FLVS Marine Science Assignment – 7.03 Honors Resources in the Abyss

Offshore Drilling is Destroying Our Oceans. Why Aren’t We Stopping it?   


All over the world, oil companies like Shell, Exxon, British Petroleum, and many others are pumping oil out of the earth’s crust, using offshore oil platforms in our oceans. There are approximately 241 platforms or rigs in U.S. waters alone as of 2015, and thousands more worldwide. Offshore oil drilling is a practice that is used all over the world, to extract oil from the earth for global consumption. However, all this drilling, pumping, refining, and shipping of oil affects our marine ecosystems. Offshore drilling is dangerous for our planet’s delicate marine estuaries, and the marine environment as a whole. When we put the pros and cons of offshore drilling to the test, the cons far outweighed the pros.

Proponents of offshore drilling cite several reasons to justify drilling offshore. They say it provides us with an avenue of “self-reliance” or independence from the Middle Eastern oil monopoly. Another justification for offshore drilling is that offshore drilling “creates many jobs for people, who will then spend more money from their wages in the local community. . . ” Lastly, offshore drilling supposedly makes gas prices go down by adding extra oil to the world oil supply.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, Presidential and Congressional actions sanctioning drilling in areas previously closed to oil and gas drilling, “would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production … before 2030.” Furthermore, the U.S. DOE goes on to say that, “Because oil prices are determined on the international market … any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant.” These statements indicate that offshore drilling will not lower energy costs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, or create millions of new jobs. We must act now to become less dependent on oil, and instead increase our supply of renewable and sustainable energy sources, with a lesser impact on the marine environment.

There are several important facts that prove that offshore oil drilling is hazardous for our marine environment. First of all the harsh offshore environments pose many engineering challenges to offshore drilling equipment, insuring that weak points in the equipment going from the ocean’s surface to the ocean floor are inevitable. In the case that a spill does occur, hundreds of miles of coastline estuaries, beaches and ocean are then left directly in harm’s way. For example during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita there were 125 spills from platforms, rigs, and pipelines on the ocean’s Outer Continental Shelf, releasing almost 685,000 gallons of petroleum products. Including the land-based infrastructure that supports offshore drilling, the damage from these two hurricanes totaled 595 spills releasing millions of gallons of oil. In addition to environmental damage from oil spills, the routine operations associated with offshore drilling produce many toxic wastes and other forms of pollution. For example, each drill well generates tens of thousands of gallons of waste in the form of drilling muds (materials used to lubricate drill bits and maintain pressure) and cuttings. An average oil and gas exploration well spews roughly 50 tons of nitrogen oxides, 13 tons of carbon monoxide, 6 tons of sulfur oxides, and 5 tons of volatile organic chemicals.

Consequently offshore drilling has proven to be detrimental to our marine environments all over the world. First and foremost, the environmental effects of offshore drilling are definitely unsafe, for our environment, and for our oceans well being. Offshore drilling also spews tons of carbon into our atmosphere unremittingly, and whether you believe in global warming or not, you know that pouring tons of carbon into our atmosphere cannot be good. Expanded offshore drilling poses the risk of oil spills ruining our beaches from Florida to Maine and along the Pacific Coast, bringing harm to those who live, work, and vacation along the coasts, as well as harming habitats critical to plants and animals. For instance contamination from the massive 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill reached shorelines nearly 600 miles away. That is the equivalent of an oil spill on the East Coast, reaching from Massachusetts to North Carolina. An oil spill of that magnitude would not only effect our entire east coast, but also the Atlantic Ocean.

