EPS 122:

Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors

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Richard Allen
Seismo Lab
Earth & Planetary
UC Berkeley

Term project

The goal of the term project is to give students experience of both the research process and how research is communicated. The final product is a term paper and short presentation due at the end of November, intermediate stages are due during the semester. Each student should choose their own topic which must be related to one of the topics covered in the class. Please discuss the topic with Richard as early as possible.

All due dates are on the class syllabus.

The project is in stages:

  1. Paper reviews. Identify and read two recent (published within the last year) papers of your choice on the topic of your term project. Write a short review (1-2 pages) that summarizes the paper, the questions it addresses, and the answers it provides. Try to provide critical comments on the paper also. Choose your papers from the journals Science, Nature, Geophysical Research Letters or Geology (all papers in these journals are less than ~4 pages long). Note that you can change your topic after this stage if you want to - talk to Richard before doing so.

  2. Abstract. Write an abstract about your project in the format used by the American Geophysical Union, maximum length 1 page. This is your opportunity to advertise your work, explain what it is about and why it is important. Some example abstracts can be found on Richard's webpage.

  3. Term paper - detailed outline. In the term paper you should review your topic in more detail than the paper reviews. You are encouraged to think more broadly than a simple review: you could outline an approach to addressing an unresolved problem, tackle the problem with experiments etc.

  4. Term paper. The final version of the paper should be in the same format, and of a similar length, to a Geophysical Research Letters paper. These are 4 pages in printed journal format (approximately 12 pages double spaced). More information is available in the "Instructions for authors" section of the Geophysical Research Letters website.

  5. Presentation. The final part of the term project is to give a brief (10-15 min) presentation on your topic in class. The presentation will be followed by questions from your fellow students.