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Exam 1 Study Guide SOS 110, Spring 2012 Lecture 1: Introduction to Sustainability Wicked Problems

What are the three basic components (pillars) of sustainability and how are they related to each other? -Environment- natural capital (resources services) -Society- social capital (work together to solve problem) -Economy- economic development (improve quality of life) Understand the overall goal of sustainability and why it is not only about preserving the environment -goal: addresses compromises and tradeoffs needed to solve real world problems -its about preservation of conditions for survival of our society Name the four major characteristics of a wicked problem that were discussed in lecture and be able to give an example of a wicked problem using these characteristics -multiple stakeholders -no one definition -no agreement on solution -new problems arise when solution implemented

Be able to name, explain, and illustrate with examples the four governing concepts of systems science -holistic system=interdisciplinary -water cycle -dynamic interaction multiple components -animal/sun/plant -interaction results in feedback -temperature gauge -basic scientific laws -1st law thermodynamics Name and explain the four scientific principles of sustainability
-solar energy -chemical cycling -biodiversity -human nature interactions

Lecture 2: Human Dimensions

Name two major ways that we can change business-as-usual mentioned at the beginning of this lecture -Behavior change -New technologies

Understand the major environmental beliefs or worldviews based on

whether human needs and wants or overall health of ecosystems is more important (text) live within means?? Ways in which people can live more sustainably (text) live simple, lightly dont waste matter use 3 principles of sustainability biodiversity chemical cycling solar energy

The role of education in living more sustainably, but also why knowledge alone is not enough first step is to become environmentally literate (learning from nature)

Name, define, and give an example of each of the three major factors that motivate human behavior discussed in this lecture (values, beliefs, and norms) norms- rules approved disapproved example: green grass, owning car, high consumption lifestyle values- general fundamental hard to change example: freedom, independence beliefs- specific acceptance of what is true example: nature is fragile, robust

Describe the four belief systems or worldviews regarding how humans interact with natural ecosystems environmental wisdom (best) stewardship planetary management self centered human (worst) There are several approaches or ideas to remember when trying to effect human behavior change. Be able to list, explain, and give an example of those discussed in lecture engage values change beliefs- education change norms- modeling provide incentives (encourage behavior) and disincentives (discourage behavior) barriers to action- personal capabilities, constraints habit/routine- remembering to engage in sustainability/ use of prompts perceived efficacy- individual actions make difference

Explain the purpose of community-based social marketing and describe each of the key components -select behavior to promote based on impact most works in recycling, energy, water conservation

Describe what is meant by a stakeholder and explain why multiple stakeholder engagement is important -stakeholder: person or organ. who can be positively or negatively impacted by or cause impact on actions -most involve ppl or groups with different values beliefs agendas and goals Understand the concept of power in decision making -ability of an actor to control interaction with environment and interactions of others -Must have degree of power in order to participate in process of decision making

Lecture 3: Ecosystem Ecology

Explain why the scientific method alone cannot help us solve sustainability problems There are large levels of uncertainties. It has several limitations

What is meant by natural capital and why is this an important concept in sustainability? Natural capital= resources + services (preserving conditions necessary for survival of our society) Preserving conditions necessary for survival of our society Define ecosystem services and why ecosystem functioning is important here Ecosystem services: benefits provided by ecosystems to humans. Life possible and worth living

With respect to human needs, describe what is meant by vitality and integrity. Why is the idea of integrity a challenge for sustainability? Vitality: basic needs for survival food water shelter Integrity: beyond basic needs; make life worth living what necessary conditions for the survival of our society?

Define matter and describe the three ways that it can be transformed. Understand the application of the law of conservation of matter to these transformations. matter: anything that has mass and takes up space physical and chemical change

Define energy and describe how it can be transformed (1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics) -energy: capacity to do work or create heat/ potential and kinetic energy -1st law thermodynamics: no energy created nor destroyed -2nd law thermodynamics: end in less usable energy then we started with

Explain the dynamics of matter and energy in ecosystems -Energy flows through ecosystems solar energy- energy -Matter cycles within chemical cycling-matter

Describe how the dynamics of matter and energy in human-dominated ecosystems differs from natural ecosystems, and why this can be a problem natural ecosystems-sun

human-dominated ecosystems- fossil fuels- coal oil gas/ sun, wind, geothermal

Name the five major biogeochemical cycles and the major ways that humans are impacting each 1. Water cycle (H2O) a. Over pumping, flooding, pollution 2. Carbon cycle (C) a. Fossil fuels, fires, transportation, deforestation 3. Nitrogen Cycle (N) a. Fertilizer, burning fuel 4. Phosphorous cycle (P) a. Mining waste, sewage, fertilizer 5. Sulfur Cycle (S) smelting. Burning coal, refining fossil fuels a. Sulfur in rock, fossil fuels

