Sci256 Week1


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Sci256 Week1

  1. 1. <ul><li>Environmental Science </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinary study of our relationship with other organisms and the abiotic environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The environmental movement/worldviews, stewardship, sustainability, and economics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scientific Method </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An approach to establishing cause and effect relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experimental design includes test and control groups and examines one variable at a time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Natural Ecosystems </li></ul><ul><li>Major ecosystems of the world/food chains/matter cycling </li></ul><ul><li>Natural succession/imbalances </li></ul><ul><li>Population Dynamics </li></ul><ul><li>Population growth </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental resistance/carrying capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Energy: fossil fuels and alternatives </li></ul><ul><li>Water, soil, air, minerals </li></ul><ul><li>Pollution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Atmospheric changes: global warming, ozone depletion, acid rain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water pollution: sewage, agricultural practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solid and hazardous waste disposal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pesticides: uses, problems, and alternatives </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Human Health effects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Persistence, Bioaccumulation, and Biological amplification of toxic substances </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Association of toxicants with developmental abnormalities and cancer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Resource Management </li></ul><ul><li>Conservation/legislation/treaties </li></ul><ul><li>Biodiversity </li></ul><ul><li>Ecosystem services </li></ul><ul><li>Threats to biodiversity </li></ul><ul><li>Conservation/preservation </li></ul>SCI256 Course Overview: Week 1
  2. 2. Science <ul><li>Seeks to understand the world reducing its complexity into natural laws </li></ul><ul><li>Those laws enable scientists to make predictions , solve problems , and provide new insights </li></ul><ul><li>Science is fluid in that there are no absolute truths </li></ul><ul><li>Experiments must be repeatable for them to be valid </li></ul>
  3. 3. Environmental Science <ul><li>The Process of Science aka the Scientific Method </li></ul>Problem recognition or question Make predictions Hypothesis supported? Educated guess Test and Control groups Test one variable at a time Peer review Reproduce results Identify gap in knowledge to be filled Most wrong Hypothesis development Experimentation Analysis Share knowledge YES NO Other scientists New knowledge
  4. 4. Key points: The Scientific Method <ul><li>Validity of Design </li></ul><ul><li>Test and untreated control groups </li></ul><ul><li>Repetition of experiment </li></ul><ul><li>Variables </li></ul><ul><li>Study one at a time </li></ul><ul><li>Serendipity </li></ul><ul><li>Look for ‘A’ and discover ‘B’ instead </li></ul><ul><li>Very common </li></ul><ul><li>Very significant </li></ul><ul><li>Theories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Summation of successful Hypotheses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Degree of certainty </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Controls and Variables in Experimental Design Variable : <ul><li>Control group : </li></ul><ul><li>examined variable is left unaltered </li></ul><ul><li>factors influencing processes being examined. </li></ul><ul><li>hypothesis examines ONE variable, holding others constant. This is the experimental group. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>How does the view of a theory differ between scientists and the public? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Inductive and Deductive Reasoning <ul><li>Inductive reasoning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>examines a series of specific facts for commonalities that can be concluded. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses data; is error prone </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>Fact: an ant has six legs </li></ul><ul><li>Fact: a wasp has six legs </li></ul><ul><li>Fact: a beetle has six legs </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion: all insects have six legs </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Deductive reasoning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>examines for relationships among data moving from generalities to specifics . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aids in experimental design to test a hypothesis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>General rule: all insects have six legs </li></ul><ul><li>Specific example: a grasshopper is an insect </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore: a grasshopper has six legs </li></ul>
  9. 9. Discussion Topic # 1 <ul><li>How do you informally use the steps to the scientific method in your daily life? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the benefits of using? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the dangers of not using? </li></ul><ul><li>What is “junk science”? </li></ul><ul><li>When is the scientific method inappropriate? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Using the Scientific Method <ul><li>Question -Which has a greater effect on the number of times the paperclip pendulum swings: the number of paperclips or the length of the string? </li></ul><ul><li>Materials – String, Paper Clips </li></ul><ul><li>Work in your learning groups to determine an answer to this question by using the scientific method. Remember to change only one variable at a time. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Write up the lab <ul><li>Report should contain the following: </li></ul><ul><li>--Question, hypothesis, Materials </li></ul><ul><li>--Description of how you designed your experiment </li></ul><ul><li>--Data tables or graphs </li></ul><ul><li>-- Conclusions </li></ul>
