Fall 2012 CALS 85 Final Lab Project

        DUE DATE:     Friday 30 November (4pm)
        EARLY BONUS: Friday 16 November (4pm) or before, (for +10% or 15 extra Bonus points).
You should hand in the project to your lab TA instructors.  Leave the completed assignment on your  lab instructor's desk, or in your lab instructor's mail box, or IN assignment box outside 208H Morrill Hall.   If the assignment is late -10%, Then starting Monday 3 December, you lose 5% per day of the 150 points (7.5 points per day).  All late Projects need to be handed in before Friday 7 Dec at 4 PM.  Nothing accepted after 4pm Friday Dec 7th.


     Early Hand in (+15 points)...........Friday 16 November, 4pm
     Regular Due date.........................Friday 30 November, 4pm
     If late, -10%, Then if later than 4pm Monday -5% off per day (4pm deadline)
     Absolute LATE deadline...............Friday 7 Dec, 4pm  (-30%)
     Projects will not be accepted after this time. Anything later: 0, no credit.


     NOTE: Once you hand in your project you may not make any later additions to it. 
     When you submit your project it is done and it will be graded as is.


For this project you will create spreadsheet tables and graphs and a WWW page using data to develop a theme of your choice. The completed seamless document will contain at least two spreadsheet data tables, two graphs, a discussion of each graph, and at least two images (pictures).  Attached to this seamless document will be a printout of your project Web page.

Your project must demonstrate a scholarly, rigorous analysis of the theme of your choice.


The project should be submitted in a pocket folder and arranged in the following sequence:

PowerPoint Cover Sheet
Title Page
Table of Contents page
Theme (start page number 1 here)
Image 1
Data Sources
Data Table 1
Graph 1
Discussion 1
Data Table 2
Graph 2
Discussion 2
Image 2
(Optional Additional Data Tables, Graphs & Discussions)
References Cited (on its own page)
Credibility of Web sources (on its own page)
Web Page Printout (including your zoo URL)

Enclose the project in a two-pocket folder.  On the outside of the folder on the top edge of the front should be your name, lab section (day & time), and your lab
instructor's name.  BE SURE TO MAKE MULTIPLE BACKUPS as you construct the project and save them in multiple places including uploading it to your zoo account BACKUP folder.


Double space all text and indent the beginning of all paragraphs five spaces.  Leave no large white space within the body of the paper thereby creating a seamless document (text, spreadsheet data tables, and graphs can appear on the same page).  In other words, starting on the PROJECT THEME page and ending at the end of the CONCLUSION Section, leave at most about six or seven blank spaces between any section.

Main section headings, such as PROJECT THEME, DATA SOURCES, DATA TABLE 1,  GRAPH 1, DISCUSSION 1, and CONCLUSION, should be centered, bold, and in caps at the beginning of each section in the text.  Number the pages with page number 1 starting on the Project Theme page (not the title or table of contents page).  Any information that is not common knowledge should be referenced with either a reference number [1], the author and date (Smith 2010), or if from the Internet the address (http:// www.info.com/source.html).  Be consistent with your reference style throughout the project.  Please include spaces in the URL so it does not wrap around and start on a new line in your document.  Put the reference at the end of the sentence or paragraph that contains the information.  Reference all images that you use by putting the source just under the image..  At the end of your project, list the references in alphabetic order. Any information that is not common knowledge needs to be referenced in the text.  Do not just put the list of references at the end without reference citations in the text  itself.

The ****s below represent the top and bottom of the page:

                                             PATTERNS OF HEALTH


                                 OF AFRICAN COUNTRIES 1950 - 2010

                                               A Project Presented


                                                   Susan S. Smith

                                   In partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
                       of CALS 002/85, Computer Applications in Agriculture
                                  and Life Sciences, University of Vermont

                                                     April 2012

Bottom of page






                                        PROJECT THEME

     The theme of this project is human population growth and how it affects the quality of life

in countries throughout the world.  Human population growth until very recently has been

exponential and currently there are over 6.6 billion people on our planet (Brown 2010).

I was especially interested in the "developing" nations and how population growth may be

correlated with a lower quality of life.  I was interested in this theme because I spent a semester

abroad in Botswana last spring where I saw first-hand large numbers of hungry children.

