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					                                       APES Study Guide
                       Unit 1: Introduction to Environmental Science
    The first unit will acquaint you with environmental science; it introduces theory, philosophy and
                           terminology which will be used throughout the course


Textbook Reference:
Raven and Berg, Environment, 5th edition: Chapters 1, 2 & 7


Study Guide Questions (SGQs):

   1. Define environmental science. What are its strengths and limitations? Distinguish between
       environmental science and ecology.
   2. Of all of the environmental issues that face the world today (air pollution, water pollution, water
       supply, human population, deforestation, loss of genetic diversity, global climate change, etc)
       which do you think most threatens the continued survival and well being of human beings? The
       Earth? Why?
   3. Outline the basic elements of the Gaia theory discussed on Page 86. Use examples to support the
       following three different levels at which the Gaia theory can be interpreted:
            a. Life affects the environment
            b. Life manipulates the environment for the betterment of life
            c. Life is a deliberate, conscious super-organism
   4. Explain how the meaning of the terms “theory” and “fact” differ in science and in everyday usage.
       How do these different meanings lead to confusion and discontent in various aspects of modern
       life?
   5. Describe the “Tragedy of the Commons.” Describe an example of the Tragedy of the Commons,
       which differs from the example we used in our activity (overfishing).
   6. How might you use the principle of uniformitarianism to help evaluate environmental problems?
       Is it possible to use this principle to help evaluate the potential consequences of too many people
       on earth?
   7. Briefly discuss human involvement in one of the following: overfishing in the Georges Bank
       fishery, declining populations of tropical migrant birds, introduction of wolves into Yellowstone
       National Park, or invasion of zebra mussels in North America.
   8. How do human effects on the global atmosphere, such as stratospheric ozone depletion and
       climate warming, make it more difficult for humans to reach the goal of environmental
       sustainability?
   9. APES Students only: The annual death rate from sitting in a classroom with asbestos ceiling is
       estimated at 0.05 people per million who are exposed to the risk. The risk is equivalent to 1
       person per how many million people?
   10. APES Students only: The lethal dose (LD-50) of cyanide is generally 10.0mg per kilogram of
       body weight. Calculate the lethal dose of cyanide, in grams for a 100-lb. woman. (Hint: Don’t
       forget to convert the woman’s weight to kilograms. Use Appendix III to help).
                                      APES Study Guide
                             Unit 2: The World We Live In; part I
         This unit will introduce you to some basic ecology and the study of human populations.


Textbook Reference:
Raven and Berg, Environment, 5th edition: Chapters 3 & 4


Study Guide Questions (SGQs):

   1. How are the following forms of energy significant to organisms in ecosystems: a) radiant energy;
       b) mechanical energy; c) chemical energy; d) heat?
   2. Describe the conditions that lead to the apparent color change of peppered moths in England
       during the Industrial Revolution?
   3. When coal is burned in a power plant only 3% of the energy in the coal is converted into light in a
       regular light bulb. What happens to the other 97% of the energy? Explain your answer using the
       laws of thermodynamics.
   4. How have humans affected the Antarctic food web?
   5. During mating season, male giraffes slam their necks together in fighting bouts to determine
       which male is stronger and can therefore mate with females. Explain how long necks may have
       evolved under this scenario, using Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection.
   6. Some biologists think that protecting keystone species would help preserve biological diversity in
       an ecosystem. Explain.
   7. What type of symbiotic relationship (mutualism, commensalisms, predation) do you think exists
       between the pygmy seahorse and the gorgonian coral pictured in figure 4.12 (p. 74)? Explain your
       answer.
   8. Describe two determinants of species richness and give an example of each.
   9. APES only: The NPP (net primary productivity) for a particular river ecosystem is measured at
       8.833 kcal/m2/year. Respiration by the aquatic producers is estimated as 11,977 kcal/m2/year.
       Calculate the GPP (gross primary productivity) for this ecosystem.
   10. APES only: Explain how the concept of fundamental and realized niche is applicable to the rodent
       experiment in the Chichuahuan desert of Arizona.
                                       APES Study Guide
                            Unit 3: The World We Live In; part II
      This unit will continue with discussions about ecology and the major ecosystems of the world.


