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Environmental Science. What is Environmental Science? Webquest. Webquest Learning Targets (What you will learn) (Hopefully…). Define environmental science and compare environmental science with ecology.

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Environmental science

Environmental Science

What is Environmental Science? Webquest

Webquest learning targets what you will learn hopefully
Webquest Learning Targets(What you will learn)(Hopefully…)

  • Define environmental science and compare environmental science with ecology.

  • List and Define the five major fields of study that contribute to environmental science.

  • Classifyenvironmental problems into three major categories.

  • Increase your environmental science swag.

What is environmental science
What Is Environmental Science?

  • Environmental Science: Study of how humans affect their BIOTIC and ABIOTICsurroundings.

What does that really mean
What does that really mean?

  • Our biotic surroundings include all of the living organisms on Earth.

  • Our abiotic surroundings include the non-living aspects of Earth like rocks, soil, atmosphere, water, climate, energy, and our atmosphere.

  • Together, our biotic and abiotic surroundings make up the BIOSPHERE.

  • The biosphere contains the combined portions of the Earth in which all life exists, including land, water, and the atmosphere. The biosphere extends from 11 kilometers below the oceans all the way up to 8 kilometers about the Earth’s surface.

Environmental science vs ecology
Environmental Science vs. Ecology

  • Environmental science involves many fields of study, including ecology.

  • Ecologyis the study of interactions of living organisms with one another and their environment.

Goals of environmental science
Goals of Environmental Science

  • Major goal of environmental science is to understand and solve environmental problems.

  • Environmental scientists study 2 main types of interactions between humans and the environment:

    • How our actions change the environment.

    • How we use natural resources.

Scientists as citizens citizens as scientists
Scientists as Citizens, Citizens as Scientists

  • Who is usually the first person to recognize an environmental problem?

  • The observations of nonscientists (regular, everyday people!) are the first steps toward addressing an environmental problem.

  • Why do you think this is???

Environmental problems
Environmental Problems

  • Earth is a closed system.

    • Some resources are limited and as populations grow, they are used more rapidly.

    • We may also produce wastes faster than they can be disposed.

  • Environmental problems on different scales: local, regional, or global.

    • A local example would be your community discussing where to build a new landfill.

    • A regional example would be a polluted river 1000 miles away affecting the region’s water.

    • A global example would be the depletion of the ozone layer.

Comprehension check
Comprehension Check

1. Give an example of a global environmental problem.

2. Give an example of a local environmental problem.

3. Could the local problem be a part of the global problem? If so, how?

What are our main environmental problems
What are our Main Environmental Problems?

Environmental problems can generally be grouped into three categories:

  • Resource Depletion

  • Pollution

  • Loss of Biodiversity

Resource depletion
Resource Depletion

  • Natural Resources: any natural materials used by humans, such as, water, petroleum, minerals, forests, and animals.

    • Classified as either a renewable or nonrenewable.

      • Renewable resources can be replaced relatively quickly by natural process.

      • Nonrenewable resources form at a much slower rate than they are consumed.

Recyclable vs. Renewable


Pollution: negative change in natural environment caused by introduction of substances harmful to living organisms or by excessive wastes, heat, noise, or radiation


Two main types of pollutants:

  • Biodegradable pollutants

    • Can be broken down by natural processes and include materials such as newspaper

    • Are a problem only when they accumulate faster than they can be broken down

  • Nonbiodegradablepollutants

    • Cannot be broken down by natural processes and include materials such as mercury

    • They can build up to dangerous levels in the environment

Loss of biodiversity
Loss of Biodiversity

  • Biodiversity: variety of organisms in a given area or the genetic variation within a population

    • These organisms can be considered natural resources.

      Loss of Biodiversity Video

Comprehension check1
Comprehension Check

  • How do scientists define a nonrenewable resource?

    A. a resource that is used by humans

    B. a resource that can never be replaced

    C. a resource that can be replaced relatively quickly

    D. a resource that takes more time to replace than to deplete

Comprehension check2
Comprehension Check

2. Which of the following is an important field for environmental science?

A. ecology

B. economics

C. meteorology

D. political science

Comprehension check3
Comprehension Check

3. Which of the following phrases describes the term biodiversity?

A. species that have become extinct

B. the animals that live in an area

C. species that look different from one another

D. the number and variety of species that live in an area

Comprehension check4
Comprehension Check

4. Energy from the sun, water, air, wood, and soil are all examples of what kind of energy?

F. ecological energy

G. organic energy

H. renewable energy

I. solar energy

Let s reflect on what we ve learned
Let’s reflect on what we’ve learned!

  • What were the learning targets of this webquest?

  • Can you complete the learning targets? (Try to answer them now!)

  • What are 3 things you have learned while doing this webquest?