street Science: A Fusion of Community Knowledge and Environmental Health Justice to Address the Asthma Epidemic in Urban Communities , Natalie Robiou

Urban Wildlife and Leopold’s Land Ethic: “The squirrels on a college campus convey the same lesson as the redwoods. . . .” , Natalie Robiou

Unpasteurized Milk and Soft Cheese Outbreaks: An Overview of Consumer Safety , Taygan Yilmaz

Theses/Dissertations from 2007 2007

The Environmental Justice Movement in the United States , Harrison Delfin

Natural River Restoration in Urban Ecology: The Bronx River , Samuel P. Loor

Theses/Dissertations from 2006 2006

The H5N1 Avian Influenza Virus: Globalization, Climate Change, and Other Anthropogenic Factors in New Emergent Diseases , Quan Luong

The Environmental Effects of War , Philip Swintek

Theses/Dissertations from 2005 2005

Identification of Genetically Modified Organisms in Foodstuffs , Anamarie Beluch

The Moral Dilemma of Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) , Anamarie Beluch

Theses/Dissertations from 2003 2003

The History of Community Gardens in New York City: The Role of Urban Agriculture and Green Roofs in Addressing Environmental Racism , Rosamarie Ridge

Theses/Dissertations from 2002 2002

Bronx River Restoration: Report and Assessment , Teresa Crimmens

Environmental Audit of the Rose Hill Campus , Nicole Marshall, Maria Nissi, Brian Flaherty, Carl Van Ostrand, and Ian McClelland

Theses/Dissertations from 2001 2001

Bronx River Restoration: Report and Assessment , Nicole Marshall

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Environmental/Sustainability bachelor & master thesis topic help

Finding a good topic for your bachelor or master thesis can be really difficult. Maybe your supervisor has an idea or two they advise you to write about. You might even have a few of your own that you’re thinking could be relevant, but you haven’t decided one way or the other.

Well, this article will help you out . I have been in the exact same situation as you are now. Finalizing my bachelors in Business Administration (focusing on Sustainability), I ended up writing my final thesis with a classmate about a topic I never expected I would be interested in. Waste Management in the 28 core EU countries.

But before I decided on that, I went through weeks of research to find a decent topic. This is what this article is about. I will let you know about all the different topics that you might (or might not) want to write about.

Guide: How to Find Topic for Your Sustainable Thesis

Table of Contents

How to find a good topic for your environment thesis, topic 1: waste management, topic 2: overpopulation, topic 3: food and drink, topic 4: climate change, topic 5: tourism and traveling, topic: wildlife population & similar high-intensive research projects, topic research on google & additional support, update and book recommendation.

However, the process of finding a suitable topic to write about was quite long. We had to write about something related to environment & sustainability and in the same way, connect that to economic development. Interesting. Very interesting actually, but also quite complex. During this process, we probably came up with and discussed hundreds of potential topics. The ones we threw away were not necessarily bad, but having three people (myself, my classmate and our supervisor) agreeing on how to move forward is quite a difficult process.

So here they are, the topics you can write about in your bachelor or master thesis when you study something related to sustainability or the environment.

Waste management might sound boring. But it’s not. There is a lot to write about on this topic.

PS! I have divided every “master topic” into smaller topics. Remember that a school thesis on bachelor/master level should be quite narrow. The biggest mistake you can do is try to cover too much in one project, e.g. “What causes global warming?”.

– Look at the correlation between GDP per capita and solid waste management in various countries. For instance, why do countries with higher population numbers tend to struggle with implementing a solid recycling system?

– Investigate how improved recycling policies and technology affect how much waste that ends up in nature or on landfills. This is a project that potentially could be divided into two groups. The first factor is related to political will. But you could also write about innovation within management system. We are (luckily) handling our trash in a more sophisticated way in 2019 compared to what we did in the 70’s.

A great example is what they do in Sweden where they turn their waste into heating:

– Look into how government regulations will affect certain waste types.*

– Food waste is a hot topic, and you could look into for instance how Denmark has successfully reduced their food waste by 40 % over the last few years. Look at both political factors and how the mindset of Danes have changed. This could be super interesting, but if you wrote a longer bachelor or master thesis on this topic, I would suggest that you did some research with Danish people or be staying in Denmark for a while.

*= A very good example here is the implementation of a tax that the Norwegian and British government both ruled out. The tax harmed consumers that wanted to buy single-use plastic items – and especially plastic bags from shops. In order to save money, people turned towards using reusable bags when they went shopping. And the result for the environment? Less plastic in the UK and Norwegian cost, according to scientists. Quite interesting.

– You could look into the correlation between overpopulation and pollution . Comparing what happened in the UK during the industrial revolution to what happens in China is a very interesting topic. Many people claim that “ it is fair that the developing countries pollute so much as the West did it during the industrial revolution “.

– Look into what causes overpopulation. And based on that, try to make your own projection of how the world’s population will look like in the future. There are even many topics within the topic of overpopulation that could be interesting:

1) Lower mortality rates 2) Improved medical help in developing countries 3) Government regulations 4) And many more.

“Will we even survive?” type of topics

– Try to project how long it will take before we do not have enough natural resources to keep people alive . This could be done on a national or regional level, e.g. look at a developing country that sees a huge population growth, but at the same time got limited clean drinking water.

In 2018, Independent wrote an interesting article. The title of the article was “ Humans have used a year’s worth of Earth’s resources in just seven months “. In other words: we are already exceeding the use of natural resources. And it definitely does not help that overpopulation is a huge issue in certain regions of the world.

– Another idea would be to look at different projections for how many people there will be on this planet by year 2050. Hundreds of different scientists have made different projections based on what they believe will happen to humanity. Those can actually be quite interesting.

– How bad is it really to eat meat? A good question would be: what would happen to the greenhouse gas emissions if everyone replaced their beef with chicken? As you might already know, the beef industry is one of the industries that contribute most to global warming. In the famous documentary “ Before The Flood ”, directed by Leonardo Dicaprio, a scientist says that “ if everyone ate chicken instead of meat, that would actually save the world ”. Seeing if this quote is correct would be a very interesting bachelor or master topic.

I would point out that I have previously written a long article about this topic. It is called: “ Why is eating meat bad for the environment? “. It contains a lot of useful information that you could use as inspiration to your thesis.

Another useful inspiration source is the previously mentioned movie “Before the flood”. If you got a couple of minutes, I would really recommend to at least watch the trailer:

– Is veganism good for the environment? Highly controversial and hot topic. Eating less meat is obviously a great thing for the environment. However, some reports have told us that vegan food is often traveling long distances before being sold and that it takes a lot more land to produce such food compared to non-vegan food.

– How bad are plastic straws for the environment? More and more cities and countries try to ban single-use plastic items, but how much damage do they really make? Also, are companies using the removal of single-use plastic items as a greenwashing tactic? We know that McDonald’s swapped out plastic straws with paper straws, but that doesn’t exactly make them an environmentally friendly corporation….

– Study the environmental impact of the global alcohol production. I have previously written an article about the impact that the illegal drug industry has on the environment. Doing research to that article was kind of scary. 🙁

On the positive side, certain beer brands have started to make their packaging more eco-friendly. I actually bought and tried out the “plastic free” packaging from Carlsberg, which you can read about in this article .

– Take a deep look into the avocado farming industry. “Rumors”, say that its huge environmental impact can be connected with high water usage and long-distance transportation to big markets such as Europe, North America, and Asia. Avocados do actually cause huge environmental and social problems in South America. There have been reported several incidents where people have been murdered because they fight against the water usage from the avocado farms.

There are so many things to write about climate change. This is probably the number 1 topic when people are writing an essay or thesis about environmental issues. However, if you dig a bit deep into the topic, you might find some sub-topics that can be interesting to cover.

– What do people find difficult with climate change research? This could potentially be a topic that covers both the psychological aspect of accepting human-made climate change. There are some scientists that previously have done excessive research on why people tend to not care about global warming as much as they should, but you could look deeper into this.

– Do people really believe in climate change? And are some people more likely to “believe” than others? This research would be very interesting to do by including people from different occupations, age groups and from different geographical areas. Once they have been identified and contacted, you should invite them to an interview section to find out about their thoughts on climate change. Would probably need to narrow down the topic a bit, but it would be very interesting if done correctly.

– What will be the consequences of a rising sea level and/or rising sea temperatures? Most of our ecosystems will be affected: people living in cities close to the sea, coral reefs that are dependent on a certain and stable water temperature, polar bears, etc.

– Hot topic: climate change refugees. The first people are already forced to leave their homes due to increased temperature and sea level. You could potentially try to map out the most vulnerable groups on the planet and try to figure out how certain areas will become impossible to live in during the next 10, 50 and 100 years. Complex, but very interesting.

– For the economic freaks: how much will climate change cost the different countries in the future? Some scientists have already pointed out various types of costs and the report was published in national geographic: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/09/climate-change-costs-us-economy-billions-report/

PS! Very interesting read if you got a couple of extra minutes. You could also get some serious inspiration there.

– Could look into new “green jobs” that are popping up due to increased climate issues. Many engineers are now needed to develop solutions that will prepare communities and cities for higher temperatures.

Did you know that about 11 % of the total greenhouse gas emissions globally can be traced back to people traveling? The aviation industry needs to take a huge blame, but other sectors contribute as well.

Some interesting topics to cover would include:

– Make a historical report on how traveling have contributed to global warming over the last XX years. People have not only started to travel more frequently and over a longer distance, but we have also changed the way of traveling. More airplanes, fewer trains (in general).

– Ecotourism is interesting. Destroying the earth has become a billion dollar industry in certain tourist areas. Bad air pollution and destroying of nature are just two reasons why we need less mass tourism and more ecotourism.

– What are the health and environmental benefits of biking to work?

– From a financial perspective, is it a good choice for the government to invest in bicycle infrastructure? You could use Copenhagen in Denmark and Amsterdam in the Netherlands as good examples.

– Are there any environmental benefits to people using “shared economy services” like AirBNB instead of hotels? And what about taxi/Uber? Do they contribute equally to the environment? Just to add a thought to the last topic: Uber is a service that is highly dependent on customer demand, where taxis will be driving around regardless of the number of passengers.

Some topics are more difficult to cover than others. That is not only related to the information you have available, but also the complexity of coming up with something new during your thesis. Let us say that you choose the topic: “ Polar bear population – how will it look in the future? ”. The only information you could use are some simple projections made by one single source on how it will develop. The chances of you coming up with something revolutionary is very small. Unless you have good connections that can bring you to Canada, Russia or the North Pole to do some hands-on research in these areas.

