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by: Natasha Weber


Natasha Weber
Eastern Washington University
GPA 3.93

Jeffrey Corkill

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Jeffrey Corkill
Class Notes
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Natasha Weber on Sunday October 11, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to ENVS 100 at Eastern Washington University taught by Jeffrey Corkill in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 45 views. For similar materials see /class/221491/envs-100-eastern-washington-university in Environmental Science at Eastern Washington University.

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Date Created: 10/11/15
ENV S 100 Introduction to Environmental Science Course Themes amp Topics Environmental Science attempts to understand a how nature or natural processes 39works39 b how humans affect nature c how nature affects humans ie how all things in nature are interconnected Environmental science is based on data and the use the 39scientific method39 to analyse and study the environment All aspects and components of nature exist as part of cycles ie the carbon nitrogen phosphorus sulfur amp water cycles food webs that allow for recycling The most important chemical elements in life are NCHOPS as well as sodium Na potassium K calcium Ca magnesium Mg and iron Fe and a few more minor ones Human activities have interfered with all these cycles in both positive and negative ways The environment consist of the abiotic and biotic aspects of the world about us and consists of the 4 spheres39 ie 3 abiotic spheres the atmosphere air lithosphere rocks soils buildings and hydrosphere water as vapor liquid and solid and the biosphere all living organisms Water has unique properties that allows it to be the only compound that can act as solvent and reactant for life on Earth It can be at temperatures found on this planet liquid solid and gas This allows for transportation of water from the ice and oceans to the land via clouds and precipitation In addition ice oats in water It can dissolve many compounds especially those found in living cells Soil is the narrow fragile band on the land part of the Earth right at the interface of the litho atmo and hydrospheres that supports all land based life forms Ecosystems macro mini and micro represent the mixture of these 4 spheres and are affected strongly by climate Climate is determined by a the amount of sun ie range of temperatures thus latitude b the amount and frequency of water amp c the altitude The type of living species in food webs in a specific ecosystem is determined by a the quality and quantity of the abiota and b the climate Biodiversity is crucial to a viable sustainable ecosystem Natural Resources can be either renewable or nonrenewable over a long time scale Nonbiodegradable manmade material will accumulate in the environment Excess human population due to exponential growth rapidover consumption of nonrenewable resources and global warmingclimate change are three of the major problems that human societies face in the future intermediate and long term Energy 1 Interconvertibility of different types energy NG but 2 and in all changes new USEFUL NG is always accompanied by the formation of USELESS NG usually lost as heat All living species depend directly or indirectly on harnessing solar radiation in photosynthesis light to chemical NG changes Successful species must be capable of extracting NG from their environment and using this new NG solar or chemical efficiently Ecology is the study of different ecosystems how the communities extract energy and mass from the environment recall the 4 spheres and understanding the interrelationships of the members of the community producers consumers detritus feeders and decomposers The actual number and type of living species will be determined by whether the conditions are optimal and the limiting factors water NG biomass temperature salinity pH availability of minerals iespecially phosphate and nitrate etc for organism s success The 10 rule only 10 ofthe NG received by an organism can be passed on up the food chain ie pyramid arrangement so that the number amp ef ciency of the producers determined the variety of the ecosystem and N availability as most important factor The most productive ecosystems are tropical rain forests amp swampsmarshesestuaries and lowest are deserts and open ocean The surface temperature of the Earth is determined by the balance between incoming solar radiant ultraviolet UV and visible energy and outgoing radiation to space as infra red IR radiant energy and is controlled mainly by the oceans and atmosphere The production of excess chemicals many nonbiodegradable since the industrial revolution 1840s to present at sites on Earth that they did not formerly exist leads to air water and land pollution that interfere with the natural cycles Environmental ethics all people have a right to reasonable access to food fresh water and air clothing shelter waste disposal etc There is a divide in environmental attitudes and practices between the people in developed and developing countries for socioeconomical reasons Solutions to environmental problems must be coupled to improvements in social justice ie human rights to clean air water adequate shelter food clothing waste management 39sanitation and political freedom so as to improve economics well being for all people on Earth not just the rich Sustainability leave no trace39 or leave intact for future generations requires taking actions now to prevent further environmental degradation so as to safeguard the world for future generations Goals of environmental studies are to make people aware of the causes consequences and suggest possible solutions to environmental problems in both developed and developing countries as well as realising that there is no place called 39AWAY Ethics aka 39do no harm involves moral obligations to I maintain and preserve environment for future generationsustainable choices 2 avoid environmental racismnationalism ie don t pollute other peoples39 environment both within and between countries 3 maintain biodiversity Cultural attitudes and traditional values have clashed with economic development in the solution of many environmental problems


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