Hello to ENVS 220, Environmental Analysis! You can use this site to document your work so that you can readily share it with others. Here are some pointers for you.
Account & profile
Students, if you have not yet used our envs.lclark.edu site, we will create an account for you. Your login name will be your LC email prefix, and we will use your LC email address. You will receive a confirmation email with a link to set your password. Make sure to save your password so you don’t forget it!
Once you’ve logged in (available on the footer of each page), edit your profile via the admin menu at upper right or Profile on your dashboard menu at left.
- Just as with the LC website, your display name is your first and last name, which web visitors can see. Please keep your display name as is unless you need to change your first or last name.
- An avatar (typically an image of you) will personalize your posts and portfolio; this will also be displayed publicly. Here are your avatar options:
- If you have a Gravatar associated with your LC email, it will be displayed on all your envs.lclark.edu sites. This is the easiest solution, and there are advantages to having a Gravatar, but you do need a (free) WordPress.com account to get one.
- Otherwise, scroll to Avatar at the bottom of your edit profile screen, where you can upload an avatar. (This must be done separately for each envs.lclark.edu site.)
- Other profile information will only be available to logged in users (i.e., fellow ENVS students, staff, and instructors):
- Biographical info: A concise paragraph summarizing your background and interests in ENVS.
- Website: If you have your own DS or other professional site, enter its URL here.
- We have added a feature such that you can display this information publicly if you choose; see Portfolio info below.
- There are other things you can edit on your profile, such as the default dashboard color scheme. If questions, feel free to email ENVS.
Writing in this digital medium for public communication is an important professional skill you will benefit from in future. All you have learned to date about good writing (e.g., these Writing Center pointers and ENVS style guidelines) are applicable, but there are new things to learn as well, which you’ll primarily do via update posts via the new WP block editor. The content of these update posts will be specified by your instructor, but in each instance make sure to do the following! (And feel free to practice using the ENVS 220 Practice Posts category.)
- Create a compelling title. Web visitors will typically see your post alongside others. Will they click on it? Well, would you click on a title like “Week 3 Post” or “Annotated Bibliography”?? You probably wouldn’t. Come up with a compelling title, enter it in Headline Style Capitalization, and you’re off to a good start.
- Add a (legal, full-width) featured image. The featured image is what shows up in the banner of your post, and the background of your post summary when viewed alongside others. Choose or upload a featured image in the Document block at right. Make sure it’s legal!: see e.g. Google’s usage rights information when you do a search, or use one of your own great photos. Also make sure it will work as a full-width image: typically this means it needs to be a minimum of 1000 pixels left to right.
- Check the correct category. All posts, areas of interest, and situated projects are organized on this site via categories, as they can be arranged hierarchically; make sure to check the right one as specified by your instructor. (Don’t use tags; they demand more organization than we can collectively muster.)
- Include your co-authors. This site has a special plugin that allows multiple users to edit the same post (albeit not simultaneously); just go to the Authors section of the Document pane at right to add them. [Admins: this feature is not showing up at present for author-level users; I’ve submitted a bug report.]
- Make the most of this digital medium. When it comes to content, here are a few pointers to consider:
- Create vertical space in your text—endlessly long paragraphs don’t work well online. Split long paragraphs into shorter ones to convey your message in a punchier, more visually readable manner. Or, organize your text into lists (numbered or bulleted) via the block editor to make them look great.
- Remember hyperlinks—it’s the web, after all! Link to related content or resources you or others have produced. It’s good web practice to link to content on this site in the same tab, but content on other sites in a new tab.
- Consider adding blocks—there are lots you can use on this site, including standard WP blocks, Atomic Blocks, Ultimate Addons blocks, and EmbedPress blocks (see also below). As examples, a few Ultimate AddOns blocks we suggest include Table of Contents (if a long post), Info Box (to visually summarize an important point), Advanced Columns (to create side by side content), or Sections (to demarcate sections of your posts). Then you’ll be using the Paragraph, Heading, List, and/or Image WP blocks all the time.
- Consider embeds—this is content from another site (e.g., a YouTube video or GoogleDoc) that is displayed on this site. The easiest way to do this is via standard WP embeds and the extended EmbedPress blocks. You can also do HTML embeds if not supported by these options.
As you can see, you have lots of opportunities when you write in this digital medium! But some of the items above are so important—and so easy for WP to check—that we have included them in a special Checklist you’ll see on the Document pane at right when editing a post. They include:
- The correct category. WP can’t really check for that, but it does verify that you’ve checked a category. If you save your draft without doing so, WP will automatically assign your post to a default category, which may or may not be the correct one.
