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Dr. Karen C. Holt


Jamieson Sather

Research Proposal The Goldilocks Principle: Government Spending on
Environmental Research and Protection


The purpose of this paper is to show that despite tightening government budgets, the
public support and benefits of ecological research and protection warrant increased
fiscal, civic, and scholastic attention. My research will reveal that environmental
stewardship, protection, and exploration all pose a significant benefit to government
bodies that invest in them. My main issue questions are:

How can investing in the environment help us, both on a national and private
scale? (McCright, Wills)
What has already been gained out of investing in the environment? (Harris,
How much in an appropriate monetary sum to divert to ecological issues?
(Klyza, Lee)
Do ecological issues warrant funding in a government budget already spread
thin on so many other important issues? (Lee, Bengston)

I have had the unusual circumstance of having known what I want to be since I was 4
years old. My mother still has drawings from my kindergarten class of me, in a lab coat,
studying a whale, with a poorly scribbled b-i-o-l-o-g-i-s-t on the bottom. This has been
my passion and my drive for the last 20 years. Growing up in California, I had the
wonderful opportunity to be raised in some beautiful and various landscapes. I spent
summers surfing and hiking the state beaches of central California. The redwoods were

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practically the backyard of my Boy Scout troop. As a child, I remember watching a

dozen different kids shows dedicated to animals.
Then, somewhere along the way, things seemed to change. The old state beaches I
used to love closed due to lack of funds. The trails I hiked and places I visited slowly
fell into disrepair, and were deemed dangerous. Even the educational and inspirational
shows of my youth were eventually replaced with more entertaining programs. It
seems to me that the importance of preserving and studying our environment has
declined in the minds of people, and has definitely lost funding from local, state, and
national governments. I want to know why, and show that in a world where there never
seems enough to go around, that the environment is worth investing our time and our
money in.
This paper is important because it raises awareness of how we rank the environment
among other social issues, and then shows that it is still a valid and important matter. I
acknowledge that budgets, both monetary and time, are limited factors. We only have a
set amount of funds within a society that we can work with. We also have a limited
amount of time to teach our children what we want them to know. However, the natural
world is not something that deserves to, draw the shortest stick, when it comes to
deciding those factors. It provides us with incredible amount of knowledge, with
applications in chemistry, pharmaceuticals, engineering, mathematics, civil design, and
many others. There is also the idea that we have a moral obligation to safeguard the
land in which we live. People have lost the vision of how vital investing in our
environment is to us as a society, and I hope this paper will help rekindle that lost spark.
I will be utilizing both primary and secondary sources extensively. I will rely on primary
sources to provide a factual basis for this paper, including government spending reports
and various studies conducted on the subject. I will also apply secondary sources to
provide authoritative commentary on the data, and lend credence to the opinion based
sections of my paper. The majority of my sources will come from ebscohost as well as
the McKay Library Database.

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Working thesis: Despite tightening government budgets, the public support and benefits
of ecological research and protection warrant increased fiscal, civic, and scholastic
In tro d uction
S tatistic
Persona l
o pin ion on
th e subje ct

Pere nta tion

o f id es o f
b ody
p ara g rap hs
S tate m e nt

pro p osition

O pp o sing
View s

Resp on se

W e d on 't
in ve st
e no u gh
tim e or
m on ey in
o ur
e nvironm e
n t.
Peop le
n ee d to
b eco m e
m ore
supp ortive
a nd
in form ed
a bou t
e nvironm e
n tal issu es

W e spe n d
too m uch
alre a dy
The re a re
b ette r
thin g s to
spe n d th e
m oney on
It d o esn 't
h elp us (no
d irect
b ene fi t
The re a re
b ette r
thin g s to
le arn abo ut

Th e b en ifit
to th e
g ene ral
p ub lic
Th e b en ifit
to th e
e con om y
Th e m oral
o blig ation
(m ay be )
C urre nt
spe n din g
a nd p ub lic
view poin t

C on clusion
D raw b ack
to p e rson al

S um m a rize
im po rtance
of the
essa y
C on d lude
w ith
p ore ful
state m e n t
or qu ote .

