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Syllabus

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Syllabus

  1. 1. CRP 386 Applied Geographic Information Systems: Participatory Approaches to Environmental Justice -subject to revision- Tuesday 5-8pm West Mall Building 3.116 Instructor: Bjørn Sletto Office hours: Tuesday 1:00-2:30pm Office location: Sutton Hall 3.144 Course description The urban environment has long been an arena of contestation and the focus of activist demands: for fairer distribution of environmental services, for removal of polluting industries, for rezoning of industrial areas. Such demands for greater “environmental justice” increasingly influence planning and policy-making and have become the focus of a growing body of academic and policy-oriented research. Environmental justice research is often community- driven and participatory, involving qualitative methods such as ethnography, mental mapping, and participatory GIS. By incorporating scientific knowledge with local perspectives on urban space, environmental justice has become a powerful approach to understanding and negotiating the sometimes conflicting interests of activist groups, neighborhood organizations, policy makers and corporate interests. This course will introduce students to the origins, theories, and methods of environmental justice, focusing in particular on participatory mapping and Web-GIS applications. For our final class project, we will collaborate with neighborhood organizations, activist groups, and city planners to investigate environmental justice concerns in East Austin. We will jointly develop a research methodology, conduct field research, and produce a Web-GIS, a DVD, a report, and posters to assist different actors engaged with environmental policy-making in East Austin. Course prerequisites and time commitment This course will meet once a week for three hours. Some class meetings will take place in East Austin, others in a classroom, a studio or in the computer lab. In addition to the regular class sessions, students must be prepared to spend another 3-5 hours per week conducting meetings and participatory assessment of environmental hazards in East Austin, including some Saturdays. This will include work outdoors. The schedule is flexible and will be adjusted to students’ other commitments. Costs associated with the course will be modest, but students may need to purchase some design materials, print posters, and contribute towards transportation and other minor logistical costs. Students should have taken CRP 386: Introduction to GIS or seek the approval of the instructor. The course is limited to 12 students. 1
  2. 2. Goals of the course 1. To empower the community organization PODER by teaching basic participatory research, GIS and mapping techniques to its youth volunteers. 2. To produce a model, web-based, interactive planning tool for participatory environmental planning in East Austin. 3. To teach participating UT students the theories, principles, methods of environmental justice, participatory mapping and GIS, and advocacy planning. 4. To teach participating UT students participatory research and planning skills through hands-on collaboration with community members and organizations. 5. To teach participating UT students presentation skills for diverse settings and audiences. 6. To teach participating students basic digital documentation and representation techniques, including ArcPad, GPS, Web-GIS, web-mapping, and website development using Dreamweaver. Course requirements 1. Participation. Your active participation is crucial for the success of this course. You should come to class prepared to discuss the course readings, contribute to the development of the research methodology, participate in workshops and fieldtrips, and be engaged outside the classroom in developing technical solutions. It is also important that you maintain a professional, positive attitude when we face complications and challenges throughout the semester! You will be working in project teams to develop different components of the final class products (web-GIS, reports, and so on), and it is crucial that you work actively with the other members of your team. Each team will also make regular presentations to the rest of the class of their progress and plans. 2. Community meetings and workshops. We will hold a series of community meetings and workshops in East Austin. Two or three of these meetings will be held at the offices of PODER, our community research partner. (See http://www.poder-texas.org/index.html). In the community meetings, we will develop and evaluate our research methodology with PODER staff and volunteers and other interested community members. We will also share our findings and provide basic GIS instruction to the PODER volunteers. During the workshops, which will be held at Zavala and Brooke Elementary School on Saturday mornings in February and early March, we will conduct participatory assessment of environmental hazards issues together with community members and PODER volunteers. 