I would actually strongly recommend finding topics that:

1) Already have a lot of information available from various sources. 2) Presumably, a topic that has not been answered by any other research lately. 3) Something that does not require too much extensive research out in the field.

And if you try to fit your master or bachelor thesis topic into all these criteria, you will probably stay away from anything that is related to the population development of a certain species.

As you might already have noticed, a lot of the “master thesis databases” online can only be accessed behind a payment wall. In other words, you have to pay a certain amount to get access to previous essays and thesis written by former students. That is often a problem. I really like that information online is free, which is partly why I wrote this article in the first place.

If you are still not sure about which topic you should write about, I would suggest that you do one of two things:

1) Write quickly about your “master topic” and your thoughts in the comment section below. I promise to reply you quickly in order to make sure that you find a topic that could suit you.

2) Ask your professor if your school/university got some sort of “thesis database” that you can access for free. When we wrote our thesis, we would be able to access all bachelor thesis that had ever been written at Aarhus University. That helped a lot for inspiration.

Also read: Travel & Tourism Bachelor Master Thesis Topics

I’ve seen a lot of great students in the comment section reaching out to me. And I’ve tried to answer all of you, which I will try to continue with in the future. 🙂 However, I also wanted to make life a bit easier for those of you who want to invest in a book that will help you out (a lot).

This book is highly interesting for those who want to find an environmental topic to their bachelor/master’s degree:

Environmental Issues: Looking Towards a Sustainable Future (4th Edition)

  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Abel, Daniel C. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 328 Pages - 12/27/2012 (Publication Date) - Pearson Learning Solutions (Publisher)

I know the price tag could be a bit of a boomer for some students. However, I am sure you can convince some of your classmates to go together and buy it. It literally lists an awful lot of the environmental issues that can be used in such a thesis. And it digs a lot deeper compared to what I did in this article.

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90 thoughts on “environmental/sustainability bachelor & master thesis topic help”.

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first, compliments for your article, it really gave me some inspiration for my thesis. However, I am still struggling to find a suitable topic for my master thesis in business psychology. Unfortunately, I have the prerequisite to conduct an experiment or a survey and I cannot “only” do a literature review. Do you have any input in what fields I could dig in more?

I would like to do something around the topics of food waste or circular economy… I also thought about doing something that deals with the negative impact of online shopping on the environment, here I could maybe look at strategies/incentives that could change customer behaviour in a sense that they buy less clothing etc. online?

I am a bit lost, I really do appreciate your help!

Kind regards, Laura

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I’m currently doing my B.A. in Global Governance, majoring in Economics and I’m thinking of topics for my bachelor thesis based on circular economy and environmental policy. I recently found some interesting papers regarding green public procurement (GPP), so I thought I could somehow research into how this can be a tool for governments and public administrations to incentivize greener public expenditures and greener markets etc…

However, I don’t know if the topic might be too broad and/or if GPP is developed enough to find data on it (I took a course in Public Management but I’m definitely not yet an expert in the field ;)) What do you think about it? Should I maybe narrow the scope of my research about GPP to one specific aspect of public procurement or maybe to a couple of countries only?

Two alternatives I thought about are to investigate how environmental policies can fight greenwashing or to research into the relation between disaster risk management and sustainable development (e.g. how can the former help achieve the latter), but again I’m afraid these two ideas might still be too broad. Do you have any ideas on how to narrow them down? Or any other idea on similar topics?

Thanks so much in advance! Simone.

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Can you help me out with finding a topic around “integration of environmental education as a module in the secondary level education curriculum”?

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Im searching topic for dessertation and i found ur webside. Your webside is so informative and interesting. im currently doing Msc EVS Second Year. In this pendemic im unable to go outside and do survey. so can you suggest me the topic in environmental that can i do by online survey.

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I am currently doing my MBA in International healthcare. I am a surgeon by trade, so management topics is all new to me. I have an interest in Sustainability topics, but there seems to be so many to choice from.

I few ideas I am thinking of is around waste management but it is so broad I am having issues finding a section to focus on in healthcare to formulate a question.

Another are I thought of looking at is how hospitals can become more ecofriendly and and what benefits that could have for the hospitals and community at large.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards Bianca

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Hello Amund,

I am a third-year bachelor student studying Human Geography and Urban and Regional Planning. I have begun a thesis topic last month, but it was extremely hard to find a topic and research method that my supervisor would agree on, a very unlucky situation. Therefore I need to start all over again, and time is ticking. I have a few topics in mind, and that if someone could comment on them, that would really help me out, least to understand what I am doing wrong.

A few themes that interest me include: -What factors influence peoples decision to use water more sustainably at the household level. I would like to know what impacts people’s decision to use less/save water by doing surveys or questionnaires and propose measures to increase people’s willingness to save water. – I liked the topic that you mentioned in this article on climate change and who believes in it. It would be interesting to find out, what type of people believe more in climate change and why, is it the younger generation that is thought about climate change in school, is it religion, is it dependent on age? Interesting, but how can I turn this into a worthy bachelor thesis question? – The difference in the water footprint of different diets, some diets pose themselves as eco-friendly, but this may not be so true as with the example of the avocado. My supervisor said this topic is not ethical, but I do really not agree with this. Could you please say what you think about this topic, maybe how could it be altered to fit a bachelor thesis?

Thank you very much in advance, and a huge thank you for answering all of us and helping out!

Kindest regards, Alina

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Hi Alina. It’s always hard when your supervisor doesn’t agree on your methods.

However, let’s dig quickly into each topic:

1) I have never worked with water in households before. However, it seems to be a quite straight-forward thesis to write if you want to do a questionnaire. If your questionaire also contained information like salary, etc., you could use an angle of “do rich people waste more water compared to poor people”.

2) I’m not the go-to-guy when it comes to writing research questions. However, you are spot on: it is a very interesting topic. I think it’s hard to write about it without making it too broad. So you would have to dig into ONE factor (for example religious people versus non-religious people). If you see differences in the data on who believes in climate change, you might have to interpret them.

3) This is the best one by far. It’s ethical. If I wrote a bachelor today, I would write about this exact topic. There are endless opportunities. Contact five restaurants that sell eco-friendly food. Ask them seriously how much of their “eco-friendly profile” that can be related to marketing efforts – and how much they really want to change the world.

I’m not sure if I gave you any direction though. 😛

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I love your website it is so informative! I am currently about to start writing my bachelors thesis but I am already feeling so lost on what topic to choose. I feel as if I am making it so complicated for myself.. I was wondering if you could maybe help give me a direction? I am studying liberal arts and sciences (interdisciplinary study) where I mostly have focused on social sciences subjects such as psychology and sociology. I am very much interested in writing either about – climate change: youth activism? ngo’s/corporations’ role ? bottom up solutions? – the food system: sustainable food choices? how to transition to a more sustainable food system? corporations role ? These are just some ideas but I still feel as if it is still to broad ..

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Great Article. I am currently waiting to start my thesis for my MBA in leadership and sustainability from UK and i am wondering how to go about it and what topic to select. I have a professional background in health and safety in the oil/gas construction market and i would love to do something business and professionally related. Can you offer any pointers?

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Environmental Issues Research Paper

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Introduction

Cultural beliefs and the environment, social construction and the environment, social construction and social movements, political economy and the environment, environmental issues: method and application, risk perception and environmental health, mobilization around toxic waste sites: love canal.

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Environmental issues can be discussed within a number of different contexts. For anthropology and sociology, culture and society become important factors in understanding environmental issues. By incorporating a perspective that includes environmental history, aspects of environmental change, dialogue and culture, and future concerns, a more complete understanding of the relationship between sociocultural actions and the natural environment can be developed. In an effort to understand the nature of environmental problems, one must develop an understanding of the cultural paradigms that guide human behavior and interaction with the natural environment. Many perspectives seek to explain this relationship. Social scientists look toward dialogue and cultural perspectives to trace the history of environmental concern.

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Historically, humans have understood their role to be one of dominion over nature. This is explained in numerous classic works and referenced in many religious and spiritual texts as well (Bell, 2008; Dunlap & Mertig, 1992). Cultural paradigms exist that serve to guide our interactions with the environment. Most stem from the anthropocentric belief that the world is centered around people and that human society has the right to maintain dominion over nature. Structural beliefs provide the foundation of these understandings.

The belief that a free market system provides the greatest good for the greatest number of people leads us to place economic decision-making processes in private hands. Frequently, private decisions have public consequences, but these public consequences are not accounted for in production costs or covered by market costs. Instead, the costs are passed on to consumers in the form of taxes and higher base prices for goods and services. Esteemed environmentalists Al Gore Jr. and Robert Kennedy Jr. have argued that if the external costs of production were assumed by manufacturers, then the ultimate benefit would be a system that accounted for waste created in the production process. This is evident in their research on global warming. Coal-fired power plants are promoted as one of the cheapest forms of creating energy. This is misleading, because the health effects of pollution caused by coal are not included in the costs of production. Others argue that those costs would have to be passed on to the consumer. However, they are passed on now in the way of pollution and medical expenses for illnesses associated with environmental contaminants. Coal is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases, thus leading to the overall societal costs of global warming.

Another cultural belief is that the natural world is inexhaustible. Extraction of natural resources happens at an incredible rate without a consideration to limits. Society’s constant dependence on nonrenewable energy forces mining and the refining of coal and oil to keep up with these demands. Consumer goods are deliberately planned to become obsolete within a relatively short time, and consumers are pressured to buy replacements. This process has been conceptualized in research focused on the treadmill of production. Production and utility processes, using natural resources, dominate the modes of production. The reliance on the treadmill model provides perpetual extraction and production, increasing the fragility of the natural environment.

Another cultural value resides in a lasting faith in technology. Culturally, we believe that technology can meet any challenge. Humans are seen as ingenious creatures able to devise solutions for any problem. However, technology itself is not sufficiently controlled and can create more problems that contribute to environmental degradation. This can lead to a situation known as culture lag, used here to describe a situation in which technology has outpaced the cultural ability to respond to the consequences of using a given technology.

The philosophy of the growth ethic argues that growth equals progress. Successful cultures are often defined by their levels of progress. Urban sprawl exemplifies the connection between progress and environmental destruction. Urban ecologists argue urban sprawl follows the concentric circle urban planning mode of the early 20th century. Residents were encouraged to develop space for residential purposes further away from city centers. This was culturally promoted as prime real estate, and individuals continued to purchase land as a showing of class standing. Urban sprawl results in the loss of green and open space, increased use of natural resources, and more vehicle miles traveled as commuting distance continues to increase.