        I used the World Population Data Sheet from the Population Reference Bureau's Web

site (http://www.prb.org/) and data from the United Nations site (http://www.un.org/esa/).  I was

interested in Gross National Product per capita (GNP/cap) as a measurement of economic well

being in various countries.  I wanted to answer the questions: "Does greater GNP/cap correlate

with greater quality of life?"  "Is there any difference in population growth rate between "industrialized"

and "developing" nations?  If so, what factors contribute to this difference?"  The measurement of

quality of life I decided to use was the "Quality of Life Index" which is calculated from the Infant

Mortality Rate, Life Expectancy, and Illiteracy Rates (http://www.UNFAO.org/dev/measures.html).



  Choose a theme that you are interested in, and one that you can easily find data on from the web, the library, or other credible sources.  This may be about anything  from endangered species to human population growth, from agriculture to forestry, from greenhouse gases to fossil fuel consumption, from crime rates to diversity.  Choose a theme that you have some interest, indeed, some passion for.  If  you have ANY doubt whether your theme is appropriate, check with your instructor.  The goal of the project is to tell an interesting story with tables and graphs, so choose a theme topic that you will be able to support with tables and graphs.  Here's a list of some themes that students have used in the past:

     Sustainable Agriculture in New England
     Peak Oil
     Genetically Modified Organisms: Panacea or Pandora's Box?
     World Population Trends
     Health of Women in ... (Africa, Latin America, etc.)
     Our Changing Atmosphere
     Patterns of Endangered Species
     International Adoption from China: A Second Chance.
     Synthetic Bovine Growth Hormone: Is it necessary?
     Patterns of Deforestation: the past 30 years
     A Comparison of Agricultural Practices across the World
     Hemp: a viable product or smoke and mirrors?
     Patterns of Government Spending on Education and Illiteracy rates.
     SUVs, an Analysis of their Environmental Impacts.

  The PROJECT THEME should start on its own page, and be numbered page 1.  In this section you should introduce your project topic and give some background information to orient your reader, as  well as explaining why you were interested in this theme.  You will need to do some research for this background information.  Be sure to cite references in the text to any information that is not common knowledge.

   Explain clearly why you were interested in your theme.

  Your Theme should propose a set of questions you were trying to answer with the data you find.  For example: "I was trying to find out what countries have the fastest growing human population and what they have in common.  Are they all found in the same region of the world?  Do they have the same land area? or density?" etc.  If you choose a subset of Countries, or a subset of data, justify and explain why you chose that particular subset.

  Be sure to explain the time and space boundaries of your project.  Does your project use data only from Vermont, the USA, or from the entire World?   Does your project deal with a snapshot in time, or during a  particular period of time?

  When you present any information that is not common knowledge, cite it in the text, so the reader can find out your source of information.  For example: "..there are currently over 6.7 billion people alive on our planet (Brown 2010)."  This information comes from Lester Brown's book,Vital  Signs 2010.


  Immediately following the PROJECT THEME (do not start a new page), begin the DATA SOURCES section which describes the data that you used, and where and how you got them. For example: "I used Google to search for data on my theme of human population growth.  The keywords I used were "population growth", "Human Population", and "Overpopulation". I discovered a year 2010 data file on current population estimates from the UN Population Census website (http://www.pop.unesco.un) and saved the file to my memory stick.  Then I imported it into the spreadsheet.  I found data from the 2010 Universal Almanac in the Bailey-Howe Library that I entered into a spreadsheet by hand."

  Be sure to include the Title of any Web Sites along with the URL addresses (http://www.data.source/file.html) for the data that you use for your tables and graphs.  Include the title of books or journal articles that you use for tables and graphs.  In the REFERENCES CITED section include a complete citation (see the REFERENCES CITED section below) for data sources you used for your tables and graphs as well as any other information that is not common knowledge.

  Because many Web pages do not go through any form of peer-review, a Web page data source may not be as credible as, for example, a scientific journal.  Therefore, be critical of all Web sites.  The most credible sites will list the author, the organization the author works for, when the web page was last updated, and links to other resources of similar information. You will have to defend the credibility of your data from the web in the last section of the project (CREDIBILITY OF WEB SOURCES).

