Week of 8.19.19

APES notes



  1. With energy you can move/purify water
  2. With water you can grow food
  3. With food you can maintain a culture

What is the "environment"?

Front of ship fell off-

"we towed it out into the environment"

"you mean into another environment"

Environment: Everything around us, including us

Topics from you:

  • Pollution, Renewable Energy + different types of energy, Biodiversity/Biotech, Solar system/universe/stars :)
  • Human impact on Earth. Overpopulation. Climate Change
  • Climate change, pollution, animal extinction (more about how to help/change), and things that I (and anyone else) can do to make an actual positive impact
  • Harvesting sustainable energy, OTEC, working with animals outside of high school
  • Discover more about climate change and its direct effect on us

Climate change map

Nebraska->Alberta by 2050

Your footprint:

Notes on the texts:

From FR:

Note that the FR text is more detailed. The first two chapters of both this and the frog book (iBook) deal with defining environmental science, the scientific process and how APES covers many different topics.

Module 1 -------------

Fracking-know what it is? Why is it controversial? How has it changed how we generate electricity in our country? At what cost? Why is this politically important? Why are the solvents they use secret? What is the impact of these solvents on water?

Bio=life, so biotic means living, abiotic means not living (druids had a neat view on this)

How systems are defined enables us to create models of cause and effect (favorite topic of physicists and historians as well)

Mod 1 answers:

Module 2 ---------------

Environmental indicators: what we know and can observe that indicate the condition of a system

Ecosystem services: can be economic, direct or cascading (off shore oil for example, impacting fishing in the gulf of Mexico)

Click for full-size image

Long list. Let's go for something more digestible:

Click for full-size image

Note that biodiversity is a key indicator (why?)

These are the 5 challenges that you will deal with in this century. Knowing about them will enable you to impact change.

It's all about you.

More terms:

Genetic diversity: variation in a population (could be age distribution in our class)

Species: different in obvious ways (definitions vary on this)

Species diversity: variation of species in a habitat (age distribution in the school or elab)

Speciation: an adaptation based on stress

Evolution needs three things:

  1. some form of genetic variation
  2. some stress that favors this variation
  3. survivors have to reproduce and carry on the variation
Think of giraffes as an example:
  1. longer necks in some animals
  2. drought that kills all short neck creatures (just like in land before time)
  3. long neck animals survive to reproduce and carry on the variation
There is a theory that the background rate of mutation/speciation was much higher long ago because our atmosphere was thinner, and enabled more cosmic rays to penetrate, causing much higher rates of mutation/speciation.
Cool stuff:
In England, butterflies have adapted since 1850 to look more like soot from coal fires.
In NYC, a species of "subway mosquitoes" have been found that feed on humans in a dark, cool place

Extinction is the opposite of speciation, where species die off.
There is such a thing as a "background rate of extinction", which we have surpassed by many times
Diversity is good: think of monoculture food crops: one pest kills everything.

Food production: see Malthus and Norman Borlaug, e.g. Mexico famine

Anthopogenic (anthro=man, genic=cause) Climate change:
Greenhouse gases (see car windshield as an example)
Not too many people know we need some CO2 to keep water above freezing-think of this as we search for exoplanets...

Resource depletion is hard to grasp, but resource constraints are easier:
If we had a major tsunami here that closed airports (all near the shore) and ports, how long would we have:
water? (pumped by electricity)

Recall our first concept:

  1. With energy you can move/purify water
  2. With water you can grow food
  3. With food you can maintain a culture
Sustainability: Thinking of forever

Click for full-size image
Notice that these are not your usual "energy, food and water" items people think about.
Sustainability is living within your means.
Starbucks example...

Ecological footprint: created by Jurgen Randers and Mathis Wackernagel (both here for the opening of this famed structure)
  1. energy
  2. settlements
  3. timber
  4. food
  5. seafood
  6. carbon
  7. built up land
  8. forests
  9. cropland
  10. fisheries
What impacts your global footprint?

