Hunter-Gatherers

neighgreasycornerBiotechnology

Dec 14, 2012 (4 years and 11 months ago)

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Introduction to Environmental
Science

What is Environmental Science?



Environmental Science is a relatively new field of
science that examines the impact of humans on the
environment.


Give some examples of how humans can impact their
environment.


Is all impact bad?


Do you think Environmental Science’s goal is to eliminate or
minimize human impact on the environment?



Environmental Science is different than

Ecology, the study of how living things

interact with each other and with their e

e
nvironment



Goals


One of the primary goals of environmental science
is to solve environmental problems. In order to do
this, scientists focus on:



How we use our natural resources



How our actions change our environment



In order to do this, information is gathered from a
variety of sources

Fields of Study that Contribute to
Environmental Science


Biology


Study of Living Organisms


Zoology


Animals


Botany


Plants


Microbiology


Microorganisms


Ecology


interactions of organisms and environment



Earth Science


Study of Earth’s Living and Non
-
Living systems, and the Earth as a Whole


Geology


Earth’s surface, interior processes, history


Paleontology


Fossils and ancient life


Climatology


Atmosphere and climate


Hydrology


Water resources


Fields of study


Cont’d


Physics


Study of Matter and Energy


Engineering


Application of physics in structures, machines,
and products



Chemistry


Study of chemicals and how they
interact


Biochemistry


Chemistry of living things


Geochemistry


Chemistry of materials like rocks, soil, water


Fields of Study


Cont’d



Social
Sciences


Study of Human
Populations


Geography


relationship between populations and Earth’s
features


Anthropology


interactions of biological, cultural,
geographical and historical aspects of humankinds


Sociology


human population dynamics


Discussion Point



Discuss with your partner the two main types of
interactions studied by environmental scientists.



Why is it necessary to involve numerous fields of
study in the study of environmental science?

