Semester Research Topic Ideas

Research Topic Ideas – please add your own proposals

  1. Can ‘Cap and Trade’ programs effectively eliminate the growth of greenhouse gases on a global scale?
  2. How have Changes in Climate Patterns in the U.S. Affected Agricultural Output in the 21st Century? Where geographically is there evidence of this?
  3. What are the Estimated Costs to the U.S. Economy of Floods, Droughts, lack of adequate Water Resources and Invasive Species?
  4. Can Experimental Use of Natural Landscapes to Promote Flood Control and Improve Water Resources become a Model for the U.S. Economy? How can such practices preserve valuable natural resources that are vital to further Economic Growth?
  5. Can Eco Certification and Fair Trade Agreements – currently widely practiced in coffee production and other agricultural products -be expanded to include many traded goods?
  6. Can Sustainable Agriculture Become the Norm in the U.S. and beyond?
  7. Is there evidence of the extent to which renewable energy practices translated into cost savings for the overall economy? Are there estimates of cost savings that these practices have generated within particular industries? Cities? Estimates of Projected Savings in an Economy based upon Renewable Energy Sources (wind, solar, other)?
  8. Can consumer behavior be influenced to encourage sustainable consumption? Is there evidence that such behavioral changes have resulted in less waste and less consumerism?
  9. Can sustainable tourism become a model for tourism practices globally? What countries or sites offer a model for sustainable tourism?
  10. Fair Trade vs. Free Trade: How do fair trade practices promote renewable resources?
  11. Urban farming: A sustainable model for the future? What are its benefits? How does it save on energy costs? Water conservation? Provide a healthy local community food source? www.growingagreenerworld.com
  12. Is the increasing incidence of more severe storms such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012 indicative of climate change? What evidence suggests this? What were the economic losses to businesses and residents in New York as a result of the storm?
  13. Can communities located close to the water continue to thrive even as evidence points to continued rising sea levels? Can such local economies make changes to adapt? How?
  14. How does sustainable building design translate into cost savings for consumers and business? (what are the cost savings of solar as a primary energy source, recycling of water, rooftop plantings and gardens etc.)?
  15. The Gowanus Canal Watershed: How has the pollution affected the community over time? In what ways are local conservation projects, businesses, and the community recovering and working to make the local economy viable again?
  16. What are the benefits of the model of urban agriculture offered by the Urban Grange Farm? How could this model if expanded to other cities and communities promote local economic self-sufficiency, renewable resource use and better access to healthful food?

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