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NSCI 310 Final Exam CSUSB
Terms in this set (74)
What is science - a body of knowledge, a process, a way of thinking, or what?
Science is the study of natural or physical phenomena
Science is a Process
What are hypotheses? Facts? Laws? Theories? How are these related? How do they
● Hypotheses must be testable and falsifiable
● Facts are points of data that can be tested and measured
● Laws are backed up by math
● Theories are the strongest statement a scientist can make to provide an explanation "why" something happens.
What is involved in "doing" science?
● Doing science involves experiments, analysis, observations, and developing a hypothesis.
● It also involves making assumptions, some of which are simple and being skeptical and open minded.
What is the scientific method?
● Hypothesis never proven; attempt to reject
● a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.
What is "empirical science"? What are "historical sciences"? How do these sciences
differ from one another?
Empirical Science refers to directly observed experiments.
Historical Science studies evidence left by past phenomena
What is the environment?
Environment is everything that is around us. It can be living or nonliving things. It includes physical, chemical and other natural forces
What is environmental science?
Environmental science is defined as a branch of biology focused on the study of the relationships of the natural world and the relationships between organisms and their environments. An example of environmental science is the study of the natural world and how it relates to recycling and mulching.
What is the history of the environmental movement? Be ready to compare the various
forms of conservation: utilitarian, biocentric / aesthetic, the environmental movement, etc.
Environmentalism began with the study of DDT concentrations in trophic levels and its effects on reproductive systems. 1962 Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" is one study that was presented.
Utilitarian Conservation: Preserve and protects areas that have useful resources that need to be saved for later use. (forests for lumber). Also called Pragmatic Conservation.
Biocentric/Aesthetic Conservation: Protects unique organisms in a specific area
What is ecology?
the branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings.
What are living organisms made of? How do matter and energy differ?
Organisms are made of cells and energy. Also, matter and energy.
What makes organic molecules different from other molecules? What is the key element
involved? Why is this element so critical?
Carbon, it bonds complex molecules
What is energy? What are some different kinds of energy? What are the different
"qualities" (or intensities) of energy?
Energy- the ability to do work or to move or change matter. Potential, Kinetic, Mechanical, Thermal, Chemical
How does photosynthesis work (as discussed in class)? How and where is energy stored?
How is this energy released?
PHOTOSYNTHESIS: YOUR ENERGY COMES FROM OTHER ORGANISMS.
- COLLECT AND STORE ENERGY IN THE NEEDS OF PHOTOSYNTHESIS.
- WATER AND CARBON DIOXIDE.
§ 6 CO 2 +. 6 H 2 0 + SOLAR ENERGY = C6 H12 O6 + 6O2.
What are trophic levels?
Primary consumer (Cow, it's eats the plant)
Secondary consumer (human, eats the cow)
Tertiary consumer (wolf, eats the human)
What are food chains? What are food webs? How are they characterized?
Food Chains- a hierarchical series of organisms each dependent on the next as a source of food.
Food Webs- Interconnected food chain that show feeding relationships in an ecosystem. Ex.(predator/prey).
- Each food chain is one possible path that energy and nutrients may take as they move through the ecosystem. All of the interconnected and overlapping food chains in an ecosystem make up a food web. Organisms in food webs are grouped into categories called trophic levels.
What are biological communities? What are species? What are populations? What are ecosystems? How do these differ from one another?
Biological Communities- All of the populations of organisms living and interacting in a particular area.
Species- Group of organisms related genetically, capable of producing VIABLE AND FERTILE OFFSPRING.
- Biology Species Concept (BSC) = Emphasize reproductive isolation
Populations- a group of organisms of the same species populating in a given area at a given time.
Ecosystems- An ecosystem consists of a community of organisms together with their physical environment. Ecosystems can be of different sizes and can be marine, aquatic, or terrestrial.
- An ecosystem is defined by both the biotic (living) and abiotic (nonliving) factors. An ecosystem could be something as small as a pond to something larger such as a forest.
What are niches?
Total set of environmental factors that determine species distribution, which consist of biotic and abiotic factors.