Materialism is a cultural value that also contributes to how environmental problems emerge. Americans tend to measure success in terms of the consumption of material things. Globally, the most valued nation is one that can command and use the largest fraction of the world’s resources. Currently, the United States supports 5% of the world’s population and uses 25% of the world’s natural resources. This is evidence that the cultural emphasis on the consumption of material goods is in direct correlation with natural resource use.

Two final cultural values that impact environmental practices are individualism and an anthropocentric worldview. Cultures that emphasize individual rights and personal achievements tend to have a greater environmental impact. We place benefits to the self over what is best for the collective. Subsequently, the anthropocentric worldview is centered around human beings, thus inferring that human begins are superior to other beings and have natural rights to use the environment to ensure the progress of human beings as a species.

Subsequently, these cultural beliefs form the principles that overwhelmingly guide cultural interactions with nature. Theoretically, they serve as paradigms that explain the emergence of environmental issues. The following section provides specific theoretical underpinnings of environmental issues.

Theory and the Environment

Theory addressing environmental issues has been situated in the social constructionist and political economy approaches. Within these approaches, attention has been paid to developments of subfields in social science research, such as social movements and the environment, environmental health, and environmental justice.

Social constructionists focus on the construction of social problems and how this allows individuals to assign meaning and give importance to the social world. Sarbin and Kitsuse argued that “things are not given in the world, but constructed and negotiated by humans to make sense of the world” (1994, p. 3). When interests are at stake, claims are made around an activity in order to define the interests as problems. The process of claims making is more important than the task of assessing whether the claims are true (Hannigan, 1995).

Hannigan provides a three-step process for the construction of environmental problems: assembling, presenting, and contesting. He argues that each step develops the claimsmaking activities of environmental activists and antagonists. Environmental problems are different from other social problems, because claims are often based on physical, chemical, or biological scientific evidence (Hannigan, 1995). In nearly all cases of environmental problems, even though such problems are based on scientific evidence, the burden of proof falls on the claims-makers, the environmental actors.

When a claim about an environmental problem is presented, state and corporate actors emerge most often to challenge the validity of these problems. Although these actors are willing to construct the issue as a “problem,” support to alleviate the problem is often lacking. If it supports the alleviation of the problem, most probably through funding remedial efforts or research, the state or corporation is seen as taking responsibility for the problem. If the state is seen as responsible, its perceived legitimacy decreases, which may lead to decreased trust. On the other hand, if a problem is not acknowledged, then trust in government may also decrease, because the perception arises that the interests of the state are not the best for the people.

The power of individuals in roles and positions to define these claims is ultimately what allows problems to be defined as problems. Claims may be made by others not in a position of power, but they are often not seen as valid because of the lack of power associated with the role. Different claims of environmental problems then lead to different definitions of the problems.

Definitions of problems are framed to illustrate specific viewpoints of what the problem is. Goffman used the term frame in order to explain interpretations of occurrences. Frames can serve as explanations or guideposts to individual or collective action (Snow & Benford, 1988). Snow and Benford describe framing as an activity performed by social movements to express their viewpoints and “to assign meaning to and interpret relevant events and conditions in ways that are intended to mobilize potential adherents and constituents—to garner bystander support and demobilize antagonists” (p. 198).

By framing events in certain ways that assign meaning to them, actors can attempt to mobilize support and delegitimize opposing viewpoints. Because different frames may emerge surrounding the same problem, individuals may choose to adopt one or the other on the basis of the reliability of the frames. One factor in determining reliability is trust in the actors who present the frame. Constituents may mobilize around one frame because trust in that explanation and the organization that presents it is high (Robinson, 2009). This impacts how individuals interpret the seriousness of environmental problems and subsequently whether issues will be acted on and in what manner.

The framing process can serve to mobilize constituents for or against a particular cause. Mobilization against frames that are presented by actors emerges when the audience of the frame has low trust in the source of the frame. Social movement literature has acknowledged the emergence of mobilization over environmental issues where lack of trust is present. Examples include institutional recreancy, lack of trust in government agencies and officials, and the combination of the two (Brown & Mikkelsen, 1990; Cable & Cable, 1997; Freudenburg, 1993; Gaventa, 1980; Gibbs, 1982).

Charles Tilly provides a model for mobilization that bridges some of the ideological views of frame analysis with collective action and resource mobilization theory. Tilly’s (1978) definition of mobilization is “a process by which a group goes from a passive collection of individuals to an active participant in public life” (p. 69). A further extreme of this model is resource mobilization theory, which gives even less importance to ideological factors and, instead, emphasizes the need for available resources. The combination of ideologies, resources, and the power of frame presentation contribute to mobilization. Using this analytical framework, the emergence of environmental problems and mobilization around these problems can be better understood.

Environmental problems in communities provide a setting to further explore this connection. Community organizing around local problems has a long history in the United States. Many forms of community organizing exist. These have included writing and literacy circle newsletters in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Saul Alinsky’s model of radical politics to create mass organizations to seize power and give it to the people (1971), and neighborhood block clubs. The goals to spread awareness, ensure social justice, and understand that city hall can be fought vary in scope and magnitude but have often proved to be effective models for organizing.

Citizen action in response to toxic waste at Love Canal has emerged as the premier example of community organizing over environmental issues. The story of neighborhood organizing and the quest for a clean, healthy environment is acknowledged in most major studies on environmental issues. The specifics of this case follow in a later section where the application of environmental issues is discussed.

Theories of political economy of environmental issues focus on the development of political and economic practices and policies that contribute to environmental problems. Primarily, the focus has been on the creation of the capitalist mode of production that leads to overwhelming environmental destruction. Furthermore, the development of capitalism promotes a political environment that is friendly to more profitable, but less environmentally friendly, practices.

In addition to physical environmental realities that production processes cause, issues of health and economic injustice exist. Bryant and Mohai (1992) asked whether a safe environment is a civil right. They argue that people of color see environmental degradation interrelated with economic and political justice. This is the fundamental idea behind environmental justice in both action and theory. Another issue in environmental justice arises because people of color and lower income are less likely to have access to health insurance; thus, they become more ill if exposed to environmental hazards without means of treatment. Therefore, these populations share more of the negative environmental burden and have fewer resources to resolve the given problems.

The connection between health and economic justice is not a new relationship. Since World War II, there has been an increase in the development of the petrochemical industry. Coinciding with an increased demand for synthetic chemicals was an increased demand for disposal sites for waste byproducts of these chemicals. Many disposal sites were created in vacant plots of land, without the regulated disposal standards in place today. Expensive land used for the disposal sites of the 1940s and 1950s became the residential suburban developments of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. With the post–World War II increase in population, many families were moving into suburban neighborhoods. Families felt safe from the problems of the cities, but they were not aware that many residential properties were built near the abandoned chemical waste sites of prior decades.

The problems of environmental contamination were first addressed publicly in Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962). Her warning of chemical contaminants silencing biological life was not heeded at the time her book was published. These issues were not addressed until the 1970s with the first Earth Day in 1970, followed by the passing of numerous pieces of environmental protection legislation and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Through this period of uncertainty, unclear scientific findings overwhelmed policymakers and the public, leading to confusion about how to develop environmental policies and actions.

Environmental problems have manifested most directly in the form of pollution. Evidence of environmental destruction is seen in the form of air, water, and land pollution that has a direct impact on the health of the human population. One of the most direct links between pollution and negative health effects has been identified since the creation of the petrochemical industry in the 1940s. Since this time, we have seen more cases of cancer and respiratory illness in the human population. The rate remains high even when controlling for mitigating factors, such as the effects of advanced medical technology in treating these illnesses, and lifestyle factors, such as diet and smoking. This case was made with the infamous discovery of toxic waste at Love Canal, New York, in 1978.

Literature in this area addresses the possible effects of exposure to toxins on one’s health. However, few studies have provided irrefutable evidence supporting the research hypothesis (association exists) or the null hypothesis (no association exists). Scientists know that chemicals can have adverse effects on the human condition when ingested, but they argue that some indirect exposures through air, soil, water, or residential habitation in proximity to such toxins have not provided similar consequences. The basic disagreement emerges in how one views risk, either through the precautionary principle or through risk assessment and evaluation. Proponents of the precautionary principle argue that if the chance of danger is present, then precaution should be used to avoid exposure. Risk assessment would argue the opposite—that the risk must be known before action is taken to avoid exposure. The difficulty is that science has not provided irrefutable evidence on the dangers of many chemical substances; therefore action for their removal from products and the environment has been slow. Recently, Devra Davis took on this phenomenon in The Secret History of the War on Cancer (2008). She outlined the lack of scientific responsibility in reporting findings connecting cancer and chemical exposure.

Most reports have not described exposures accurately, or they have failed to completely identify a causal factor (National Research Council, 1991). The Committee on Environmental Epidemiology was formed to assess the progress on hazardous waste assessment since the creation of Superfund and the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry. The committee concluded that no conclusive reports could be used to base policy on, because there are no measures in place to accurately depict exposure assessments. Their conclusions continue: There exists no comprehensive inventory of waste sites, no site discovery program, no minimum data set on human exposures, and no policy for immediate action if exposure exists (National Research Council, 1991). The report indicates that “the nation is not adequately identifying, assessing, or ranking hazardous-waste site exposures and their potential effects on human health” (p. 21).

Environmental toxins have long been thought to be causally related to the incidence of disease. Air pollution, specifically with carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide, has been studied in association with asthma and pulmonary disorders (Carnow, Lepper, Shekelle, & Stamler, 1969). Water pollution, particularly with trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene, sparked a concern about childhood and adult leukemia in Woburn, Massachusetts (Brown & Mikkelsen, 1990). Similarly, numerous studies have been conducted that investigate the exposure-ailment connection (Landrigan, 1990; Neutra, Lipscomb, Satin, & Shusterman, 1991; Paigen, Goldman, Mougnant, Highland, & Steegman, 1987). These studies use descriptive and case-control methods and field investigations consisting of surveys and physical examinations, resulting in quantitative analyses in order to test hypotheses.

Descriptive studies portray disease patterns in populations according to person, place, and time, and they include time-series analyses (National Research Council, 1991). For example, a study performed by the National Cancer Institute used maps of cancer incidences and toxic waste sites, concluding that the high incidence of bladder cancer in northwestern Illinois counties was significant and leading to the implementation of an incidence study using survey methods (National Research Council, 1991).

