symptom ), environmental scientists called H u m a n i t i e s
For the first Discussion this week, you identified and analyzed a problem in your community. Now you are asked to take your analysis one step further and look at the root cause of the problem. Looking at the root cause of a problem is a necessary step before determining how to effectively address the problem. Without looking at the root cause of the problem, you may end up only addressing the symptoms, which is counterproductive in the long run. For instance, excess nitrogen in the Chesapeake Bay led to an increase in algae blooms, which compromised the habitat of aquatic life. Instead of trying to kill algae blooms (symptom), environmental scientists called for a reduction in vehicle emissions and chemical fertilizers (root causes) that contribute to excess nitrogen in the bay.
Talking to the community and encouraging direct public participation are two useful methods for analyzing the root cause of a problem. A diverse group of stakeholders with varying perspectives is more likely to uncover the source of the problem.
To prepare for this Discussion:
Post a brief description of a problem in your community. Then explain its root cause and symptoms. Finally explain why it is important to focus on the root cause of the problem as opposed to the symptoms. Be specific.