ENVS 201 Exam #1

Global Distillation Effect
transporting toxins through global processes like wind currents
POPs (persistent organic pollutants)
very stable chemicals, usually man-made which can be redeposited in any environment; travel pole-ward with atmospheric circulation easily b/c they can take gas form
accumulation of toxin as it is consumed up the food chain
fish –> seal–> bear
examples of POPs
DDT, solvents, pharmaceuticals, PCBs and PBDs
Stockholm Convention (UNEP 2001)
international environmental treaty that aims to eliminate/reduce POPs
US has not ratified
POP effect on humans
harms immune system, reproductive system, and increases risk of cancer
Oligotrophic lakes
bodies of water that appear crystal clear b/c they lack nutrients
Eutrophic lakes
bodies of water with excess nutrients (N & P) which eventually leads to a dead zone
<7 = acidic
>7 = basic
Why are lakes in Norway and Sweden severely affected by acidification?
westerlies/icelandic lows – wind currents from industrial Europe travel north and are pulled over Norway due to low pressure (high to low pressure)
Solution to oligotrophic/eutrophic lakes?
Clean Air legislation (European Union) regulate allotment industries can release of SO2 and NO2
Where is Hanford and What happened at there?
Washington State; leakage of stored radioactive waste, Pu, into ground (70 of 177 tanks/1mgal)
Why is Hanford where it is?
Columbia River provided a coolant
very isolated
Vedose zone
aerated zone of the soil above the water table
hyporheic zone
water around the river but underground; exchanges between this and the river
making glass from radioactive waste and storing it as glass rods
Yucca Mountain
proposed storage site by the NWPA for toxic waste; isolated, low water table, low population
Nuclear Waste Policy Act
establishes procedures to evaluate and select sites for geologic repositories and for the interaction of state and federal governments
not in my backyard; no one wants a nuclear power plant or storage center near their home
Key Stone Species
the species that is super important to the ecosystem; keeps the ecosystem going
Carrying Capacity
the amount of organisms an ecosystem can support
Wolf Reintroduction
hunted to near extinction around Yellowstone; reintroduced 66 wolves in 1966 –> increased biodiversity
Examples of Keystone Species
sea otter, bees, polar bears
Predator Pit
a species population falling so low from hunting or competition that it cannot recover
Aspen Ecosystem
northeast focus area of wolf reintroduction; Great Lake region
USFWS Recovery Plan 2003
reintroduction of wolves to VT, NH, NY, ME
76% supported; not yet passed
Elk Reintroduction to NYS
Hunters lobby for it, Farmers lobby against
Why did Elk go extinct East of the Mississippi
hunted for being a pest
Why did Elk reintroduction work in Pennsylvania
1913 because of strip mining and low population
Surface Mining Control Act 1977
concerned about environmental impact of strip mining; must show they can restore the land
Hunting Lottery
lottery for hunters to kill Elk to control population; receives million in revenue
Multiple Use Sustained Yield Act 1960
authorizes and directs the Secretary of Agriculture to develop and administer the renewable resources of timber, range, water, recreation and wildlife on the national forests for multiple use and sustained yield of the products and services
Strip Cutting
good on hills; clear cut a 250′ section then leave a 100′ section untouched then clear cut a 250′ section etc.
pros: reduces erosion, leaves trees, easier for regrowth
Clear Cutting
cutting down an entire 40 ac section of a forest
pros: creates niches & biodiversity
cons: habitat destruction (of possibly endangered species), contributes to global warming, desertification, extensive soil compaction (inc. erosion & flooding)
transition zone where 2 ecosystems mingle (grass meeting forest)
the drying out of land; affects 2 in 6 of the world’s populations
selective cutting
only cutting down a specific type of tree
cons: requires more money, less profitable, dec. genetic diversity and vigor of forest over time, could eliminate all one species
pros: leaves habitat, preserves species, reduces erosion
National Forest Management Act 1974
Multiple uses and sustainable yield of forests
Roadless Area Conservation Rule 2001
no timber harvesting in places where there are no roads
mostly applies to Alaska
Why have song birds declined?
habitat destruction from agriculture and the rise of coffee plantations –> inc deforested land
Why is shade grown coffee more sustainable?