Textbook Reference:
Raven and Berg, Environment, 5th edition: Chapters 5 & 6


Study Guide Questions (SGQs):

   1. What is a biogeochemical cycle? Why is the cycling of the matter essential to the continuance of
       life? Describe how organisms participate in each of these biogeochemical cycles: carbon, nitrogen,
       phosphorous, and sulfur.
   2. How does the sun affect temperature at different latitudes? Why?
   3. How do ocean currents affect climate on land?
   4. Describe the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and some of its global effects.
   5. What are crustal plates and plate boundaries? Where are earthquakes and volcanoes commonly
       located, why? Evaluate the area where you live (Southern CA) with respect to natural dangers. Is
       there a threat of possible earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tornadoes, or tsunamis?
   6. Convert the temperature range in the lower stratosphere (-45oC to -75oC) to degrees in Fahrenheit.
   7. Distinguish between freshwater wetlands and estuaries, and between flowing water and standing
       water ecosystems.
   8. What could happen to the organisms in a river with a fast current if a dam were built? Explain
       your answer.
   9. What are some of the challenges associated with restoration of the Flordia Everglades?
   10. APES only: A 2003 study reports that in recent years tropical ocean waters have become saltier,
       whereas polar ocean waters have become less salty. What do you think is a possible explanation
       for these changes?
                                       APES Study Guide
                                     Unit 4: A Crowded World
   This unit will focus on the understanding of population change and facing problems associated with
                                             overpopulation.


Textbook Reference:
Raven and Berg, Environment, 5th edition: Chapters 8 & 9


Study Guide Questions (SGQs):

   1. Define infant mortality rate and explain why it is considered an indicator of the quality of life of a
       nation. Discuss how population dynamics in less developed and more developed nations differ.
   2. Outline Thomas Malthus’ theory of human population. Do you believe that Malthus’ ultimate fate
       of humankind is unavoidable?
   3. Explain how biotic potential and/or carrying capacity produce the J-shaped and S-shaped
       population growth curves.
   4. Explain how the spread of human diseases such as the Black Death, tuberculosis, and AIDS is
       related to high population densities found in urban environments. Are such diseases density-
       dependent or density-independent?
   5. Explain how a single child born in the United States can have a greater effect on the environment
       and natural resources than a dozen or more children born in developing country.
   6. List the natural resources you use in a single day. How does this list compare to a similar list made
       by a poor person in a developing country such as India?
   7. What is the relationship between fertility rate and marriage age? Between fertility and educational
       opportunities for women?
   8. APES only: If all of the women in the world suddenly started bearing children at replacement-
       level fertility rates, would the population stop increasing immediately? Why or why not?
   9. APES only: Which population is more likely to have a positive population growth momentum,
       one wit a young age structure or one with an old age structure? Which is more likely to have a
       negative population growth momentum? Explain your answers.
   10. APES only: Name three environmentally harmful effect of rapid urbanization. How could these
       problems be addressed?
   11. Extra Credit Opportunity for all students: Use the Population Reference that came attached in
       the back of your book to answer questions #1-23 under the “World Population Data Sheet
       Assignment” section on page 191.
                                       APES Study Guide
                                 Unit 5: The Search for Energy
             This unit will discuss forms of energy, such as fossil fuels and nuclear energy.


Textbook Reference:
Raven and Berg, Environment, 5th edition: Chapters 11, 12 & 13


Study Guide Questions (SGQs):

   1. Distinguish between renewable and nonrenewable resources. Provide examples to explain how
       the rate of a resources renewal affects its classification as renewable or nonrenewable.
   2. On the basis of what you learned about coal, oil, and natural gas, which fossil fuel do you think
       the U.S. should exploit in short term (during the next 20 years)? Explain your rationale.
   3. What is the controversy surrounding the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge? Do you think drilling
       should be permitted there? Why or why not?
   4. Compare the environmental effects of coal combustion and conventional nuclear fission for the
       generation of electricity. APES only also answer: How is breeder nuclear fission different from
       conventional nuclear fission?
   5. Are you in favor of the U.S. developing additional nuclear power plants to provide us with
       electricity in the 21st Century? Why or why not?
   6. Some environmental analysts think that the latest war in Iraq was related in part to gaining control
       over the supply of Iraqi oil. Do you think this is plausible? Explain why or why not.
   7. Give an example of how one or more of the alternative energy sources discussed in this unit could
       have a negative effect on each of the following aspects of ecosystems:
           a. Soil preservation
           b. Natural water flow
           c. Production of foods used by wild plant and animal populations
           d. Preservation of the diversity of organisms found in an area
   8. Evaluate which forms of energy other than fossil fuels and nuclear power have the greatest
       potential where you live.
   9. APES only: Assume that you start with 1 kg of uranium-234 (U-234), which has a half-life of
       250,000 years.
           a. How many grams of U-234 will remain after 250,000 years?
           b. How many years will it take for 750 g of U-234 to decay?
           c. How many grams of U-234 will remain after 1 million years?
   10. APES only: Give three reasons why the United States needs a comprehensive national energy
       policy.
                                       APES Study Guide
                                 Unit 6: Our Precious Resources
   This unit will discuss importance of water management and conservation and then move on to soils,
                                        erosion, and groundwater.

