Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Environmental Science Inquiry and Applications Cunningham • Cunningham

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Environmental Science Inquiry and Applications Cunningham • Cunningham"— Presentation transcript:

1 Environmental Science Inquiry and Applications Cunningham • Cunningham
Principles of Environmental Science Inquiry and Applications Third Edition Cunningham • Cunningham Chapter 1 Lecture Outlines* *See PowerPoint Image Slides for all figures and tables pre-inserted into PowerPoint without notes. Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display.

2 Science: The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of natural phenomena. Physics Biology Chemistry Environmental Science

Environmental science is the study of the interactions among the physical, chemical and biological components of the environment; with a focus on pollution and degradation of the environment related to human activities; and the impact on biodiversity and sustainability from local and global development. It is inherently an interdisciplinary field that draws upon not only its core scientific areas, but also applies knowledge from other non-scientific studies such as economics, law and social sciences.

4 Environmental Science

5 Environmental science encompasses issues such as climate change, conservation, biodiversity, groundwater and soil contamination, use of natural resources, waste management, sustainable development, air pollution and noise pollution. Due to the inherent interdisciplinary nature of environmental science, teams of professionals commonly work together to conduct environmental research or to produce Environmental Impact Statements, as required by the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or under state laws.





10 Hypothesis: A trial explanation of certain facts that provides a basis for further experimentation.
Theory: Well-established hypothesis. An explanation of the general principles of certain phenomena with considerable evidence or facts to support it. Law: Statement of natural phenomena to which no exceptions are known under the given conditions. A law is not an explanation.

11 1. Formulate a hypothesis to a problem.
2. Collect facts or data that are relevant to the problem. This is done by experimentation. 3. Analyze the data to find trends that are pertinent to the problem. 4. Plan and do additional experiments to test the hypothesis. 5. Modify the hypothesis to ensure compatibility with the experimental data.

12 Table 1. Water Quality Analyses of Tap & Bottled Waters Tested at BCC.
Sample Fluoride (mg/L) Chloride Nitrite (mg/L N) Nitrate Phosphate Sulfate BCC Tap Water(7/12) 1.14 9.61 BDL 0.83 1.11 6.65 BCC Tap Water(7/19) 7.26 BCC Tap Water (7/27) 10.49 0.91 1.19 6.87 NYC Tap Water (45th Street) 1.20 15.05 0.97 1.44 7.62 NYC Tap Water (Queens) 0.76 5.89 0.43 4.21 Poland Spring 5.52 1.56 5.41 Evian 7.02 3.52 13.83 Deer Park 0.98 1.78 Culligan 9.52 3.14 - 13.08 Twin Mountain Peak 23.42 3.29 7.30 Great Bear 9.16 0.32 1.07 Long Island Well Water 40.33 14.62 0.07 9.72 USEPA STANDARD 4.0 250* 1 10 NA

13 Household Water Purifiers: What Type Should You Buy?
Dr. Neal Phillip You are watching Channel 7 Eyewitness News and a Newsflash comes across the screen about an incident of contaminated drinking water in New Jersey. Though you live in Brooklyn, you panic and rush out to the local Home Depot to buy a water purifier. STOP!! Before you make a purchase, more out of fear than out of actual need, ask yourself what specifically you hope to accomplish by buying a water purifier. Most consumers shopping for a household water purifier start by looking in the wrong place. The store is the last stop they should make. The search should begin at home with a test to determine what’s in their drinking water. Not all home water purifier solve all drinking water problems. Some are designed to remove impurities that others don’t touch. Consumers should look for devices designed to remove specific impurities from their drinking water. Some of the common types available on the market are discussed below. Carbon Filters Carbon filters remove some organic chemicals and reduce undesirable tastes, odors, and color. They also remove chlorine and some pesticides. Carbon filters however do not remove heavy metals such as lead. The popular BRITA filter is a carbon-based filter. Consumers undergoing kidney dialysis should not drink water containing oxidants like chlorine, so a BRITA filter is a good choice. Ion Exchange Water Softeners There are two types of water softeners, cation and anion ion exchangers. Cation ion exchangers solve hard water problems. They eliminate calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese and other metals such as lead and copper by replacing them with sodium. Consumers on sodium-restricted diets should consider this before purchasing. Anion ion exchange units remove sulfates, nitrates, bicarbonates. Distillation Units Distillation units boils water then catches and condense the steam while contaminants remain in the boiling tank. Distillation removes heavy metals, ions and kills microorganisms present in the water. Make a Smart Choice!!!! The only way for consumers to be sure they get the right water purification device is first to determine what problems need to be solved. Without a thorough analysis of their drinking water, buying a product that claims to make it completely safe can be risky and costly business.

