1. Revolutionary changes in human culture have greatly changed the relationship between humans and the environment. How have the Neolithic and Industrial Revolution impacted the natural environment, and what is meant by the Environmental Revolution?
The recycling of elements is another vital functional process occurring in all ecosystems. Describe the biogeochemical cycles for carbon, phosphorous, and nitrogen. How have humans impacted these three cycles?
The goods and services performed by natural ecosystems are essential to human survival. What is their overall value, and of what significance is it to measure this value.
2. Discuss fundamental concepts of Environmental Science: sustainability, stewardship, and sound science.
? Describe abiotic and biotic factors and their relationship to an ecosystem.
? Apply critical thinking skills to the content of the course.
I have placed here as text, but also attached as PDF and HTML.
1) OK...let's talk first about the Neolithic era. Quite simply, as humanity became organized and began to alter the landscape, by definition, environmental impact had begun. One could argue that before this time, humans were another (albeit tool-using) animal that used scavenged resources and hunted in a subsistence fashion. Semi-nomadic and low-impact from an environmental perspective (aside from the culling of some animal herd perhaps.)
However, when we began to "settle down" and farm, build houses, mine metals actively, domesticate animals....we began down the road of altering "natural" systems. (Some might argue as well, that we - even now - are a part of the natural system. A bone of centention of nature versus "wild.) See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neolithic
Of course we also began to leave midden heaps, organize enough to war...and lots of other fun things that make us "civilized"...and most have some impact on the natural environment. Of course, when man's numbers were small we could (quite literally) crap in the woods...and natural systems could cope. Nowadays, it is a different story....even our masses of personal waste could stress regional ecosystem capacity.
The Industrial Revolution hallmarks our "Era of Anthropogenic Impact" Two main themes begin to have real impact. One (and the most obvious perhaps) is the beginnings of the fossil fuel economy. We began ...
HTML & PDF files have live links to info. Deals with sustainability and touches on patterns of civilization, biogeochemistry, stewardship of the Earth.