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Geog 285: Environmental Science and Sustainability, Week 1 Notes

by: Kayteeessbee

Geog 285: Environmental Science and Sustainability, Week 1 Notes Geog 280

Marketplace > Western Kentucky University > Geography > Geog 280 > Geog 285 Environmental Science and Sustainability Week 1 Notes
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About this Document

These notes cover both material in the powerpoint from Blackboard, and supplemental material covered in class lecture. The notes utilize bolding, italicizing, and underlining, to show what Dr. Nort...
Environmental Science and Sustainability
Dr. Leslie North
Class Notes
Science, Environment, sustainability, geography, Scientificmethod




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kayteeessbee on Thursday September 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Geog 280 at Western Kentucky University taught by Dr. Leslie North in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 30 views. For similar materials see Environmental Science and Sustainability in Geography at Western Kentucky University.


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Date Created: 09/01/16
Geog Week 1 August 24 Intro to Environmental Science and Sustainability Earth’s resources and services: finite Major Problems Facing the World:  (because resources are being used and waste is being generated) 1. Wars/Conflicts between Nations/Groups of People 2. Diseases and Healthcare  Conflicts of Micro­Organisms vs. Mankind 3. Growth in High­Consumption Economic Growth, Pollution, and Wastes  Inputs from Environment: High­Quality Matter & Energy  Outputs back into Environment: Low­Quality Matter & Energy Inputs­­­­>Society­­­­>Outputs  Market Prices do not reflect real cost of using goods (based on  environmental costs, human resources/labor, etc.) 4. Gap between Rich & Poor  Continually growing ­­­­­­­­­­ Natural Resources and Capital:  Natural Capital: accumulated wealth of Earth  Natural Resource: matter & energy sources needed for survival  Renewable resources can renew over short periods of time (i.e.  water, solar power, etc.)  Nonrenewable resources can/will deplete (i.e. coal, fossil fuels,  crude oil)  Nearly all renewable resources can become nonrenewable (if used  too quickly)  Degrading (making it unusable, i.e. water pollution,) and/or  depleting (running out)  “Big Six” Degradations & Depletions 1. Deforestation 2. Drought (not necessarily man­made issue) 3. Air Pollution (biggest source: manufacturing industry) 4. Soil Erosion (biggest source: livestock grazing, because no grass=no  soil) 5. Water Quality/Quantity 6. Mass Extinction  “Big Four” Human Activities w/Greatest Impact 1. Food Production/Consumption 2. Transportation 3. Home Energy Use 4. Resource Use (in general) *Science is a process*  Science is not a linear thing, it is a circular process  *Science: accumulated body of knowledge resulting from scientific  method  Scientific method: process Scientific Method: ***Four Assumptions: 1. What we perceive with our senses=objective reality 2. Objective reality functions according to basic, consistent  principles/laws (i.e. law of gravity, laws of physics, etc.) 3. We discover/understand natural laws via  observation/logic/experiments 4. All events occur due to causes, which in turn cause other events  (cause­­>effect.)*** ***List AND Describe for Exam*** Applications of Science:  Scientists look for broader impact  , not just knowledge  “So­what?” Why should people care?  Policy decisions and management practices: (i.e. purposeful forest  fires/deforestation to maintain balance in ecosystems)  Technology: Development to create energy­efficient cars Observation drives Scientific Method  Observation: “keystone” of science/discovery  Not all observations are accurate Manipulative experiments: strongest evidence  You change/manipulate variables individually  Bio, physics, chem, etc. Natural/Correlation tests: show complexity of world  Not as clear­cut  Environmental Science Hypothesis can be  rejected , or not rejected CANNOT be Proven because world is complex, and mistakes can be made Scientific method involves testing, retesting, and re­re­testing by peers, etc.  before a scientific journal can be published, etc. Steps of scientific method 1. Blah blah Why Controversies Exist in Science 1. It is difficult to test/understand complex phenomena 2. New observations arise continually (things change and can make  people question everything) 3. Different groups have different perspectives on issues 4. Those who profit from controversial things (industries, etc.)  downplay evidence and fight to discredit info (manufacturing  controversy) 5. Media and public give equal credibility to opposing views on issues  (media must air both sides of story, but often media biases this by  sharing opposing information at off­peak hours, etc.)


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