What are predation, parasitism, etc.? How about competition? Symbiosis? What are the
different kinds of symbiosis, and how do they differ?
Predation- is when an organism eats another living organism. An example of this is if you (predator) eat a zebra(prey) and a lion comes along and eats you. The process is called predation.
Parasitism (+, -): something that is bad for you but does not kill you. An example would be a mosquito, they bite but don't kill you.
The prof also mentioned when his cat scratched him.
Competition (-,-): both organism are hurt in order to make it a reality. Ex: When deer fight for the female, they both end up injured.
Symbiosis (+,+): where both organisms live peacefully and benefit from the relationship. Ex: you and your organisms. If you don't eat, your body suffers.
Different kinds of symbiosis:
Commensalism: Host isn't harmed or helped by cohabitor; Moss living on a tree gives no benefit to the tree, but doesn't hurt the tree either.
What are the properties of communities? What makes them stable or unstable? What does SLOSS stand for? Why is it significant?
- Properties of communities - Diversity (the amount of different species) and complexity (the number of species and each trophic level). "Generally speaking", both diversity and complexity lead to stability.
- Available space and resources make communities stable or unstable.
- Single Large Or Several Small Ecosystems ; 2 approaches for land conservation (single large or several small) in order to protect biodiversity in a region
What is evolution? Why is it considered a scientific theory? How is this different from a "hunch"- or "guess"-type theory?
Evolution: descent with modification by means of natural selection. A change in gene frequencies through time.
- It is a fact because species undergo genetic change through time.
- It is a theory: a systematic attempt to provide a natural explanation for how species undergo genetic change through time.
Who first proposed evolution by means of natural selection? On what observations did he (or they) base his (or their) theory?
- Charles Darwin & Alfred Wallace
- They based their observations on animals, mostly pigeons since they could breed faster
- Both Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace proposed natural selection. What was observed prior was Malthus' notion that poverty and war happened over resources. Thus Natural selection surfaced as a competition for resources.
What are the components of evolution? At what level - individual, population, species, etc. - does evolution work?
Evolution - descent with modification, by means of natural selection, a change in gene frequency through time. Variations can be passed along to one's offsprings, better adapted individuals works
More offspring are produced than can survive. Some variations may enhance the ability of an individual organism to adapt and survive in a given environment.
What does the scientific theory of evolution explain? What does it not explain?
A systematic attempt to provide a natural explanation of how species undergo genetic change through time. By means of natural selection is supported by evidence of paleontology, anatomy, embryology, organismal biology, biogeography, genetics, molecular biology, and systematics. Mutation, recombination, etc., selection, and reproduction.
It doesn't explain descent with modification, by means of natural selection.
What supporting evidence for evolution is now available to us?
It is helping us make advances in biology and modern medicine.
-There has been a gradual change in animal anatomy through time. New species are forming from older species. Transitional forms between groups of organisms. For example: Fossils, DNA, etc.
Why is an understanding of evolution and how it works so important in environmental
Understanding evolution is central to the advancement of medicine. The entire field of "evolutionary medicine" is devoted to using the principles of evolution to study and treat human illness and disease. Concepts such as adaptation and mutation inform therapies and strategies to combat pathogens, including influenza. Models developed by evolutionary biologists have shed light on genetic variation that may account for an increased risk of Alzheimer's and coronary heart disease. Knowing the evolutionary relationships among species allows scientists to choose appropriate organisms for the study of diseases, such as HIV. Scientists are even using the principles of natural selection to identify new drugs for detecting and treating diseases such as cancer
What is exponential growth? How does it differ from arithmetic growth?
- Exponential growth is population increasing at a constant rate
- Arithmetic growth increases at a constant amount
What is Malthusian growth? (After whom is this kind of growth named?) What is
irruptive growth? What is logistic growth?
- Malthusian growth- Named after Thomas Robert Malthus, is population growth followed by a population collapse.
- Irruptive growth- A growth pattern defined by population explosions and subsequent sharp population crashes; sometimes called Malthusian growth.