no pesticides
supports local goods
doesn’t detroy forest–> food and habitat for birds
Sun grown coffee
diet of chemicals
habitat destruction
locals out of work
includes components of agriculture but can still sustain natural life and act as on ecosystem; classified as a forest
GM Coffee
engineered to be sun tolerant, high yield coffee, genetically decaffeinated
mixed cropping forests
more biodiversity
Pros of GMOs
higher yields, no difference in taste, longer shelf-life, less pesticide use, drought resistant, solution to world hunger
Cons of GMOs
removes diversity
not as healthy b/c of possible chemicals
unknown affect on humans
more expensive
not told if its a GMO on label
competition btwn modified and natural
Trojan gene hypothesis
the GM genes will get into the environment; these fish are genetically bigger and will out compete the native fish
Khian Sea Voyage
1986 14000 tones of ash from Philadelphia sailed around looking for someone to take it, Haiti bought some but the rest was “lost” in the Indian Ocean
What waste do we throw away the most?
paper, yardwaste, metal, glass, other, food, plastic
Toxic Colonialism
moving waste from producer country to be dumped somewhere else
Bassel Convention
UNEP set up to control shipment of toxic waste to international borders
1995 US signed that only ‘recyclable’ materials were to be shipped but it did not ratify Bassel or support it
Marine Protection Research Sanctuaries Act
1992 prevented the unreasonable degradation of human/ecosystem health; permits
Syringe Tide 1988
syringes were found on beaches of NY and Jersey –> a billion in beach closes
12 Mile Dumping Ground & Mud Dump
Dredge spoils NY Harbor with PCBs, dioxin, petrochemicals, closed historic area remediation site 1997
London Convention Protocol
allows sewage sludge structures, organics, but not municipal waste to be dumped in waters; mostly dredge
dioxin is released when plastic and waste that contains chlorine chemicals are burned
NY barrel ban
NY burning on trash in barrels; hard to enforce
open dumping
used by many underdeveloped countries
leachate pollutes water
illegal in US but it still does occur
area is dug out, a liner is placed in (usually clay and plastic), filled and then capped
produces methane, leachate is collected and purified
costly method
IPAT Equation
Environmental Impact (I) = population (P)x affluence (A)x technology (T)
Biotic Potential
max reproductive rate given unlimited resources, recruitment, and reproduction
Limiting factors
space, competition, predators, resources, climate, density, availability of food, and disease
Oscillating Growth
species overshoot carrying capacity and die back; r-strategists
high biotic potential
Logistic Growth
adapt to niche; stability with environment near CC; competition diminishes; r-strategists
more prone to extinction
S-shaped Curve
Logistic growth
J-shaped Curve
Oscillating growth
Easter Island is…
an example of what could become of the world
Who discovered Easter Island?
Jacob Roggeveen
Water on Easter Island
permeable volcanic soil Rani Kau crater; remote source
Depletion of the Colorado River
Colorado River Compact 1923 was created in a high rainfall year allocating 17.5 maf for agriculture and such while the flow is usually only 13.6 maf
Depletion of the Aral Sea
complete environment and cultural collapse; shrinking, now almost non-existent b/c of use for agriculture; fishing industry almost gone
Deforestation in Greece
80% of Greece has been deforested because of advanced civilization now only pyrophytes exist
How can trees survive in Greece?
precipitates in the winter and doesn’t evaporate easily
Deforestation in Ireland
50% covered to 9% covered
Thomas Malthus
British economist who maintained that increasing human population would eventually deplete the available food supply until starvation, war, or disease arose and reduced the population
an ethicist who maintains that ethics do and should vary with social context
an ethicist who maintains that there exist objective notions of right and wrong that hold across cultures and situations
Ethical Standards
the criteria that helps differentiate right from wrong
Environmental Ethics
the application of ethical standards to environmental questions
a human-centered view of our relationship with the environment
a philosophy that acribes relative values to actions, entities, or properties on the basis of their effects on all living things or on the integrity of the biotic realm in general. Evaluates an action in terms of its overall impact on living things
a philosophy that considers actions in terms of their benefit or damage to the integrity of the whole ecological systems, including both biotic and abiotic elements; focuses on ecosystem as a whole
John Muir
associated with preservation ethic. Nature deserves protection for its own inherent values but also claimed that nature plays a large role in human happiness and fulfillment
Gifford Pinchot
The first professionally trained American forester; helped establish US forest Service; conversation ethics
Aldo Leopold
book – The Land Ethic argued that humans should view themselves and the land itself as members of the same community and that humans are obligated to treat the land ethically
Environmental Justice
a movement based on moral sense of fairness and equality that seeks to expand society’s domain of ethical concern from rich to poor, and from majorities to minorities
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
the most comprehensive scientific assessment of the present condition of the world’s ecological systems and their ability to continue supporting our civilzation
Describe the Scientific Method. What is its typical sequence of steps? What needs to occur before a researcher’s results are published? Why is this process important?