3. Administrative requirements. This is a UT-approved service-learning course, following criteria suggested by the Provost’s office (http://www.utexas.edu/provost/academicservicelearning/). The course is also designed to meet the call for more service-learning courses per Senate of College Councils resolution SR 109 passed on February 20, 2003, available on Blackboard. The course is developed in collaboration with the Volunteer and Service Learning Center of the Office of the Dean of Students (http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/vslc/). Since you are required to meet outside UT property and to work with community members in schools, you need to complete certain paperwork. These include the following: -the course is classified as a “class project” by the University of Texas Office of Research Support and Compliance. Each student will need to sign a project approval form, completed by instructor, before he or she can begin fieldwork. See http://www.utexas.edu/research/rsc/humanresearch/forms/classproject.pdf. 2
  3. 3. -each student needs to register as a volunteer with the Austin Partners in Education. This process includes a background check. Go to http://austinpartners.org/volunteer.html. The link and instructions provided by the Volunteer and Service Learning Center are available on Blackboard, under Course Documents for January 23. -each student must sign a “Release and Indemnification Agreement” provided by the Volunteer and Service Learning Center. This form is required of students who will attend class meetings off-campus or take fieldtrips. 4. Course feedback. This course will benefit greatly from students’ comments, advice, and criticism. You will be required on a bi-weekly basis to complete an “Ongoing Course Assessment” administered by the UT Division of Instructional Innovation and Assessment and made available through UT Direct. The online survey will only take 3-6 minutes each time and is completely anonymous. Go to https://web.austin.utexas.edu/diia/oca/ 5. Logbook. You will keep an electronic logbook where you record your impressions, insights, questions and experiences, and also make critical comments on the readings. This is akin to a researcher’s “field notes” and is an excellent means of developing ideas and solutions. You should write the equivalent of at least one, double-spaced page and post to the Discussion Board on Blackboard by 7pm on Monday evening. Your work on the logbook will be evaluated as part of your participation grade. Note: your comments are public information and not subject to copyright restrictions. 7. Individual GIS assignment. You will each be required to produce a set of maps relevant to environmental justice issues in Austin, using data available online. Tutorials are available through the SOA websites for those students who need to refresh their GIS skills. The maps will be reviewed and discussed in class, and serve as the foundation for the final web-GIS. See instructions on page 10. 8. Individual website and paper. You will attend a website development workshop presented by staff of the UT Division of Instructional Innovation and Assessment (DIIA) and produce your own website, where you include the maps you produced in your individual GIS assignment, using ArcPublisher. Your website must also include a midterm paper of between 4-6 pages. The paper is designed to evaluate your understanding of important concepts, methodologies and theoretical challenges at the intersection of environmental justice, planning and public health. Eighty percent of your grade will be based on your paper; 20 percent on the design and functioning of your website. Your website will be reviewed and discussed in class, and serve as the foundation for the final web-GIS. See instructions on page 10. 9. Final report, posters and DVD. We will collectively produce a final report, a set of posters, and a DVD. We will decide as we go how to divide the tasks among the students, based on your selection of project team. You will be graded individually. Your work will constitute part of your “team contribution” grade and will in part be determined by your project team through a peer-review process (see p. 11). 10. Final GIS 3