- Logistic Growth - is when population reaches a carrying capacity
● S-shaped curve of population ( occurs when resources are limited, thereby setting a maximum number an environment can support)
What are "pioneer species"? What growth patterns do these species show, and under what conditions?
- Pioneer Species- They are a first stage of succession, the first to return after a disturbance and their presence increases diversity in a region. They can survive and or thrive in hostile conditions.
- Irruptive growth patterns
From what kind of organisms did hominins evolve?
- Primates (Apes)
What were some behaviors inferred for the earliest hominins? (As discussed in class.) How did these behaviors change through geologic time?
Ate plants, possibly hunted? They scavenged! Made tools of shard rocks. Used stone tools, Hunted and gathered, Went from being nomadic to not: turned agricultural, we did not have to move around for food, settled down, owned plants/land, grow new resources when current resources were used up, had more sex, more babies, more food, using resources like never before and needed more space.
What was the main anatomical feature that separated early hominins from other closely
related nonhominin relatives? (Think Australopithecus afarensis, or "Lucy" here.)
- The remains of "Lucy" showed a knee cap and hip bones that demonstrated an upright position, unlike any structure pertaining to a four legged animal. The skull also demonstrated a different positioned foramen magnum. The Opening to the skull was in the middle and not towards the rear of the skull. Upright bipedality
What (as discussed in class) is the main conceptual difference between humans and other animals, including earlier hominids?
- The development of agriculture, we have forethought / can plan ahead.
With which hominid species did this conceptual shift take place?
- Shift took place in homo erectus
How did the advent of agriculture affect human population size worldwide? What costs
and benefits accompany agriculture and civilization?
- Due to having the resources at their will, the need to travel lessened, leading to the growth of the human population. Costs-destruction of the natural environment for our adaptation. Benefits-growth of mankind as a civilization
What are resources? What are the two broad categories of resources we discussed in class? How are these related?
- Resources - Anything with potential use in creating wealth or providing satisfaction
- Two broad categories include Renewable Resources and Nonrenewable Resources.
- Renewable resources can become nonrenewable if the rate of use exceeds the rate of replenishment.
What is the "Tragedy of the Commons"? Who proposed this, and when? How did this individual claim the tragedy could be avoided? Was he right?
- Tragedy of the Commons -The overuse of common ground, destroying the land (resources) and making it non-sustainable. Proposed by Garret Hardins in 1968
- Avoiding the "tragedy" meant privatizing the resources and giving coercive power to the government.
What resources were available for human use in Monterey Bay (as discussed in class)? Did consumption of these resources match the "Tragedy of the Commons" model? If so, in what way? If not, why not?
- Otters, Grey whales, Abalone, Squid, Sardine
- Yes, because after one resource was over consumed people would move onto the next until that resource was exhausted
What are internal costs in an economic transaction? What are external costs? Who pays for each? Can you think of any examples beyond those we discussed in class?
- Internal costs- They are costs that a business bases its price on. They include costs like materials, energy, labour, plant, equipment and overheads.
- External costs- Are costs that are NOT included in what the business bases its price on. These include: the cost of disposing of the product at the end of its useful life, the environmental degradation caused by the emissions, pollutants and wastes from production, the cost of health problems caused by harmful materials and ingredients, social costs associated with increasing unemployment due to increasing automation.
What is health? What is disease?
- Health- State of complete physical, mental and social well-being
- Disease- The abnormal change in the body's condition that impairs important physical or physiological functions
What are allergens? Mutagens? Teratogens? Neurotoxins? Carcinogens? What are
- Allergens- chemicals you have allergic reaction to; activate the immune system
- Mutagens- can cause mutations; alters or damages DNA... DNA damage can get passed on to children (becomes genetic). No safe threshold regardless of the amount of exposure. Can be caused by radiation (X-rays).
- Teratogens- Affect embryonic growth. Does not affect DNA. Malformation of an embryo
- Neurotoxins- attack nervous system; attack nerve cells and prevent electrical signal
- Carcinogens- cause cancer; invasive, out of control cell growth... 2nd leading cause of death in the US, 30% of Americans will have cancer. Caused by genetics, chemical exposure, and mutation in the genes.
