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by: zoebitsie Notetaker

Sustainability ENVS 170

zoebitsie Notetaker

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About this Document

Week 2 notes. Covers sustainable management and rules of ecosystems.
Intro Environmental Science
Monica Ramirez
Class Notes
sustainability, Environmental Studies, ecosystems
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by zoebitsie Notetaker on Friday September 23, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENVS 170 at University of Arizona taught by Monica Ramirez in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Intro Environmental Science in Science at University of Arizona.


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Date Created: 09/23/16
Sustainability Sustainability o Being sustainable involves: o The planet being able to support humans and other living organisms in the future o Developing long-term solutions o Keeping ecosystems running at full capacity o Leaving future generations with plenty of resources o Natural capital: the accumulated wealth of the Earth o If our population growth rate continues at the current rate or increases at all, we will only create more and more environmental problems o Humans are consuming natural resources at an alarming rate, mostly for personal benefit Ecological Footprints o Differs from country to country o U.S. has largest ecological footprint o Developing<developed The 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment o Most comprehensive scientific evaluation of the worlds current ecosystem conditions o Findings: o Humans have had enormous influence on the environment, made major change o Change to the environment has benefited humans and costed the planet Sustainable Solutions o Sustainable development: using resources wisely so that they satisfy current needs but do not compromise availability in the future o Solutions include: o Recycling o Pollution reduction o Utilizing more renewable energy sources o Protecting species and their natural habitats o Sustainable solutions must meet these goals: o Environmental o Economic o Social Sustainable Management o Piece thinking: focuses on individual parts of a system, gives little attention to their association w other parts o Systems thinking: recognizes the connections among pieces of a larger integrated system o Sustainable management does not require that we know every little piece and process that occurs within the environment but it does require systems thinking in order to make sustainable decisions/actions Ecosystems o Ecosystem: an integrated system of living and nonliving parts and processes o Energy and matter are constantly flowing in and out o Cycle of ecosystems providing services that impact human well-being and human actions/decisions affecting how efficiently the ecosystem can provide services Ecosystem Rules 1. Something cannot be created from nothing, everything goes somewhere 2. Ecosystems are open, matter and energy flow in and out 3. Ecosystems are self-regulating through feedback 4. Change is inevitable and essential Examples of Ecosystems and the Services They Provide o Mountain/Polar: food, fresh water, climate regulation, aesthetic value, spiritual value o Forest/Woodlands: timber, flood regulation, medicines, recreation o Drylands: food, cultural heritage, recreation and ecotourism o Cultivated: dyes, fresh water, biofuels, nutrient cycling o Urban: air quality regulation, water regulation, education o Coastal: food, fiber, fuel, storm and wave protection


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