A cohort study was employed with North Carolina residents who consumed raw polluted river water contaminated by an industrial site from 1947 to 1976. Residents’ rates of all forms of cancer were more than twice those expected in the general population (National Research Council, 1991). Once exposure ceased, rates returned to the expected level, adjusting for latency.

The epidemiologic case-control study carried out in Woburn, Massachusetts, yielded an association between leukemia and drinking from contaminated wells. The EPA could not pinpoint the source of contamination; therefore, it could not infer conclusively that the cases of leukemia were due to the proximity of a hazardous waste site (Lagakos, Wessen, & Lelen, 1986).

Griffith, Duncan, Riggan, and Pellom (1989) analyzed EPA and cancer mortality data from 13 U.S. sites where there were major incidences of cancer between 1970 and 1979. They found evidence that contaminated ground water was used for human consumption at 593 waste sites in 339 U.S. counties in 49 states. Significant associations were found between several cancers and exposure to contaminated water in white males; these included cancers of the lung, bladder, esophagus, stomach, large intestine, and rectum (Griffith et al., 1989). Higher incidences of cancers of the lung, bladder, breast, stomach, large intestine, and rectum were found in white females in these counties (Griffith et al., 1989), when compared with females in counties that did not have hazardous waste sites. However, this study has been criticized based on its use of populationbased incidences of cancer rather than individual-level estimates. Researchers inferred that proximity to hazardous waste sites caused cancer.

Wong, Morgan, Whorton, Gordon, and Kheifets (1989) performed an ecologic and case-control analysis to evaluate whether there was an association between groundwater contamination with dibromochloropropane (DBCP) and mortality from gastric cancer and leukemia. The only positive association that was found was in farm workers. No relationship was found for gastric cancer or leukemia with DBCP contamination of drinking water.

Neutra et al. (1991) found that individuals living near toxic waste sites had one or more bothersome symptoms that those living in control areas did not have. However, rates of cancer and birth defects were not found to be statistically significantly different for these individuals than for those in the control neighborhoods. Symptoms such as worrying, depression, and nervousness were more likely to be the result of knowledge of the site and its contaminants than the result of chemical exposure. Although some practitioners argue that residents near these sites do show higher incidences of asthma and psychological disturbances than individuals in control groups, the findings remain highly controversial (Neutra et al., 1991).

For the most part, these studies consist of survey and field investigation methodologies, relying on self-report methods. One problem with explaining associations that rely on self-report methods is that if residents want to be relocated or have other agendas, then the degree to which symptoms are reported may increase. Many residents felt that this was what some homeowners were hoping for at Love Canal. This remains one of the most critical problems with state and federal agency studies that seek to provide evidence of community risk.

With the increase in studies in this area, the public has been partially reassured by having the knowledge that at least concerns are being recognized. Specifically, cancer rates are still high, but the fear of human-made chemicals has largely been dispelled. Most recently, the organic food movement has been gaining legitimacy. Yet, many still doubt the health benefits behind this movement. Studies concerning environmental racism have been more prevalent, focusing on the incidence of lower-income, nonwhite families living near toxic waste sites. This focus has taken attention away from specific health problems. Instead, the focus has been on issues of political economy and equity. This is not a criticism of environmental justice but rather a call for the convergence of natural science and sociology in order to address both issues. Other variables to be considered in these studies may include racial composition of counties, social class of counties, concentration of low-income occupations in counties, new housing starts in counties, and the percentage of welfare recipients per county.

The uncertainty of science had created cross-discipline dialogue. Social scientists have addressed environmental issues in studies of risk assessment, disaster relief (both natural and technological), toxic exposure, and other datadriven areas. Because of the risk of chemical exposure due to toxic waste, landfills emerged as one of the most imminent public health threats with the discovery of Love Canal. However, even in cases where studies to show an association between illness and exposure to toxic chemicals have been inconclusive, the message has been that these chemicals cause cancer and needed to be eradicated.

An important role of science is to inform the public of findings, usually through the media. Epidemiologic studies deal with human populations and are often questioned based on the legitimacy of the data and the willingness of the agency or corporation funding the research to share findings with the public. These studies are also usually based on relatively small populations and a small number of events; this results in a lack of significant findings, because sample sizes are too small to generate statistically reliable conclusions. Researchers are asked to report conclusions to various interest groups that may have a stake in the research problem. The pressure of the public arena and media, with emerging concerns and consequences for public health and the environment, has led to a decrease in the willingness to share data and be criticized if the data do not fit the public agenda. Politics and public perception surpass what science is able to provide. Science’s inability to prove negatives has led to public policy that tries to control what cannot be established. This uncertainty shapes policy to err on the side of protection; yet in many communities the risks are endured regardless.

Findings often snowball into hard line conclusions and the perception of a problem when one may not exist, or vice versa. Risk perception and the realization of risks are two different things. Risk perception may encompass what one believes might occur or an understanding based on secondary information. Risk realization occurs when one is physically affected by the agent or situation and a decision to act is based on that encounter. The problem arises in this discrepancy. Perception is what people perceive to be happening. With different information from different scientific experts, the public is left to decide on their own who or what is right, based on the health and well-being of themselves and their families.

Freudenburg (1993) discussed the concept of risk and recreancy in public decision making. He argues that an increase in institutional responsibility for risk management has created a system where responsibilities are often overlooked. This concept proposes increased frequency in institutional decision making in risk analysis. Freudenburg (1993) coined the term recreancy to identify the institutional failure to follow through on a duty or responsibility or broadly expected obligations to the collective. Questions are now raised by individuals deciphering scientific studies for themselves, but they now question the role of institutional actors. Without correlational data from an alternative institutional source that they trust, citizens do not know where to turn for clear answers about data regarding environmental toxins.

Community-based studies by community organizers have emerged in an attempt to address the failure of institutions to provide real, understandable answers regarding human health and exposure rates. Specifically, recent literature calls for more involvement of the scientific community in the decision-making process. A resurgence of popular epidemiology, since Lois Gibbs’s attempt in 1978– 1979, has found individuals using lay methods to determine association. Even if they don’t result in strong, scientific evidence, community-based studies at least provide the groundwork and show a need for more in-depth studies. Brown and Mikkelsen’s 1990 study is a strong example of this method. The question of whether there was a connection between childhood leukemia and known contaminated well water divided the community, but it forced epidemiologic studies.

Coinciding with these revelations, other studies were being conducted that attempted to link other contaminated sites with adverse health effects. As Gots (1993) stated, most were laboratory studies in simulated environments. Examples of human studies existed only in the sociological and epidemiological literature (Brown & Mikkelsen, 1990; Gibbs, 1982; Landrigan, 1990; Neutra et al., 1991). Incidences of chemical scares were also prevalent. Headlines concerning the dioxin scare at Times Beach, Missouri; contamination of apple crops with the synthetic growth regulator Alar; and use of Agent Orange created the fear that human-made chemicals cause disease. Evidence existed that these specific chemicals may cause health problems in humans, but data on the incidence of illness relative to exposure and on synergistic effects of these chemicals were missing. Furthermore, there was even less information available about other potential threats to health, such as airborne and waterborne contaminants, environmental sensitivity disorders, and living in proximity to hazardous waste sites. To establish a causal relationship between exposure and chemicals, obtaining valid measures and estimates for exposure is essential.

Environmental Movements

Contaminated Communities; The Challenge of Social Control; Environmental Problems as Conflicts of Interests; Disasters, Collective Behavior, and Social Organization; Love Canal: Science, Politics, People, and Power; and Powerlessness are just a few of the book titles that describe the scope and emergence of the mobilization surrounding environmental problems. Since the publication of Silent Spring, the struggle to define, understand, and resolve environmental problems has inundated environmental literature as well as the agendas of environmental organizations at both the national and local levels.

The environmental movement in the United States can be traced back to the early conservationists at the turn of the 20th century, whose focus was on control of natural resources for technological and societal use. Accompanying this was a movement toward the preservation of the natural environment simply for nature’s sake and separate from any use and/or value that human society had placed upon it.

The contemporary environmental movement embraced both of these traditions while focusing on building a political alliance to ensure the passage of legislation that would protect both nature and human health. As evidenced by the multitude of legislative victories the environmental movement claimed during the 1970s, the environmental movement was gaining prominence as one of the most successful efforts of social movement organizers.

Politically, momentum began to shift back toward the wise-use movement throughout the 1980s. Environmental problems were framed in opposition to capitalist goals. Politicians took an either/or stance: jobs or the environment. With one’s economic livelihood seemingly at stake, it is no wonder that concern for the environment was diminished in the public agenda. The environmental health movement is arguably one area that continued to keep environmental issues in the public’s consciousness. One of the classic and influential cases in environmental organizing, Love Canal, illustrates the interconnectedness of politics, science, and the environment.

To understand the factors contributing to the emergence, awareness, and mobilization around environmental problems, the scope and focus of the problem must be considered. This analysis focuses on the emergence of and mobilization around toxic waste sites found in residential communities. Literature addressing toxic waste sites in communities place Love Canal, New York, as the first community to encounter such a problem that received national media attention. Although community protests were occurring around the toxics issue as early as 1970, no other site received the same degree of national media attention (Szasz, 1994).

In 1978, Love Canal was declared a federal disaster area, but the final homeowner evacuation was voluntary, not mandatory, even though the state had said a health emergency may exist. Given the possibility of ill-health effects, residents were given the choice about whether to stay or move. Because of the lack of strong correlational evidence, public health officials were not able to substantiate a link between exposure to chemicals and disease (Robinson, 2002).

The questionable contaminated area was evacuated and became known as the Emergency Declaration Area (EDA). It was divided into seven sampling areas. Two studies were performed to assess the habitability and safety of the area. The first study was completed in 1982 by the New York State Department of Health (DOH), the EPA, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Problems arose about the study’s conclusion, which was that the EDA was as habitable as comparable control areas. The Congressional Office of Technology Assessment found that the study lacked information to determine whether unsafe levels of contamination existed and that it did not make clear what next steps should be taken. Thereafter, DOH and EPA conducted a second study on habitability; it was released in 1988. Habitability and safety have been studied in regard to numerous hazardous waste sites, but actual rates of illness have not been linked to exposure to toxic substances from nearby chemical waste sites.

The Superfund Act, passed in 1980, was written specifically in response to the known hazardous waste site at Love Canal. Policymakers recognized that industry used land-based disposal methods, that industrial sites were contaminated, and that an increase in clean air and water standards led to a decrease in land-based regulated disposal (Barnett, 1994). The problem was that there was neither an informed way of counting or tracking these sites, nor evidence of an adverse ecosystem and human effects (Barnett, 1994).

