Environmental studies and Forestry
You are a consultant whose company has been appointed to advise a government body on one of two developments:
A) A new in-town hotel development with a capacity for 100 bedrooms, including conference facilities, retail outlets and car parking.
B) Aground-mounted solar energy facility with a capacity of 10MW generated via 30,000 solar modules, to produce enough green electricity for over 2,500 homes.
The government body requires advice on how the environmental impacts of the construction and operation of the above developments can best be identified, assessed and managed. Write a report which critically discusses the application of three of the tools covered on the short course to development AorB. The tools are EIA, LCA, ERA, Environmental Review, Carbon Footprinting.
You should clearly state which development you are advising on, then draw on evidence from peer reviewed and practitioner literature in discussing the selected tools, clearly noting the benefits and drawbacks of each one. Your report should highlight any similarities or links between the tools (e.g. if one might provide data that could be used by another tool) and it should lead the reader to clear conclusions regarding the suitability of the tools to managing the environmental impacts of the particular development chosen. It does not matter whether the tools selected are those the local authority would use directly or those that it could require or request the developer to use. Your report will not be judged on whether the tools are the most suitable to the chosen development but you should show a critical appreciation of the tools and their application (e.g. their benefits and limitations, integrating the perspectives of a range of authors).
For your chosen example, you could use the following sources to provide you with simple background information about the nature of such a development and its possible impacts, before you start undertaking research into the tools. Note that the main focus of your research should be the application of the tools / methods:
A) The proposed Bircherley Green development in Hertford contains a similar scheme:http://www.bircherleygreenregeneration.com
B) The recently-opened Clayhill solar farm near Milton Keynes is of a similar size: http://anesco.co.uk/clayhill-uks-first-subsidy-free-solar-farm/
A report should start with an executive summary of no more than 300 words which gives a senior manager the key information from the document. The main body of the report should be set out using logical, numbered sections but it is not necessary for every paragraph to have a separate number. For this report no more than one sub-level of numbering is needed (e.g. 1.1, 1.2). You are encouraged to use figures and tables to support the text.
The Learning Resource Centres stock many books and e-books which will be useful for this assignment. You should look at the sections within this booklet and on the StudyNet site for useful references for individual tools / methods. In addition, the following journals are good sources of peer-reviewed papers:
Environmental Impact Assessment Review
Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal
Journal of Environmental Assessment, Policy and Management
Journal of Environmental Planning and Management
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment
International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Use the Library Search service to order papers from any journal that UH does not have a subscription to (when logged into Library Search, click “Request items not held at UH” and enter your student identification details together with the article details).
You are strongly encouraged to use figures and tables to illustrate key points. The total word limit for this assignment is strictly 2,500 words. Figures, tables, the reference list and any appendices are not included in this word limit but information in boxes and in-text citations is included. Please adhere to the word limit; text that exceeds 2,500 words will not be marked. As a guide, it is expected that at least 12 sources will be referenced in this assignment, of which the majority should be peer reviewed. You may also choose to make careful use of industry, government or practitioner literature, as appropriate.
Any updates to this assignment briefing will be posted on the Assignments area of StudyNet.
This assignment has been set and will be marked by a member of the module team or nominee in accordance with the Assessment Criteria (Coursework): Written Reports and Essays, which can be found under Module Information on StudyNet.
You are advised to familiarise yourself with the expected learning outcomes of the module that can be found in the Definitive Module Document and detailed in the Learning Outcomes section on page 3 of this Module Guide.
Criteria for Assessment
• The Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences assessment criteria for essays and reports will be used in marking the work (see Module Information on StudyNet)
• The assignment will be evaluated for a general understanding of how the selected tools / methods may be suitable in providing environmental information about this development. It will also be evaluated in terms of the evidence presented to demonstrate a critical appreciation of the benefits and limitations of each of the tools within this particular context (i.e. you support your discussion with reference to the literature).
Assignment word length: 2,500 words
Assignment hand-in date: 22/02/18
All students are encouraged to submit an outline of their assignment (maximum 1,000 words) in the Assignments section of the module StudyNet site, by the drafts deadline as given. Feedback on outline assignments will not be given on submissions made after this date.