  You may get data from the web, blogs, interviews, videos, audio tapes, or e-mail discussion list. The project must have a well developed theme, not two disjointed graphs that have little to do with each other.  A key to success with the project is to have your data (tables and graphs) support a well developed theme.

  There are many ways to gather data on the Internet.  You can find data on Google, Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com/), Yahoo, Excite, or other search engines on the Web by using either a subject or key word search.  You can hear about a URL address and go there directly using Firefox or other Web browser.    Some students join a discussion list and ask for data.  Other students use e-mail to contact experts who responded by directing them to Internet data sources. Credible sources include the National Center for Biotechnology Information (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) that includes PubMed and other journals, and the databases of articles at the UVM Library site  (http://library.uvm.edu/articles/index.html) including AGRICOLA, BIOSIS, and the Web of Science.

  Be sure to keep track of where you found your data to include in your project.  In the DATA SOURCES section of your project you need to spell out specifically  WHAT information you found, WHERE you found it (Title, Author, URL, E-mail, Interview, Book, Journal, etc.), and HOW you got it (for example: I key word searched on "endangered species" on the AltaVista search engine.  This gave me 12 links to other pages, from which I choose "Endangered Mammals in the North East" URL: http://endangered/animals/NorthEast.html.  I saved the picture of the Harbor Seal by saving from inside Photoshop after I had right-clicked the mouse and chose "View this image").


  Data Table 1 should follow the DATA SOURCES section.  Do not start this Table on a separate page unless you are very near the bottom of a page.  The Table must be nicely formatted and fully labeled so it is understandable if it stood alone.  Data in the table should be sorted either numerically, or by date/time.  Make sure you have titled the table, cited the source of the data, and that the units of measurement are clear.  The title should explain what, where, and when about the data.


  The graphs should be made by you using spreadsheet software (Excel) using the data in the table (above).  If you find a graph on the web already made that you want to include in your project, include it as an IMAGE.  Do not include it as a "Graph".

  Graph 1 should be the appropriate graph for the data in the table, and be fully labeled (axis labels, legends, titles, and scales where appropriate).  Be sure to include the data source in a text box, note, or title of the graph.  Data should be sorted so bar or line graphs appear in some order (line graphs in order by time, bar graphs with bars from largest to smallest or vice versa). The title should explain what, where, and when about the data.


  Each graph you make should be discussed in detail.  Include: What kind of graph it is, what does the graph show, and what can we conclude from this graph (interpretation and possible explanations for the pattern, or lack of pattern).  For example:

       "Graph One is an X-Y scatter plot that shows a positive relationship between the amount of deforestation in

  10,000 hectares (X-Axis), and the number of endangered  mammal species (Y-Axis).  Countries are shown as boxes.

  As the number of hectares deforested per country goes up,  so does the number of endangered mammal species.  If

  deforestation continues at its present rate of over one acre cut down per second (Brown 2009), there will be no virgin

  uncut forest left on the planet after the year 2025 (Meadows 1992).  Although there is a correlation between deforestation

  and the number of mammal species threatened, this graph suggests, but does not prove that the cause of mammal

  extinction is related to the amount of forest that is cut."

       Be sure to summarize what the graph shows, and why it is important, and any trends.  In XY scatter plots, is the trend linear, exponential or otherwise?.  (Part of the take home message of this project is to learn about our planet and/or society from real data.  Your discussion should reflect this.)


     Somewhere in the text of your paper should be at least two images that have something to do with the theme of your project.  These images may be photographs or technical line drawings that show examples of what you are presenting in your project.  The images should be placed in your project so that text wraps around the images if the image does not take up all of the horizontal space of page.  Right click on the image in Word and change the format to which ever wrap around scheme looks best.  Include a source citation of the image and include this source in the REFERENCES CITED section of the project.


  The seamless part of the project should end with a CONCLUSION  where you talk about how your graphs demonstrate, support, or refute the THEME of your project.  Revisit your initial Theme questions and refer to your graphs to summarize the answers to your questions. You may want to discuss what other questions came to mind in doing the project and what other data would be needed to answer those questions.


  Start the REFERENCES CITED section on a new page.

  The reference page should list the complete sources you used in your text and in your data, discussions and conclusions.  The sources should be detailed enough to allow the reader to find the original source as well as know what the source was about.

