Here are suggested research topics for Earth Science:
Can we recover our soil?
Soil is a precious natural resource that takes many years to be formed. The creation of mega-cities and the infrastructure needed to support this development meant that a significant volume of topsoil has been destroyed and the soil structure altered. The research will focus on initiatives and available technologies that may be employed to restore the soil to its desired state. Environment Agency provides a good introduction on this topic.
The effect of polluted soil on human health.
The surface of the earth is dynamic. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are geologically important events that help make the soil fertile and conducive for life. Human activity altered the environment. The generation of waste materials adds to the chemical content of the soil. Some of these chemicals are toxic to humans. The study will deal with the changes in the soil composition as a result of human activity and illustrate cases wherein human illnesses resulted from contaminated soil. The chapter on Processes and Human Physiology of the book Earth Materials and Health : Research Priorities for Earth Science and Public Health (National Academies Press) is a good starting material for this topic. The article about the of Radon also provides a good read on toxic materials that may occur naturally in soils.
“Meeting the water demands of a growing population”
The availability of potable water is dwindling. The proposed research topic will deal with the disruption of the water cycle as a result of human activity. The study will estimate the global population by 2020 and the water demands of such large number of people. The research will determine the available sources of potable water and the current and future technologies for water conservation and potable water production.
“Toxic Substances in Water”
The proposed research topic will look into the continuing degradation of the nation’s water resources as a result of non-point source pollution. The topic on Water Contaminant Transport of the US Geological Survey provides a starting point for this topic.
“Weather forecasting, then and now”
Mankind has employed means to be able to predict the weather. The proposed research topic will compare the difference between the weather forecasting methods that are presently used and the ones used ten years ago. It will try to determine whether science and technology has helped in making more accurate predictions of extreme weather conditions. The book “Weather and Climate from the Ground Up…” provides a starter information on the proposed topic.