  12. 12. Environmental Science <ul><li>Interdisciplinary study of the interconnected problems associated with the environment. At least 15 disciplines including </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Biology </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Demography </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Natural resource management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Agriculture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Politics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Heavily leans upon ecology . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The study of organisms and their environment </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Chapter 1 Introducing Environmental Science and Sustainability
  14. 14. <ul><li>What species has the greatest impact on our environment? </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>The Human Species! </li></ul><ul><li>http://www. youtube .com/watch?v=CCk508EaT6w </li></ul>
  16. 16. Human Population <ul><li>1960.............................3 billion </li></ul><ul><li>1975.............................4 billion </li></ul><ul><li>1987.............................5 billion </li></ul><ul><li>1999.............................6 billion </li></ul><ul><li>2007..........................6.6 billion </li></ul><ul><li>Source world -factbook/print/xx.html </li></ul>
  17. 17. Population grows exponentially
  18. 18. Source:
  19. 19. Source:
  20. 20. The Haves and the Have Nots <ul><li>80% of the world’s countries are considered moderately or less developed and are economically disadvantaged </li></ul><ul><li>The other 20% are considered highly developed and are wealthy </li></ul>
  21. 21. Less Developed Countries (LDC) <ul><li>Poverty : </li></ul><ul><li>per capita income of less than $1 a day </li></ul><ul><li>Economy is agriculturally based – increase in population </li></ul><ul><li>1.2 billion worldwide currently live at this level. This leads to... </li></ul>Inadequate health care Unsanitary water Poor nutrition Lower life expectancy
  22. 22. Highly Developed Countries (HDC) <ul><li>Greater consumption of resources per capita than LDCs </li></ul><ul><li>Demand for resources much larger than needed for survival </li></ul>
  23. 23. Population, Resources, and the Environment <ul><li>The contrast between less developed and highly developed countries is great: </li></ul>Consumption
  24. 24. Population, Resources, and the Environment <ul><li>Types of resources: </li></ul>Renewable, if managed in a sustainable way Rapid population growth leads to exploitation Not replenished on human time scale
  25. 25. Population, Resources, and the Environment <ul><li>People </li></ul><ul><li>• Excess # of people cause environmental damage </li></ul><ul><li>This occurs in LDCs </li></ul><ul><li>Consumption </li></ul><ul><li>• Pollution disproportional </li></ul><ul><li>• Natural resources over-consumed </li></ul><ul><li>-materials and energy </li></ul><ul><li>This occurs in HDCs – they make up only 20% but they consume over 50% of the resources </li></ul>Two types of overpopulation:
  26. 26. <ul><li>HDC are responsible for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>86% of aluminum used </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>76% of timber harvested </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>68% of energy produced </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>61% of meat eaten </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>42% of fresh water consumed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>75% of the world’s pollution and trash </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Ecological Footprint Amount of productive land and water needed to sustain a person. One person in developing world needs 1 hectare. 1 hectare = ~2.5 acres
  28. 28. Review <ul><li>Distinguish between people overpopulation and consumption overpopulation </li></ul><ul><li>Why is people overpopulation more of an issue in LDCs while consumption overpopulation is more of an issue in HDCs </li></ul>
  29. 29. Environmental Sustainability <ul><li>Sustainability: </li></ul><ul><li>Definition: </li></ul><ul><li>The ability to meet humanity’s current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>Carrying Capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Definition </li></ul><ul><li>The theoretical maximum number of individuals an environment can support </li></ul>
  31. 31. Question <ul><li>What are some factors that work against sustainability and bring us closer to Earth’s carrying capacity? </li></ul>
  32. 32. Factors working against sustainability <ul><li>Earth’s resources are finite </li></ul><ul><li>We are using renewable resources faster than they can be naturally replenished </li></ul><ul><li>We are polluting the environment to the point where the environment cannot absorb it </li></ul><ul><li>Our population keeps increasing </li></ul>
  33. 33. Challenges to Sustainability <ul><ul><li>• Environmental problems are hard to study due to limited knowledge of </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>how the environment works </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>how human choices affect the environment </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Meeting human needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Protecting the environment for the long-term </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Competing interests [Name them] </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Tragedy of the Commons <ul><li>Essay written by Garrett Harding in 1968 </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental problems are a result of struggle between individual welfare (short term) and societal welfare (long term) and sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Global Commons- parts of the environment that are available to everyone but which no single individual has responsibility </li></ul>Garrett Hardin