All these devastating effects that offshore oil drilling have on our beautiful oceans are long lasting. They are not able to just be washed away, or cleaned up instantaneously. Scientists investigating the long-term impacts of the Exxon Valdez spill estimated that nearly 20,000 gallons of oil from that spill remain in Prince William Sound, 26 years later, continuing to harm threatened and endangered species, and undermine their recovery. The U.S. DOE’s research is conclusive. It is apparent that offshore drilling does not decrease gas prices, it does not create more jobs, and it does not enable us to be more “self-reliant” in the global oil economy. Finally not only are the claims in favor of offshore drilling false, but we can see that offshore drilling is fatal to our global marine environment. Any efforts made to stop offshore drilling, or at least make it safer, would have a positive effect on our marine environment, on a global level.



Natural Resources Defense Council: Domestic Oil Drilling; still not a solution to rising gas prices



Vision Launch: Pros and Cons of Offshore Drilling



National Resources Defense Council: Protecting Our Ocean and Coastal Economies: Avoid Unnecessary Risks from Offshore Drilling



Live Science: Why is Offshore Drilling so Dangerous? May 28, 2010



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“6.00 Thinking About Careers” – FLVS Journalism 1 Assignment

Reporter’s Notebook

For this journal entry, you will identify a current journalist you admire or who interests you. Research this journalist’s career path and current position.

Write one paragraph about the jobs the journalist held on the way to where he or she is today. Be sure to answer the following questions in your paragraph:

  • Where did the journalist get his or her start?
  • For what news organizations has the journalist worked?
  • What different positions has the journalist held?
  • What level of experience do you feel this journalist currently has?

Write a second paragraph about what the journalist does now. Be sure to answer the following questions in your paragraph:

  • How does this current job differ from the journalist’s previous news positions?
  • How is this current job similar to the journalist’s previous new positions?
  • Is this journalist at the top of his or her career, in your opinion? Explain your answer.
  • What duties must someone in this person’s position perform?

Your journal entry should be at least two paragraphs of your own writing, and you must give credit to all sources you use or quote. Try to be as informative as possible. Imagine this is an assignment for a large news organization, and that you are supposed to provide useful information to your readers on this topic.


From writing for his school newspaper, to becoming The New York Time’s most read Op-Ed Columnist, Thomas Friedman is a perfect example of what a little bit of zeal, and lots of hard work can get you. Friedman admittedly only took journalism course in his home town High school in 10th grade. Coming from a Jewish family, he always had an interest in the middle east, since and early age. This interest blossomed when he spent three summers during his high school years on a kibbutz near Haifa, Israel.  He attended Univ. Minnesota later transferring to Brandeis Univ., where he earned a degree in Mediterranean studies. After graduating from Brandeis, he attended St Antony’s College at the University of Oxford as a Marshall Scholar, earning an M.Phil. in Middle Eastern studies.

Friedman joined the London bureau of United Press International after completing his master’s degree. He covered the Lebanon Civil War from Beirut, from beginning to end, first for the United Press International, hen he was hired by The New York Times as a reporter in 1981 and re-dispatched to Beirut at the start of the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. His coverage of the war, most notably the Sabra and Shatila massacre, won him the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. Alongside David K. Shipler he also won the George Polk Award for foreign reporting.

In June 1984, Friedman was transferred to Jerusalem, where he served as the New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief until February 1988. That year he received a second Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. He wrote a book, From Beirut to Jerusalem, describing his experiences in the Middle East, which won the 1989 U.S. National Book Award for Nonfiction.

Friedman covered Secretary of State James Baker during the administration of President George H. W. Bush. Following the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, Friedman became the White House correspondent for the New York Times. In 1994, he began to write more about foreign policy and economics, and moved to the op-ed page of The New York Times the following year as a foreign affairs columnist. In 2002, Friedman won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for his “clarity of vision, based on extensive reporting, in commenting on the worldwide impact of the terrorist threat.”

In February 2002, Friedman met Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah and encouraged him to make a comprehensive attempt to end the Arab-Israeli conflict by normalizing Arab relations with Israel in exchange for the return of refugees alongside an end to the Israel territorial occupations. Abdullah proposed the Arab Peace Initiative at the Beirut Summit that March, which Friedman has since strongly supported.


