Semester Research Topic Ideas

Research Topic Ideas – please add your own proposals

  1. Can a ‘Cap and Trade’ policy 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 practices – currently widely practiced in coffee, tea and cocoa production and other agricultural products, be expanded upon as a model for U.S. trade practices?
  6. Can Sustainable Agriculture Become the Norm in the U.S. and beyond?
  7. Is there evidence of how much renewable energy practices translate into cost savings for the U.S. economy? Are there estimates of cost savings within particular industries? Cities?
  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?
  12. Is the occurrence 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, planted rooftops 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 urban agriculture offered by the Urban Grange Farm? How can this model  promote local economic self-sufficiency, renewable resource use and better access to healthful food?

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