  4. 4. We will collectively produce a GIS, a Web-GIS, and/or a system of shapefiles and WikiLoc points linked to Google Earth or other digital map or Earth visualization websites. You will learn to use ArcGIS Publisher and ArcReader. We may also use Wikiloc (see http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/spatialArtifacts.do for an example) and Google Map Creator, a freeware developed by University College London’s Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis (http://www.casa.ucl.ac.uk/). These two programs allow shapefiles, GPS locations, text and photographs to be viewable in Google Earth. Other programs we might explore include ACME Mapper (http://mapper.acme.com/) and Flash Earth (http://www.flashearth.com/), with links to UTube, Geocacher, Flickr, and others. We will develop this GIS as a class project, which means that tasks will be divided among students on an equitable basis. You will be graded individually. Your work will constitute part of your “team contribution” grade and will in part be determined by your project team through a peer-review process (see p. 11). 11. Miscellaneous tasks Since this course is structured as a “class project” in collaboration with community members and partners outside UT, and in part involves grounded research with open- ended outcomes, a number of unanticipated questions and tasks will arise. These tasks will be determined as we develop our methodology and will be divided equitably among students. The work may involve conducting research online, in libraries and in public agencies; taking, editing and uploading photographs to Google Earth or the Web-GIS; recording interviews and videotaping; attending meetings with collaborators and making phone calls; and writing and designing elements of the Web-GIS, posters and DVD. Much of this work will support the production of the collective report, posters, DVD, GIS and website. Your work will constitute part of your “team participation” grade and will in part be determined by your project team through a peer-review process (see p. 11). 12. Field trip (optional)* This course has won a My Community, Our Earth (MYCOE) award from the Association of American Geographers (www.aag.org/grantsawards/mycoe.cfm). The award, which has been matched by the office of the University of Texas Vice President for Research, is designated for students to attend and present their work on justice and sustainability at the annual meeting of the AAG in San Francisco, April 17-21, 2007 (http://aag.org/). Although all students will be considered winners of the award, the funds will be divided equally only among students who attend and present at the AAG. The fieldtrip to San Francisco will also include required meetings with environmental justice groups and scholars, required attendance of selected sessions at the AAG, and regular meetings to discuss the learning experience. Please note: the funds will probably only cover airfare and conference registration and will be awarded at a ceremony in San Francisco, and not prior to departure from Austin. The fieldtrip will last one week and will constitute part of your participation grade. * Students who do not attend the fieldtrip will lose 10% of their final grade. Alternatively, you can complete another assignment, still to be determined, which would account for 10% of your final grade. Grading 1. Class participation, including discussions and field trip: 30 percent. 2. Course feedback and logbook: 10 percent. 3. Individual website: 10 percent. 4. Individual paper: 10 percent. 5. Team reports: 10 percent. 4
  5. 5. 6. Team contribution (points 9, 10, 11, above): 30 percent (based in part on peer reviewed grading, to be submitted by each student). Readings CRP 386: Environmental Justice Course Reader. From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement, by Luke W. Cole and Sheila R. Foster (2001). Power, Justice and the Environment: A Critical Appraisal of the Environmental Justice Movement, eds. David Nagub Pellow and Robert J. Brulle (2005). Street Science: Community Knowledge and Environmental Health Justice, by Jason Corburn (2005). Additional readings (see syllabus for each week’s readings) will be available for download on the course Blackboard site. Key dates January 27 (Saturday): Tour of East Austin led by PODER. Approximately 3 hours total. January 30: Class meets at PODER’s office in East Austin: meeting volunteers; discussinng project goals; developing research methodology. All approval forms due. February 3 (Saturday): Workshop, PODER’s office. February 10 (Saturday): Workshop, Zavala Elementary. February 17 (Saturday): Workshop, Zavala Elementary. February 20: Individual GIS assignment due. February 24 (Saturday): Workshop, Brooke Elementary. March 3 (Saturday): Workshop, Brooke Elementary. March 9 (Friday): Individual website due. March 12-17: Spring break. April 3: Preliminary GIS and WebGIS due. Class meets at PODER’s offices. April 10: AAG presentation due. Practice and preparation. April 15-21: AAG fieldtrip, San Francisco. Week of May 7 or May 14: Final community meeting; location TBA. May 8: Final report and posters due. Policy on academic dishonesty Students who violate University rules on scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and/or dismissal from the University. Since such dishonesty harms the individual, all students, and the integrity of the University, policies on scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced. For further information please visit the Student Judicial Services 5 Web site: http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs.
