Chapter one

 What is one of the preeminent challenges of environmental science?

 Sustainable living

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CHAPTER 1, p. 2

What is environmental science?

The systematic study of our environment.

CHAPTER 1, p. 4; Glossary, p. 382 

What are the four criteria for environmental literacy suggested by the National Environmental Education Advancement Project in Wisconsin?

1. Awareness and appreciation of the natural and built environment

2. Knowledge of natural systems and ecological concepts

3. Understanding of current environmental issues

4. Ability to use analytical and problem-solving skills on environmental issues

CHAPTER 1, p. 4

 According to our textbook, what should be a central theme of human activity?


CHAPTER 1, p. 9

What is science?

A process for producing empirical knowledge by observing natural phenomena.

CHAPTER 1, p. 11

What is empiricism?

Careful observation of the world’s fundamental processes and natural laws to gain understanding.

CHAPTER 1, p. 11

What does the peer review process ensure?

Integrity, skepticism, and accuracy through good standards in study design, data collection, and interpretation of results.

CHAPTER 1, p. 11

What is inductive reasoning?

Reasoning from many observations to produce a general rule. We observe, for example, that birds appear and disappear as a year goes by. Through many repeated observations in different places, we can infer that the birds move from place to place. We can develop a general rule that birds migrate seasonally.

CHAPTER 1, p. 12; Glossary, p. 383

According to our textbook, what six steps does the normal sequence for the scientific method include?

1. Identify question

2. Form testable hypothesis

3. Collect data to test hypothesis

4. Interpret results

5. Report for peer review

6. Publish findings

CHAPTER 1, p. 12; Glossary, p. 386

Sound experimental design should…

1. have extremely strong controls

2. strictly define variables into measurable factors

2. avoid bias

CHAPTER 1, p. 15

What is a paradigm shift?

A dramatic change to scientific consensus occurring when new ideas emerge.

CHAPTER 1, p. 16

What is bias?

An inclination or preference preventing unprejudiced consideration of information. For example, being swayed by a peer group to vote for a specific political party.

CHAPTER 1, pp. 15-16

According to our textbook, what are some of the tools we can use to identify false messages?

1. Reproducibility

2. Peer review

3. Skepticism

4. Critical thinking

5. Dr. Sagan’s Baloney Detector

CHAPTER 1, pp. 11 & 17

What did astronomer Dr. Carl Sagan propose to evaluate scientific claims?

Questions for Baloney Detection


CHAPTER 1, p. 17