Since Love Canal, no other neighborhood has received the same degree of attention, although many have encountered toxic waste contaminants in their communities (Brown & Mikkelsen, 1990; Bryant & Mohai, 1992; Cable, Walsh, & Warland, 1988). No conclusive, significant correlation between chemicals and cancer has been found at Love Canal or at the other identified exposure sites. Nor has any truly verifiable evidence been found that exposure to, and living near, any other toxic waste site causes disease, though disorders have been loosely associated with chemical exposure, such as asthma, respiratory disease, nerve damage, miscarriages, and cancer.

People living near these sites must often decide on how much they want to expose themselves to risk. Once the presence of a waste site is known, they must decide, without data to guide their decisions, whether to stay in their homes or leave. This has historically interfered with the availability and collection of valid data. When a study is conducted, residents request to be informed of the results and progress of the study. Because most epidemiological studies require longitudinal or cohort analysis in order to be reliable and valid, it is advantageous to have a stable, nonmobile population. This begs ethical questions, on behalf of the researchers, to disclose data relating to exposure before the study is completed. Researchers cannot both verify exposure findings and expect residents to remain so that they can carry out the remainder of the study. Thus, individuals, families, and communities are asked to base their decisions on claims that cannot be substantiated one way or the other.

Toxic waste sites continue to be discovered in communities. In many cases, the resulting community struggles are extended battles. The operative phrase in many cases is “once a site is discovered.” The chemicals in Love Canal were buried 30 years before it was known to the community that their houses, school, and playground were built on top of and surrounding a chemical site containing 22,000 tons of waste. This is not to say that the problem didn’t exist before its discovery by residents; it just wasn’t defined as a problem. From the time the chemicals were buried to the discovery of the site by residents 30 years later, residents noticed dogs with burned noses, children with skin rashes, and increased rates of miscarriages, leukemia, and nerve and respiratory disorders. But they were not aware that these rates were out of the ordinary. The effects of the problem did not change, but the way the problem was represented did. The shift was in an awareness of the existence of the problem.

In addition to the chemical disaster at Love Canal, other environmental issues have been the subject of various social movement activities, as well as political legislation. In each instance, public perception influences how and whether the problem is acted on by those with the power to make a difference.

Culturally and socially, environmental problems represent problems of social organization, communication, and socialization. Social scientists can look toward the phenomenon, visible in the reaction to environmental problems, to begin making sense of culture and society at large. Our understanding of environmental issues as primarily social constructions offers insight into how these issues are created, maintained, and resolved.

For example, in many cases where chemical contamination is the focal issue of community groups, the level of risk is perceived by affected individuals rather than established by science. It is the social processes in a community that lead to risk determination, not the natural science interpretations of an issue. Individuals have been socialized to trust science for valid information. When the determination of risk is uncertain, individuals are left to determine the level of risk for themselves by other means. In most cases, this determination is made through contact with state or federal government officials, through collaboration with other community members, or through other sources of information, such as the media. This framework helps to explain disagreements over the seriousness of most environmental issues, from global climate change to mountain-top coal removal.

The subjective reality of environmental problems becomes visible in terms of how the issue is circulated in cultural discourse. Each stakeholder constructs different means of projecting information for public consumption. When presented in the media, the perception is that information is true and accurate. Most often the determination of risk takes place in the form of a public meeting. In this situation, public officials are in control of the meeting, drawing on public anticipation surrounding the specific issue and information to be released. At Love Canal, for example, officials kept the information to be discussed at the meeting private until the meeting in order to build anticipation and increase their power over the dissemination of information.

At both the cultural and social level, power is maintained through these exercises. Often, the state controls the dissemination of information that individuals perceive to be true and accurate. However, different modes of collaboration among community members can create a different means of risk determination. The sharing of common experiences among community residents can lead to a broader sense of mobilization. Once commonalties are recognized, residents begin to determine their own level of risk. Risk perception is based on the potential danger of a problem. The sources that individuals base their information and understanding on are numerous. Each source has developed a frame of events and information on which they base their version of reality. Whether from the media, science, the state, or local knowledge, such frames serve as a means to display a problem in terms of a specific group. Social movement development, in relation to the environment, offers a powerful tool for individuals looking to construct the frame of a given environmental reality.

The ways in which environmental realities have been constructed influences how they will be acted on socially, culturally, and politically. Cultural discourse then circulates in the public sphere and becomes normative. Environmental issues become part of the public dialogue. This dialogue serves to help develop an understanding about the factors that coalesce to create, maintain, and resolve social processes that influence environmental problems.

Community-level interaction is an interesting social space from which to witness environmental understanding. Community-based, environmental problems affect individuals in many ways. Some communities mobilize and form environmental organizations to address a specific problem. Others, with existing community organizations, add environmental problems to their agenda. Environmental problems can vary in scope, size, and duration.

Mobilization in these communities may occur due to individuals’ fear that nothing is being done to ensure the safety of their children and families. It may also occur on the basis of frustration and an inability to understand what and why this is happening in their community. In addition, community groups often mobilize as a result of a lack of trust in government. The mobilization of individuals to resist the state’s discourse challenges the power of the state. The level of trust in government is a key factor in determining the level of power the state can maintain during the presentation of its frame. For example, if trust in government is low, then a stronger frame needs to be developed to legitimize the government’s position. Government often emerges as the key stakeholder, as the actor that will have the power to create change.

Previous research addresses the state’s desire to maintain legitimacy at the same time that community groups seek to resist state discourse. Admitting that there is a problem shows that the state is capable of mistakes, and thus, the state’s legitimacy can be questioned and it is vulnerable. The goal in the rhetoric of the state is not to raise questions, thereby maintaining legitimacy.

Most environmental problems are categorized by place: global, local, or national. These categories are not mutually exclusive. For example, ozone depletion is a global problem because of the total atmospheric effects the ozone layer has on the biosphere from ultraviolet rays. Yet the problem can be seen as being local in an area where heavy smog is causing ozone depletion and high surface area ozone levels, such as in a highly urban area like Los Angeles.

Similarly, the discovery of toxic waste sites across the United States can be seen as a national problem. But in the specific communities where these sites are discovered, it is a local problem affecting individuals directly. The problem is no longer seen as away from them; it is now part of their community. This developing framework of environmental issues has helped individuals become aware of the multitude of impacts that these problems have. Social scientists have been able to develop an understanding of the environment that moves away from the depiction of the earth as something separate from human society, but, instead, the earth is a system with interrelated consequences and realities. One of the most vivid paradigm shifts has been the movement away from an anthropocentric worldview and toward an environmental worldview. This shift can be represented in the movement from the human environmental paradigm (HEP) to the new environmental paradigm (NEP).

Social scientists focus on this shift as a way to explain a cultural movement that has embraced a way of understanding the impact that society has on the environment. Arguably, once the NEP is part of the natural discourse of environmental issues, they become more easily recognized as problems that have risen from a system out of balance. This approach focuses on sustainable development and other modes of development that provide environmentally sensitive growth models. These efforts move toward a culture that is sensitive to a responsibility that ensures less devastating environmental impact in the future. As environmental sociologists and other environmental researchers seek answers for a sustainable society, we must consider the devastating impacts of our current modes of production. New modes of production that take into consideration innovative, green energy solutions will provide a stronger sustainable economy and environment for culture and society.

Bibliography:

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  • Bryant, B., & Mohai, P. (Eds.). (1992). Race and the incidence of environmental hazards: A time for discourse. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
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  • Cable, S., Walsh, E., & Warland, R. (1988). Differential paths to political activism: Comparison of four mobilization processes after the Three Mile Island accident. Social Forces, 66, 951–969.
  • Carnow, B. W., Lepper, M. H., Shekelle, R. B., & Stamler, J. (1969). Chicago air pollution study: SO 2 levels and acute illness in patients with chronic bronchiopulmonary disease. Archives of Environmental Health, 18, 768–776.
  • Carson, R. (1962). Silent spring. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
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  • Freudenburg, W. (1993). Risk and recreancy: Weber, the division of labor, and the rationality of risk perceptions. Social Forces, 71 (4), 909–932.
  • Gaventa, J. (1980). Power and powerlessness: Quiescence and rebellion in an Appalachian Valley. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
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  • Griffith, J. R. C., Duncan, R. C., Riggan, W. B., & Pellom, A. C. (1989). Cancer mortality in U.S. counties with hazardous waste sites and ground water pollution. Archives of Environmental Health, 44, 69–74.
  • Hannigan, J. (1995). Environmental sociology: A social constructionist perspective. London: Routledge.
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  • 140 Environmental Essay Topics

In any academic discipline, writing an essay on the environment can be a daunting task, no matter what the subject matter. Not only should students understand the complexities of the natural world, but they should also be able to communicate their ideas clearly in writing.

To combat the many challenges students can face when crafting an environmental essay, we’ve created this handy guide detailing how to write an environmental essay and even included 140 environmental essay topics to help get you started.

What Is an Environmental Essay?

An environmental essay is a type of paper where a student must choose a topic related to the environment and present an argument, opinion, or point of view about it. The primary purpose of this type of essay is to educate readers on a given issue and raise awareness about potential solutions.

How to Write an Environmental Essay: A Step-By-Step Guide

Step 1: choose an essay topic.

Before you can start writing your environmental essay, you need to choose a topic. Writing this type of paper may appear simple, but finding the right topic can be the most difficult part of the process. You’ll want to choose a topic that matches the essay format to ensure that the writing process is as smooth as possible.

For example, if you are tasked with writing an argumentative essay on a particular environmental issue, make sure that your topic can be argued. Avoid choosing a topic that is too broad or too specific, as this can make it challenging to develop a clear thesis statement and support your argument.

If your environmental essay is a compare and contrast essay, you’ll want to choose two topics that can be effectively compared and contrasted. And if your essay is a cause and effect essay, make sure that your topic focuses on causes or effects (or both) related to an environmental issue.

Step 2: Develop a Thesis Statement

Once you’ve chosen your essay topic, it’s time to develop a thesis statement. This is a sentence (or two) that summarizes your paper’s central argument. Specificity and focus are the hallmarks of a well-crafted thesis statement. In other words, it should be open to discussion and disagreement.

For example, a weak thesis statement might be something like:

“The environment is important.”

While this statement is true, it’s too general to be the focus of an entire essay. A stronger thesis statement might be:

“It’s time to stop polluting and other activities that harm the environment.”

This is a well-reasoned statement that expresses a firm opinion on the subject. It’s a good topic for an argumentative essay because it’s open to debate.