Understand what is meant by stock-and-flow models, why they are useful, and be able to interpret biogeochemical cycles using these models Stock and flow: help figure out whether or not we are using resources sustainably Useful: help distinguish renewable resources from non-renewable resources Example: River inflow

water in reservoir


  Understand what is meant by a stability domain, a threshold or tipping point, and resilience stability domain: stable state

threshold/tipping point: no return fundamental shift in behavior of system resilience: ability of a system to recover

Lecture 4: Community Ecology and Biodiversity

Define biodiversity and understand the four ways by which biodiversity is assessed (4 components, as you textbook calls them) Biodiversity: Count all types of organisms on Earth over space and time Functional diversity: bio and chm processes energy flow and matter Most important component Ecological diversity: terrestrial aquatic ecosystems Tropical, sub tropical Genetic diversity: within a species Alleles, difference among individuals of species Species diversity: number and abundance of species Functional bio and chm energy functional functional chm and bio energy Ecological terrestial ecological ecological terrestrial Genetic alleles genetic genetic genetic Species # species species # providing neccassry want

Understand the concept of a keystone species and their importance to ecosystem functioning keystone species: important to ecosystem functioning importance: removal and ecosystem will become damaged ex: starfish, sea urchin, mussels Define cascading effects and understand why this concept is relevant to keystone species

cascading effects: unpredictable unintended consequences due to interventions relevant: if starfish die then urchins will take over Name and define the six different levels of biological organization discussed in lecture 1. biosphere- plants ecosystems 2. landscapes- arrays of ecosystems 3. ecosystems- dynamic complex of plant, 4. communities5. populations- how many individuals of species live in an area 6. organisms-

Explain why biodiversity is important. Use the word resilience in your explanation. Biodiversity is good because it ensures adaptive potential in the face of environmental pressures and has resilient capability (ability of a system to recover). VITAL TO SUSTAINING LIFE ON EARTH Explain what is meant by an emergent property and give an example emergent property: life of its own example: organ system, digestive system own behavior

Understand why biodiversity loss is happening. (HINT: rate of extinction and rate of evolution) species are dying out faster than gaining resilience

ex. Insects are dying faster than they can repopulate

Understand where biodiversity comes from (process of evolution, mechanism of natural selection) 1st inference- production of species more than environment can handle Darwin observations: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. species increase if all born reproduce successfully pop. Tend to reain stable except seasonal fluctuations resources are limited no two are alike variation passed from parents offspring

2nd inference- survival depends on inherited traits 3rd inference- unequal ability to survive and reproduce leads to change in pop.

Lecture 5: Human Population and Agriculture

Explain why human population growth is a problem: Use the I=PAT equation in your explanation. Describe the three major changes in our food production system as a result of the Green Revolution Define unintended consequence List and describe the major unintended consequences of our current agricultural system (the one that resulted from the Green Revolution of the 1950s) and possible solutions to these problems

Understand why biodiversity is important to resilience of agricultural systems Explain the different between a monoculture and a polyculture, and the pros and cons of each Understand how the niche complimentarity effect explains why polycultures produce higher yields than monocultures. Define environmental resistance and explain the two reasons why populations cannot grow indefinitely Define carrying capacity and understand what damaging the environment can do to carrying capacity Understand how current agricultural practices are decreasing the carrying capacity of earth for humans Understand the interplay between human population growth, technology, and carrying capacity throughout human history What are the current projections/predictions for human population growth over the next 50 100 years? Understand what the demographic transition model and population age structures are, and understand how they help demographers come up with these predictions of population growth Define negative and positive feedbacks (with specific reference to how they change the state of a system) and be able to give several examples of each (see practice sheet posted on course website under Lectures section of Blackboard page)

Lecture 6: Earth Systems and Nonrenewable Resources

Understand the three major interactions between tectonic plates and the result of these interactions Explain the geologic processes behind soil formation and why soil is a nonrenewable resource Define, and compare and contrast, renewable versus nonrenewable resources. Use words such as stock, flow, rate, and steady-state to describe sustainable versus unsustainable resource use. Define ore and explain what is meant by high grade and low grade ore Describe the environmental, social, and economic impacts of mineral use Explain the concept of externalities and give examples of negative externalities related to mineral use List and explain solutions for the unintended consequences of mining List the three major advantages and disadvantages of each nonrenewable energy source discussed in your text (oil, coal, natural gas, and nuclear) Explain the differences between climate and weather Understand the three major causes of climate change and which ones are impacted by human activities (and how)