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Environment 101

by: Lauren Vagnoni

Environment 101 ENVIR 101 002

Lauren Vagnoni
GPA 4.0

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About this Document

This study guide covers chapters 1, 2 , & 3 in the Essential Environment textbook to prepare for Exam 1.
Intro to Environment
Daniel Taylor Brantley (P)
Study Guide
Environment, Science
50 ?




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This 9 page Study Guide was uploaded by Lauren Vagnoni on Wednesday February 10, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to ENVIR 101 002 at University of South Carolina taught by Daniel Taylor Brantley (P) in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 216 views. For similar materials see Intro to Environment in Art at University of South Carolina.


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Date Created: 02/10/16
Environment 101 Study Guide for Exam 1 Chapter 1: An Introduction to Environmental Science  Environment- consists of all the living and nonliving things around us, including the continents, oceans, clouds, and ice caps  Environmental science- the study of how the natural world works, how our environment affects us, and how we affect our environment.  Natural resources- the substances and energy sources we take from our environment and that we rely on to survive  Renewable natural resources- natural resources that are replenished over short periods of time  Nonrenewable natural resources- are finite supply and are formed far more slowly than we use them  a social movement dedicate to protecting the natural world; NOT the same as environmental science We rely on ecosystem services  Ecosystem services- arise from the normal functioning of natural services and allow us to survive  Ecological systems- purify air and water, cycle nutrients, regulate climate, pollinate plants, recycle waste Environmental science is interdisciplinary o Natural sciences- examine the natural world and environmental science programs o Social sciences- examine human interactions and institutions, environmental studies programs Science tests ideas by critically examining evidence  Observations  Questions  Hypothesis  Predictions  Test  Results  Independent variable- can be manipulated  Dependent variable- depends on the independent variable  Controlled experiment o Control- an unmanipulated point of comparison o Treatment- a manipulated point of comparison  Paradigm- a dominant view  Paradigm shift- a new dominant view replaces the old ▯ Ecosystem services: Essential ecosystem services that arise from the normal functioning of natural systems and are not meant for our benefit, yet we could not survive without them ▯ ▯ Agricultural revolution: The shift around 10,000 years ago from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to an agricultural way of life in which people began to grow crops and raise domestic animals  Sparked population growth ▯ ▯ Industrial revolution: The shift from rural life, animal-powered agriculture, and handcrafted goods toward an urban society provisioned by the mass production of factory-made goods and powered by fossil fuels ▯ ▯ Fossil fuels: Non-renewable energy sources such as coal, oil, and natural gas ▯ ▯ Ecological footprint: Expresses the cumulative area of biologically productive land and water required to provide the resources a person or population consumes and to dispose of or recycle the waste the person or population produces ▯ ▯ Overshoot: The amount by which humanity’s resource use, as measured by its ecological footprint, has surpassed Earth’s long term capacity to support us ▯ ▯ Interdisciplinary: Borrowing techniques from multiple traditional fields of study and bringing together research results from these fields into a broad synthesis ▯ ▯ Natural sciences: Disciplines that study the natural world ▯ ▯ Social sciences: Disciplines that address human interactions and institutions ▯ ▯ Environmental studies: An academic environmental science program that emphasizes the social sciences as well as the natural sciences ▯ ▯ Environmentalism: The social movement dedicated to protecting the natural world- and, by extension, people- from undesirable changes brought about by human actions ▯ ▯ Science: The systematic process for learning about the world and testing our understanding of it  The term science is also used to refer to the accumulated body of knowledge that arises from this dynamic process of observing, questioning, testing, and discovery ▯ ▯ Observational science (descriptive science): Research in which scientists gather basic information about organisms, materials, systems, or processes that are not yet well known ▯ ▯ Hypothesis-driven science: Research that proceeds in a more targeted and structured manner, using experiments to test hypotheses within a framework traditionally known as the scientific method ▯ ▯ Scientific method: A technique for testing ideas with observations  Make observations o Set the scientific method into motion  Ask questions  Develop a hypothesis: a statement that attempts to explain a phenomenon or answer a scientific question  Make predictions: specific statements that can be directly and unequivocally tested  Test the predictions o Experiment: an activity designed to test the validity of a prediction or a hypothesis o Involves manipulating variables: conditions that change o Independent variable: a variable the scientist manipulates o Dependent variable: a variable that depends on the fertilizer input o Controlled experiment: An experiment in which a treatment is compared against a control in order to test the effect of a variable o Control: The portion of an experiment in which a variable has been left unmanipulated, to serve as a point of comparison with the treatment o Treatment: The portion of an experiment in which a variable has been manipulated in order to test its effect  Analyze and interpret results o Data: Recorded information ▯ ▯ Correlation: Statistical association among variables ▯ ▯ Peer review: The process by which a manuscript submitted for publication in an academic journal is examined by specialists in the field, who provide comments and criticism and judge whether the work merits publication in the journal ▯ ▯ Theory: A widely accepted, well-tested explanation of one or more cause-and-effect relationships that has been extensively validated by a great amount of research ▯ ▯ Paradigm: Dominant view ▯ ▯ Relativist: People who believe that ethics do and should vary with social context ▯ ▯ Universalist: People who maintain that there are objective notions of right and wrong that hold across cultures and contexts ▯ ▯ Ethical standards: The criteria that help differentiate right from wrong ▯ ▯ Environmental ethics: The application of ethical