  35. 35. Question <ul><li>What are some resources that are a part of the Global Commons? </li></ul>
  36. 36. Solution <ul><li>International Stewardship </li></ul><ul><li>Stewardship is the concept of responsibly managing all of our resources for the benefit of present and future generations of people, plants, and animals. </li></ul>
  37. 37. Review <ul><li>Define environmental sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>What can we do to be good stewards of the environment? </li></ul>
  38. 38. Five Steps for Addressing Environmental Problems (ideal situation) Scientific Assessment Scientific Method Formulation of Models Probability of Harm – do nothing or intervene? Remediation options Explain Problem Present Alternatives Report Costs Elected officials look at the Scientific, Economic, Political and Social considerations of a particular Course of action Post-implementation follow-up. Risk Analysis Public education and involvement Political action Evaluation
  39. 39. Case in Point: Lake Washington <ul><li>Increased population = increased sewage dumped into lake </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nutrients from sewage was supporting growth of cyanobacteria </li></ul></ul>Scientific Assessment
  40. 40. Case in Point: Lake Washington <ul><li>Eutrophication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nutrient enrichment of freshwater lakes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Filamentous photosynthetic bacteria growth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Light : sun </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Carbon : dissolved CO 2 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nutrients : N and P from sewage. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other bacteria decompose cyanobacteria </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>O 2 depletion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fish kill. </li></ul></ul>
  41. 41. Case in Point: Lake Washington <ul><ul><li>Further treat sewage to decrease nutrients? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Divert into Puget Sound? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increased public awareness </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>Risk Analysis Public education and involvement Political action
  42. 42. Case in Point: Lake Washington The lake is now back to normal however with the population in the area still growing, the service must be expanded Evaluation
  43. 43. Environmental Laws, Economics, and Ethics Chapter 2
  44. 44. Learning Team Activity Week 1 -Chapter 2- <ul><li>Learning Team 1 </li></ul><ul><li>How has the northern spotted owl come to symbolize the conflict between the economy and the environment? </li></ul><ul><li>Describe the impact of environmental incidents in Central and Eastern Europe. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Team 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Compare and contrast biocentric preservation and utilitarian conservation. </li></ul><ul><li>Describe contributions of 3 key individuals to the US environmental movement. </li></ul><ul><li>Describe the impact of 2 specific pieces of national environmental legislation. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Team 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Define environmental worldviews. </li></ul><ul><li>Compare the Western and Deep Ecology worldviews. </li></ul><ul><li>What is your worldview? </li></ul><ul><li>Additional Learning Teams </li></ul><ul><li>Refer to “Discussion Topics for Week 1” slide; one topic per Team </li></ul>
  45. 45. Environmental History of U.S. 1600 1700 1800 1900 Dominated by the frontier attitude – by 1900, an area the size of Europe had been deforested Conquer Exploit
  46. 46. Environmental History of U.S. 1750 1800 1900 Some conservationists were influential in raising environmental concerns later in this period. Artist: generated interest in wildlife through his painting of birds Writer: wrote Man and Nature, man as an agent of environmental change Writer: wrote Walden, man in harmony with natural world, simplicity John James Audubon Henry David Thoreau George Perkins Marsh
  47. 47. Environmental History of U.S. 1850 1900 1950 Several presidents, particularly Theodore Roosevelt , used this Act to establish 43 million acres of forest reserves. In 1907 he designated 21 new national parks as a response to congressional opposition General Revision Act (1891) 1 st National Park: Yellowstone (1872) Yosemite and Sequoia (1890) National Parks American Forestry Association formed(1875)
  48. 48. Environmental History of U.S. 1850 1900 1950 Different Worldviews John Muir (founded the Sierra Club) • Biocentric Preservationist -protect nature (pristine state) -respect all life forms Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot (1 st head of Forest Service) • Utilitarian Conservationist -viewed forests in terms of their usefulness to people
  49. 49. Environmental History of U.S. 1900 1950 2000 Aldo Leopold A Sand County Almanac published posthumously Man’s relationship with nature and need to conserve Franklin Roosevelt Civilian Conservation Corps Soil Conservation Service in response to The American Dust Bowl National Park Service Founded (1916) in response to Hetch Hetchy
  50. 50. Environmental History of U.S. 1900 1950 2000 Rachel Carson published Silent Spring Pesticide DDT. Heralded beginning of the environmental movement.