“5.07 Content Editing and Copyediting” – FLVS Journalism 1 Assignment

This is an assignment I did about a month ago, and I decided to post it on here, just for the sake of keeping all my work from this class in one place. If there is any feedback y’all have I would greatly appreciate it. 🙂


AmTrack Train accident in Philadelphia, Tuesday night, May 12, 2015

May 14, 2015

Tuesday night was one fatal train ride home for 8 passengers on Amtrak Train number 188. The train was rounding a turn, just outside of Philadelphia, when 7 cars and the engine were derailed. What has been determined as the initial cause of the derailing, is that the train was reportedly going 106 MPH, more than twice the speed rating on the curve. Thankfully there were only 8 deaths, but an estimated 200 of the 243 passengers were sent to the hospital.

The entire Northeast corridor is now closed, due to the accident according to National Railroad Administration, many people will not be able to make it to their jobs via train, between Washington DC and Boston, until next Tuesday. There are Thousands of people living in the northeast US who use the train system as their main way of commuting to and from the big cities.

This is not the first fatal train accident in Philadelphia. Seventy years ago, 79 lives were lost in the Frankfort Junction area, less than a mile from Tuesday night’s AmTrack accident. It has since been noted as the most fatal train crash in US history.  That train, the Congressional Limited, carrying more than twice the amount of passengers as the AmTrak train number 188, had a passenger manifest totaling 541 passengers, many of them whole families and military servicemen.

Very little is still known about why the accident on Tuesday night happened, and what could have prevented it. The engineer of the train, Brandon Bostian, was taken to the hospital immediately following the accident and was released having only suffered a concussion and a few other minor injuries. Bostian has no recollections of events just before the derailment. Several causes are currently being considered, including Speed, Human Error, and a possibility that the train was struck by some foreign object, causing it to be derailed, or causing the conductor to lose control.




“5.03 Source Materials: Interviews” – FLVS Journalism 1 Assignment

For this assessment you must submit original, open-ended interview questions to your instructor. For each person on your list of interviewees for this module project, you must draft at least 10 questions. Some of your questions may be the same between interviews, but at least three should refer specifically to the person you are interviewing at the time.

You will need to conduct research on your own before drafting questions so that you ask informed questions.

Write a one-paragraph summary explaining how and where you conducted your research, as well as how you decided on the questions you will use.


Questions for FWC officer:

  1. What is your opinion on Offshore drilling?
  2. How do you think offshore drilling in the Gulf effects Florida beaches?
  3. How does Offshore drilling impact our marine environments?
  4. What do you think is the largest harmful effect that offshore drilling has on our oceans?
  5. How do you feel knowing that there are hundreds of thousands of gallons of chemical slug waste is being dumped into the ocean from oil rig out there?
  6. What do you think is a good solution to our offshore drilling problems?

Questions for Local Oil Company employee:

  1. What is our view on Offshore oil drilling?
  2. Do you advocate drilling offshore, or not?
  3. How would knowing that there are hundreds of thousands of gallons of chemical slug waste is being dumped into the ocean from oil rigs out there impact your view on Offshore drilling?
  4. Does your company get oil from a source that is from an offshore driller?
  5. Do you think that offshore oil drilling really makes the price of gas cheaper?
  6. Why?

In my research, I used resources such as the LiveScience.com, for my research on Offshore oil drilling, and how it impacts our economy. I used the National department of energy for information on how offshore drilling effects our beaches. I decided on the above questions through my research and also based on who I will be asking them of. I wanted to make sure my questions were very informed, and would provoke informing answers.

“5.02 Source Materials: research” – FLVS Journalism 1 Assignment

For this assessment you must identify at least three sources you intend to consult about your topic, as well as at least two interview sources. These will be part of the requirement for your assignment. Make sure all of your sources are credible and will together provide a balanced view of your topic without showing your opinion.