  6. 6. Detailed Syllabus January 16: I. Introduction to the course: course requirements, administrative issues, initial team assignments. II. Presentation by Lucas Horton, Multimedia Specialist, Division of Instructional Innovation and Assessment, UT. January 23: I. Review/general discussion of environmental justice. II. Introduction to community-university partnership and activist research. III. Conducting research with youth and children. IV. Introduction to environmental justice issues in East Austin. Readings: Cole, Luke W. and Sheila R. Foster. 2001. From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement. New York: New York University Press. Read carefully the Preface and the Introduction; skim chapters 2 and 3. Esnard, Ann Margaret. 2001. “Environmental Justice, GIS and Pedagogy,” Cartographica 38 (3 and 4): 53-61. (Skim). Pellow, David and Robert Brulle, eds. 2005. Power, Justice, and the Environment: A Critical Appraisal of the Environmental Justice Movement. Cambridge: MIT Press. Read carefully the Introduction; skim chapters 1, 2 and 4. Optional: Kruger, Jill and Louise Chawla. 2005. “We Know Something Someone Doesn’t Know...”: Children Speak Out on Local Conditions in Johannesburg,” Children, Youth and Environments 15(2): 89-105. January 27 (Saturday): East Austin Field Trip. Time TBA. Readings: Course Reader: Environmental Justice, East Austin. Brown, Barbara. 2006. “Learning to Listen: Reflections on Community Engagement and its Place in Architectural Education.” University of Texas, unpublished paper. January 30: Class meets at PODER’s offices, 2604 E. Cesar Chavez. Initial meeting with volunteers; presentation by and interview with Susana Almanza, director of PODER; initial development of research methodology; ArcPad; initial team selection. Readings: International City/County Management Association. 1996. Environmental Justice in Latino Communities: The Role of Local Government. Washington: International City/County Management Association (skim). http://www.icma.org/main/sc.asp?t=0. Williams, Bryan and Yvette Florez. 2002. “Do Mexican-Americans Perceive Environmental Issues Differently than Caucasians: A Study of Cross-Ethnic Variation in Perceptions Related to Water in Tucson.” Environmental Health Perspective Supplement 2 (110): 303-311 (skim). Review: Course Reader: Environmental Justice, East Austin. 6
  7. 7. Review: Brown, Barbara. 2006. “Learning to Listen: Reflections on Community Engagement and its Place in Architectural Education.” University of Texas, unpublished paper. All approval forms due. February 3 (Saturday): Class meets at PODER’s office. Design methodology with volunteers and PODER; working with ArcPad. February 6: I. Introduction to Participatory Action Research (PAR). II. Participatory Action Research: Mapping, GIS, and Youth. III. Community-Based Mapping and GIS. IV. Individual GIS assignment handed out. V. ArcPad and handheld computer introduction. VI. Develop research methodology; prepare workshops; team selection. Readings: Steed-Terry, Karen. 2000. “Three Stages of a GIS Project: Planning, Implementation, Evaluation,” pp. 19-31 in Integrating GIS and the Global Positioning System. Redlands: ESRI Press. Zanelli English, Kim and Laura Feaster. 2003. “Investigating Point-Source Pollution,” pp. 127-148 in Community Geography: GIS in Action. Redlands: ESRI Press. Blanchet-Cohen, Natasha, Doug Ragan, Jackie Amsden. 2003. “Children Becoming Social Actors: Using Visual Maps to Understand Children's Views Environmental Change.” Children, Youth and Environments 13(2). Corburn, Jason. 2005. Street Science: Community Knowledge and Environmental Health Justice. Cambridge: MIT Press. Chapters 2 and 6. Optional: Blaut, James et al. 2003. “Mapping as a Cultural and Cognitive Universal,” Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 93(1): 165–185. “Burden of Proof: Using Research for Environmental Justice,” special issue of Race, Poverty & the Environment, Winter 2004. Roaf, Virginia. 2005. Community Mapping: A Tool for Community Organising. London: WaterAid, www.wateraid.org. Goldwasser, Matthew. 2004. A Guide to Facilitating Action Research for Youth. Philadelphia: Research for Action; www.researchforaction.org. Corbett, John and Peter Keller. 2006. “Using Community Information Systems to Communicate Traditional Knowledge Embedded in the Landscape,” pp. 21-27 in special issue, “Mapping for Change: Practice, Technologies and Communication.” Participatory Learning and Action 54 (April). February 10 (Saturday): First workshop, Zavala Elementary, 310 Robert Martinez. Complete ESRI ArcPad 7 Tutorial, including the exercise and self-test. You will need to create a free ESRI Global Account: http://training.esri.com/acb2000/showdetl.cfm?DID=6&Product_ID=858 February 13: Class meets at DIIA, Graduate School of Business (GSB) 2.130. I. Environmental Justice: Health, Environment and Youth. II. ArcPublisher tutorial. III. DIIIA Workshop: Multimedia Tools and Production Techniques. IV. Team reports; workshop evaluation; future plans; deadlines established. 7
