Arizona Natural History and Astronomy

College Park Scholars - Earth, Life, and
and Science Discovery and the Universe
University of Maryland, College Park

March 16-25, 2007

Reaction Paper Topics

Due 4-9-07

Turn in your installment of the Arizona 07 essay: The course organizers will be preparing a web site describing the intellectual themes of the Spring break excursion. Its centerpiece will be a series of student essays describing our activities and relating them to the major intellectual themes of the trip. Each student will be responsible for a reaction paper addressing each of four major issues in Arizona natural history. These will be roughly the equivalent to a 3 - 5 page printed paper. and will be due on Monday, April 9. (50% of grade.)

Topics to be addressed are:

  1. In what way(s) has Arizona (the physical place and its human residents)contributed to our astronomical knowledge. How, specifically, has the environment of Arizona helped astronomers in their pursuit of knowledge?

  2. We will see archaeological sites of a couple of pre-Columbian Native American cultures which inhabited Arizona. Describe how one of these cultures interacted with the local physical and living environment, and how those interactions are reflected in the physical archaeological record.

  3. Arizona has one of the most diverse and easily-observable geological records of any American state. Identify and describe two examples of specific sites where we observed records of geologic change. These changes might have been extremely rapid or very gradual; extremely recent or in far off deep time.

  4. In our travels we will pass through several different biomes. Describe at least two different biomes, and the physical environmental setting they occupy. List some of the characteristic plants and animals that we saw for each biome, and how those plants and animals interact with their physical and living environment (give specific examples).