Mod 2 answers....

Module 3 -------
Next: The notorious scientific method
Look up "cold fusion"
Look up "Monty Python witch scene"

Why are lab notebooks done in pen?
What were the last words of Alfred Nobel's brother?
Why is there no Nobel prize for Mathematics?

Replication is key: if you have magic beans, and nobody can replicate your results, you are in trouble.
See also Korean claims of cloning humans (not sheep, we already did that-her name was Dolly)
Key idea: even wrong experiments are valuable: Edison: "I learned 800 ways not to make a light bulb"

Read about Chlorpyrifos, then look up Round up (glyphosate) in the recent news. Which of these do we use at HPA? Explain.

Control group is the population you don't mess with, to determine change.
Natural experiment is something you observe cause and effect from, but not by what you setup (look up Mount Pinatubo and cooling of the planet)

Frog book (iBook) chapter one:

Ozone hole example: compare and contrast with anthropogenic climate change-why different?

Renewable vs. non-renewable resources (one politician recently tried to get nuclear energy classified as a renewable resource-it takes billions of years)

Renewable can be a forest, if used at a sustainable rate, otherwise not

Malthus again, Norman Borlaug again, and a new name: Paul Erlich (1968) "The Population Bomb"
In short: famine and conflict will arise from population growth.
In reality, it is much more complex, involving politics (e.g. Syria), economics (e.g. refugees from sub-Saharan Africa) and water rights (e.g. Palestine).
Jurgen Randers told me during the Elab opening that he thought in the next 50 years, China would invade Mongolia to the north, stating as a cause "religious instability" but the real cause would be access to water there.
If the Himalayan snowpack ceases to be a seasonal flow for the rivers of Asia, most of Western China would be in a drought, unable to produce food.

Ecological Footprint again:

Tragedy of the Commons:
Garrett Hardin, UCSB (look this up)
We will duplicate this with a fishing example:
Download file "TOTCGoldfishActiv.pdf"


AP signup process

Please use this code YV69NE to register with the AP group. Instructions are below:



Here are links to the ebook and hardcover versions of our textbook:

You can get either on Amazon.

If you have a mac and/or an iPad, please also get this (much cheaper) iBook on the Apple Store:

Let me know how I can help.


2019-2020 Syllabus


Our goal in this class is to develop environmental literacy, so you can become change agents for the future.

Our topics include basic terminology, chemistry and physics concepts, biomes, ethics, populations and earth systems, then larger modules on air, water and soil. We follow these with modules on energy and pollution, concluding with a comprehensive study of sustainability, our theme throughout the year.

Class Format

Our class meets in the energy lab on assigned days, with access to the lab for projects over lunch and after school on arrangement with the teacher. Our class will be largely hands-on, and students are expected to take notes and complete in-class and homework assignments as well as lab reports.


We will use online videos, tools in the energy lab, iPads and laptops for our course. You are expected to use these with care, and abide by the acceptable use policy of the school, which says among other things that these tools are to be used only for class related activities. You are expected to bring your computer to class for access to class materials, but when needed, we'll use the laptops provided for security reasons during some exams. Taking notes in class is a key skill we'll work on, preferably on paper, not the computer.

Course process:

As you know, our new schedule has 50/50/70 minute periods. We meet about 3 times each week, and the longer class period will be for labs or exams.


We begin each class with a short 5 minute quiz on the homework and/or class discussion and notes. These are not just your normal recall quizzes, they should get you to consolidate and process the material we are learning together. We usually follow this with a short discussion of the quiz.

Every few weeks we'll have an exam which will take longer, but will be based on the quiz materials, so make sure you make up any material you miss.

"What if I miss a quiz?"

You will be able to recover the points for a missed quiz by going over the material of the class that day and creating a clear summary of the work covered that day, emailed to me before the next class. This will serve two purposes: first you will retain your points, and second, you will cover the material missed. Missed exams will be handled on an individual basis, but if you know you are going to be absent, I expect you to let me know so we can plan accordingly for exams and other class materials.

