Park University Environmental

External Environment Situation Analysis Instructions

You will need to collect information on the major forces which are impacting or are likely to impact your project SBU. You need to gain a feel for this by using secondary sources and your text book. Your text can act as a guide for the major topics impacting the business, the secondary sources provide the information as to the forces which are impacting the business. Use the bullet points below to aid in guiding your research and analysis.

Your search strategy should include using terms such as: industry news trends (place in industry name). You can also use sources that are specifically designed to provide macro trend information. A few examples of macro trend sources were outlined in the discussion. This information is not industry specific, so you would need to make and justify linkages.

Identify the top 2-3 most relevant items related to the criteria below:

Sociocultural Trends

  • With respect to the firm’s target customers, identify changes in society’s demographics, values, and lifestyles that affect the firm or the industry.
  • Explain how these changes are affecting (or may affect) the firm’s products (features, benefits, branding), pricing (value), distribution and supply chain (convenience, efficiency), promotion (message content, delivery, feedback), and people (human resource issues).
  • Identify the ethical and social responsibility issues that the firm or industry faces. How do these issues affect the firm’s customers? How are these issues expected to change in the future?

Economic Growth and Stability

  • Identify the general economic conditions of the country, region, state, or local area where the firm’s target customers are located. How are these economic conditions related to customers’ ability to purchase the firm’s products?
  • Describe the economics of the industry within which the firm operates. These issues might include the cost of raw materials, patents, merger/acquisition trends, sales trends, supply/demand issues, marketing challenges, and industry growth/decline.


  • Identify the firm’s major competitors (brand, product, generic, and total budget).
  • Identify the characteristics of the firm’s major competitors with respect to size, growth, profitability, target markets, products, and marketing capabilities (production, distribution, promotion, pricing).
  • What other major strengths and weaknesses do these competitors possess?
  • List any potential future competitors not identified above.

Science and Technological Trends

  • How have recent technological advances affected the firm’s customers with respect to needs/wants/preferences, access to information, the timing and location of purchase decisions, the ability to compare competing product offerings, or the ability to conduct transactions more effectively and efficiently?
  • Have customers embraced or rejected these technological advances? How is this issue related to customers’ concerns over privacy and security?
  • How have recent technological advances affected the firm or the industry with respect to manufacturing, process efficiency, distribution, supply chain effectiveness, promotion, cost-reduction, or customer relationship management?
  • What future technologies offer important opportunities for the firm? Identify any future technologies that may threaten the firm’s viability or its marketing efforts.

Political and Legal Trends

  • Identify any political activities affecting the firm or the industry with respect to changes in elected officials (domestic or foreign), potential regulations favored by elected officials, industry (lobbying) groups or political action committees, and consumer advocacy groups.
  • What are the current and potential hot button political or policy issues at the national, regional, or local level that may affect the firm’s marketing activities?
  • Identify any changes in international, federal, state, or local laws and regulations affecting the firm’s or industry’s marketing activities with respect to recent court decisions, recent rulings of federal, state, or local government entities, recent decisions by regulatory and self-regulatory agencies, and changes in global trade agreements or trade law.

Other Major Global Forces

  • Identify any other major global forces that could impact your projects SBU.

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Park University Environmental

Project Requirements

The research project for this class is to thoroughly investigate the physical geography of one place on Earth.  You must submit a final PowerPoint presentation that is a compilation of all of the research material you have found for the location you have chosen.  While this place could be a location that more dramatically highlights certain aspects of physical geography, such as a National Park like Grand Canyon N.P. or Yellowstone N.P., a location near where live is actually the preferred choice.   In fact, the place should be a location that you will be able to visit at least once during the semester in order to gather personal “field work” information.  Note that this class is not as much about “exotic” far-off places, but about learning how the basic principles of physical geography are constantly at work all around you.  The major goal of this project is to have you applywhat you learn from the course content to the process of trying to learn about the physical geography of the place you have selected and analyze and evaluate this information based on the actual characteristics you identify for this place.  
The requirements for this project are designed to allow the student to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the course’s Core Learning Outcomes (CLOs), which are:

  1. Explain the basic processes of and interactions between the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere. 
  2. Evaluate geographic patterns to the earth’s physical environment (soil, vegetation, climate, earthquakes, winds, etc.) that result from various processes. 
  3. Assess the effects humans have on the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere.
  4. Solve problems or make predications by analyzing the physical geography of a particular place. 

Two of the most important resources for this project are your class textbook (especially its numerous maps) and Google Earth (which you will use for some of the unit activities).  Some of the items specifically required to be included in your presentation are probably not easily available.  For example, specific information about actual insolation values for your place of study is probably not available.  However, you can use the map of average surface insolation values to determine an approximate value to use for this project.  The information available through the USGS National Map Viewer ( can be used in a similar manner.  Be sure to explore all of the layers of information that are available for your location through Google Earth.  You may be surprised by the amount of information you can obtain from these various layers.  Also, don’t forget that you should go to this place at least once and make some of your own observations to include in the presentation.

The presentation must have the following format and content:   
Cover slide:  Include a cover slide with the following information: title, author, date, class
Content slides:  Include at least one slide for each of the following:  
Place overview slide: Provide basic information about where the place is.  Must include: 

  1. any name(s) commonly used for the location and the city, county, state, country in/near which it is located 
  2. latitude and longitude 
  3. general description of its topography, with minimum and maximum elevation 
  4. at least one map that highlights its location 

Atmosphere slide(s): Describe the atmospheric characteristics of the research location (CLOs #1 & #2).  Must include the following:  

  1. estimated insolation 
  2. estimated albedo 
  3. wind data and patterns (prevailing global winds and the local winds) 
  4. typical types of storms and other weather patterns 

Hydrosphere slide(s): Give information about the hydrology of the research area(CLOs #1 & #2).  Must include the following:

  1. names and descriptions of bodies of water 
  2. type of drainage pattern and/or groundwater systems 
  3. climograph (constructed by the student) 
  4. climate classification analysis (to what extent does this location exemplify the characteristics of the climate in which it is classified) 

Lithosphere slide(s): Provide information about internal and some external geomorphic processes that occur in the research location (CLOs #1 & #2).  Must include the following: 

  1. types of rocks and/or soil 
  2. any evidence of folding and faulting, earthquakes, volcanoes 
  3. types of weathering and/or mass wasting 
  4. geomorphic processes (fluvial, eolian, coastal, or glacial) that occur (or have occurred) in the area and the mark they have left on the landscape 

Biosphere slide(s): Provide information about the ecosystem of the research location (CLOs #1 & #2).  Must include the following:

  1. types of vegetation 
  2. types of animals 
  3. examples of food chain relationships 
  4. terrestrial biome classification analysis (to what extent does this location exemplify the characteristics of the biome in which it is classified) 

Human-environment interaction slide(s): Provide at least 3 examples of how human actions have altered any aspect of the physical geography of this location.  In addition, you should include comments on any subsequent problems that are the result of these interactions and make suggestions on what can be done to reduce/eliminate these problems. (CLOs #3 & #4)

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