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Annotated Bibliography:

Bengston, David N. Environmental Futures Research. [Electronic Resource] :

Experiences, Approaches, And Opportunities. n.p.: Newtown Square,
Pennsylvania : United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern
Research Station, [2012], 2012. BYU-Idaho Catalog. Web. 1 Oct. 2015.
Explores the application and gains of environmental research since WWII.
Environmental Research : STAR Grants Focus On Agency Priorities, But Management
Enhancements Are Possible : Report To The Chairman, Subcommittee On VA,
HUD, And Independent Agencies, Committee On Appropriations, House Of
Representatives. n.p.: Washington, D.C. (P.O. Box 37050, Washington 20013) :
The Office, [2000], 2000. BYU-Idaho Catalog. Web. 30 Sept. 2015. A
presentation before congress concerning STAR grants, and discusses how
restructuring the program might be more cost effective.
Harris, Frances. Global Environmental Issues. [Electronic Resource]. n.p.: Hoboken, NJ
: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012., 2012. Print. Explores different environmental issues,
including spending, from at least two points. Basically, a debate book.
Klyza, Christopher McGrory, and David J. Sousa. American Environmental Policy :
Beyond Gridlock. n.p.: Cambridge, Massachusetts : The MIT Press, [2013],
2013. Print. Explores the current state of environmental issues in congress and
5 alternate methods of working around the government.
Lee, Jongkon. "Environmental Legislative Standstill And Bureaucratic Politics In The
USA." Policy Studies 35.1 (2014): 40-58. EconLit with Full Text. Web. 30 Sept.
2015. Explores how congress treats environmental issues and various ways of
working with them.
Lerner, K. Lee, and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner. Environmental Issues. [Electronic
Resource] : Essential Primary Sources. n.p.: Detroit, Mich. : Gale, c2006.,
2006. BYU-Idaho Catalog. Web. 1 Oct. 2015. A list/collection of various debate

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topics within the professional environmental world, including spending and

Liem, Gregory Arief D., and Andrew J. Martin. "Young PeopleS Responses To
Environmental Issues: Exploring The Roles Of Adaptability And
Personality." Personality And Individual Differences 79.(2015): 9197. ScienceDirect. Web. 1 Oct. 2015. Different types of children seem to
respond differently to environmental issues.
McCright, Aaron M., Chenyang Xiao, and Riley E. Dunlap. "Political Polarization On
Support For Government Spending On Environmental Protection In The USA,
19742012." Social Science Research 48.(2014): 251-260. ScienceDirect. Web.
30 Sept. 2015. Discusses how the publics view on environmental spending has
changed over the years
Pompe, Jeffrey J., and James R. Rinehart. Environmental Conflict. [Electronic
Resource] : In Search Of Common Ground. n.p.: Albany : State University of New
York Press, c2002., 2002. Print. Perfect book! Explores issues from both a
spending and administrative point of view, as well an environmentalists point of
R. K., Jain. Contemporary Issues In Environmental Assessment. n.p.: McGraw-Hill
Professional, 2002. Access Engineering. Web. 1 Oct. 2015. Explores why it is so
difficult/important to find the truth in regards to current environmental issues.
Roberts, Jane. Environmental Policy. [Electronic Resource]. n.p.: Milton Park,
Abingdon : Routledge, 2011., 2011. BYU-Idaho Catalog. Web. 1 Oct. 2015. How
different environmental policies have been affected in recent years, and what still
remains an issue.
Stamou, George P. Populations, Biocommunities, Ecosystems. [Electronic Resource] :
A Review Of Controversies In Ecological Thinking. n.p.: [Oak Park, Ill.] : Bentham
eBooks, [2012], 2012. BYU-Idaho Catalog. Web. 30 Sept. 2015. Explores
different forms of thought and the debate over spending and importance within
the biological community.
Suter, Glen W., II, and Rebecca A. Efroymson. "Controversies In Ecological Risk
Assessment; Assessment Scientists Respond." Environmental Management
[New York] 21.6 (1997): 819-822. GeoRef. Web. 30 Sept. 2015. Explores
various ecological risks, such as global warming, and tries to see if there is a
pattern of crying wolf

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Tuckwell, Erin. "Science In Dispute: Debating The Authority Of Knowledge In An

Environmental Contestation."Oceania 82.3 (2012): 308-322. Academic Search
Premier. Web. 30 Sept. 2015. Discusses how to determine if a source on an
environmental issue is reliable. Goes into how tests and research should be
done, as well as how to limit bias.
Wills, John. US Environmental History. [Electronic Resource] : Inviting Doomsday. n.p.:
Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, 2013., 2013. BYU-Idaho Catalog. Web.
1 Oct. 2015. Investigates the history of the U.S. in regards to the environmental
issues. Also discusses several disasters and governmental response.