Include a paragraph explaining your sources and your selections for interviewees, how you will contact them, and how they will add to the impartiality and credibility of your story. Add secondary options for people you will contact in case your first interview selections are not available when the time comes. Sometimes celebrities, major politicians, and others are unable to respond to requests in a timely manner.

Your instructor will approve your sources or give you feedback on how to improve them.

You do not need to conduct your research or interview yet. However, make sure ahead of time that those you plan to interview are willing and able to meet with you when the time comes.


I plan on using sources such as national news outlets, and Live Science for my research sources. I am going to interview a local oil company owner, as well as a FWC officer.  Any other interviewees might also include my Grandparents, and/or a few of my family members.

“5.01 Before You Write” – FLVS Journalism 1 Assignment

For this assessment you must decide what you would like to write about and then share your idea with your instructor. You must choose a topic that interests you and then write a one-paragraph plan about what you intend to cover in your report and why you intend to cover that topic. Remember that you need to be able to remain impartial in your writing about this topic.

Ask yourself the following questions about how to write your report:

  • What is my topic? Offshore oil drilling
  • Who is my audience? Proponents of Offshore drilling
  • In what type of news medium should this story be presented (newspaper, radio, television, etc.)? I think it would be well presented on the television an/or newspaper/blog 
  • Whom can I interview? I can interview a FWC officer, and someone from a local oil company.
  • Where can I gather research? On the internet, and from my interviews
  • How can I remain impartial about this topic, even though I find it interesting? I can remain impartial about this topic, because I have looked at both sides of the issue. 


“5.00 Intro to the writing process” – FLVS Journalism 1 Assignment

For this journal entry, you will consider the following questions and answer both in as much detail as possible.

1. What are your thoughts on writing in general? Describe your impression of the written word and its importance in the world. Explain how you feel about writing, personally.

2. Is it truly possible to write impartially? Analyze what you know about credible news reporting and compare that with what you know about human beings. Explain your thoughts about whether reporters can remain completely impartial in their work.

Your journal entry should be at least three paragraphs of your own writing, and you must give credit to all sources you use or quote. Try to be as informative as possible. Imagine this is an assignment for a large news organization, and that you are supposed to provide useful information to your readers on this topic.


My general thoughts on writing, hmmm interesting question. Well my initial thought would be that I hate writing for school and stuff and I don’t really consider myself that good at it. I think that written words are very important and meaningful.  I think that if we only spoke to our peers instead of writing, to each other, also it would be a downfall for the deaf community.

Personally, I think that if someone has the guts to say something to you in writing, it can be very meaningful, and sincere, on the other hand I think that it really takes guts to say something to someone’s face as well. At the same time, I think that, depending on the person, and how well I now them, and what kind of personality they have, I take something written pretty seriously. I mean if it’s written at least you can go back and say hey, you know you said this, or you said that, whereas if they just say it, it’s like well I don’t remember saying that and now it’s your word against their’s, or whatever.  There is a reason that contracts are written, and signed in writing, it’s meaningful, it’s important, it’s symbolic.

Is it possible to truly possible to write impartially, Yea, I think so. To write impartially, just basically means write fairly, unbiased and totally justly. It’s not easy, but it can be done. You just have to make sure you write with equal parts to both sides of the story. Showing fairness and equality to all the parties involved. I think that we can remain impartial, it is possible, but we are all human, and we all have opinions and feelings, and thoughts, too.

“3.00 Introduction to Ethics” – FLVS Journalism 1 Assignment

Reporter’s Notebook

For this journal entry, you will answer two questions.

1. “What does it mean to be ethical?” Explore what you know about ethics to write a response to this question, providing examples to illustrate the qualities of an ethical person. Using your definition of an ethical person, describe how you believe someone should handle the situation described in this lesson. Explain how you came to your conclusion.

2. “How do ethics apply to journalism?” Now that you have defined an ethical person, write a short response about how you believe ethics plays a part in the presentation of the news.