- A minimum word count. Your instructor will specify this. This in itself is an important writing skill: how do you convey substantive content in a manner longer than a tweet-like soundbite, but much shorter (and likely more readable) than a full-on term paper?
- A featured image—so easy to forget. Look at the specifications above for guidance.
- Final publish approval—a box you would check when you have gotten the green light to publish your post. (You’ll need to check this box in the Document pane before you try to publish your post.)
- Note that WP can’t really check for a compelling title, etc.—but we will!
- If you haven’t done all items specified in the Checklist, you won’t be able to publish your post; just fix them and you’re set.
This site compiles a public portfolio of all posts for which you are listed as co-author. The portfolio is displayed as your author archive, with the following URL: https://envs.lclark.edu/220/author/[yourusernamehere].
A sample of the portfolio (from ENVS 295 as of late March; 220 example to come) is below: pay attention to the portions you edit via your User vs. Author profile! Detailed info is at bottom.
Your portfolio draws from your user profile the following fields:
- Display name (first and last, please)
- Avatar (an image of you or anything else you choose; make sure it’s not the default image!)
- If the user is logged in (i.e., a fellow student), or if you’ve given permission via the privacy field below, they will also see:
- Biographical information (a brief summary of yourself)
- Links to your LC email address and a website if you entered one
All of these user profile fields are summarized in Account & Profile above. If any user profile information is not displaying correctly on your author archive, contact ENVS or your instructor and we will re-sync information from your user profile to your author profile.
There are also four important fields related to your ENVS 220 portfolio that you’ll add/edit. You will do this by going to Authors on the left of your dashboard, then go to your name and choose “Edit Author Profile.” (These are the only fields you should edit in Author Profile; if you edit user profile information in your author profile, it may get erased when re-synced.)
- Share information. Do you want to share your bio, email, and website information with public (non-logged in) viewers? Enter Yes to share this information with everyone who visits the site, or No (or keep blank) if not.
- Course summary. In about 100-150 words, please summarize for a public audience what ENVS 220 is all about and what environmental analysis approaches and skills you have developed. If you compose this summary elsewhere, please remove GoogleDoc/Word HTML formatting via sites such as www.gdoctohtml.com. Do not use formatting such as headers, though you may link to course-related or your own resources as you wish. Note that all of your text will be displayed as one paragraph.
- Area of interest. Please enter the full URL for your area of interest record. Example: https://envs.lclark.edu/220/area-of-interest/your-area-of-interest/.
- Situated project. Please repeat the above for the record you create for your situated research project.
Note: if a post you co-authored doesn’t show up on your portfolio, make sure you are listed as a co-author on it!
Area of interest
Your area of interest represents your focus and passion in ENVS—thus you’ll find the Areas of Interest dashboard item marked via a heart icon! You will work with your ENVS 220 instructor to incrementally define your area of interest, then you will frequently consult with your ENVS instructors and advisor as you pursue it in related courses. When you arrive as a senior in ENVS 350 your area of interest will become the basis of your theoretical framework, as well as for your subsequent capstone project in ENVS 400.
The Areas of Interest form on this site is where you will document and share yours, for the public and your fellow current/upcoming ENVS students. You may prefer to compost text in another platform like GoogleDocs, but if you copy/paste you’ll notice odd formatting; make sure to remove via HTML cleaner sites like this one.
Here are some basic steps; please consult with your instructor for detailed guidance.
- When logged in, click New > Area of Interest on the admin bar at top, or Areas 0f Interest > Add New on the dashboard at left, to start your area of interest. This will be your one and only area of interest!: if you need to change it in future, go back and edit it—don’t start a new one.
- When you start a new form, do two things right away (both similar to post instructions above) so you don’t forget them:
- Click the “Areas of interest” category for your semester/year at right
- Add a featured image, also at right, following post specifications above
- There is some basic info about you that you’ll enter at the top of the form:
- Your ENVS major/minor status (plus second major/minors if applicable)
- Your expected year of graduation
- The semester/year in which you are enrolled in ENVS 220
- Then you’ll find the following fields; consult with your instructor for detailed guidance. Here are some tips:
- Title. See “Enter title here” at top. Use Headline Style Capitalization. A good area of interest title clearly conveys your topic without being excessively arcane or wordy. Though not required, one way to produce a clear and compelling title is to articulate a broad question (see also below) that summarizes your area of interest.
