Geography 1000
Topics for the Written Assignment
Students will select one of the following three essay topics, conduct library and Internet research, and submit an essay on that topic for grading no later than the deadline shown below. All essays must be handed personally to a TA in Ross N424 before 4:00 p.m. Monday, January 21 (after this deadline, take late essays to N430 for date-stamping).

Note that the Geography Office (N430) is closed to students after 4:00 p.m. each day. NEVER leave an assignment on or under an office door. Be sure to keep a copy of your assignment. If it appears that you might miss a deadline due to illness or bereavement, contact the lecturer promptly.

The written text of your essay MUST NOT EXCEED SIX (6) PAGES OF TEXT, DOUBLE-SPACED AND TYPED IN 12 POINT FONT. Extra pages of footnotes or endnotes, references, bibliography, maps and illustrations are permitted (and indeed expected).

Declaration and Disclosure
While sharing of published sources such as books, articles and website data IS permitted, NO collaboration should occur when producing the outline, rough drafts or final draft of your essay. This must be done individually. ALL ESSAYS MUST BE ACCOMPANIED (ON PAGE 1) BY A SIGNED DECLARATION which states that the written text of the essay represents your own unaided work, and which DISCLOSES the names of other students with whom you studied or exchanged readings or other information sources. Failure to include such a statement of declaration and disclosure may result in return of your essay unmarked. Penalties for plagiarism (including unacknowledged use of printed or internet materials and unauthorized collaboration in writing your essay) are severe. LATE ASSIGNMENTS will be penalized at the rate of one half letter grade per day. Extensions will only be granted for serious medical or compassionate reasons. Appeals must be corroborated by a physician’s letter.
Essay Topics (choose one)
Topic #1. Diamonds and African Development

Since the discovery of huge diamond deposits at Kimberley, South Africa in 1870, the continent of Africa has been one of the main suppliers of gem-quality and industrial diamonds to the rest of the World. The South African firm of de Beers has long maintained a monopoly on global marketing of African diamonds, but today the main African supplies of this gemstone come not just from South Africa but from such regions as the Skeleton Coast of Namibia, various localities in Angola, Congo, Sierra Leone, Botswana and Tanzania. Although diamonds have brought wealth to those who control their production (mostly foreign companies and African elites) they have also brought war and misery to many Africans, especially in Angola, Sierra Leone and neighboring areas of Liberia and Guinea in the last few years.

Write an essay assessing the positive and negative effects of diamond exploitation in selected regions of Africa. Pay particular attention to the environmental, economic, social and political effects of diamond production on the regions or countries you have chosen to discuss.

Topic #2. Wildlife Tourism in Africa

A number of African countries, notably Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Republic of South Africa, Namibia and Botswana have set aside large tracts of undeveloped land as national parks and wildlife reserves. These areas provide a (more or less secure) habitat for large herds of antelope, elephant and other wild herbivores as well as the lions, cheetahs and other predators that prey on them. Apart from the objective of preserving wildlife, however, these parks and reserves have economic and other benefits (and costs) for the countries concerned, through their attraction of large numbers of foreign tourists who come to view and photograph (and occasionally to hunt) wildlife.

For one or more of the above African countries, describe the current system of national parks and reserves and discuss the impacts of wildlife tourism on the local economies and societies (as well as on the natural environment).

Topic #3. Future Development of Small Island States

Located in the tropical and sub-tropical waters around the globe are numerous small, independent, island nation-states that are facing increasing developmental problems in the 21st century. These small island states, many of which are in less developed areas of the Caribbean, Pacific and Indian Ocean realms, are attempting to cope with severe ecological, demographic, economic and political problems in their struggle to improve the standards of living of their growing human populations. Choose at least two (2) such small island states and compare their development problems so as to illustrate and explain the present and future challenges faced by many tiny, vulnerable countries in less-developed parts of the world.

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. last updated 11/12/01