Step 3: Do Your Research

Now that you have a thesis statement, it’s time to do your research. This will involve finding sources (such as books, articles, and websites) that support your argument. When taking notes from your sources, be sure to write down the author, title, and publication date for each one. This will make it easier to create your Works Cited page later on.

As you’re doing your research, keep your essay format in mind. For example, if you are writing a five-paragraph essay, make sure that you have enough evidence to support your thesis statement and fill out each of the three body paragraphs.

Step 4: Write a Draft

Now it’s time to start writing your first draft. Begin by creating an outline that will help you organize your thoughts and ideas. Then, as you flesh out paragraphs from your outline, keep your audience in mind and make sure that your argument is clear and easy to follow.

Your draft should include an introduction, ideas for each body paragraph, and a conclusion. It is important to include your thesis statement in your introduction and to restate it in your conclusion.

Keep in mind that each body paragraph will always need a clear and interesting topic sentence, as well as a transition sentence that sums up the section. The following are some good examples of sentences that begin or transition:

“Even though many people do not consider the environment to be important, it is vital to our continued existence. It is impossible to survive without a healthy environment.

In order to see this, you can look at the…”

“Humans are clearly causing harm to the environment, but what are the root causes of this? I believe that the most important issue is….”

“We can all see the effects of environmental degradation, but persuading people to alter their behavior is a difficult task. While the…”

Each of these sentences offers a clear and concise argument that can be explored in more depth in the body paragraphs.

Step 5: Edit and Proofread

After writing your essay, it’s time to edit and proofread it. This is the process of making sure that there are no errors in your grammar or spelling. It’s also a good idea to read your essay aloud to make sure that it flows smoothly.

With the helpful guide above detailing the process of creating an environmental essay, you should now have no trouble writing on your topic of choice. However, if you’re still struggling to find the perfect topic, consider one of the following 140 environmental essay topics.

Environmental Essay Topics About Pollution

  • The dangers of plastic pollution
  • How climate change is affecting our environment
  • The causes and effects of water pollution
  • Air pollution in cities: a problem that needs to be addressed
  • The issue of noise pollution and its effects on our health
  • The dangers of pesticides and herbicides
  • How deforestation is affecting our environment
  • The problem of light pollution
  • The dangers of nuclear waste
  • How climate change is affecting our weather

Environmental Essay Topics About Conservation

  • Why it’s important to conserve water
  • How to reduce your carbon footprint
  • Why recycling is important for the environment
  • The importance of composting
  • How to reduce your energy consumption
  • Why it’s essential to protect endangered species
  • How you can help the environment in your everyday life
  • The benefits of organic farming
  • Why it’s important to reduce, reuse, and recycle
  • The dangers of mountaintop removal mining

Environmental Essay Topics About Animals

  • How climate change is affecting animals in the wild
  • The declining populations of bees and other pollinators
  • How deforestation is affecting wildlife habitats
  • The problem of invasive species
  • The plight of endangered animals
  • How zoos and aquariums are helping to conserve animals
  • How to make your home more wildlife-friendly
  • The importance of responsible pet ownership
  • How to help local wildlife in your area
  • Why it’s important to spay and neuter your pets

Environmental Essay Topics About Plants

  • The importance of trees for the environment
  • Newly discovered flora species with exciting medicinal benefits
  • The benefits of permaculture
  • How to make your garden more wildlife-friendly
  • Why it’s important to plant native species
  • How to help local flora in your area
  • The specific compounds in herbicides that affect particular plant species
  • The benefits of home gardening

Environmental Essay Topics About Sustainability

  • What is sustainability?
  • The importance of sustainable living
  • How to live a more sustainable lifestyle
  • The benefits of renewable energy sources
  • The problems with nuclear energy
  • Public transport v. carpooling: A comparative analysis
  • How to make your home more energy-efficient
  • The dangers of recycling the wrong items
  • Socio-economic factors that make organic farming difficult for the masses
  • How to shop sustainably

Environmental Essay Topics About Climate Change

  • The causes of climate change
  • The effects of climate change on the world’s economy
  • The potential impact of climate change on our health
  • The effect of climate change on plant and animal species
  • Compare and contrast two factors driving climate change
  • Analyze arguments for and against climate change
  • The possible solutions to climate change
  • The role of the individual in combating climate change

Environmental Essay Topics About Environmentalism

  • What is environmentalism?
  • The history of environmentalism
  • The goals of environmentalism
  • The different branches of environmentalism
  • How you can get involved in environmentalism
  • The benefits of environmentalism
  • The challenges of environmentalism
  • Environmentalism v. consumerism: A comparative analysis
  • How environmentalism is affecting our economy
  • The future of environmentalism

Environmental Essay Topics About History

  • How the Industrial Revolution changed the environment
  • The environmental impact of World War I
  • The environmental impact of World War II
  • How colonialism has impacted the environment
  • The environmental effect of the American Civil War
  • Reconstruction and its effect on the environment
  • The Dust Bowl and its environmental effects
  • The environmental impact of the Great Depression
  • The environmental consequences of the Cold War
  • How 9/11 has impacted the environment

Environmental Essay Topics About Natural Disasters

  • The effects of floods on the environment
  • The effect of droughts on the environment
  • Wildfires: Causes and solutions
  • Causes for the growing intensity of environmental storms
  • How can we prepare for natural disasters?
  • The role of the media in natural disaster relief
  • The impact of natural disasters on our economy
  • The importance of environmental protection during times of emergency
  • Psychological effects of natural disasters
  • Natural disasters and their effect on our infrastructure

Environmental Essay Topics About Alternative Resources

  • Understanding the benefits of hemp production for paper
  • The use of biogas as an environmentally friendly resource
  • The pros and cons of nuclear power
  • Why solar energy is the way of the future
  • How wind turbines are changing the energy game
  • The potential of geothermal energy
  • The benefits and drawbacks of using tidal power
  • The use of rainwater harvesting as an alternative water source
  • How to make recycling more effective
  • Why we should be using more recycled materials in the construction industry
  • The benefits of using recycled materials in the automotive industry
  • Why we should be using more alternative energy sources

Environmental Essay Topics About Education

  • The role of education in environmental protection
  • The importance of environmental education
  • Environmental education programs that work
  • The challenges of environmental education
  • How to make environmental education more effective
  • The future of environmental education

Environmental Essay Topics About Water

  • Analyze the current state of the world’s water supply
  • The importance of freshwater
  • The global water crisis
  • Solutions to the global water crisis
  • How climate change is affecting our water supply
  • How to conserve water
  • The benefits of recycling wastewater
  • The dangers of contaminated water
  • The effect of oil spills on the environment
  • The role of the individual in protecting water resources
  • What we can do to stop water pollution
  • How to make our sewage system more efficient

Environmental Essay Topics About Air Pollution

  • The effects of air pollution on human health
  • The causes of air pollution
  • Solutions to air pollution
  • How to reduce air pollution
  • The impact of air pollution on the environment
  • The effect of smog on the environment
  • The benefits of reducing emissions
  • How to make our cities more livable
  • Reducing noise pollution
  • Why we should be planting more trees

Environmental Essay Topics About Capitalism

  • Compare the environmental effects of capitalism v. socialism
  • The role of the government in environmental protection
  • The impact of capitalism on the environment
  • Is capitalism pushing us into environmental catastrophe?
  • How does capitalism contribute to climate change?
  • The pros and cons of green capitalism

Environmental Essay Topics About Technology

  • The impact of technology on the environment
  • The effect of social media on the environment
  • The role of technology in environmental protection
  • The environmental impact of Bitcoin

These 140 environmental essay topics will give students plenty of material to work with and should make writing the essay relatively easy.

Remember that these topics are just examples and can be altered or combined to better suit your needs. Once you have a topic in mind, follow the writing guide above to ensure you hand in a high-quality environmental essay that will earn you a good grade.

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Environmental Issues Theses Samples For Students

12 samples of this type

WowEssays.com paper writer service proudly presents to you an open-access directory of Environmental Issues Theses meant to help struggling students deal with their writing challenges. In a practical sense, each Environmental Issues Thesis sample presented here may be a guide that walks you through the essential phases of the writing procedure and showcases how to pen an academic work that hits the mark. Besides, if you need more visionary help, these examples could give you a nudge toward a fresh Environmental Issues Thesis topic or encourage a novice approach to a banal subject.

In case this is not enough to satisfy the thirst for effective writing help, you can request personalized assistance in the form of a model Thesis on Environmental Issues crafted by an expert from scratch and tailored to your particular requirements. Be it a plain 2-page paper or an in-depth, extended piece, our writers specialized in Environmental Issues and related topics will submit it within the pre-set period. Buy cheap essays or research papers now!

Sudans Adaptation Strategies Thesis Sample

Introduction, thesis on risks of illegal migrants illegally entering a country.

One of the risks that illegal migrants face when they illegally cross the border is that they risk being apprehended by the country they are migrating to. The border law enforcement agencies of the country they are migrating to will arrest the immigrants and probably depot them.

Good Thesis On Fungal Endophytes Enhance Plant Growth

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Effect Of Climate Change On Marine Organisms Theses Examples

Good air, water, food chain and humans in united states thesis example, analysis of temporal trends in persistent organic pollutants in, example of thesis on ethics and the environment case study thesis statement, thesis statement.

Climate change is unequivocal around the whole world; this observed increase in the average global temperatures has undoubtedly had negative impacts on the urban slum dwellers residing around Jakarta. These communities do not have access to clean water because of the overflowing riverbanks that cause waterborne diseases.

Q.1 who is the author or authors?

The author of the case study on Jakarta is the World Bank. The global financial institution is fulfilling its mandate of eradicating poverty in third world countries by trying to research key areas of improvement and implement projects in conjunction with the government to help the people.

Q. 2 who is the Intended audience?

Good thesis on california fracking regulation and agenda setting, an analysis of the formulation of california senate bill 4, example of thesis on fracking regulation and agenda setting: an analysis of the formulation of, senate bill 4., getting into china thesis, impacts thesis examples, free thesis on creature of cluture.

Never judge culture by one man and never judge a man by popular culture.

- Anonymous

Person-Centred Counselling Thesis

Person centered therapy focuses at helping clients in the growth process so that they can better cope with the difficulties they are facing and with future difficulties. A person centered counsellor will help a depressed client by creating a helping relationship that helps the client explore ares of their life that are distorted (McLeod, 1998)

Case Study of Billy

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  • How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

Published on January 11, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on August 15, 2023 by Eoghan Ryan.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . It usually comes near the end of your introduction .

Your thesis will look a bit different depending on the type of essay you’re writing. But the thesis statement should always clearly state the main idea you want to get across. Everything else in your essay should relate back to this idea.

