Env Course Readings pg 9-29.docx

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School of Environment
Stephen Scharper

Env Course Readings Birds at Mono Lake pgs. 9-29  Mono lake is a salt lake in cali, east of sierra Nevada; home to birds and shrimp etc  In 1940 L.A divereted all stream water to provide 17% of the water supply for the city, Mono Lake began to drive out, from 60,000acres in 1940s to 40,000 in 1980s L.A department of water said everything would b ok bcuz rain wud directly fall on the lake and water flowing underground would provide water for the lake  After research they found that the lake wud become so small that it wud be too salty for the shrimp, fly larvae, algae and bacteria by 2003  In 08 lake still hadn’t been recovered but afterwards gov took the issue seriously and the lake and animals were saved  Tech is the means ppl use to obtain physical needs and benefits; today tech has bcome the application of scientific knowledge to achieve some practical goal  Galileo (physics of motion) started the use of numerical observation and math models; this was 1 described by Francis bacon in 1620 in his writings  Modern scn doesn’t deal with things that cant be tested by observation ex: creation, god or values/opinions etc  Disprovability: a statement can be said to be scn if someone can state a method by which it cud b disproved. if u cant think of such a test then its non scientific Case of mysterious Crop Circles  Random crop circles were appearing in agriculture lands, everyone thought something wrong was happening but then two guy confessed to being the reason or the crop circles and ppl still believe something bad is happening; they refuse to believe it was the 2 guys that created the circles :S weird st  2 failures regarding the scientific method are illustrated by crop circles: 1 scientific method is used incorrectly and 2 ndscn info is rejected by choice. Same happens in ENV problems The nature of Scientific Proof  Scn is based on reasoning known as induction; it begins with specific observ about the natural world and extends to generalizations  If a conclusion follows logically from these premises, the conclusion is said to be prove; this is deductive reasoning ex: premise; a straight line is the shortest distance betwn two points premise; the line from a to b is the shortest distance betwn points and b conclusion; therefore the line from a to b is a straight line  Proof in inductive reasoning is diff; when we say something is proven in induction were saying that it has a high degree of probability probability is a way of expressing our un/certainty  Deductive reasoning is useful in helping scientists analyze whether conclusions based on inductions r valid; scn reasoning combines induction and deduction  Penicillin was discovered “ by accident” in 1928 Alexander Fleming was studying the pus-producing bacteria staphylococcus aureus a bit of this was contaminated with penicillium natatum Fleming noticed the bacteria didn’t grow in the areas of where the pencililum was so he isolated that alone and found that penicillin killed bacteria that caused diseases and that’s how it was found penicillium is commonly found in stale bread Measurements and uncertainty  How we communicate scn info: surveys, hypothesis, analysis, conclusions etc  Measurement uncertainties are inevitable; can be reduced but not eliminated cuz all of them have some degree of uncertainty; measurement = meaningless w.o uncertainty  Measurement uncertainties are called experimental errors  Often error leads to greater understanding th ex: existence of 8 planet; Neptune was discovered while investigating inconsistencies in Uranus  Accuracy refers to what we know  Precision=how well to measure  In certain cases certain measurements have been made very carefully by ppl over a long period and accepted values have bee
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