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Coursework problem- do you think I made the right decision?

  1. Apr 18, 2005 #1


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    I have a piece of project work in which I have to make predictions about the biogeography in an area of diverse grassland in 20 years time if one of a number of changes occur (changes proposed by the tutor, not me). The change I chose was the regional water table rising 0.5 metres. I've written the majority of my essay already, but I thought that it would be useful to do a bit of research on the water table at present. Until now, I'd assumed that the water filling the ditches, the seasonal pond, and the wet flush plant communities was straight from the water table, as this was what the question implied; if it isn't, then I have no data on which to base my prediction.
    I wrote most of an essay based upon this assumption, when I recieved an email from a university staff member anwering my query about the depth of the water table:

    "To the best of my knowledge it has not been determined. The pond in the corner is spring-fed."

    uh oh.
    Now I hadn't been told anything about springs. Apparetly there is faulting in the clay (you can get faulting on quaternary boulder clay?) and water seeps up from the chalk below (possibly like in an artesian(sp?) well?).
    With some research, I think it would be altogether possible to discover the nature of these springs, and adjust my essay accordingly, however its now monday night, and this is due on friday along with 4 other assignments. I simply do not have time to do it. I've decided to basically ignore this new information, and carry on with my work as if I had not learned this. I do wonder if I was supposed to learn this, or whether my tutor left the information out of her lectures purposefully and wanted us to write basing our predictions on the water being normal groundwater from a very high waer table.

    Do you think I'm doing right to keep from over complicating this and ignoring this new information?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2005 #2


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    If this is first year... ignore it.

    Otherwise, I don't know myself.

    I'd say if it's not a major course, then I'd ignore it.
  4. Apr 18, 2005 #3


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    I think that this information should leave your paper mostly unchanged, but you should add a section or two detailing this new information you found, and speculation on what it might imply. And if it fits well, it would be worth saying stuff about this new information in the other parts of the paper too.

    I think it would be intellectually dishonest to just leave out this new information.
  5. Apr 18, 2005 #4


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    I'd go with Hurkyl actually.

    Add a paragraph/note after the conclusion about the findings.
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