2nd Semester Period 3


1. Describe the economic, medical, aesthetic, ecological, and ethical significance of wild species. Define bioethics. Distinguish between intrinsic value and instrumental value.

2. Distinguish between background (natural) rate of extinction and mass extinction. Evaluate if an extinction crisis currently exists. Distinguish between endangered species and threatened species. Give three examples of each.

3. List nine characteristics that make species extinction prone.

4. Describe how species become extinct. List and describe eight ways that humans accelerate the extinction rate.

5. List and briefly describe three approaches to protect wild species from extinction. State one advantage particular to the ecosystem approach.

6. Summarize protection offered to wild species by CITES and the Endangered Species Act. List some steps, which would strengthen the Endangered Species Act. Describe one way to decide which species to save.

7. Describe how fish and game populations are managed in order to sustain the population. Analyze the lessons to be learned from the decline of the whaling industry.

8. List three ways individuals can help maintain wild species and preserve biodiversity.


9. Using Figure 10-3 on p. 208, list four types of agriculture. Compare the inputs of land, labor, capital, and fossil-fuel energy of these systems. Evaluate the green revolution. What were its successes? Its failures? Summarize major consequences of eating meat.

10. Describe the trends in world food production since 1950. Summarize food distribution problems. Define malnutrition and undernutrition. Indicate how many people on Earth suffer from these problems.

11. Describe the problems of soil erosion and desertification. Describe both world and U.S. situations and explain why most people are unaware of this problem. Describe the problems of salinization and waterlogging of soils and how they can be controlled.

12. Define soil conservation. List some ways to approach the problem of soil erosion. Be sure to distinguish between conventional-tillage and conservation-tillage farming. Describe techniques to maintain soil fertility. Distinguish between organic and inorganic fertilizers.

13. List twelve environmental effects of agriculture. Rank what you feel are the top three. Support your answer.

14. Describe trends in the world fish catch since 1950. Assess the potential for increasing the annual fish catch. Evaluate the potential of fish farming and fish ranching for increasing fish production.

15. Assess the pros and cons of agricultural subsidies and international food relief. Describe strategies that you feel would be most sustainable.

16. What is a pesticide? Distinguish between broad-spectrum and narrow-spectrum agents.

17. Make a case for using pesticides. List three encouraging developments in pesticide production. List the characteristics of the ideal pesticide.

18. Describe the consequences of relying heavily on pesticides. Summarize threats to wildlife and the human population.

19. List and briefly describe seven alternative pest management strategies.


20. Briefly describe Earth’s water supply. Compare amounts of saltwater and fresh water. Compare amounts of frozen fresh water and water available for human use. Define watershed and groundwater.

21. List four causes of water scarcity and five methods to increase water supply. State four ways to prevent unnecessary water waste.

22. Define floodplain. Describe the significance of the problem of flooding. List four ways to reduce the problem of flooding. Evaluate the water supply problems of your locality. Do you have too much, not enough, or just right?

23. List nine common types of water pollutants and give one example of each. Distinguish between point and non-point sources of pollution. Provide examples.

24. Briefly explain the differences among streams, lakes, groundwater, and oceans that vary in their vulnerability to pollution. Draw an oxygen sag curve to illustrate what happens to dissolved oxygen levels in streams below points where degradable oxygen-demanding wastes are added.

25. Define cultural eutrophication. List three ways to reduce cultural eutrophication. Compare the effectiveness of pollution control and pollution prevention strategies.

26. Describe at least three strategies to reduce nonpoint-source pollution. Briefly describe the Clean Water Act. State ways it could be strengthened.

27. Briefly describe and distinguish among primary, secondary, and advanced sewage treatment. Summarize one natural approach to water purification. Describe how drinking water is protected and purified.

28. List things individuals can do to maintain water supply and quality.


29. Briefly describe the layers of the Earth’s interior. Distinguish three different tectonic plate boundaries and the geologic features often found at each. Explain how this knowledge is significant for understanding mineral deposits and evolution.

30. List and define three broad classes of rock. Briefly describe the rock cycle and indicate interrelationships among these classes.