Textbook Reference:
Raven and Berg, Environment, 5th edition: Chapters 14, 15 & 16



Study Guide Questions (SGQs):

   1.  Describe how the construction of dams permanently changes river environments and ecosystems.
   2.  Describe the complexity of international water use, using the Aral Sea as an example.
   3.  Explain the roles of weathering, organisms, climate, and topography in soil formation.
   4.  The American Dust Bowl is sometimes portrayed as a “natural” disaster brought on by drought
       and high winds. Present a case for the point of view that this disaster was not caused by nature as
       much as by humans.
   5. Distinguish among conservation tillage, crop rotation, contour plowing, strip cropping, terracing,
       and shelterbeds as methods of sustainable soil use.
   6. Distinguish among the following ways in which mineral deposits may form: magmatic
       concentration, hydrothermal processes, sedimentation, and evaporation.
   7. Explain why it is more environmentally damaging to obtain minerals from low-grade ores than to
       extract them from high-grade ores.
   8. Agricultures use about 80% of the freshwater used in the U. S. How does it contribute to water
       pollution? Discuss measures that could be taken to make agriculture more efficient and its use of
       water.
   9. Briefly describe the water scarcity problem in the Colorado River basin.
   10. Repairing leaky faucets and toilets can save water at home. Calculate how many gallons of water
       are wasted each year from a leak of one drop per second (13,140 drops = 1 gallon).
   11. Imagine you are a water manager for Southwestern metropolitan district with a severe water
       shortage. What strategies would you use to develop a sustainable water supply.
                                       APES Study Guide
                            Unit 7: Environmental Concerns; part I
            This unit will focus on air pollution, global warming and the greenhouse effect.

Textbook Reference:
Raven and Berg, Environment, 5th edition: Chapters 20 & 21



Study Guide Questions (SGQs):

   1. Distinguish between primary and secondary air pollutants and give an example of each.
   2. Which is a more sustainable atmospheric condition, cool air layered over warm air or warm air
       layered over cool air? Explain. Which condition is a temperature inversion?
   3. What is the U. S. Clean Air Act and how has it reduced outdoor pollutants? What two air
       pollutants do the 1997 provisions of the Clean Air Act target?
   4. What does the EPA mean by non-attainment areas for one or more criteria air pollutants?
   5. What is the global distillation effect? What kinds of air pollutants are involved in the global
       distillation effect? Where do these pollutants get permanently deposited? Why?
   6. Explain how global warming might affect each of the following: sea level, precipitation patterns,
       living organisms, human health, and agriculture. Discuss and give examples of the two overall
       approaches to global warming: mitigation and adaptation.
   7. What is the Montreal Protocol?
   8. What is acid deposition? What are the causes of acid deposition? Discuss the harmful effects of
       acid deposition on materials, aquatic organisms, and soils.
   9. The pH of clouds in mountains of Vermont has been measured at 3.0. The clouds are how many
       more times more acidic than pure water?
   10. Radon gas is non-toxic and non-reactive, however, once radon gas enters homes, it poses a threat
       to human health. Discuss how radon enters homes and explain the process that makes radon a
       health threat even though it is only a weak radiation emitter.
   11. Clearly differentiate between global warming and ozone depletion.
   12. APES only: Insurance companies that provide policies for hurricanes and other natural disasters
       may shift hundreds of millions of dollars of their investments from fossil fuels to solar energy. On
       the basis of what you have learned so far, explain why insurance companies consider such an
       investment in their best interest.
   13. APES only: Describe negative and positive feedbacks in the process of global warming and their
       consequences for earth’s climate.
   14. APES only: What air pollutants do electrostatic precipitators and scrubbers remove?
   15. APES only: Is air pollution worse in highly developed nations or in developing countries? Why?
                                       APES Study Guide
                           Unit 8: Environmental Concerns; part II
  This unit will focus water and soil pollution. We’ll also discuss pesticide usage, solid and hazardous
                                    wastes, and risks to human health.
Textbook Reference:
Raven and Berg, Environment, 5th edition: Chapters 22, 23 & 24


Study Guide Questions (SGQs):