Your journal entry should be at least three paragraphs of your own writing, and you must give credit to all sources that you use or quote. Try to be as informative as possible. Imagine this is an assignment for a large news organization, and that you are supposed to provide useful information to your readers on this topic.


What does it mean to be ethical? According to the Webster’s Dictionary, Ethical means “involving or expressing moral approval or disapproval”. Therefore to be ethical would be to follow some sort of moral rules, or code. An ethical person is one who thinks about the consequences of their actions before hand and does the right thing accordingly. In my opinion it’s a matter of Moral responsibility, doing what is right, according to your conscience, but at the same time, not violating others rights.

In the situation where a friend of yours gives her address to a stranger on the internet and then you find out, and you are concerned for her safety. Do you tell her parents or do you try to not make her mad, and not tell anyone. If I was in this situation with my best friend, I would have to say that I would probably feel obligated to tell her parents about the situation. Only because she is like a sister to me, and so in her best interest, and in order to keep her safe, and show her how much she can trust me, and how much I care about her, I would have to tell her parents. At first she might be mad at me, but knowing my best friend as well as I do, I know that eventually she would realize that what I did was the best thing to do for her, and her safety and well being.

Ethics definitely plays a very large role in journalism. Without ethics in journalism, we would have a huge mess on our hands. We would have journalists spreading slander and libel around, and journalists violating people’s privacy and stuff. This would create a disrespect for all journalists and nobody would believe anyone else. A journalist’s ethics determines what kind of journalist they are. Some reporters don’t care about invading other people’s privacy; but doing this makes the public respect the journalist less. Journalists that stick to a good ethical code, who treat others with respect, will be more respected and valid. Journalism and journalists can get a bad rap because there are a lot of reporters who don’t have an ethical code; they will do anything to get a good story. Thus this makes all journalists look bad, as a whole.

“2.05 Internet: News, Blogs, etc” – FLVS Journalism 1 Assignment

Over the years, the process of obtaining news has evolved quite a bit. From just news papers, to now radio, television, and the internet. News is so accessible! But with so many options, how do we choose, the one method we like? Or do we?

Although there are so many different avenues of obtaining news, most of them share a few similarities. The most painfully obvious similarity would be that, they all provide news. But they also have differences. Radio, is a very unique form of news, since it is only audio, broadcasters have to be very descriptive in their description of the news stories.  The television is a little bit like the radio, but you have that added -vision part. An added bonus that tends to make TV more desirable over the radio.

Back in the old days, printing newspapers was the only way to get news. They were sold on the street by paper hawkers or paper boys, who hawked the latest headlines to get the attention of the passerby. This is how everyone stayed informed about what was happening in the big cities and far away countries. Newspapers were easy to come by, but not very convenient to produce. All the news was from the day before, this is because they took hours and sometimes days to compile and print. Even with all that hassle, people still loved their newspapers. They did everything to be able to print them. From risking their lives and livelihoods, to printing on anything and everything they could find, from wallpaper donated by citizens of the town, to leftover scraps of animal hides.

The only thing most people have to do, to get breaking news is find a coffee shop somewhere, log onto your laptop, and check out the latest headlines from halfway around the world, to a few blocks down the street, it’s all at our fingertips, via the internet. The internet is the supreme news delivery source. Combining news, pictures, video and sound, it is the most popular, and most widely used news source that is available today. But it is not the most accessible news service. With many remote areas of the world still not able to access the internet, or television, newspapers are still the only way of accessing news in those places.

Most people, especially the younger more recent generations, prefer to use the internet as their news source for many reasons. It is easy to access almost anywhere, it is instant and up to date, and it is affordable. Almost everything now is used as a news source from social media, to blogs, and everything in between.

