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Ecology: Study of How Humans Impact the Environment
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  1. Ecology: Study of How Humans Impact the Environment Introduction

  2. Our Environment • The sum or total of our surroundings • Includes biotic and abiotic factors • Ecology – study of how living things interact with each other and their environment • Environmental Science – Study of how humans interact and impact the environment, and how our environment affects us • GOAL: 1.) Understand and solve environmental problems 2.) Understand how our interactions alter our environment

  3. History/Humans and Environment and Change • Environmental change going on since time began • 1.) Hunter-Gathers (majority of human history) • 2.) AgriculturalRevolution (growing food-crops, domestication of animals, human population grew at a faster rate) • 3.) Industrial Revolution (switch in energy source of animal “muscle” to fossil fuels, improved quality of life like medicines, machines, etc., has negative impact = pollution, habitat loss, and artificial substances)

  4. Ecological Footprint • Expresses the environmental impact of an individual or population and the amount of land and water required to support that individual or population • The amount of Earth’s surface that is “used” • We are depleting our resources about 30% faster than they are being replenished or replaced • Our Main Environmental Problems: • 1.) Resource depletion • 2.) Pollution • 3.) Loss of Biodiversity • 4.) Energy

  5. Nature of Environmental Science • People vary in their perception of environmental problems • A person’s age, gender, class, race, nationality, ethics-(both personal and environmental), employment, and background (personal and educational) can have an affect on their view of an environmental problem • Goal for the Future: • Sustainability – living within our resources or the planets means so that the Earth’s resources can sustain us in the future

  6. Things That Affect The Environment • A.) Actions of Humans (clearing forests for farming, overuse of land and animals) • B.) Population Growth (can exceed supply of resources causing habitat loss, extinction, starvation, disease, death) • C.) Unequal Distribution of Wealth and Resources (developed countries use more resources and create more waste and pollution vs developing and underdeveloped countries)

  7. Environmental Science • Is an interdisciplinary science involving many fields including: • Ecology • Biology • Physics • Chemistry • Earth Science • Social Sciences