- Featured image. Just like you did with posts, a featured image is a nice thing to add to your area of interest for display purposes.
- Background and references. A very important initial step in defining your area of interest is, as Sir Isaac Newton and many others have claimed, to stand on the shoulders of giants—to draw from the best of the scholarly community to date in defining your area of interest. Here is where you will summarize this background, citing key references via the Chicago author-date reference style and (highly recommended) Zotero reference manager app. (You can readily copy your references from Zotero and paste at the bottom of this section.)
- Key questions. As you’ve learned in ENVS, we can make a bigger difference if we ask better questions, so these questions will be central to how you focus your area of interest. You’ve also learned that there are, broadly, four kinds of questions we ask in ENVS: descriptive, explanatory, evaluative, and instrumental. You will, via instructor guidance, enter some of each here, in a clear manner (e.g., via the block editor bulleted list).
- Related courses. You will pursue your area of interest in large part by taking related courses (not including the required breadth courses you’ll take, which will be listed below). Here you will enter (bulleted list recommended here too) each related course you plan to take, including the course department and number, the course name, the semester and year you expect to take it, and a brief (1-2 sentence) summary of its relevance to your area of interest.
- Breadth courses. To ensure that your related area of interest courses don’t overlap with the required breadth courses you’ll take, you will select them here, following provisions of the ENVS major/minor. When done, you should have selected exactly SIX courses as a major, or THREE as a minor.
- Feedback to date. Your area of interest will be reviewed by faculty members at various stages. Here you will summarize all feedback you have received from your instructor, faculty advisor, or faculty consultants, including (bulleted list recommended) the date and a synopsis of their main points.
- Revisions to date. In all likelihood your area of interest will evolve over time! It’s important to document these changes, so that you can appreciate, and share, the journey you have taken. Each time something big happens to your area of interest—e.g., after changing the focus in consultation with your advisor, or deciding on a different course—you will update this area of interest form. Then, here you can add an item to a bulleted list (recommended), including the month/year, to summarize the revision you just made. By the time you graduate this form will display your final, polished area of interest and all the steps it took from 220 on.
- Note that the big fields above all allow full HTML—e.g., hyperlinks, which can be exceedingly useful. But please resist the temptation to trick out your text too much: keep it relatively simple and clean looking.
Situated research projects
You will work in teams to define a potential situated research project, building on all the skills you have learned in ENVS 220. Make sure to carefully study Studying Places and especially the Situated Research resource page!..then you’ll know all about the situated approach, and the situated hourglass.
You’ll see that the situated research hourglass is defined by two important questions: your big framing question, and your focus or research question. Read this portion of the Situated Research page so that you are clear as to these questions and how they compare.
You will document your project via a form similar to the Area of Interest form: choose New > Situated Project at top or from your left-hand menu.
Here are the relevant fields, with prompts reminding you of important information (e.g., from the situated research rubric):
- Project general
- Category (Situated Projects)
- Co-authors (students on your team)
- Featured image representing the project
- Project geolocation (SEE THIS IMAGE for guidance!…it’s easy). You will geolocate your project so that it shows up on a mashup map of all projects. You can geolocate yours by entering a placename, or a latitude/longitude, just like a typical Google location search.
- Project details
- Framing and focus questions
- Top of the hourglass I and II
- Middle of the hourglass I and II
- Bottom of the hourglass I and II
- Project outcomes
- Outcome files (PDF)
Using your own site
Would you like to use your own DS site in addition to this group course site? Then read on!
First, remember that this site will automatically accumulate your work onto an author page you can link to from your own site. The link would be [this site URL]/author/[your username]/. This is the easiest thing and requires no extra work!
If, however, you wish to have your posts appear on both sites, here are your options:
- If your site is hosted (i.e., you have full WP admin control and can install plugins)
- The most powerful alternative is Distributor, which potentially syncs your posts between both sites! It hasn’t yet been tested and may be more than you need, but check it out.
- Another alternative is Page Links To. You’d do your post on this course site, then do a Page Links To post on your own site. Use the same title and featured image, but make the post simply link to the post on this site. Then your post will show up on any post archive you have on your site, but when someone clicks on it they will be directed to your post on the group site.
- If your site is on WP.com (i.e., you don’t have full WP admin control and cannot install plugins)
- You won’t be able to use the two plugin options above. But you can always link to an individual post on this site or to your author page.