In conclusion, I would like to say, I get my news from several different places. Just walking through the checkout lane in the grocery store I obtain and gather news. I read news articles online, and through social media, and I follow several news blogs. I receive news from friends and family as well. I like to listen to the radio with my Dad at night, and I also like to read my RSS feeds and gather news from there. In my opinion the best way to get news is through the internet. You don’t have to wait on the paper to be printed, or for broadcasts to air, all you have to do, is pull out your mobile device, and access everything in a matter of seconds, with a touch of a button. Everybody has their own preferences, but it is the speed and the variety of the internet that appeals to me the most. I understand that many people may enjoy the wait and anticipation of their favorite newspaper or magazine, and if it’s worth it for you, why not? These sources may not cover as many subjects in one place, but as long as they appeal to you that is all that matters. There are so many different ways of getting news, so feel free enjoy them all!

“2.04 Broadcast – Television” – FLVS Journalism 1 Assignment

Reporter’s Notebook

For this journal entry, you will watch one hour of news programming on television and write an informative post answering the questions below. There are many free online options for television viewing. Contact your instructor if you have any questions about how to access appropriate programming.

Your journal entry should be at least three paragraphs of your own writing, and you must give credit to all sources that you use or quote. Try to be as informative as possible. Imagine that you are writing a report for a television news station, and you are supposed to provide useful information to your readers on this topic.

Be prepared to discuss this during your discussion-based assessment.

  1. What news show (or shows) did you watch?
  2. How would you classify this show? Local news, TV newsmagazine, entertainment news, sports news, etc.
  3. Did you see any opinion being expressed? Please quote the instances in your answer.
  4. Was this show effective in informing you about a topic? What did it do right? What could have been better?

Peace. Baltimore.


In Baltimore, today, the National Guard has been deployed and a curfew set in place, for Baltimore residents, as the city’s officials attempt to regain control of the civil unrest, sweeping the streets.  Mayor Stephanie Rowlings-Blake, according to several sources was quoted as saying, ” I have instructed the police to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech, [that is including] giving space to those who wish to destroy.” (She later denied she ever even said that statement) Mayor Rowlings-Blake went on to say that She and the police department of Baltimore are trying to maintain a very delicate balance between allowing the people who are protesting to exercise their right to freedom of expression, and still keep the police officers and innocent bystanders safe.

Less than 50 years later. . . .


The curfew will be kept in place for an entire week at least, and will be from 10 pm to 5 am, Excluding only people with a medical emergency and those going to work. All public schools in the Baltimore area have also been closed today, and several of the surrounding counties have canceled all field trips to Baltimore this week. Also, the Orioles have postponed their game against the Chicago White Sox to “play it safe”.

Clean up has begun on the streets of Baltimore. Starting with the arrests of at least 235 people, on Monday, including 34 juveniles. Laquicha Harper, a 30-year-old Baltimore resident, called the violence embarrassing and “heartbreaking,” saying “we owe it to ourselves to do better.” She was among locals who responded Tuesday morning with brooms, not rocks, to clean up the mess left behind.

This latest eruption followed days of simmering tensions over Freddie Gray, who mysteriously died on April 19, a week after Baltimore police arrested him. Anger over his plight may have spurred Monday’s violence, but Baltimore City Council Member Brandon Scott said it was also fueled by “a long, long, longstanding issue with young African-Americans.”

If you don’t know the difference, you are part of the problem

“We’re talking about years and decades of mistrust, of misfortune, of despair that it’s just coming out in anger,” Scott told CNN. “No, it is not right for them to burn down their own city. But that is what’s coming out of these young people.”

The City’s PD has asked all parents to “locate your children, and bring them home”. Hopefully, we can look forward to a safer city of Baltimore in the coming days, and a more peaceful way to demonstrate these grievances. Baltimore Strong!

Pray for the peace of Baltimore



Sources Used:



P.S. To my family who live in Baltimore/Catonsville area. GranDad, Granbutton, Uncle Greg, Aunt Kelly, and my cousins, I hope y’all are safe, we are praying for y’all and for the peace of Baltimore. We love you! Stay safe 🙂 ❤