Herschel Project Prt. 3

Idea Generation

What is this project about?

Looking for more support narrowing down your idea? Try using the idea matrix on this page.


How has the practice of farming effected the landscape, particularly in terms of how the landscape worked before and after human development for agriculture.

It should be noted that the majority of this project will be focusing primarily on the American Midwest, with little research being done on non-prairie locations.

What do you want to get out of this project?


I want to get a firm understanding of the effects that the prairie landscape had on the environment, the effects that the removal of it has on the environment, as well as the methods that had to be undertaken to facilitate that removal.

where did the skills go? we are taking skills out of the idea generation process, in an attempt to make projects more career-focused. If you want to get leveled-up for a project, share it with the appropriate guide or faculty member for feedback upon completion.

Guiding Question

Turn your idea above into a guiding question.

Check out some resources on how to write a guiding question here.


What effects did the prairie landscape have on the world about it, what effect did its removal have, and what measures had to be taken to remove it?


Use this space to take notes, keep track of your sources, or conversations you have with people about this project.

In addition to the research I have done for the previous segments of the project, I expanded (actually I narrowed it, but that is neither here nor there) the range of sources, primarily by focusing down on a specific topic of inquiry and location.

By choosing the Midwest I had a topic that I both enjoyed learning about and that I already had the resources to learn about before hand.

A lot of my basic knowledge was based off what I had read of three books, "The Farm as Ecosystem" by Jerry Brunetti, "the soil will save us" by Kristin Ohlson, and "Secrets of the Soil" by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird.


What will it take for you to complete this project?

Use the table below to set your own timeline for deliverables, keep in mind when your final work product is due at the end of the cycle.

Work Product Deliverables

Gather Further Sources
April 19, 2021 ā†’ May 7, 2021
Gather Infographics and Analogies
May 17, 2021 ā†’ May 21, 2021
First Draft of Presentation Completed
May 24, 2021
Second Draft of Presentation Completed
May 26, 2021
Generalist Track Presentation (4-6 Min.)
May 27, 2021 1:30 PM (EDT)
Final Draft of Presentation Completed
May 28, 2021
Coffee House Presentation
May 28, 2021 12:00 PM (EDT)

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Work Product

In-Track Reflection 05/20/2021

Project Rubric

Key knowledge, understanding, and success skills [Idea Generation]
Challenging Guiding Question or Problem
Sustained Inquiry [Exploraiton]
Authenticity [Production]
Critique & Revision [Feedback]
Product Deliverable [Work Product/Presentation]
Content/Principle(s) Application


Reflect on this project cycle by answering the questions below.

The act of reflecting allows us to pull out the big takeaways that we'd like to remember from this project to make recalling them easier.

What are some of the most interesting discoveries you've made working on this project?


I hadn't heard much about soil Sedimentation before now, nor had I learned much about both the sheer scale of the prairie and its role as a carbon sink.

The factoid about the steel plow was quite an interesting fact as well. In total, I had known very little about the prairie and even less about the methods by which it was tamed, so everything was quite interesting.

Although I do not think I will continue this project again for a fourth time (this being the third cycle I have completed on agronomy I may return to it at some later point, if time allows.

What extra resources would be helpful for this project in the future?


Several of the articles I was looking at were locked behind institutional requirements, so that wasn't fun. I think going to physical locations would also help me get more of a feel for the technology and landscape in play.

More or less all of my research was second hand, either by talking to others who knew more than I, or by reading about it in books and articles.

If I continue this project again, I think I will focus on going to museums set on the location, as well as visiting the landscape in question. I suspect it will give me a more in depth and detailed working knowledge of the subject. While book learning is all well and good, I find that experiences are almost always well worth the effort they require.

šŸŒ¹ What did you enjoy most about this project? šŸ„€ What didn't go well in this project? šŸŒ± What will you do differently next time?


I really enjoyed the chance to ask questions on the topic and learn more about it.


I made the presentations on a bit of a time crunch, and while they turned out well, I think I could have made them better if I had more time. (Also more people showing up to my presentation would have been nice).


Aside from trying to make my presentation further ahead of time, I don't think there is anything I could have done better. The project went quite well all told.


Use the pages below "QR Partner Feedback" and "Faculty Feedback" to find places for improvement.

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What is a guiding question?