  8. 8. Readings: Carlson, Joy. 2005. “Exposure to Toxicants and Child Health: Comments and Questions,” Children, Youth and Environments 15(1): 224-233. Corburn, Jason. 2005. Street Science: Community Knowledge and Environmental Health Justice. Cambridge: MIT Press. Chapters 1 and 7. Optional: Varney, Darcy and Willem van Vliet. 2005. “Local Environmental Initiatives Oriented to Children and Youth: A Review of UN-Habitat Best Practices,” Children, Youth and Environments 15(2): 41-52. Print out and turn in ArcPad self-test results. February 17 (Saturday): Second workshop, Zavala Elementary. February 20: Class meets at DIIA, Graduate School of Business (GSB) 2.130. I. DIIA Workshop: Web Information Analysis and Web Design. II. Review of students’ maps. III. Team reports; workshop evaluation; future plans, deadlines established. Individual GIS assignment due. February 24 (Saturday): Third workshop, Brooke Elementary, 3100 E 4th St. February 27: I. Environmental Justice: Institutional, Legal and Policy Frameworks. II. Environmental Justice: Critical and Theoretical Perspectives. III. Critique of model ArcPublisher/ArcReader websites. IV. Team reports; workshop evaluation; future plans; deadlines established. Readings: Pellow, David and Robert Brulle, eds. 2005. Power, Justice, and the Environment: A Critical Appraisal of the Environmental Justice Movement. Cambridge: MIT Press. Chapter 10, 11 and 13. “Tox Town: An Internet Introduction to Environmental Health and Toxic Chemicals.” Children, Youth and Environments 15(1): 307-317. (Skim). Cole, Luke W. and Sheila R. Foster. 2001. From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement. New York: New York University Press. Chapters 5 and 7. Optional: Pellow, David N. 2004. “The Politics of Illegal Dumping: An Environmental Justice Framework,” Qualitative Sociology 27 (4): 511-525. Bring to class and be prepared to discuss model ArcPublisher-based websites. Review ToxTown Website: http://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/index.html. Review MapCruzin Website: http://www.mapcruzin.com/global_toxmaps.htm. March 3 (Saturday): Fourth workshop, Brooke Elementary, 3100 E 4th St. March 6: I. Advocacy, Activist and Radical Planning. II. Roles of Youth and Children in Planning and Development. III. Team reports; workshop evaluation; future plans; deadlines established. 8
  9. 9. Guest speaker: Sonya Lopez, community planner, City of Austin. Readings: Clark, Alison and Barry Percy-Smith. 2006. “Beyond Consultation: Participatory Practices in Everyday Spaces,” Children, Youth and Environments 16(2): 1-9. Skivenes, Marit and Astrid Strandbu. 2006. “A Child Perspective and Children’s Participation.” Children, Youth and Environments 16(2): 10-27. Corburn, Jason. 2005. Street Science: Community Knowledge and Environmental Health Justice. Cambridge: MIT Press. Chapter 5. Pellow, David and Robert Brulle, eds. 2005. Power, Justice, and the Environment: A Critical Appraisal of the Environmental Justice Movement. Cambridge: MIT Press. Chapter 3, 6 and 18. Optional: Driskill, David et al. 2001. “Rhetoric, Reality and Resilience: Overcoming Obstacles to Young People’s Participation in Development,” Environment & Urbanization 13 (1): 77-89. Francis, Mark and Ray Lorenzo. 2002. “Seven Realms of Children’s Participation: A Critical Review,” Journal of Environmental Psychology 22 (2). Gearin, Elizabeth and Chris Kahle. 2006. “Teen and Adult Perceptions of Urban Green Space in Los Angeles.” Children, Youth and Environments 16(1): 25-48. March 9 (Friday): Individual website due. March 13: No Class: Spring Break! March 20: I. Environmental Justice and Web-GIS. II. Team reports; future plans; deadlines established. Readings: Mantaay, Juliana. 2002. “Mapping Environmental Injustices: Pitfalls and Potential of Geographic Information Systems in Assessing Environmental Health and Equity,” Environmental Health Perspectives 110 (supplement 2) April: 161-171. Rattray, Nicholas. 2006. “A User-Centered Model for Community-Based Web- GIS.” http://www.urisa.org/publications/journal/articles/a_user_centered_model March 27: I. Team reports; discussion. II. Work on team projects. April 3. Class meets at PODER’s offices, 2604 E. Cesar Chavez. Presentation of initial findings; initial web-GIS; volunteer tutorials; discussion of future work; distribution of tasks for report, DVD, and posters. Preliminary Web-GIS due. April 10: I. Team reports, discussion. II. Develop and practice AAG presentation. III. Prepare for San Francisco trip. April 15-20: Field trip, AAG conference, San Francisco. Details TBA. 9
  10. 10. April 24: I. Review of fieldtrip. II. Team reports. III. Continue working on report, web-GIS, DVD and posters. May 1: I. Team reports. II. Continue working on report, web-GIS, DVD and posters. III. Prepare community meeting presentation. Week of May 7 or 14: Presentation of final products to community meeting. May 8: Final web-GIS, report, posters, and DVD due. 10
