can you help? Research Project Instructions: Sustainable Development:

can you help?

Research Project Instructions: Sustainable Development:

Research Paper:

Each student should identify an area overburdened by pollution, applying EPA’s EJScreen: Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool (, which combines environmental and socioeconomic information in the area. Then, she needs to write a paper between six and eight pages (including figures, tables, and references). See the required format below.

EJSCREEN is an environmental justice mapping and screening tool that provides EPA with a nationally consistent dataset and approach for combining environmental and demographic indicators.

Please note that:

A. The User Guide is available for download at: 
User Guide for EJScreen (pdf)

B. A series of short tutorial videos on the basic EJScreen functionality is available on the 
EJScreen Videos page.


Tools – Office of Sustainability (
UMBC’s Office of Sustainability)

· You can also use EJScreen @ UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) at
which is designed as an interactive dashboard and companion to the Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool (i.e., EJScreen). The dashboard displays information about the 13 EJ indicators and UMBC’s demographics.


1. To identify the communities that are most affected by pollution and where the most vulnerable groups are located by analyzing the environmental, socioeconomic, and demographic data.

2. To develop an in-depth knowledge on some selected UNSDG and environmental justice.

3. To enhance student`s research, writing, and oral presentation skills.

Topic and instructions:

The topic is up to you! Please choose a region (location) you are interested in and want to know more about the relationship between environmental issues and demographic factors in the area, applying EJScreen tool. For example, you can analysis the socio-economic, health disparities, or climate vulnerability in the area of your interest through an environmental justice and sustainable development perspective.

· Your research should be narrow enough that you can treat the subjects (e.g., environmental justice and its indicators) in depth and its relationship with one or more related UN Sustainable Development Goals, targets, and indicators such as UN SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 10. I expect you to read outside sources (books, articles, information from the web) and use these in your research.

Format for the Research paper:

A 6-8 page (1.5 ‘lines spacing’, 12 fonts, 1” margin) well-written review paper on the chosen topic. All figures and tables should be numbered and cited appropriately within the write-up.

The paper should consist of four basic sections as follows


A summary should not exceed 400-500 words. Despite its short length, it is an important part of the paper. Based on the contents of the summary, readers often decide whether to continue reading the article. A good summary includes concise, to-the-point statements regarding the purpose, results (a statement about the methods of analyses may also be given here) and conclusions of the article in well-structured paragraphs. Short and simple are the key points when writing a summary for your article.


About 1-2 pages long. As the name implies, it introduces the subject to the reader. It should give:


A short historic background

(e.g. when, and by whom the matter was raised first, connection to people lives; chronology of events if possible).


Outstanding questions remaining to be answered



What the paper is set to do (objective).

· An introduction usually contains citations from other works on the subject such that the readers are informed as to where they can locate key sources about the subject under discussion.

· The introduction section should also be the most non-technical part of the paper so that readers can decide whether the reading benefits them. As a courtesy to readers, you may add a paragraph at the end, describing how you plan to proceed with your analyses.

Analyses and Discussion

This will be the bulk of your paper, typically 2-4 pages long, including text, data tables, maps, photos, and graphs. The analyses and discussion must be your take from what you have read and researched, and come in your own words. For example, in the result section includes:

· 12 environmental indicators

· 6 demographic indicators

· 12 EJ indexes (each EJ index combines demographic indicators with a single environmental indicator.

This tool (EJScreen) provides a number of capabilities, including:

· Color-coded mapping

· The ability to generate a standard report for a selected area

· Comparisons showing how values for a selected area compare to its state, EPA region, or the nation.

The best approach is to break it the paper down into a number of subheadings so that a reader does not get lost. You may number the subheadings in order of their importance, or just have subheadings.

This approach allows the readers to skip unwanted sections as well as letting them see the order and structure of your paper. It also makes it easy for you to keep track of the development of the subject as you write.

It is advisable that you design the paper with all its subsections in mind before you write, but this may not always be possible.

If you include diagrams, maps, charts, photos, or graphs, they must be labeled and have captions, complete with a figure number assigned at the beginning of the caption, like



The graph shows emissions of main air pollutants provided by European Environment Agency (EEA).


Table 3.
Examples of the relationship between natural disasters and economic growth (Lima et al., 2013).


No more than a page, usually one or two paragraphs. Put all the salient points of the paper here. However, you need to present these points in some order of importance commensurate with the way you posed the issues in the analyses/discussion part. Without the conclusion section, a paper sounds like a story or a newspaper article.


· The main point of the presentation is to learn the subject and to teach it to other students.

· The talk should be planned for a 10-15 minutes period and use Microsoft Powerpoint.

· The talks will be graded based on the quality of the introduction given to the problem, clarity, ability to transfer the ideas, choice of audio-visual means (Powerpoint slides), level of the understanding of the idea and problem by the presenter, and number of articles studied.


You may have cited a number of scientific articles, books, newspapers or other sources in your paper. Now you need to tell the reader about them in sufficient detail such that if needed, they can locate the sources. There are several standard formats for giving references. You would adopt the following format.

In the text:

Smith (1989) has suggested that…, or … It was inferred that the natives were capable of defending themselves (Smith, 1989).

In the reference list:

Smith J. D. “A History of Kentucky”, 2nd Edition 1989, Goodwill Publishers Inc. Lexington KY.

Journal Articles, Newspaper Articles:

In the text:

Poet & Albridge (1992) contended that Illinois basin was… or: Several communities along the river complied (Poet & Albridge, 1992).

In the reference list:

Poet James K & Albridge C. D. (1992), The great mining towns of Illinois, Journal of Exploration, Vol. 132, # 12, 435-455.

Web sites:

In the text:

…In this respect the data published by the USDA is conclusive (W5).

In the reference list:

W5: US Department of Energy.

Criteria for Grading the Research Papers

Your research paper must be a balanced discussion of different aspects of the environmental issue. The paper is graded based on the following criteria:

Criteria % of the paper grade





Easy and clear arguments and interpretations:


Evidence, explanation, previous work justifies analyses and conclusions:


Properly captioned graphs, models, maps, tables, etc., with relevant references:


Free of spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors:


Alphabetical list of proper references that are appropriately referred to in the text:


Total 100

Some helpful links:

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