Of chemicals used in the U.S., how many (in %) are tested for acute effects? For chronic
effects? For synergistic effects? (What are acute, chronic, and synergistic effects,
Acute effects - happen right away (like getting a chemical in your eye): <20%
-Chronic effects- happen after prolonged use of chemicals: <10%
-Synergistic effects- are the possible effect of mixing one chemical with another: on the average, 0% tested against other chemicals
What various effects do pesticides have? Are these effects all by design? How do some
organisms respond? (Hint: think evolution).
- Pesticides affect non-target species organisms, 90% of pesticides never reach target organisms
- Organisms eventually become resistant to the pesticides, Evolution is at work. Ex) with pesticide 99.9% of mosquitoes die but 0.1% alive. Then, 0.1% of mosquitoes that survive will reproduce-> offsprings are resistant to pesticide which will lead to developing stronger pesticides.
What are some of the problems with
- Problems with pesticides hard to get out of water
- Persistence and mobility
- Toxic levels found in food chain (biomagnification )
- creation of new pests
What is the "grasshopper effect"? What are bioaccumulation and biomagnification?
- The grasshopper effect - its chemicals that are sprayed in one area but suddenly appear in another area where the spray was not used.
- Bioaccumulation - involves penetrating cell walls. Pesticides are designed to get into an organism.
- Biomagnification - increases in concentration the higher you move. You can have animals in lower trophic levels that will not get affected by DDT. It is so concentrated and so biomagnified it can cause health issues. As you move up to trophic levels, it accumulates.
Is there enough food available in the world to feed everyone?
Yes, the problem of feeding everyone is the costs in delivery are too great. (Distribution)
What is undernourishment (or undernutrition)?
Not eating enough Calories.
What is the difference between
undernourishment and malnourishment?
Undernourishment is a deficit of Calories; Malnourishment is lack of Specific Dietary Requirements
What are our dietary requirements? What are vitamins?
Dietary requirements are proteins,carbohydrates and minerals.
Vitamins are organic molecules essential for life that can't be manufactured by the body.
Where do we get our food? Globally, what are the food types we use most often? How
are these distributed (think: which nations consume the most meat & milk, for example)
There are 75,000 edible plant and animal food resources, generally only 12 seeds/grains are grown, 20 fruits and vegetables, 6-8 mammals, 2-3 fowl are farmed for consumption.
North America, Europe and Japan = 20% of world population, consume 80% of global meat and dairy.
Rice, wheat and corn= 60% of global grain consumption.
Seafood = 50% of global meat consumption.
The US grows 50% of global corn, 90% of that goes to feeding livestock.
First World meat consumption is not sustainable due to population growth and water supply.
How much has food production increased in the past half-century? Is this likely to
happen again in the future? If so, how soon?
1950-1990 food production increased 2.3 times. There are not enough resources for this to occur again.
What is biodiversity? How is it measured?
Biodiversity=species diversity. Measured by species richness and species evenness.
What are genetic diversity and species diversity? How is species diversity measured?
Genetic Diversity - variety of different versions of a gene within a species.
Species Diversity - number of different species in a community
Species Diversity is measured...
What is the difference between species richness and species evenness (or relative
Species Richness = total number of Species & Species Evenness = relative abundance of various species
How are species defined? What are the differences among the various ways in which
species are defined? What are the advantages and/or disadvantages of these approaches?
Biological Species Concept (BSC) - group of organisms that can produce viable and fertile offspring
Morphological Species Concept - groups species according to morphological similarities and ignores other differences such as DNA or inability to reproduce. (Morphological = various physical aspects)
Genetic Species Concept - uses genetic data to see if organisms can be apart of the same species. (Referred to when the morphological species concept doesn't work)
Phylogenetic Species Concept - in terms of ancestral lineage; how closely related organisms are. Emphasizes branching relationships
Is extinction normal? What can cause extinctions? What are mass extinctions? (I asked you to remember two of these.)
