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ES293 Soc-Environmental Systems Week 1-3.docx

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Environmental Studies
Rob Milne

Social-Ecological Systems Week 1, Lecture 2: Social-Ecological Systems (lecture 1, just review of syllabus) Emphasize humans-in-nature Ecosystems integrated with human society Diagram displaying things in shaded area depicting activity all connected and interact. Processes all vary-response to disturbance might be immediate or take a while The Ecological model or bio-ecological systems theory  Related to human behaviour  Nested Systems relate to human relationship with personal environment  Helps to understand development behaviour and personality INPUT THROUGHPUT OUTPUT •matter •human body •heat (input can be •energy stored for •ideas & •information different actions lengths of •waste and time) pollution EXAMPLE: System= House OUTPUT= the empty bottles in recycle bin System= Waterloo Region THROUGHOUT= empty bottles Equilibrium  Steady or static state  Homeostasis o Keep internal conditions steady as external conditions change o Maintaining dynamic equilibrium Dynamic Equilibrium  Active balance  “the more things change, more stay the same” Feedback  Processes that maintain equilibrium  Balance of negative and positive feedbacks Positive Feedback  Arctic massive Positive Feedback loop, because ice is melting, reducing habitat the change in temperature makes it a positive feedback loop  Positive Feedback= creating change, moving forward RECAP: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK= GOOD (keeps system the same/equal Population Growth More AGRICULTURE Agriculture & POPUATION Agricultural Product POSITIVE LOOP Productivity More Population Growth **Sometime new factors introduced can alter the loop for a time before it returns to before Week 2, Lecture 1: Thresholds Thresholds: level of tolerance to stress/change, pushed back to a new equilibrium, need to establish environmental levels Natural Disturbance (fires, disease, hurricanes, landslides, flooding, pests, etc.) Self-organizing Regulatory Feedbacks *Systems will alter and adapt these disturbances benefit the habitat (release nutrients) *Humans manage these areas because we utilize them for income, suppressing fires for lumber, flood control to protect crops Alternative Stable States (An event might push a state into equilibrium-systems are not all linear) State depends on history of system and perturbations it’s been exposed to  Woodlands Grasslands  CoralMacroalgae  Fisheries Collapse (NOT COMING BACK!) Some systems DO need a cycle that continues to change, and hat is not always stable. Systems have large variety, very dynamic and complex In case of the fishery industry most likely to exceed threshold and cause a collapse Multiple States  Unique flora and fauna  Tourist attractions  Recreational opportunities  Resource extraction  Biosphere resource Persistence, Constancy, Resilience  System property- re
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