  Anything in your text that is not common knowledge should be referenced [1], or (Patterson 2011), or Thom's Web Site (http://www.uvm.edu/~tpatters/refs.htm) in the text of the project.  At the end of your project in the References Cited section, list your references by Authors' last name in alphabetic order, or by http:// alphabetical order.  If your reference is a URL, include a description of at least two sentences of what is found at this web site.  When possible include: 1. Author's Name, 2. Organization the author works for,  3. When the page was posted (how current it is),  4. Coverage: what information is in the page, is it complete or not, and 5. The date you accessed the page.

  When ever possible us primary references (written by the people who first published the data or information).  Wikipedia is a good start for searching, but by itself it is not a primary source and you should only use it to locate primary sources.  

  Single-space the references, but put double spaces between them.  For example:

  Book sources: Alexander, T. G.  1998.  Expansion of the Global Empire.  Harper & Row Books, NY, NY.
                         Patterson, T. F. 2008.  Success with Final Projects.  TQM Books, Simon & Scheister, NY, NY.

  Journal source: Leonard, J. G.  2008.  How to cite references.  Journal of Paper Etiquette.  Vol 3 (5): 1-20.

  Web sources:
http://absolut.awesome.ref.com/.  TITLE: Hiking on the Appalachian Trail.  Author: Robert M. Proudman, Appalachian Trial Conference.  The page was last updated May 2007.  This URL is a wonderful source of information about hiking world records. It includes the data I used for the Appalachian Trail Thru hiker who hiked the entire trail from south to north, then turned around and hiked south to the beginning, then turned around and hiked north again to the trail's end.  His trail name: Yoyo.  Accessed 4 March 2011.

  http://www.zzz.zzz/snooze.html.  TITLE:  Sleep Disorder for Dummies, an Evolutionary Approach.  This page was created by Dr. Bill W. Upp, last updated on July 21, 2010.  This URL contains data about sleep disorder research done at the Bethesda MD Naval hospital.   Accessed 12 March 2011.


 In this section, you need to defend the credibility of each of  your data sources from the web.  You need to explain why each  source is worthy of being included as a legitimate data reference.  Things to consider are: 1) The URL.  Is it what most people would consider to be a reliable, credible source like census.gov, or is it questionable like wacko.com.  (2) Who is the author?  If the author is not listed the cite may not be credible.  Does the author have credentials?  Could you e-mail the author for more information?  Has the author published anything in peer-reviewed journals? (3) When was the site last updated? (4) Are their other sources of information on the web site like books or journals that have gone through peer review?  (5) Can you detect any bias in the web site or in the links?  Also, check here for the Bailey Howe Library's recommendations for how to evaluate credibility of web sites.


  Include a print out of the web page you have created and uploaded to your zoo public_html directory to further develop your theme.  It should contain as a MINIMUM, two pictures (sources cited), a nice background, two links to other web sites related to your theme, and a link to send you e-mail.

  Your page should contain a summary of your project's key findings.  It must have a title; it must be cross-linked with your original  home page ("click here to return to my home page" and in the home page "click here to see my CALS 002/85 Project on...");  it must have your name and be identified with UVM, an email link, and it must have a date of construction.

  Include at least one graph from your spreadsheet/graphics package in your web page.  You can do this by copying and pasting your graph from excel into PowerPoint, and then saving the PowerPoint slide as a .jpg image.  Or use the Alt-PrintScreen keys to capture the window, and then paste it into paint or PhotoShop and remove the parts of the window you do not want, and save the image as a .jpg file.  Then you can insert this image into your web page.

  In this part of the Project, we are expecting you to be creative in constructing a Web page.  A graph, two pictures and two links is a C grade on this section.  In order to earn more points, you must demonstrate innovation, imagination, and creativity.

  Include a summary of the most important points, arguments, or  facts you presented in the written part of your projects.

  Be sure to include your Name, Date and ZOO URL address so we can visit your page.

  Make sure your page works in Mozilla Navigator, Foxfire, and IE.

  You may use an HTML editor such as Front Page or Dream Weaver if you wish for this web page.  Or, you may download and install Komposer from the UVM Software Archive.

Click Here for examples of student Web Pages from the Final Lab Projects from the past



       1. Start now and work at it for a few hours two or three times each week.  Come to lab with questions and problems to be worked on with you and your lab instructor.

