In this exercise the student will define and expand the discussion of the “Key Questions” that are listed for each chapter in the Study Guide. You are required to define, discuss these key questions, and relate them to other important concepts and ideas in the study of environmental science and sustainable development in your own words. You must also add relevant personal opinions and make connections to sustainable practice in the Mojave Desert whenever possible and describe how/what/when technology is being used appropriately. One long or two short paragraphs (four to six sentences) with minimum 100 words
1-1 What are some of the scientific principles of sustainability?
Concept 1-1A Nature has sustained itself for billions of years by using solar energy, biodiversity, population control, and nutrient cycling –lessons from nature that we can apply to our lifestyles and economies
1-2 How are our ecological footprints affecting the earth?
Concept 1-2 As our ecological footprints grow, we are depleting and degrading more of the earth’s natural capital
1-1 What is an environmentally sustainable society?
Concept 1-1A Our lives and economies depend on energy from the sun (solar capital) and on natural resources and natural services (natural capital) provided by the earth.
Concept 1-1B Living sustainably means living off the earth’s natural income without depleting or degrading the natural capital that supplies it.
1-2 How can environmentally sustainable societies grow economically?
Concept 1-2 Societies can become more environmentally sustainable through economic development dedicated to improving the quality of life for everyone without degrading the earth’s life-support systems.
1-2 How are our ecological footprints affecting the earth?
Concept 1-2 As our ecological footprints grow, we are depleting and degrading more of the earth’s natural capital.
1-3 Why do we have environmental problems?
Concept 1-4 Major causes of environmental problems are population growth, wasteful and unsustainable resource use, poverty, exclusion of environmental costs of resource use from the market prices of goods and services, and attempts to manage nature with insufficient knowledge.
1-4 What are some of the scientific principles of sustainability?
Concept 1-1A Nature has sustained itself for billions of years by using solar energy, biodiversity, population control, and nutrient cycling –lessons from nature that we can apply to our lifestyles and economies.
2-1 What is science?
Concept 2-1 Scientists collect data and develop theories, models, and laws about how nature works
2-2 What is the matter and how can matter change?
Concept 2-2A Matter consists of elements and compounds, which are in turn made up of atoms, ions, or molecules.
Concept 2-2B When matter undergoes a physical or chemical change, no atoms are created or destroyed (the law of conservation of matter).
2-3 What is energy and how can it be changed?
Concept 2-3A When energy is converted from on form to another in a physical or chemical change, no energy is created or destroyed (first law of thermodynamics).
Concept 2-3B Whenever energy is changed from one form to another, we end up with lower quality or less usable energy than we started with (second law of thermodynamics).
2-4 What keeps us and other organisms alive?
Concept 2-4 Life is sustained by the flow of energy from the sun through the biosphere, the cycling of nutrients within the biosphere, and gravity.
2-5 What are the major components of an ecosystem?
Concept 2-5 Ecosystems contain nonliving (abiotic) and living (biotic) components, including producers, which produce the nutrients they need; consumers, which get their nutrients by consuming other organisms; and detritivores, which recycle nutrients back to producers.
2-6 What happens to energy in an ecosystem?
Concept 2-6 As energy flows through ecosystems in food chains and webs, the amount of chemical energy available to organisms at each succeeding feeding level decreases.
2-7 What happens to matter in an ecosystem?
Concept 2-7 Matter, in the form of nutrients, cycles within and among ecosystems and in the biosphere, and human activities are altering these chemical cycles.
3-1 What is biodiversity and why is it important?
Concept 3-1 The biodiversity found in the earth’s genes, species, ecosystems, and ecosystem processes is vital to sustaining life on earth.
3-2 Where do species come from?
Concept 3-2 According to the scientific theory of evolution through natural selection, populations evolve when genes mutate and give some individuals genetic traits that enhance their abilities to survive and to produce offspring with these traits.
3-3 How do speciation, extinction, and human activities affect biodiversity?
Concept 3-3 As environmental conditions change, the balance between formation of new species and extinction of existing species determines the earth’s biodiversity.
3-4 What are biomes and how have human activities affected them?
Concept 3-4A Differences in average annual precipitation and temperature lead to the formation of tropical, temperate, and cold deserts, grasslands, and forests and largely determine their locations.
Concept 3-4B In many areas, human activities are impairing ecological and economic services provided by the earth’s deserts, grasslands, forests, and mountains
3-5 What are aquatic life zones and how have human activities affected them?
Concept 3-5A Saltwater and freshwater aquatic life zones cover almost three-fourths of the earth’s surface with oceans dominating the planet.
Concept 3-5B The key factors determining biodiversity in aquatic systems are temperature, dissolved oxygen content, availability of food, and availability of light and nutrients necessary for photosynthesis.
Concept 3 – Human activities threaten aquatic biodiversity and disrupt ecological and economic services provided by saltwater and freshwater systems.
4-1 What roles do species play in ecosystems?
Concept 4-1A Each species plays a specific ecological role called its niche.
Concept 4-1B Any given species may play one or more of five key roles—native, nonnative, indicator, keystone, or foundation roles—in a particular ecosystem.
4-2 How do species interact?
Concept 4-2 Five types of species interactions—competition, predation, parasitism, mutualism, and commensalisms—affect the resource use and population sizes of the species in an ecosystem.
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