Scientists collaborate in a cumulative, self-correcting process. Many people often work on many different aspects of a problem. Creativity, insight, aesthetics and even luck play important roles in scientific research.

15 Scientific Design Reproducibility Experiments must be designed and recorded such that they can be exactly reproduced by other researchers. Controlled Studies Comparisons are made between experimental and control populations. Every factor except the one being studied is held constant.

16 Scientific Design Cont’d
Blind Experiment Conducted so investigators do not know which is the control and which is the experimental group, until after data have been gathered and analyzed. Double-Blind Neither the subject nor the investigators know which participants are receiving an experimental treatment.

17 Reasoning Deductive Starting with a general principle and deriving a testable predication about a specific case. Inductive Specific examples are examined to locate patterns and derive general explanations from collected observations.

18 Modeling and Natural Experiments
In some areas, historic evidence can be examined for support or contradiction of an idea. Another method of investigation is using a model simulating the phenomenon under study. Models represents researchers’ assumptions about how a system works. Can produce contradictory results.


20 Statistics and Probability
An attempt to measure and predict the likelihood of an event. Sample Size A critical experimental variable is the number of observations necessary in order to have a reliable representation of a population.

21 Approaches to Knowledge and Thinking
Analytical Thinking How can I break this problem into parts? Creative Thinking How can I approach this differently? Logical Thinking How can deductive reasoning help? Critical Thinking What am I trying to do? Reflective Thinking What does it all mean?

22 Steps in Critical Thinking
Identify and evaluate premises and conclusions in an argument. Acknowledge and clarify uncertainties, vagueness, equivocation, and contradictions. Distinguish between facts and values. Recognize and assess assumptions. Distinguish source reliability or unreliability. Recognize and understand conceptual frameworks.

23 History of Conservation and Environmentalism
Four Distinct Stages: Pragmatic Resource Conservation Moral and Aesthetic Nature Preservation Modern Environmentalism Global Environmental Citizenship

24 Pragmatic Resource Conservation
President Theodore Roosevelt and his chief conservation advisor, Gifford Pinchot, believed in utilitarian conservation. Forests should be saved so they can be used to provide homes and jobs. Should be used for “the greatest good for the greatest number, for the longest time.”

25 Modern Environmentalism
Rachel Carson, Silent Spring. Awakened the public to threats of pollution and toxic chemicals to humans as well as other species. Modern environmentalism extends concerns to include both natural resources and environmental pollution.

26 Global Concerns Increased travel and communication enables people to know about daily events in places unknown in previous generations. Common environment shared on a global scale. Global Environmentalism

Causes of Environmental Degradation More than 6 billion people now occupy the earth, and we add about 85 million more each year. Most growth will be in poorer countries where present populations already strain resources and services.

28 Human Dimensions of Environmental Science
A small fraction of the world’s population live in increasing luxury, while more than 1.4 billion people live in acute poverty. Seventy percent are women and children. Often meet short-term survival needs at the cost of long-term sustainability. Cycle of poverty, illness and limited opportunities become cyclic.

29 Rich and Poor Countries
About 20% of the worlds population lives in the twenty richest countries. Average per capita income above $25,000. Other 80% live in middle or low-income countries. Ten poorest countries each have average per capita income of less than $ Richest 200 people in the world have have a combined wealth of $1 trillion. More than total owned by poorest half of the world population (3 billion).



32 Sustainability Sustainable Development
Sustainable development is a process of developing land, cities, business, communities, and so on that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" according to the Brundtland Report, a 1987 report from the United Nations. One of the factors which it must overcome is environmental degradation, but it must do so without forgoing the needs of economic development, social equality and justice.

33 Indigenous Peoples Indigenous peoples are generally among the least powerful, most neglected groups. In many countries, traditional caste systems, discriminatory laws, economics, or prejudices repress indigenous peoples. In many places, indigenous people in traditional homelands guard undisturbed habitats and rare species. Recognizing native land rights may safeguard ecological processes.



36 Focus Questions for Quiz #1
Be able to define the following: science, environmental science. Be familiar with the following : hypotheses, theory, law Be familiar with the steps involved in the Scientific Method Be familiar with the History of Conservation and Environmentalism Be familiar with the work of Rachel Carson Be familiar with the current environmental conditions and some of the reasons for environmental degradation (rapid increase in population , wealth gap between rich and poor countries) Be familiar with the concept of sustainable development and sustainability.

Download ppt "Environmental Science Inquiry and Applications Cunningham • Cunningham"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google