   1. Explain why untreated sewage may kill fish when it is added directly to a body of water.
   2. Distinguish between oligotrophic and eutrophic lakes. What causes artificial eutrophication?
   3. Compare the potential pollution problems of groundwater and surface water that are used as
       sources of drinking water.
   4. Why is chlorine added to drinking water? Why does the EPA recommend that public water
       treatment facilities find alternatives to chlorine?
   5. Distinguish among primary sewage treatment, secondary sewage treatment, tertiary sewage
       treatment and septic tanks.
   6. An asphalt parking lot measures 100 m by 500 m. Calculate its area. If 2 cm of rain fall on the
       parking lot during a heavy rainstorm, how much water (in cubic meters) will run off? Where does
       the runoff go?
   7. How is the buildup of insect resistance to pesticides similar to the increase of bacterial resistance
       to antibiotics?
   8. Describe the pesticide disaster that occurred at Bhopal, India.
   9. A water samples was measured and found to have 0.00005 ppm of DDT. The plankton living in
       the water were then measured and found to have 800 times that amount of DDT. What was the
       concentration of DDT, in ppm, in plankton?
   10. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of disposing of waste in sanitary landfills by
       incineration.
   11. Distinguish among insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and rodenticides. Define integrated pest
       management plan.
   12. Define dioxins, PCBs and explain what harm they cause.
   13. APES only: Explain how the idea of the “Tragedy of the Commons” applies to the problem of
       ocean disposal of contaminated material.
   14. APES only: Worldwide, the pesticide industry sold $27.8 billion in pesticides in 1994.
       Preliminary data indicate that sales in 1998 were $34 billion. Calculate the average percent annual
       increase in pesticide sales from 1994-98.
   15. APES only: Suppose hazardous chemicals were suspected to be leaking from an old dump near
       your home. Outline steps you would take to 1) have the site evaluated to determine if there is a
       danger and 2) mobilize the local community to get the site cleaned up.
                                        APES Study Guide
                                         Unit 9: Conservation
 This unit will focus on conservation of organisms, land, food resources, policies and laws, and wildlife
                                              management.

Textbook Reference:
Raven and Berg, Environment, 4th edition: Chapters 17-19, 25



Study Guide Questions (SGQs):

   1. What are four main causes of species endangerment and extinction? Give an example of a specific
        organism that has been harmed by each cause. Which cause do biologists consider most
        important?
   2. Distinguish between in situ and ex situ conservation and give an example of each.
   3. Why is the Arctic snow goose such a challenge for U.S. wildlife managers? For Canadian wildlife
        managers?
   4. What are the six main types of federally owned land in the U. S.? What uses are permitted on each
        type of land? What are current issues of concern for each type?
   5. What are the environmental effects of clear-cutting on steep mountain slopes? On tropical
        rainforest land?
   6. What is a wetland? Why is the scientific definition of wetlands controversial? List at least five
        causes of wetland destruction. Describe current wetland protection policies in the U. S. and give
        their strengths and weaknesses.
   7. Not counting agriculture, about 0.8% of Earth’s total surface area of 14.7 billion hectares is settled
        – that is developed for homes, highways, industrial parks, shopping malls, and the like. Calculate
        the total land area, in hectares, that is settled. Convert your answer to acres, using Appendix III to
        help you.
   8. What is the green revolution? Describe the benefits and problems associated with the green
        revolution.
   9. Describe the environmental problems associated with farming each of these areas: tropical
        rainforests, hillsides, arid regions.
   It takes 7 kg of livestock grain such as corn to produce 1 kg of beef; 6 kg of livestock grain to produce
   1 kg of pork; and 2.7 kg of livestock grain to produce 1 kg of poultry. If corn sells for $150 a ton,
   calculate how much it costs to produce 1 kg of each kind of meat. (1 ton = 907.2 kg)
                                      APES Study Guide
                                Extra Credit: Tomorrow’s World
This unit will end our year with discussion on environmental laws, regulations, improving human life and
                                        building a better tomorrow.
Textbook Reference:
Raven and Berg, Environment, 5th edition

Other sources:
Dr. Suess The Lorax
Newspaper articles


Study Guide Questions (SGQs):

   1. What is sustainability? How are people in highly developed countries not living sustainably? How
      are people living in developing countries not living sustainably?
   2. Give an example of an environmental goal that is accomplished most effectively 1) at the local
      level, 2) at the national level and 3) at the international level.
   3. Describe the environmental contributions of the following; John James Audobon, John Muir,
      Rachel Carson, Henry David Thoreau, Franklin Roosevelt.
   4. Discuss the event that led to the Northwest Forest Plan of 1994.
   5. Both the Onceler and the Lorax were passionate about their goals. List several reasons to explain
      why the Onceler succeeded while the Lorax failed.
   6. Describe actions that the Lorax could have undertaken to be more effective at preserving the
      environment.
   7. List what you believe to be the top 10 environmental problems faced in the world today.
   8. Identify one environmental issue that you believe to be overblown and overstated in the threat that
      it will ultimately pose. Discuss the actual threat and how it differs from the public perception of
      threat.
   9. If you were a member of Congress, what legislation would you introduce to deal with each of the
      following problems:
          a. Poisons from a major sanitary landfill are polluting your state’s groundwater.
          b. Acid rain from a coal-burning power plant in a nearby state is arming the trees in your
               state. Loggers and foresters are upset.
          c. There is a high incidence of cancer in the area of your state where heavy industry is
               concentrated.

				
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