Extinction is normal.
What causes extinctions: overharvesting, sport (hunting), habitat destruction, pollution, economics, overpopulation, invasive species (taking a species from where it belongs and putting it where it doesn't belong)
Mass Extinctions - when extinction exceeds more than usual
The Two Mass Extinctions = Cretaceous: 66 million years ago, lost 76% of all species & Permian: 249 million years ago, lost 95% of all species
What is the difference between weather and climate?
Weather - daily Temperature & Moisture conditions in a given place
Climate - long term weather patterns or trends
What are the different layers of the atmosphere? What are some characteristics of each? I mentioned in class that you should focus on knowing about two of these atmospheric layers in particular.
Thermosphere: 80 km to space. Uppermost layer and the hottest.
Mesosphere: 50- 80 km
Stratosphere: from the Top of the Troposphere to 50 km up. Extremely calm, Ozone layer is found here.
Troposphere: Earth's surface to 18 km at the equator and 8 km at the poles. All organisms live here.
What are "criteria pollutants"?
Criteria pollutants - designated by Clean Air Act in 1970 - considered to have the biggest impact on humans.
What is the "greenhouse effect"? How does it operate? What elements contribute to it?
"Greenhouse Effect": 50% of sun's energy that reaches the Earth's surface. 90% is absorbed 10% reflected back
Operates by the 2nd law of thermodynamics
Elements: ozone, methane 19%, CO2 64%
Where does our water come from? What is the hydrologic cycle, & how does it work?
- Water comes from Colorado River, Aquifers (underground), and State Water Project
- Hydrologic cycle: evaporation, condensation, precipitation (geography can affect precipitation)
How much global water (in percentage) is locked up in the oceans, or in snow, or in lakes
and rivers? Know these proportions.
97.6% of global water is salt water, 2.4% is freshwater. Of that 87.7% is frozen.
What are the three major ways in which humans use water?
Agriculture= 50% of water use
Industrial= 30% of water use.
Domestic= 20% of water use.
What are the ways in which domestic water is used? What activity constitutes the largest use of domestic water?
Washing dishes and laundry(?%)
Car washing: (?%)
Water parks (?%)
Brushing teeth (?%)
Toilet flushing is the largest use of domestic water at 38%
What are the differences between weather and climate?
Weather is the daily temperature and moisture conditions in a specific place.
Climate is long term weather trends
What are Milankovitch cycles? How do these cycles affect global climate?
Position of earth's relative to the sun. Cycles along with other factors collectively affect the seasonality.
1. Shape of Orbit (Elliptical shape) 2. Earth's Axis 3. Precession (Wobble)
What other global factors have an influence on global climate?
Changes in earth's movement
Is ozone good or bad? (Hint: in which atmospheric layers do we find it, and what does it do in each?)
Ozone is good when it's in the stratosphere, in the troposphere it is a poison.
How many tons of carbon are pumped into the atmosphere each year due to human
activities? Of these, how many tons are absorbed on a yearly basis?
7-8 billion tons. Oceans absorb 2 billion tons. The atmosphere will absorb 3-5 billion tons.
What is the overall trend observed in global temperatures over the past thirty years or so?
Global temperatures continue to increase.
What is "peak oil"? Will we ever completely run out of oil - and if so, when?
Oil production can't keep up with oil demand, if demand remains as it is now globally we will be out of oil in 45 years.
What is hydrologic fracturing, or fracking?
The creation of fissures in rock by using liquid that's at high temperature to extract the oil or gas in the rock.
How much oil is consumed in the US today, at current rates? How much oil is consumed
globally? How much oil is available in the US? Globally?
19 million barrels per day. 6.9 billion per year (for United States) Globally: 1.3 trillion barrels of economically recoverable oil
How has energy return vs. energy investment changed since the 1930s with respect to
In the 1930s 1 barrel of oil used brought in 100 barrels. By 2010 the ratio was 1:5.
Can the United States become energy independent? If so, what needs to be done to make this possible? If not, why not?
We can't become energy independent.
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