You can write your thesis statement by following four simple steps:

  • Start with a question
  • Write your initial answer
  • Develop your answer
  • Refine your thesis statement

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Table of contents

What is a thesis statement, placement of the thesis statement, step 1: start with a question, step 2: write your initial answer, step 3: develop your answer, step 4: refine your thesis statement, types of thesis statements, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about thesis statements.

A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay. It is a signpost telling the reader what the essay will argue and why.

The best thesis statements are:

  • Concise: A good thesis statement is short and sweet—don’t use more words than necessary. State your point clearly and directly in one or two sentences.
  • Contentious: Your thesis shouldn’t be a simple statement of fact that everyone already knows. A good thesis statement is a claim that requires further evidence or analysis to back it up.
  • Coherent: Everything mentioned in your thesis statement must be supported and explained in the rest of your paper.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

The thesis statement generally appears at the end of your essay introduction or research paper introduction .

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts and among young people more generally is hotly debated. For many who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education: the internet facilitates easier access to information, exposure to different perspectives, and a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers.

You should come up with an initial thesis, sometimes called a working thesis , early in the writing process . As soon as you’ve decided on your essay topic , you need to work out what you want to say about it—a clear thesis will give your essay direction and structure.

You might already have a question in your assignment, but if not, try to come up with your own. What would you like to find out or decide about your topic?

For example, you might ask:

After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process .

Now you need to consider why this is your answer and how you will convince your reader to agree with you. As you read more about your topic and begin writing, your answer should get more detailed.

In your essay about the internet and education, the thesis states your position and sketches out the key arguments you’ll use to support it.

The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education because it facilitates easier access to information.

In your essay about braille, the thesis statement summarizes the key historical development that you’ll explain.

The invention of braille in the 19th century transformed the lives of blind people, allowing them to participate more actively in public life.

A strong thesis statement should tell the reader:

  • Why you hold this position
  • What they’ll learn from your essay
  • The key points of your argument or narrative

The final thesis statement doesn’t just state your position, but summarizes your overall argument or the entire topic you’re going to explain. To strengthen a weak thesis statement, it can help to consider the broader context of your topic.

These examples are more specific and show that you’ll explore your topic in depth.

Your thesis statement should match the goals of your essay, which vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing:

  • In an argumentative essay , your thesis statement should take a strong position. Your aim in the essay is to convince your reader of this thesis based on evidence and logical reasoning.
  • In an expository essay , you’ll aim to explain the facts of a topic or process. Your thesis statement doesn’t have to include a strong opinion in this case, but it should clearly state the central point you want to make, and mention the key elements you’ll explain.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

  • It gives your writing direction and focus.
  • It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

Follow these four steps to come up with a thesis statement :

  • Ask a question about your topic .
  • Write your initial answer.
  • Develop your answer by including reasons.
  • Refine your answer, adding more detail and nuance.

The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your essay introduction .

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Environmental Studies Program

Department of environmental studies: undergraduate student theses.

Amazon Deforestation and Its Effects on Local Climate , Andrew Baker

Observing Wildlife in Different Urban Environments , Colleen Ballinger

AN ANALYSIS OF FACTORS AFFECTING MUNICIPAL BIOCHAR IMPLEMENTATION IN VOLUNTARY CARBON MARKETS , Jadon Basilevac

Spatiotemporal Activity Patterns of Red Foxes and Coyotes in Wilderness Park, Lincoln, Nebraska. , Adam Carlson

Recycling attitudes and behaviors toward single-use plastics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln , Jadyn Chasek

Correlation Between Fire and Preservation in the Pacific Northwest & Most Cost-Efficient MitigationTactics , Liam Doherty-Herwitz

Analyzing the Effect of Guided Nature Walks on Human Behavior , Jake Duffy

STUDENT PERSPECTIVES OF SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTATION USE ON A COLLEGE CAMPUS , Brynn Fuelberth

SOLAR ENERGY IMPLEMENTATION IN RURAL COMMUNITIES , Corie Gleason

State of Utah et al. v Walsh et al. , Ethan Halman Gonzalez

Regenerative Agriculture –A Pathway for Addressing Nebraska’s Water Quality and Soil Degradation Challenges , Kjersten Hyberger

Analyzing The Effects Of Cold Frontal Passage On The Feeding Habits Of Micropterus Salmoides (Largemouth Bass) , Ethan Lang

Rails to Trails Program: Neighborhood Dynamics in Lincoln, Nebraska , Emma McCormick

ANALYZING SEA LEVEL RISE ADAPTATION & MITIGATION STRATEGIES IN LOUISIANA AND THE NETHERLANDS , Jonah McDowell

Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Nebraska State Park Visitation , Bailey Mullins

Examining the Psychology and Human Behavior of Sustainable Living: The Impact of Socioeconomic Status on Climate Change Education , Samantha Nielsen

GENDER AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY: A CROSS-NATIONAL ANALYSIS ON POLITICAL REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN AND SUBSEQUENT STATE SUSTAINABILITY , Erin O'Sullivan

Perception of Nature Based on Childhood Experiences , Kaitlyn Richards

IDENTIFYING A CONSUMER-PRODUCER AGRICULTURAL KNOWLEDGE GAP , Aspen Rittgarn

EVALUATING ECOSYSTEM HEALTH OF THE SALT CREEK BASIN THROUGH TWO-EYED SEEING , Shelby Serritella

Place-Based Pedagogies in Post-Secondary Science Education: A Scoping Literature Review , Megan Swain

The Decline of Upland Birds in Nebraska: Maximizing Limited Habitat , Hunter Tesarek

Roots of Passion in Environmental UNL Students , Shane Vrbicky

Physiological Distancing Affects Climate Change Through Spatial Differences , Janette Williams

NOISE POLLUTION AND ITS EFFECTS ON HUMAN MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH , Seth Anderson

Outdoor Recreation and its Effect on our Relationship with The Environment , Martin Brannaman

HELD AT BAY: A CASE STUDY OF A LAKE COMMUNITY’S EFFORT TO PREVENT A ZEBRA MUSSEL INVASION , Benjamin Breske

ANALYZING RECYCLING OPTIONS FOR WIND TURBINE BLADE WASTE , Awinita Bunner

The Effects of Human Activity on Reintroduced Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis) Populations , Justine Cherovsky

Eco-dystopian Novels Written By Women: Second, Third, and Fourth Wave Feminism , Trystyn Cox

HOW CAN STAKEHOLDERS IN FOOD SOVEREIGNTY ACHIEVE MORE POLITICAL POWER? , Micah Dierks

Supercritical Water Gasification and Pyrolysis – Cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch , Kelly L. Emery

Public Health Impacts of the Clothing Industry , Schafer Flowerday

THE ACCESSIBILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY OF LOCAL FOODS: A SNAPSHOT FROM THE FOOD HUBS OF LINCOLN, NEBRASKA , Tess Foxall

Agricultural Carbon Markets: How Could They Work? , Andrew Havens

APPARENT TEMPERATURE & RELATIVE HUMIDITY IN NEBRASKA: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS ON WET BULB GLOBE TEMPERATURE (WBGT) TOOLS , Rachel T. Hines

The Evolution of Wildland Fire Risk Management , Matthew Holte

E-WASTE IMPACT ON THE HEALTH OF GUIYU, CHINA CITIZENS: A COMPARISON PRE AND POST CHINA’S PROHIBITION OF FOREIGN GARBAGE IMPORTS , Oliva Hultman

Climate Change Adaptation, Migration, and Promising Developments for Pacific Island States , Ashley Jonas

IDENTIFYING HOW SUMMER CAMP EXPERIENCES AFFECT CHILDREN’S ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY , Quinn Kimbell

Literature Review on Water Desalination Plant Production and Brine Disposal Methods , Grace Kollars

The Impact of Interactions Among Native Grassland Species: A Study of Interactions Between Two Invasive Species (Bromus tectorum and Setaria faberi) and Two Native Species (Helianthus annuus and Rudbeckia hirta) , Nash Leef

Wildfires & Prescribed Fires: Do They Impact Soil Quality? , Kate Nelson

Eastern Redcedar Reduces Regeneration and Diversity in the Forests of the Niobrara River Valley , Abigail Ridder

Greenhouse Gas Emissions During the Usage Phase of Electric Vehicles in the United States, Now and in the Future , Zach Roza

Reintroduction of the Grey Wolf , Cody Willers

University of Nebraska Sustainability Recommendations , Kat Woerner

Land-Use and Potential Effects on the Western Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium) , Emily Zappia

Audit of Waste Collected Over One Week From Superior Dental Health of Lincoln , Bryclin Alstrom

Analysis of Drinking Water Disinfection Options , Bryce Carlen

Diversification of Angiosperms During the Cretaceous Period , Sakia Fields

Distribution of Green Spaces in Omaha, Nebraska , Sofia Gavia

The Effect of Agkistrodon contortrix and Crotalus horridus Venom Toxicity on Strike Locations With Live Prey , Chase Giese

Long-Term Impacts of 2019 Flood Experiences on Nebraskans’ Climate Change Perceptions , Caitlin Kingsley

How is Remote Sensing Being Used to Prevent Wildfires Today? , Luke Lauby

Regenerative Agriculture’s Potential Carbon Storage in Nebraska Soils , Jenna McCoy

Relationship of Land Use Categories and Water Quality for Low Order Streams , Jake McEnaney

Impact of Ethnic Markets on Food Accessibility in Lincoln, NE , Connor McFayden

Mitigation Strategies for Municipal Solid Waste Generation in Lincoln , Justine Mileski

Temporal and Spatial Interactions between Coyotes and Red Foxes along the Urban-Rural Interface , Adam Mortensen

Mental Health Incorporation in Nebraskan Recovery Plans Following the 2019 Midwestern Floods , Isabelle Murray

The Effect of Drought on the Bird Species Spiza americana , Emily Nelson

The Formatting of Science Communication and How it Affects Attraction to and Understanding of Scientific Information , Connor Nichols

Effects of Land Use in Nebraska on Insect Biodiversity and Eastern Monarch Populations , Carina Olivetti

The Relationship Between Time and Plant Diversity in Prairie Restorations Within the Prairie Corridor on Haines Branch , Elizabeth Park

Precipitation Impact on Crop Yield , Ian Ritchie

Investigating Predation Risk Experienced by Wintering Birds at a Supplied-Food Garden , Madison Smart

Using the Theory of Planned Behavior to Understand the Behavioral Use of Single-Use Plastic Bags by Students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln , Josephine Stoessel

