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[ENV100Y5] - Midterm Exam Guide - Ultimate 64 pages long Study Guide!


Department
Environment
Course Code
ENV100Y5
Professor
Monika Havelka
Study Guide
Midterm

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UTM
ENV100Y5
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Lecture 2: An Introduction to Environmental Science
Environment:
Legal issues -- the environment is a legal entity
Environmental policies/practices need to be defined by various organizations
Socially/culturally/philosophically -- how do we think about and relate to the
environment?
How do we relate to the environment?
• Philosophical
• Cultural
• religious/spiritual
• aesthetic
• emotional
Environmental science explores interactions between humans and the physical and biological
world:
encompasses the biogeochemical-physical system in which people and other organisms
exist
dynamic interrelationships among organisms (including people) and their surroundings
(physical, chemical, biological, geological, social/cultural...)
Environmental science is interdisciplinary:
Environmental issues are inherently interdisciplinary
Our understanding is greater than a “sum of the parts”
What is science and how does it work?:
A systematic process for learning about the world and testing our understanding of it
The accumulated body of knowledge that arises from this dynamic process
Scientists test ideas using critical analysis:
The scientific method: - Testing ideas through observation, questioning, and
experimentation
Assumptions: - The universe works according to natural laws
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Events arise from causes, and cause other events
We use logic, systematic testing, and our senses to understand natural laws
The scientific method is a key element of science:
Make observations and ask questions
Formulate hypotheses – preliminary explanations
Use hypotheses to generate predictions – specific statements that can be tested
Interpret test results – support or reject hypothesis
The scientific method is part of a larger process:
The scientific process includes peer review, publication, debate
Uncertainty is a fundamental part of the scientific process
A consistently supported hypothesis becomes a theory
Some theories lead to a paradigm shift
People differ in their perception of environmental problems:
Interdisciplinary communication is already difficult
Communication about environmental issues is further complicated by differences in
language and worldview
Policy/Legal/Governmental vs. Scientific
Academic vs. Applied
Profane/Secular vs. Religious/Sacred
Affluence vs. Poverty
Industrialized vs. Developing Nations
Anthropocentric vs. Ecocentric
Ecosphere vs. Technosphere
Economy vs. Ecology
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