standards to relationships between people and nonhuman entities ▯ ▯ Anthropocentrism: Describes a human-centered view of our relations with the environment  An anthropocentrist denies, overlooks, or devalues the notion that nonhuman entities have rights and inherent value  An anthropocentrist evaluates the costs and benefits of actions solely according to their impact on people ▯ ▯ Biocentrism: Ascribes inherent value to certain living things or to the biotic realm in general  Human life and nonhuman life both have ethical standing  Ex. A biocentrist might oppose clearing a forest if this would destroy a great number of plants and animals, even if it would increase food production and generate economic growth for people ▯ ▯ Ecocentrism: Judges actions in terms of their effects on whole ecological systems, which consist of living and nonliving elements and the relationships among them  An ecocentrist values the well-being of entire species, communities, or ecosystems over the welfare of a given individual ▯ ▯ John Muir: A key voice restraint during the period of rapid growth and change during the 20 century th  1838-1914  A Scottish immigrant to the United States who made California’s Yosemite Valley his wilderness home ▯ ▯ Preservation ethic: Holds that we should protect the natural environment in a pristine, unaltered state  Argued that nature deserved protection for its own sake (an ecocentrist argument), but he also maintained that nature promoted human happiness (an anthropocentrist argument based on the principle of utility) ▯ ▯ Gifford Pinchot: Founded what would become the U.S. Forest Service and served as its chief in President Theodore Roosevelt’s administration  Like Muir, Pinchot opposed the deforestation and unregulated development of American lands  However, Pinchot took a more anthropocentric view of how and why we should value nature  He espoused the conservation ethic: holds that people should put natural resources to use but that we have a responsibility to manage them wisely ▯ ▯ Aldo Leopold: Young forester and wildlife manager  Began his career in the conservationist camp after graduating from Yale Forestry School, which Pinchot had helped found just as Roosevelt and Pinchot were advancing conservation on the national stage ▯ ▯ Environmental justice: Involves the fair and equitable treatment of all people with respect to environmental policy and practice, regardless of their income, race, or ethnicity ▯ ▯ Sustainability: Living within our planet’s means, such that Earth can sustain us- and all life- for the future  Conserving Earth’s resources so that our descendants may enjoy them as we have  Requires maintaining fully functioning ecological systems, because we cannot sustain human civilization without sustaining the natural systems that nourish it ▯ ▯ Natural capital: Earth’s accumulated wealth of resources  Our planet’s store of resources and ecosystem services ▯ ▯ Sustainable development: The use of resources for economic advancement in a manner that satisfies our current needs but does not compromise the future availability of resources ▯ ▯ Campus sustainability: Proponents of campus sustainability seek ways to help colleges and universities reduce their ecological footprints Chapter 2: Matter, Energy, and Ecosystems  Feedback loop- a circular process in which a system’s output serves as input to that same system  Negative feedback loop- stabilizes a system: output that results when the system moves in one direction acts as an input that moves the system in the other direction when balanced, the system is in dynamic equilibrium  Positive feedback loop- Drives a system further toward an extreme instead of stabilizing it  Potential vs Kinetic energy- Potential energy stored in our food becomes kinetic energy when we exercise and releases carbon dioxide, water, and heat as by-products st  1 Law of Thermodynamics (Conservation of Energy)- Energy can be converted from one form to another, but it can not be created or destroyed  2nd Law of Thermodynamics - When energy is converted from one form to another, some of the useful energy is lost.  Ecosystem- all organism and nonliving entities occurring and interacting in a particular area Chapter 3: Evolution, Biodiversity, and Population Ecology  Species- A population or group of populations whose members share characteristics and can breed with each other to produce fertile offspring  Population- A group of individuals of a species that live in the same area at the same time  Evolution- change over time; Evolutionary processes influence agriculture, pesticide resistance, medicine, health, etc.  Natural selection- The process whereby inherited characteristics that enhance survival and reproduction are passed on more frequently to future generations than those that do not  Mutations- Accidental changes in DNA that may be passed to the next generation; Nonlethal mutations provide genetic variation on which natural selection acts  Convergent evolution- Occurs when very unrelated species living in similar environments in separate locations independently acquire similar traits  Artificial selection- the process of selection conducted under human direction  Speciation-the process of generating new species  Extinction-the disappearance of a species from Earth Energy  Potential energy – energy of position  Kinetic energy – energy of motion  First law of thermodynamics – energy can change, but cannot be created or destroyed  Second law of thermodynamics – Entropy; energy changes from a more ordered to a less ordered state; an increasing state of disorder (decaying log)  Photosynthesis – the process of turning light energy into chemical energy (carbon dioxide + water = sugar)  Ecosystem – all organisms and nonliving entities occurring and interacting in a particular area  Landscape ecology – how landscape structure affects the abundance, distribution, and interaction of organisms. Helpful for sustainable regional development.  Nutrient Cycles – nutrients circulate through ecosystems in biochemical cycles  Ecosystem ecology- Studies living and nonliving components of systems to reveal patterns  Landscape ecology- Explains how and why ecosystems, communities, and populations are distributed across geographic regions  Habitat o The environment where an organism lives o It includes living and nonliving elements  Habitat use- Nonrandom patterns where organisms live  Habitat selection o The process by which organisms actively select habitats in which to live o Criteria for selecting habitats o Food, shelter, breeding sites, and mates  Niche- An organism’s functional role in a community  Specialist- Organism that have specific niche; Example: the 'akiapōlā'au  Generalist- Organisms with a broad niche


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