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ENV100Y5 (131)
Chapter 1

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Department
Environment
Course
ENV100Y5
Professor
Monika Havelka
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 1 How and why do we define “the environment”? Environment: is more than water, land and air, it is the sum of total of our surrounding (all living and non –living) • 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? Has two components: 1. Abiotic: non-living 2. Biotic: living Natural resources are vital to our survival: • Renewable natural resources: natural resources that are replenish able over short periods • Non-renewable resources: are in finite supply and are depletable because they are formed much more slowly • Resource Management: is strategic decision making and planning aimed at balancing the use of resource with its protection and preservation How we relate to environment: • philosophical • cultural • religious/spiritual • aesthetic • emotional Environmental Science: the study of how natural world works and how humans and the environment interact Environmental science explores interaction between humans and the physical and biological world: • encompasses the biogeocheicmal physical system in which peopleand other ogranisms exist • dynamic interrelationships among organisms (including people) and their surroundings (physical, chemical, biological, geological, social/cultural...) Environmental issues are inherently interdisciplinary Our understanding is greater than a “sum of the parts” Environmental science is not the same as environmentalism: • Environmentalism: a social movement dedicated to protecting the natural world (activism) • Environmental science: is the study and knowledge of the workings of environment Nature of Science: • Science: systematic process for learning about the world and testing our understanding of it. • The accumulated body of knowledge that arises from this dynamic process of observation, testing and discovery Scientists test ideas by critically examining evidence: • The scientific method: a formalized method for testing ideas with observations that involves several assumption and more or less consistent series of interrelated steps • Scientific method relies on assumptions: 1. The universe works according to natural laws. 2. Events arise from causes, and cause other events. 3. We use logic, systematic testing, and our senses to understand natural laws. • The scientific method is a key element of science • Scientists: 1. Make observations and ask questions. 2. Formulate hypotheses – preliminary explanations. 3. Use hypotheses to generate predictions – specific statements that can be tested. 4. Interpret test results – support or reject hypothesis. • Scientific method: 1. Observations 2. Ask questions 3. Develop hypothesis 4. Make predictions 5. Test predictions: • Experiment: activity designed to test vadilaity of a hypotheses • It involves components: I. Manipulating variables II. Independent variable: a variable whose variation does not depend on that of another. III. Dependent variable: a variable whose value depends on that of another IV. Control variable: something that stays constant • Tested many different ways:
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