Design your own astronomy lab assignment. It does not have to be very long–but it should follow the guidelines I try to follow when writing assignments:
Assignments should include:
An assignment description that utilizes transparency guidelines (Links to an external site.)
Assignment expectations and grading criteria (include rubric if utilizing)
A due date
Your assignment does not have to be a lab or something you have actually done, but it can be. Make it about something we haven’t covered in depth in this class so far that you would like to learn more about. You can also think about ways to tie astronomy into your major or area of interest. If I really like your idea, it might become a new assignment that I use.
Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to provide an opportunity for you to do some primary research in environmental history and use your insights about the field and its methods to craft a new interpretation of a topic of importance to students of the field.
Skills: Learn and practice the techniques of visual analysis and deep reading of photographs that support research in the field of environmental history. Learn how to use more familiar primary sources such as maps and documents to support deep reading of photographs. Learn how to better explain historic context with images as part of the evidence for argument and analysis. Understand how reading historic photographs enhances ability of environmental historians to study cultural landscapes overtime.
Knowledge: By doing this assignment you will better understand interactions of nature and culture over time. More specifically you will gain insights into the environmental history of Southern Nevada and the American Southwest.
Carefully survey the Landscapes of Southern Nevada digital collection and note photographs that you wish to study in more depth.
Survey the primary documents and historic maps included in the collection.
Choose an individual image to analyze
Search for one related primary document in the collection and one related historic map that will aid your analysis of your image.
Decide what broader environmental history topic, theme or research area these three sources might support. For example, land use, resource conservation, water, etc….
Use the Library of Congress Photo Analysis worksheet to guide your deep reading of your photograph, keeping in mind that you are using these sources to better understand an environmental history research topic, theme or issue.
Based on your analysis and notes from the worksheet, write a concise but detailed analysis of your photograph. Then explain how this photographic primary source expands our knowledge of your chosen environmental history topic. Upload your document to this assignment.
Criteria for Success: Submit your completed (500-800 word) analysis with your photograph attached to this assignment. Use the rubric attached to this assignment to understand what criteria your work will be critiqued against, and what the attributes are for “excellent,” “adequate,” and “inadequate” submissions.