31. Distinguish between surface and subsurface mining. Briefly describe three types of surface mining.

32. Distinguish between mineral resources and mineral reserves. Draw a hypothetical depletion curve. Project how this curve would be affected by the following changes in assumptions: (a) recycling of the resource is increased, (b) discoveries of new deposits of the resource are made, (c) prices rise sharply, (d) a substitute for the resource is found.

33. Summarize the environmental impacts of extracting, processing, and using mineral resources. Evaluate the impact of the U.S. 1872 Mining Law.


34. How much of the total energy used to heat the Earth and Earth’s buildings comes from commercial energy? List five key questions to ask about each energy alternative to evaluate energy resources. Define net energy and state its significance in evaluating energy resources.

35. List the advantages and disadvantages of using conventional oil, oil from oil shale, and oil from tar sands to heat space and water, produce electricity, and propel vehicles.

36. Distinguish among natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, liquefied natural gas, and synthetic natural gas. List the advantages and disadvantages of using natural gas as an energy source.

37. List and describe three types of coal. Indicate which is preferred for burning and which is most available. List and briefly describe three methods for extracting coal. List advantages and disadvantages of using coal as a fuel source.

38. Briefly describe the components of a conventional nuclear reactor. List advantages and disadvantages of using conventional nuclear fission to create electricity. Be sure to consider the whole nuclear fuel cycle, including disposal of radioactive wastes, safety and decommissioning of nuclear power plants, and the potential for proliferation of nuclear weapons.

39. Summarize current thinking about disposal of low-level and high-level radioactive wastes.

40. List and briefly describe three ways to decommission a nuclear power plant. List findings of a 1987 commission, which bring into question the credibility of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to safeguard the nuclear power industry.

41. Describe the potential use of breeder nuclear fission and nuclear fusion as energy sources.

42. List the advantages and disadvantages of improving energy efficiency so that we do more with less. Define life cycle cost and cogeneration and describe their potential for saving energy. Describe changes that can be made in industry, transportation, buildings, lights, and appliances and that would improve energy efficiency.

43. List the advantages and disadvantages of using direct solar energy to heat air and water for buildings. Distinguish between active and passive solar heating. Compare the following solar technologies and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each: solar power tower, solar thermal plant, and optical solar concentrator.

44. List the advantages and disadvantages of using water in the forms of hydropower, tidal power, wave power, ocean thermal currents, and solar ponds to produce electricity.

45. List the advantages and disadvantages of using wind to produce electricity.

46. List the advantages and disadvantages of using biomass to heat space and water, produce electricity, and propel vehicles. Consider burning wood, agricultural wastes, and urban wastes as well as conversion of biomass to biofuels.

47. List the advantages and disadvantages of using hydrogen gas as an energy source. Why is hydrogen considered a fuel and not an energy source? Describe constraints to a solar-hydrogen revolution.

48. List the advantages and disadvantages of using geothermal energy for space heating, high-temperature industrial heating, and electricity production.

49. Analyze the interactions of economic policy and energy resources. In particular consider the results of using free-market competition, keeping energy prices low, and keeping energy prices high.

50. List four ways that the United States could build a more sustainable energy future.


51. List four classes of common hazards and give two examples of each. List seven cultural hazards in order of most to least hazardous.

52. Define toxicology. List three types of studies that contribute to our knowledge of toxicology. Distinguish between acute and chronic effects; bioaccumulation and biomagnification.

53. Draw a dose-response curve and explain how it can be used. Draw graphs of two hypothetical dose-response curves: no threshold and threshold.

54. Define epidemiology. Summarize limits of toxicological research.

55. List five principal types of chemical hazards and give two examples of each.

56. Distinguish between transmissible and nontransmissible diseases. Explain which occurs most in developing countries and which occurs most in developed countries. Relate an epidemiologic transition to a demographic transition.

57. Describe how the hazards of smoking and sexually transmitted diseases could be reduced in the United States. List diet changes that can help prevent cancer.

58. Define risk analysis. Summarize its limitations. Compare technology reliability to human reliability. Distinguish between risk-benefit analysis and risk assessment. List seven questions risk assessors might ask.

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