       2. MAKE BACKUPS OF ALL YOUR FILES!  Upload your work to your zoo account (create a separate directory or folder for you project in your home directory using FTP).


       4. REMEMBER "Data" are plural. "Datum" is singular.

  GRADING: The following is the grade sheet the lab instructors will be using to evaluate your project:




& LAB INSTRUCTOR'S NAME on top right corner of pocket folder's cover?        Yes     No

Presentation Graphics (PowerPoint) Cover Sheet Present?      Yes             No
Title of Project present?                Yes   No
Your Name on Presentation graphics page?        Yes             No
Graphics page printed in Portrait Orientation?  Yes             No
Image on the page evoking the project theme?  Yes             No
Image with reference citation       Yes     No
Name of your lab instructor on page?            Yes             No

Is the Title Page in the format from this web page example?          Yes     No
Table of Contents format from this web page example?     Yes     No

Double-spaced?  Yes     No
Spaces in long URLS to prevent wrap-around?     Yes     No
Headings of main sections Bold, Caps, & Centered?  Yes    No
Computer Generated Page Numbers?           Yes     No
Theme pg. 1?            Yes     No
Seamless document?      Yes     No

Title Complete (what where when)?                 Yes     No
Location boundaries clear (USA, World, VT)?     Yes     No
Numbers aligned RIGHT so decimal places line up in a column?  Yes     No
Units Present?          Yes     No
Sorted by numbers (not alphabetically)?                 Yes     No
Headings aligned right side of columns with numerical data?      Yes  No
Dates present where appropriate?        Yes     No

Data sources present?           Yes     No
Stands alone?                   Yes     No

Title complete (what where when)?                 Yes     No
Location boundaries clear (USA, World, VT)?     Yes     No
Units Present?          Yes     No
Sorted by numbers (not alphabetically)?                 Yes     No
Dates present where appropriate?        Yes     No
Data sources present?           Yes     No
Stands alone?                   Yes     No

At least two images present?    Yes   No
Images have something to do with the project theme?   Yes   No
Text wraps around images where appropriate?   Yes  No
References cited for source of images?    Yes   No

Topic stated clearly?   Yes     No
Why you were interested in this topic stated clearly?   Yes     No
Questions you will answer with Tables & Graphs clear?   Yes     No
Boundaries of project clear (what regions, countries & dates)? Yes     No
References in the text for any information that is not common knowledge?  Yes  No

How you went about finding your data presented in narrative form? Yes     No
Book sources given?                     Yes     No
Journal or Magazine sources given?      Yes     No
Web sources present with URL address?   Yes     No
Title of Web sources given along with URL?      Yes     No
Keywords presented?     Yes    No
Primary sources used for your data used in table and graph?  Yes   No

GRAPH ONE Comments:

GRAPH TWO Comments:



On its own page?                                    Yes     No
Present and format correct?                    Yes     No 
Date accessed URLs?                            Yes    No
Two sentence summary of web page URLs?  Yes     No
Author and date on URL citations?               Yes     No

Brief Paragraph explaining credibility of EACH web source?  Yes  No
Evidence such as Author Credentials, URL source, Date, Link choices, etc. discussed?   Yes   No

Printout including URL address?                 Yes     No 
Web Page works in Mozilla Navigator, Foxfire, and IE?    Yes    No
Background color or image working?                  Yes     No

Summary or take-home message of your project present?   Yes     No
At least 1 of the graphs from your spreadsheet? Yes     No
At least 2 images relevant to project theme? Yes      No
At least 2 links relevant to project theme?     Yes     No
Images all come up?                   Yes     No
Images with sources?                  Yes    No
Links clearly labeled with text?        Yes     No
Links work?                             Yes     No
Your name, UVM, and date present?               Yes     No
Cross-links to and from your home page work?    Yes     No
Your e-mail link present and working?   Yes     No

"Data" treated as a plural word     Yes No
Spell Checked?  Yes     No

Proof Read?             Yes     No

OVERALL:        Outstanding                Correct          Fair to       Poor, barely       Failure
            With "something special"        & complete      average         acceptable

Here are two examples of completed Final Lab Projects:

Travis Gervais's Final Lab Project                    Jake McFadden's Final Lab Project