Human Population and the Future
Due Dates: (Note: there
are 11 class days from Feb. 18 to Mar. 23)
Group 1 Friday, March 25
Group 2 Tuesday, March 29
Group 3 Thursday, March 31 (last
class day of the quarter)
Papers detailing the presentations are due on
Wednesday, March 23
In groups of four, research the trends and bases for human population growth
past, present, and future. Present to class a powerpoint or video which
illustrates in detail your research and your conclusions. Your project
must consider and answer the following questions:
- [10 points] How has the population of humans changed over time - from
10000BCE to the present. Explain the various factors that altered the
- [20 points] How has our consumption of resources changed over time -
find good numerical data for what you consider to be key resources (land
use, water, energy, food, minerals/mining etc.)
- What will the future look like?
- [30 points] Is there a carrying capacity for humans on this planet?
Explain in detail - what, if anything, limits human population growth?
Consider this region by region - Europe is not the same as sub-Saharan
Africa so you need to consider them differently. (Choice of
regions to consider is up to you, the following is just a suggestion: N.
America, S. America, Asia (Japan, China, India/Pakistan, Indonesia),
Europe, Africa, Australia.)
- [20 points] How do you expect that humanity will be able to deal the
the growing population? How would you deal with it? Who, if
anybody, has any right to decide for others?
- [20 points] How do you balance the need for resources with the
preservation of the environment?
- [20 points] On or before March 23, you must pass out a paper
detailing your project to the rest of the class (or post it online through
- [20 points] Be ready to defend the points you make at the end of
- Each presentation is expected to take up a full class period.
- I hate to set hard-and-fast requirements for the number of slides as I
prefer to allow you to use your own judgment to verify that you have covered
the requirements more than adequately. You
will probably have between 50 and 75 slides.
[10 points] Prepare (as individuals) a list of at least five questions
that you would ask other presenters based on their paper. Your questions
should challenge the presenters to defend their positions or data. This
list is part of the assignment and will be turned in on the day that the other
groups make their presentations.
General Powerpoint Guidelines:
1. This is to be prepared for an adult audience - jazzy or
kaleidoscopic backgrounds are not appropriate and they put me into a very bad
mood when grading.
2. Do not cover good images with text.
3. You may use text-only slides to introduce key points or
4. Introducing humorous bits is allowed - but sparingly.
5. [20 points] Every member of your group must
present a significant portion of the project and will receive an individual
grade on the quality of his or her presentation.