What does the study of ethnic encompass? Describe 3 classical ethical standards
Describe Aldo Leopold’s land ethic. How did Leopold define the community to which ethical standards should be applied?
Differtiate between the preservation ethic and the conservation ethic. Explain the contributions of John Muir and Gifford Pinchot in the history of environmental ethics
What is sustainable development and why is it important? What is meant by the triple bottom line?
centrally planned economies
an economy in which a nation’s government determines how to allocate resources in a top-down manner
classical economics
Adam Smith; the study of the behavior of buyers and sellers in a free-market economy
neoclassical economics
a theory of economics that explains market prices in terms of consumer preferences for units of particular commodities; buyers desire to buy low whereas sellers want to sell high
steady-state economics
an economy that does not grow or shrink but remains stable
nonmarket values
a value that is not usually included in the price of a good or service
free rider
a party that fails to invest in controlling pollution or carying out other environmentally responsible activities and instead relies on the efforts of other parties to do so
National Environmental Protection Agency
created in 1970; charged with conducting and evaluating research, monitoring environmental qualities, setting and enforcing standards, and educating the public
Environmental Impact Statement
a report of results from detailed studies that assess the potential effects on the environment that would likely result from development projects or other actions undertaken by the government
high biotic potential; produce lots of offspring in a short time; young fend for themselves; usually regulated by density independent factors
a levy on environmentally harmful activities and products aimed at providing a market-based incentive to correct for market failures
Alfread Wallace
artificial selection
natural selection conducted under human direction
allopatric speciation
species formation due to the physical separation of populations over some geographic distance
polygenetic trees
sixth mass extinction
population ecology
study of the quantitative dynamics of how individuals within a species interact with one another; why populations of some species decline while other increase
community ecology
the study of interactions among species from one to one interactions to complex interrelationship involving entire communities
population distribution and dispersion
the spatial arrangement of organisms within a particular area
age structure and distribution
the relative number of organisms of each age within a population
demographic transition
a model of economic and cultural changes that explains the declining death and birth rates that occur in industrialized societies
lessen need for large families therefore parents who invest in quality of life thus lowering mortality rate
preindustrial stage
first stage in demographic transition model; high birth and death rates
transitional stage
2nd stage in demographic transition model; declining death rates but still high birthrates
industrial stage
3rd stage in demographic transition model; characterized by falling birth and death rates and reduced population
Name 2 key ways in which human economies are linked to the natural environment
Describe 4 ways in which critics hold that neoclassical economic approaches can negatively affect the environment
Compare and contrast the views and approaches of neoclassical economists, environmental economists, and ecological economists
describe and critique 3 common justifications for environmental policy. Explain the concept of external costs, and state why it is relevant to environmental policy
summarize the differences between the first, second, and third waves of environmental policy in US history. What approach appears to be the fourth wave?
What did the national environmental policy act accomplish?
How does customary law differ from conventional law? What special challenges do transboundary environmental problems present?
List the steps of the environmental policy process from identification of a problem through enactment of a federal law
Differentiate between a green tax, a subsidy, a tax break, and an emissions permit
how do allopatric speciation occur?
what is the difference between a species and a population and a community?
contrast the concepts of habitat and niche
list and describe each of the 5 major population characteristics. Explain how each shapes population dynamics
can any species undergo exponential growth forever? explain
Why has the human population continued to grow in spite of environmental limitations?
How can technology either increase or decrease environmental impact?
Why have fertility rates decreased in many countries
how does the demographic transition model explain the increase and decrease in population growth rates?
Why are the empowerment of women and pursuit of gender equality viewed as being important to controlling population growth?
How does poverty affect the environment?
low biotic potential; small amount of offspring; long gestation period; take care of young; regulated by density dependent factors