Chapter 1- Studying the State of Our Earth


Terms in this set (...)

The sum of all the conditions surrounding us that influence life
Environmental Science
The field of study that looks at interactions among human systems and those found in nature
An interacting set of components that influence one another by exchanging energy or materials
A particular location on Earth distinguished by its mix of interacting biotic and abiotic components
A person that seeks to protect the environment
Environmental Studies
Field of study that includes environmental science, environmental policy, economics, literature, and ethics
Ecosystem Services
The process by which natural environments provide life-supporting resources
Environmental Indicators
An indicator that describes the current state of an environmental system
Living on Earth in a way that allows humans to use its resources without depriving future generations of those resources
The diversity of life forms in an environment
A group of organisms that is distinct from other groups in its morphology, behavior, or biochemical properties
The evolution of new species
Background extinction rate
The average rate at which species become extinct over the long term
Greenhouse gases
Gasses in Earth's atmosphere that trap heat near the surface
Derived from human activities
Improvement in human well-being through economic advancement
Scientific method
An objective method to explore the natural world, draw inferences from it, and predict the outcome of certain events, processes, or changes
A testable theory or supposition about how something works
Null hypothesis
A statement or idea that can be falsified, or proven wrong
The data collection procedure of taking repeated measurements
Sample size
The number of times a measurement is replicated from the data collection process
How close a measured value is to the actual or true value
How close the repeated measurements of a sample are to one another
An estimate of how much a measured or calculated value differs from a true value
Inductive reasoning
The process of making general statements from the specific facts or examples
Deductive reasoning
The process of applying a general statement to specific facts or situations
Critical thinking
The process of questioning the source of information, considering the methods used to obtain the information, and drawing conclusions
A hypothesis that has been repeatedly tested and confirmed by multiple groups of researchers and has reached wide acceptance
Natural law
A theory for which there is no known exception and that has withstood rigorous testing
Control group
In a scientific investigation, a group that experiences exactly the same conditions as the experiment group, except for the single variable under study
Natural experiement
A natural event that acts as an experimental treatment in an ecosystem
What disciplines are incorporated into the study of environmental science?
Biology and ecology, toxicology, atmospheric sciences, chemistry, earth sciences, law, literature and writing, ethics, politics and policy, and economics
List the 5 global-scale environmental indicators.
Biodiversity, abundant food production, global surface temperature, the size of the human population, and resource depletion
Describe the following: genetic diversity, species diversity, ecosystem diversity.
Genetic diversity is a measure of the genetic variation among individuals in a population. Species diversity is the number of species in a region or in a particular type of habitat. Ecosystem diversity is a measure of the diversity of ecosystems or habitats that exist in a given region.
Given an example of an activity that is anthropogenic
Anthropogenic activities come from humans. Examples include burning fossil fuels, driving cars, cutting down forests, habitat loss from human construction etc
Currently, what is the size of the human population
6.8 billion and growing
What is a person's ecological footprint?
A measure of how much that person consumes, expressed in area of land required to support a person's lifestyle
List the steps in the scientific method
Observe and question, form testable hypothesis, collect data, interpret results, disseminate findings