Sparking Awareness in Lincoln Electronic Waste Trends and Habits: A Student Behavioral Analysis , Zowie Vincent

Designing a Mobile App and Online Directory to Increase the Visibility of Environmental Organizations in a Community , Kayla Vondracek

The Effect of Urban Forests on Air Quality and Human Health , Chance Wilken

Climate Change & Grief: An Overview Of The Mental Health Effects Of Climate Change & How Biodiversity Loss In The Great Plains Affects Our Emotional Wellbeing , Luke Andersen

Lincoln, NE Composting in Restaurants , Brodie Baum

The Effect Of Wildlife Wellbeing On Environmental Concern , Laura Casne

Observing Spectral Response Differences In Freshwater Lakes Using Remote Sensing Technology , Brady Cooper

Nutritional Value of Crops affected by Elevated Carbon Dioxide Concentrations in Atmospheric Conditions , Alex Joseph Cusimano

A Comparative Analysis Of The Reception Of Laudato Si’ By Progressive And Traditional Catholics , Mikayla Dorff

PLANNING URBAN FORESTS IN A CHANGING CLIMATE , Ethan Dudden

The Role Of University Of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Biodigester On Sustainable Food Waste Reduction Within Selleck Dining Center , Jennifer Gilbert

Adventuring in the Winds: An Exploration of Water Accessibility, Keystone Species, Environmental Justice, and Forest Fires in the Wind River Range , Rhianna Giron

Environmental Factors On The Arctic Food Chain , Sydney Hansen

Incorporating Tallgrass Prairie Into Urban Environments , Daniel Hauschild

The Changing Habitat And Decline Of Ring-Necked Pheasant Populations In Otoe County, Nebraska , Jacob T. Herman

Ecological Perspectives of the Eastern Saline Wetlands Differ Between Visitors and Non-Visitors , Peter Janda

Analysis Of Trees Damaged From Flooding And Ice In Columbus, Nebraska , Alaina Kapla

The Effects Of Street Tree Site Planting Width On Canopy Width And Ability To Provide Ecosystem Services , Ryan Kendall

FUTURE IMPLICATIONS OF EXTREME HEAT ON PUBLIC HEALTH FOR THOSE LIVING IN LINCOLN, NEBRASKA , Mandy Koehler

Fungal Mycelium; The Key to a Sustainable Future , Sawyer Krivanek

Growth and Feeding Response in Python regius in Ambient Temperature vs. Hot-Spot , McKenzie Martinez

The Research and Analysis of Potential Gray Wolf (Canis Lupus) Habitats and Gray Wolf Management in the U.S. , YouHan Mei

Effect of Urban Green Space on Urban Populations. , Jack Mensinger

TO WHAT EXTENT HAS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HUMANS AND RED FOXES (VULPES VULPES) EVOLVED THROUGHOUT HISTORY? , Abigail Misfeldt

Diet Composition And Analysis Of Fish Species Consumed By The Eurasian Otter In A Marine/Costal Environment , Alexandrea Otto

The Effects of Phosphate on the Metamorphosis of Larval Western Barred Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma mavortium) , Alexis Jean Polivanov

What are the Impacts of Plastic Pollution on Sea Turtles and How Can We Prevent Them? , Stacey Safarik

The Introduction of a Carbon Market: A Regression Analysis of the Impacts on Participating Firms , Zachery Sehnert

A Study of Environmental Attitudes Between Rural and Urban Students , Sabrina Severin

The Effect Of Pictorial Signs On Recycling Rates , Christopher A. Sukstorf

A Study Of The Relationships Between Environments And Human Death Practices , Carly Elizabeth Thody

Remediation Strategies To Reduce Heavy Metal Uptake In Lettuce Grown In Contaminated Urban Soil , Ryley Thomas

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Environmental Problems of UAE Essay

Introduction, environmental problems in the uae, fresh water problem in the uae, desertification problem in the uae, oil spills problem in the uae.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an amalgamation of seven different emirates in the Middle East region. It has its capital in Abu Dhabi and has an estimated population of slightly more than 4 million people. Close to 80 percent of the population is made up of non-UAE nationals.

This paper examines the environmental problems of the UAE and how they can be alleviated. Arguably, the population of the UAE has been growing at the expense of the environment.

All over the world, environmental problems remain a serious problem. However, the risks associated with environmental problems are higher in the developing world that is characterized by poverty and lack of important critical resources for dealing with the problems. Despite the steady increase in population, the people of the United Arab Emirates appear to have forgotten about the environment.

As a result of paying so much attention to business growth, the people of the UAE are now faced with serious environmental problems. Generally, environmental problems result from changes in environmental factors that threaten the existence of human beings.

Like many other countries around the world, the United Arab Emirates is faced with serious environmental problems that include lack of access to fresh water, desertification, and pollution as a result of oil spills. The various environmental issues of the UAE are discussed as follows.

The increased population of UAE can be linked to the discovery of oil deposits in the region (Szabo, 2011). Although oil explorations have increased the nation’s wealth, it has also led to an increased demand for foreigners to provide labor for the fast-growing economy.

Figure 1 shows how the UAE’s population and Growth Domestic Product (GDP) have grown over the years. The figure clearly shows that both the GDP and population have been growing at a very fast pace.

Figure 1: Growth in the UAE

Growth in the UAE

As explained by Szabo (2011), however, population and economic growth led to an increased demand for water. Whereas space in the UAE is not a major concern; meeting the demand for fresh water is a serious problem. Even though water may be found in different places across the UAE, it is mostly unsuitable for human consumption unless it goes through a desalination process.

The per capita ecological footprint of a UAE resident is estimated to be 10.7 hectares of land. As a consequence, the biggest problem faced by the UAE has nothing to do with the availability of land. The increase in population has, however, led to a scarcity of important natural resources. Freshwater is especially a critical natural resource, and its availability is a major concern among stakeholders in the UAE.

Ostensibly, the water that is used in the UAE originates from groundwater and desalination. As a result of high temperatures and low amounts of rainfall in the UAE, the nation is unable to meet the increased demand for water needed to support growth and urbanization (Szabo, 2011). This further worsened by the fact that residents live in luxury and are not keen to adhere to calls by the government to conserve the environment.

There are concerns that the fresh water problem in the UAE may be worsened by the effects of climate change associated with increased human activities in the country. Arguably, the effect of climate change can have a serious impact on the survival of UAE nationals. Moreover, soil and water salinity could seriously affect agricultural activities and food production.

The UAE is making every effort to respond to the increased demand for fresh water for residents by relying heavily on desalination. Consequently, the number of desalination plants has been growing with time to meet the increased demand for the service. Most desalination plants in the world are concentrated in the UAE and especially in the country’s capital, Abu Dhabi (Szabo, 2011).

The growth in the number of desalination plants is also as a result of a decrease in the cost of relevant technologies for desalinating water. Besides efforts to desalinate water, there is increased awareness among politicians that water management is a critical requirement for the survival of the nation and the realization of meaningful development.

Through well-planned campaigns, residents of the UAE have been sensitized on the importance of water resource management. Residents are also advised to use water responsibly. One strategy that has been used to control the consumption of water involves increasing fees for water usage.

UAE authorities have also turned to legal experts to get advice on the enactment of water conservation laws aimed at ensuring that the use of water is properly regulated. The Government also came up with the idea of giving subsidies to farmers as a way of ensuring that they do not waste water through their farming activities.

Desertification is generally regarded as the degradation of land as a result of climate change and irresponsible human activities. A huge percentage of the UAE is composed of arid or semi-arid land. Consequently, the country is characterized by limited water resources and a very harsh environment. Table 1 shows the distribution of rainfall in the Arab region.

Table 1: Distribution of Rainfall in the Arab Region

Distribution of Rainfall in the Arab Region

In the past, the UAE depended mostly on agricultural activities to feed its people. This has, however, been affected by the problem of desertification. Despite numerous efforts to minimize the effects of desertification, it is still the greatest problem faced by the UAE (Abahussain et al., 2002). Arguably, the degradation of land in the UAE is due to misuse.

Once again, the steady increase in population is blamed for the rapid degradation of land in the UAE. Human activities that have contributed to degradation include overgrazing, deforestation, and increased cultivation.

Because of the high population in the UAE that has led to increased demand for land and water resources, land degradation is currently a major problem in the UAE. Based on research findings, most land resources in the Arab region, including the United Arab Emirates, have been affected by desertification. This is illustrated in table 2.

Table 2: Statistics on Desertification in the Arab Region

Statistics on Desertification in the Arab Region

According to Abahussain et al. (2002), the forces behind desertification in the UAE include population growth and urbanization, increased water demand, intensification of agricultural activities, deforestation, droughts, and climate changes.

Several activities may be undertaken to minimize the effect of desertification. Relevant activities that can help to deal with desertification include the establishment of relevant laws and regulations, carrying out surveys about water resources, establishing water treatment plants, and encouraging individuals to plant trees.

Unintended oil spills from oil refineries and oil mining activities around the coastal areas on the UAE have a major effect on marine life as well as the ecosystem. Purportedly, oil pollution mostly originates from the activities that take place on land (Todorova, 2013). Oil spills also generate smells that can easily affect the health of human beings as well as animals.

The UAE is doing everything possible to address the oil spill problem to provide a healthy environment. Although dealing with the oil spill problem is quite involving and requires so much in terms of time and resources, UAE is determined to eradicate the oil spill problem.

Ostensibly, efforts to address the oil spill problem have prompted the UAE to turn to the use of an oil spill detection system to detect and address the oil spill problem in good time (Todorova, 2013). Efforts have also been made to develop an oil spill contingency plan.

Without a doubt, population growth and urbanization are to blame for environmental problems witnessed in the UAE. As explained in this paper, the demand for water and other natural resources in the UAE went up as a result of population growth.

The UAE government is doing everything possible to address environmental issues including the development of policies and regulation to govern the use of resources and creating awareness among residents about the effects of environmental problems such as desertification, oil spills and lack of access to fresh water.

In general, efforts by the government are meant to model responsible behavior among citizens and to ensure that individuals obey rules and regulations designed to safeguard the environment.

Abahussain, A. A., Abdu, A., Al-Zubari, W. K., El-Deen, N. A. & Abdul-Raheem, M. (2002). Desertification in the Arab Region: Analysis of Current Status and Trends. Journal of Arid Environments , 51, 521 – 545

Szabo, S. (2011). The Water Challenge in the UAE . Web.

Todorova, V. (2013). Closer eye needed on oil spills in the UAE. Web.

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