  51. 51. Environmental History of U.S. 1900 1950 2000 Paul Ehrlich published The Population Bomb (1968) -Raised awareness of the environmental damage caused by humans -3.5 billion people, 1968 Wilderness Act of 1964, spurred on by Wallace Stegner and signed by President Johnson (1964) – set aside land that cannot be trampled on by humans - no roads, permanent structures etc. First Earth Day (1970) -widespread environmental movement begins -Global warming -Alternative energy Environmental Protection agency is formed (1970)
  52. 52. Since The First Earth Day...
  53. 53. Review <ul><li>In your opinion, what was the most important event to the environmental movement? </li></ul>
  54. 54. U.S. Environmental Legislation <ul><li>National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)– </li></ul><ul><li>dictates ALL federally proposed actions include an environmental impact statement . </li></ul><ul><li>• Nature of proposal and need for it </li></ul><ul><li>• Environmental impacts both short and long term </li></ul><ul><li>• Alternatives to proposal that will mitigate adverse effects. </li></ul><ul><li>Public must be informed and have access to the statement </li></ul>
  55. 55. U.S. Environmental Legislation <ul><li>Addressing New Environmental Problems with Government Policies </li></ul>Problem identified Regulations implemented / enforced by states (usually) OMB (office of Mgmt and Budget) reviews / approves funding US congressperson drafts legislation Legislation passed, signed by president Full-cost accounting evaluation Pros and cons of various alternatives EPA develops regulations – allowable levels of pollution Public comments
  56. 56. U.S. Environmental Legislation <ul><li>~80 environmental laws passed (Table 2.1) </li></ul><ul><li>Since 1970: </li></ul><ul><li>National Parks (n = 8) </li></ul><ul><li>National Wilderness Preservation System </li></ul><ul><li>Soil erosion reduced substantially </li></ul><ul><li>Endangered species fairing better </li></ul><ul><li>Emissions reduced for many pollutants </li></ul><ul><li>Citizen law suits against violators </li></ul><ul><li>Laws not perfect (loopholes) ex- Clean Air Act 1977 and small smokestacks versus tall smokestacks </li></ul>
  57. 57. Discussion Topic #2 Local Environmental Issues <ul><li>What is an environmental issue in your local area that has been supported by a local conservation group? </li></ul><ul><li>How have environmental regulations implemented by local politicians affected your daily life? Give an example. </li></ul><ul><li>What has been the media coverage of a local environmental issue? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there any actions that you know about from the news or in your community that have needed the inclusion of an environmental impact statement? </li></ul><ul><li>What are some of the federally funded environmental management projects completed in your local area? </li></ul>
  58. 58. Economics and the Environment <ul><li>Economics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Study of how we use limited resources in an attempt to satisfy unlimited wants . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Price determined by supply and demand </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Economists try to predict consequences of economic actions. </li></ul></ul>
  59. 59. Economics and the Environment Economies depend on the natural environment • Sources for raw materials • Sinks to receive waste Sources + Sinks = Natural Capitol Economic future threatened by resource degradation and pollution • Overuse of resources • Overuse of Sinks Source Raw Materials Economy Production Consumption Products Money Sinks Waste
  60. 60. <ul><li>Depletion of natural capitol is not a variable when figuring the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or the Net Domestic Product (NDP) </li></ul><ul><li>Some LDCs are overexploiting their natural capitol in an effort to raise their GDP as quickly as possible </li></ul>
  61. 61. <ul><li>External cost – when consumption or production of a product has a harmful effect on people other than the buyer or seller </li></ul><ul><li>External costs are not figured into the cost of the product </li></ul><ul><li>The cost of the pollution doesn’t factor into the consumer’s decision to buy the product </li></ul>
  62. 62. How much pollution is acceptable? <ul><li>There needs to be a balance between environmental quality and good and services </li></ul><ul><li>Marginal cost of pollution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Added cost to society for additional unit of pollution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assess risks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add up harm done to society by each additional unit of pollution </li></ul></ul>
  63. 63. Economics and the Environment <ul><li>Marginal cost of pollution </li></ul>At low level of pollution, environment absorbs damage. As level of pollution rises, social costs increase sharply.