  11. 11. Instructions for individual and team assignments 1. Individual GIS assignment You are required to complete the following: 1. Research websites and download shapefiles of Austin that you feel are relevant for the final Web GIS. Go to Blackboard and download the pdf file, Online_GIS_Data_Sources, for links. Pay particular attention to the SOA website. Instructor may also make other files available via Blackboard. 2. Perform any necessary projections and data processing, including clipping, joining, and so on. 3. Produce 3-5 layouts including different shapefiles, using appropriate layout and symbology. Make sure to include: a map title, your name, date, data sources, a legend, scale bar, north arrow, and projection. 4. Write a brief, one-page, double-spaced memo (using a format of your own choosing), justifying your data selection and summarizing your methodology. Note: you will be graded as following: 30% map design and content, 30% methodology, 40% memo. This accounts for 10% of your final grade. 2. Individual website and paper You are required to complete the following: 1. Make changes to your map design and data analysis method as indicated by instructor or in class discussion. 2. Produce a simple website where you include the following: -a title -at least three design elements (pictures, figures) -links to your web-GIS and your paper -links to at least three environmental justice websites -link for users to download ArcReader -link to your paper -your link 3. Use ArcPublisher to make your GIS web-ready. 4. Write a short, 4-6 page, double-spaced paper (the question(s) will be assigned later), and include on your website. Note: you will NOT be graded on your website design. Instead, you will be graded based on the criteria in 1) and 2), on whether your web-GIS is functional, and on your paper. Upon completion, send instructor an email with a link to your website. You will be graded as following: 25% website, 75% paper. This assignment accounts for 20% of your final grade. 3. Team assignments The class will be divided in four project teams of three students each. Each team will coordinate and assume responsibility for specific tasks associated with the production of the class DVD, report, poster and Web-GIS. Each week, each team will report on its progress to the class as a whole and schedule tasks for the following week. Each team is responsible for coordinating with each other, including providing brief tutorials and writing short instructions on specific techniques and methods, as they arise. These documents should be uploaded to each respective team’s folder on the Discussion Board. Each team is free to develop methods and conduct research that are beyond the scope of the formal instruction in the class, if time allows and these methods and research contribute to improving the quality of the final class products. Note: all 11
  12. 12. students are expected to learn and use all field research and GIS methods; however, the members of each team will specialize in certain methods. The project teams are organized as follows: GIS development This team assumes responsibility for the final GIS and Web-GIS production, including content and analysis. This includes obtaining GIS data and incorporating qualitative field research data in the final Web-GIS. Design and visual media This team assumes responsibility for the design of the final website, posters, DVD and report, and coordinates the use of other digital media. This may include photography and video production, and consultation with DIIA on digital media techniques. Fieldwork and volunteer coordination This team coordinates educational outreach and collaboration with PODER volunteers, develops and revises field research methods, and communicates with community members as necessary. Research and written communication This team conducts online and library research, coordinates interviews and oral histories, and writes the report and the text for the website, posters and DVDs. Note: your grade will in part be determined by your group, and in part by instructor. Instructor will evaluate the team’s work as a whole and award the team a numerical grade, up to a maximum of 900 points. You will decide, as a team, how to distribute these points among group members. For instance, you could distribute the points equally; i.e. if your group receives the maximum 900 points total, each of you would then receive 300 personal points. In this case, each of you would receive a full score of 30% on your “team contribution” grade. Alternatively, you could split the 900 points among yourselves based on what you feel is appropriate given each member’s contribution. In either case, you are responsible for providing instructor with each group member’s final grade by the end of the semester. 12

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