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Understanding Our Environment


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  • 1. Understanding Our Environment Ecology I Mr. Nettles
  • 2. Class Motto
    • Discipline fuels character!
    • Character builds hope!
    • Hope assures your future!
  • 3. Agenda- Monday, January 23, 2012
    • Warm Up
    • “ Understanding Our Environment”
    • Wrap Up (LIA)
    • A-Plus
  • 4. Today’s Objectives
    • Define environmental science, ecology, agriculture, natural resource, pollution, and biodiversity
    • Compare ecology and environmental science.
    • List the five major fields of study that contribute to environmental science.
    • Describe the major environmental effects of hunter-gatherers, the agricultural revolution, and the Industrial Revolution.
    • Classify environmental problems into three major categories.
  • 5. Warm Up (Jan. 23)
    • How do you define the term environment ?
    • Are humans part of the environment ?
    • How can science help us understand and solve environmental problems ?
  • 6. What is Environmental Science?
    • Environmental Science = the study of how humans interact with the environment
    • The environment includes the natural world, the complex web of relationships between living things, and everything produced by humans .
  • 7. The Goals of Environmental Science
    • A major goal of environmental science is to understand and solve environmental problems.
    • To accomplish this goal, environmental scientists study two main types of interactions between humans and their environmen t:
      • The use of natural resources.
      • How our actions change our environment.
  • 8. Key Question
    • How do ecology and environmental science differ?
      • Remember that ecology is the study of the relationships that living organisms have with each other and their natural environment.
    • Answer : Ecology involves the study of ALL living things interacting with the environment whereas Environmental Science involves ONLY humans interacting with the environment.
  • 9. 5 Major Fields of Study that Contribute to Environmental Science
    • Biology - the study of living organisms
    • Earth Science – the study of Earth’s nonliving systems and the planet as a whole
    • Physics – the study of matter and energy
  • 10. 5 Major Fields of Study that Contribute to Environmental Science
    • Chemistry – the study of chemicals and their interactions.
    • Social Sciences – the study of human populations
  • 11. Stages of Our Environment Through Time
    • Hunter-Gatherers
      • Hunter-Gathers are the earliest group of people who obtained food by collecting plants, hunting, and scavenging the remains of animals.
      • They affected the environment by:
        • overhunting large game animals, which led to the extinction of animals such as the giant bison and saber-toothed tiger
        • spreading different plant species around the world by traveling from place to place
  • 12. Stages of Our Environment Through Time
    • The Agricultural Revolution
      • Agriculture – the practice of growing, breeding, and caring for plants and animals that are used for food, clothing, housing, and transportation.
      • Began in many different parts of the world 10,000 years ago
      • Started with hunter-gatherers planting seeds from plants they gathered and breeding animals from their local environments
      • Developing farmlands out of rainforests caused harm to the environment through soil loss, floods, and water shortage.
  • 13. Stages of Our Environment Through Time
    • The Industrial Revolution
      • Involved a shift from energy sources such as animal muscle and running water to fossil fuels such as coal and oil
      • Made producing food and goods much faster and less expensive
      • Improved the quality of life for people in ways such as the invention of the light bulb and improvement of medical care
      • Produced environmental problems such as pollution and habitat loss
  • 14. 3 Main Environmental Problems
    • Resource Depletion
      • Natural Resource – any natural material that is used by humans
        • Renewable Resources can be replace quickly by a natural process . Examples include water, air, soil, and trees .
        • Nonrenewable Resources are used at a much faster rate than they are made . Examples are minerals and fossil fuels.
      • Resources become depleted when a large amount of them become used up.
  • 15. 3 Main Environmental Problems
    • Pollution:
      • Pollution – an undesired change in air, water, or soil that badly affects the health, survival, or activities of living things.
        • Biodegradable Pollutants can be broken down by natural processes . An example is human sewage .
        • Non-degradable Pollutants are not broken down easily and can build up to dangerous toxic levels in the environment . Examples are lead and mercury.
      • Most pollution today is caused by human activity.
  • 16. 3 Main Environmental Problems
    • Loss of Biodiversity:
      • Biodiversity – the number and variety of species that live in an area.
      • Much of the Earth’s biodiversity has been loss due to extinction .
  • 17. Wrap Up (Jan. 23)
    • What was one fact that you Learned today?
    • What was the most Interesting thing about today’s class?
    • How can you Apply or use the information that you learned today?