Current Environmental Issues


Climate change



Global warming



Global dimming



Fossil fuels



Sea level rise



Greenhouse gas



Ocean acidification



Shutdown of
thermohaline

circulation



Environmental impact of the coal industry



Urban Heat Islands


Conservation



Species extinction



Pollinator decline



Coral bleaching



Holocene extinction



Invasive
species



Poaching



Endangered species


Energy



Energy conservation



Renewable energy



Efficient energy use



Renewable energy commercialization



Environmental impact
of the coal industry



Environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing


Environmental degradation



Eutrophication



Habitat destruction



Invasive species


Environmental health



Air quality



Asthma



Environmental impact of the coal industry



Electromagnetic fields



Electromagnetic
radiation and health



Indoor air quality



Lead poisoning



Sick Building Syndrome



Environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing


Genetic engineering



Genetic pollution



Genetically modified food controversies


Intensive farming



Overgrazing



Irrigation



Monoculture



Environmental effects of meat production



Slash and burn



Pesticide
drift



Plasticulture


Land degradation



Land pollution



Desertification


Soil



Soil conservation



Soil erosion



Soil contamination



Soil
salination
Land

use



Urban sprawl



Habitat fragmentation



Habitat
destruction


Nanotechnology



Nanotoxicology



Nanopollution


Nuclear issues



Nuclear fallout



Nuclear meltdown



Nuclear power



Nuclear weapons



Nuclear and radiation accidents



Nuclear
safety



High
-
level radioactive waste management


Overpopulation



Burial



Water crisis



Overpopulation in companion animals



Tragedy of the commons



Gender Imbalance in
Developing Countries



Sub
-
replacement fertility levels in developed countries


Ozone depletion



CFC



Biological effects of UV exposure


Pollution



Environmental impact of the coal industry



Nonpoint source pollution



Point source pollution



Light pollution



Noise
pollution



Visual pollution


Water pollution



Environmental impact of the coal industry



Acid rain



Eutrophication



Marine pollution



Ocean dumping



Oil
spills



Thermal pollution



Urban runoff



Water crisis



Marine debris



Microplastics



Ocean acidification



Ship
pollution



Wastewater



Fish kill



Algal bloom



Mercury in fish



Environmental impact of hydraulic
fracturing
Air

pollution



Environmental impact of the coal industry



Smog



Tropospheric ozone



Indoor air quality



Volatile organic compound



Atmospheric
particulate matter


Environmental impact of hydraulic
fracturing
Reservoirs



Environmental impacts of reservoirs


Resource depletion



Exploitation of natural resources



Overdrafting


Consumerism



Consumer capitalism



Planned obsolescence



Over
-
consumption
Fishing



Blast fishing



Bottom trawling



Cyanide
fishing



Ghost nets



Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing



Overfishing



Shark finning



Whaling
Logging



Clearcutting



Deforestation



Illegal
logging
Mining



Acid mine drainage



Environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing



Mountaintop
removal mining



Slurry
impoundments
Toxins



Chlorofluorocarbons



DDT



Endocrine disruptors



Dioxin



Toxic heavy
metals



Environmental impact of the coal industry



Herbicides



Pesticides



Toxic
waste



PCB



Bioaccumulation



Biomagnification

Environmental

impact of hydraulic fracturing


Waste



Electronic waste



Litter



Waste disposal incidents



Marine debris



Medical waste



Landfill



Leachate



Environmental impact
of the coal industry



Incineration



Great Pacific Garbage Patch



Exporting of hazardous waste


Environmental impact of hydraulic
fracturing




Historical Factors in Environmental Science


It is impossible for humans to inhabit the Earth
without them impacting the environment.



Some historical factors:


Hunter
-
Gatherers
: People who get their food by hunting
wild animals, scavenging for animal remains, or gathering
plants and seeds


often they move from place to place as
different types of food become available in different places


How can this affect the environment?


Historical Factors, Cont’d


Agricultural
Revolution



Marked a shift from
hunting/gathering to
farming


Largely caused by
hunter/gatherers collecting
seeds and growing them, as
well as domesticating
animals.


These resources were used
for food, shelter, clothing,
transportation



What environmental impact
can this have?



Historical Factors, Cont’d


Industrial Revolution



Marked a change from using power produced by humans or
animals or moving water, to using power produced by fossil
fuels



What are the benefits of this shift?



What environmental impacts might

this have caused?


Main Environmental Concerns



Population growth is the source of many
environmental problems. The Earth’s population
has grown much faster since the Agricultural and
Industrial Revolutions than it had before. This
results in a higher demand for food, which results in
a higher production of waste, more pollution from
fossil fuels and pesticides

Main Concerns, Cont’d


Resource Depletion


When resources are used at a
rate quicker than they can be replaced, they are said
to be non
-
renewable.



Depletion occurs when a large fraction of

the resource has been used up.


Once depletion occurs, it can take

millions of years to replenish


This occurs mostly with minerals and

fossil fuels

Main Concerns, Cont’d



Pollution


Occurs as wastes build up faster than
they can be disposed of


Human activities produce wastes: Burning of fossil fuels
pollutes the air, pesticide use pollutes the water


Biodegradable pollutants can be broken down by natural
processes (sewage). Non
-
degradable pollutants do not break
down.




Main Concerns, Cont’d



Loss of Biodiversity


Loss of species to extinction


While this is a normal process, it is a problem because we
depend on other species for food, clothing, etc.





In an essay written by ecologist Garret Hardin, it was
argued that resources shared by a community (large
or small) are likely to be overused and depleted
because each individual is only concerned with
himself. A community resource must have
somebody to oversee it.

Tragedy of the Commons


Tragedy of the Commons


For example, a parcel of land belonged to a village,
and they could graze as many animals as they liked.
Eventually, there was no grass left for any animals to
graze. However, if they had their own land, they
were careful not to graze too many animals at once,
and to move them to other areas periodically.


Tragedy of the Commons


Move to your lab area



Each one of you represents the head of a family that is starving.


In
order for your family to survive, you must catch enough fish for them
to eat.


The only food source is a small local lake which can hold up to
16 fish
.

Once
a year you will get a chance to fish and each time you
fish you may take 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 fish from the lake.


It is your choice
how many fish you take, however, if you only take one fish, your
family will starve.


If you take more than 2 fish, you can sell them for
a profit.


The fish in your lake will reproduce once a year.


Keep the
fish that you “catch” in front of you. (You will be able to eat them
later
)



You cannot speak to each other while fishing




Homework Assignment


Read “Lake Washington” on p. 12
-
13



Summarize as follows:


A. What was the environmental issue and what was its cause?


B. Who were the people and organizations involved in helping
to solve it, and what role did each play?


C. What was the solution?


D. Was the solution successful?


E. Can you think of another way to solve it, or how it could
have been prevented?