  64. 64. Economics and the Environment <ul><li>Marginal cost of pollution abatement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost for reducing pollution by 1 unit. </li></ul></ul>
  65. 65. Economics and the Environment <ul><li>Marginal cost of pollution abatement </li></ul>As more pollution is eliminated from environment, cost of removing additional pollution increases.
  66. 66. Economics and the Environment <ul><li>Cost-Benefit Analysis </li></ul>Purpose: determine optimal level of pollution (balanced costs)
  67. 67. Economics and the Environment <ul><li>Cost-Benefit Analysis </li></ul>Not economically efficient to reduce pollution. Can increase amount of permissible pollution. Environmental harm exceeds cost of cleanup. Is economically efficient to reduce pollution.
  68. 68. Economics and the Environment <ul><li>Common problems with economic analyses: </li></ul><ul><li>(1) Things not considered when figuring cost </li></ul><ul><ul><li>• reduction in quality of life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• natural beauty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• extinction of species </li></ul></ul>(2) Unexpected catastrophic environmental damage not considered.
  69. 69. Economic strategies for regulating pollution: <ul><li>Types of Command and control regulations imposed by the government </li></ul><ul><ul><li>• Qualitative : mandate type of equipment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Quantitative : 60% reduction target </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2) Market driven, incentive-based </li></ul><ul><li>•   Emission charge: a tax on polluters as an incentive to conserve </li></ul><ul><li>• Emission reduction credits (ERCs): </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gov. sets quotas on pollution & issues marketable ERCs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ERCs permit emission of specified amount of a pollutant </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If quota exceeded, must purchase additional ERCs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If under quota, may sell excess ERCs </li></ul></ul></ul>
  70. 70. Case-in-Point: Environmental Problems in Central and Eastern Europe <ul><li>The result of rapid expansion of industrialization without regard to the environment in a communist society </li></ul>Coal mine in Ukraine: contaminated runoff from waste piles Chemical waste covering the Mius river
  71. 71. Review <ul><li>Why is the GDP and NDP insufficient in determining the true “cost” of a product? </li></ul><ul><li>How is the optimum amount of pollution determined? </li></ul>
  72. 72. Environmental Ethics, Values, and Worldviews <ul><li>Environmental Ethics : </li></ul><ul><li>List your moral values concerning the stewardship of natural resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Where would you place yourself along this spectrum of worldviews? </li></ul>Deep Ecology Connectedness to the natural world Western human centered
  73. 73. Preparation by Students for Week 2: <ul><li>Individual </li></ul><ul><li>Read chapters 3-10, and 23 in Environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare for quiz (material from week 1). </li></ul><ul><li>Ecosystem List </li></ul><ul><li>Ecosystem succession paper. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Team </li></ul><ul><li>Lifestyle and Sustainability Project • Teams will select a topic during their first meeting. • Prepare a one paragraph description due week 2. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>• Instructor approval of topic in week 2. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Critical Essay Discussion • Week 1 class time: EnviroNews topics to be assigned </li></ul><ul><li>• Due Week 2: Paper and informal presentation of EnviroNews </li></ul><ul><li> topic, as described in Syllabus </li></ul><ul><li>(3) Submit learning team log. </li></ul><ul><li>(4) Submit learning team charter. </li></ul>