Environmental Studies Chp. 1, 2, and 3 Exam 1

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culture

that which is not nature

environment

conditions or circumstances surrounding a group of organisms

environmental science

systematic study of our environment and our proper place in it

science

a process for producing knowledge methodically and logically

uniformitarianism

the present is the key to the past

parsimony

if two explanations are reasonable, the simplest is the best

empiricism

learn through observable phenomena

state of a system

a set of important attributes that characterize a system at a particular time

couplings

links between system components

components

individual parts of a system

system

an entity composed of diverse but inter-related parts that function as a complex whole

positive coupling

a change in one component is a stimulus that leads to a change in the same direction in the linked component

feedback loops

two couplings represent a "round trip"

feedback

a self perpetuating mechanism of change and a response to that change

positive feedback

reinforces a trend

negative feedback

reverses a trend

ecology

the scientific relationship between organisms and their environment

matter

takes up space and has mass

elements

make up matter

oxidation

when an atom gives up one or more electrons

reduction

when an atom gains electrons

latent heat

the energy required to build or break molecular bonds

energy

the ability to do work

work

the product of the component of the force along the direction of displacement and the magnitude of the displacement

first law of thermodynamics

energy is conserved in a system

entropy

a measure of unavailable energy

economic nationalism

the policy that encourages the aggressive accumulation of wealth on national levels

chemosynthesis

producing food from chemicals

populations

all members of a single species that live in a given area

community

all of the populations of organisms that live and interact with each other at a given time

ecosystem

a self-sustaining interaction between communities in a certain geographical area

biome

a region with a characteristic plant community

autotrophs

capture energy

phototrophs

producers who use light to produce food

chemotrophs

finds energy in inorganic, chemical compounds

heterotrophs

get energy by ingesting bodies of other living organisms

primary consumers

herbivores

secondary consumers

carnivores

tetiary consumers

carnivores that eat carnivores

scavengers

those that feed on dead animals

decomposers

those that feed on parts of dead organisms and consume waste products of dead and of living organisms

range of tolerance

limiting factors where they can survive

biodiversity

the number of species living in an area

geologic paleoclimate data

indicates that temperatures carry the most in polar regions and vary least in tropical regions

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