You will be able to drop one lowest score each quarter.

Quizzes will count for a fraction of each exam, and labs will count as several exams. We have 12 required labs on energy, water, soil and air, so the balance of these in your final grade may vary from quarter to quarter as we cover them. Energy is usually a very strong topic for HPA students taking the AP.


Homework will be assigned most nights, and may include questions, videos and other materials. Homework is due by email to at least 30 minutes before class starts (you'll see this on myHPA and your calendar). The earlier you can turn in homework (e.g. the night before it is due) I'll give constructive comments which will make for a higher score. Last minute work will not get this treatment. Please make sure to use your HPA email, not something like""


Notes: Students are expected to bring their own notebooks, calculator and writing tools to every class, with no exceptions. We will learn how to effectively take notes using the Cornell notes format among others.

Phones: Phones are not permitted in class, except for calculator use. Any phone use during class will result in the phone being collected and turned over to the Dean of Discipline (this includes bathroom breaks).

Late work: Work is expected to be turned in on time, and there is no credit for late work. This is partly out of respect for those who take the time to turn in their work, and also because we often review assignments as part of our classwork together.

If you plan on missing class, please contact me well in advance to make arrangements to make up the work.

If you are unable to access the internet, it is your responsibility to find alternate access. Starbucks and other locations have free internet access as well as access here at school. Contact me as soon as possible, help me help you. I also suggest that you not wait until the last minute to begin assignments. If you leave things to the last minute, you diminish my ability to help you.

Some of our work will be done in class, but any out of class assignments will usually have a very express turn in time. This is partly to help you organize your workload, but also so that I can have a chance to grade your work before we discuss it in class. As AP college prep students, you may also turn in assignments early, in which case I can give you feedback and usually this results in a higher grade, as well as greater comprehension. Please check out the student handbook for more information.

Energy Lab: Please do not bring food or drink from outside into the energy lab. Students may bring in their own water containers, but since we have a limited supply of bottled water, please do not fill your containers from these bottles.

AP exam:

Everyone is required to take the AP exam in May, which in our class usually falls on the first exam of the first day (lucky you!). Actually this is an advantage as you have more time to study for your other exams. We'll have more on this through the year. We will usually have a timed AP simulation exam just before spring break, to show you what you'll need to work on for the real thing in May.


The text we'll be using is required (see resources below): Friedland and Relyea, Environmental Science for the AP second edition, 2015. It follows a 20 chapter model with 66 modules total. We meet about 3x per week, 9 weeks per quarter, so this means about 5 chapters per quarter and 15 modules per quarter. This will vary as we dive into deeper subjects like energy.

We'll also be using iPads in class with the iBook Environmental Science by Jay Withgott. If you can get a copy for yourself, this is very helpful. See the resources page for other resources you should consider for the class. Books are expensive, but their value is considerable.

Online resources:

We'll be using myHPA for all calendar events, gradebook, attendance and assignments. We'll also be using the physics server at where many of our online resources live. This is also where you'll find class notes and summaries. Why not on myHPA? You'll find the physics server to be an excellent searchable resource with materials going back many years of this class. It is a gold mine of questions, videos and class notes you might enjoy. MyHPA does not have this legacy aspect, but is valuable as a common communication platform.

We have an alternate server at, if you have trouble with the HPA network at any time, and which is accessible from on or off campus.

You may find some practice tests which are not graded. These are to help you with the material, not to waste your time.


The best way to reach me is before or after class, but any questions about grading have to be taken care of outside of our class time, out of respect for others in the class as well as your privacy. Email is always the best, as I basically live at

Our first day together:

I'd like to begin by learning more about you, so we'll chat for a bit, then I'll have an email assignment for you (your first score-yippee!)

On day 2, we'll have a "navigation quiz".


Navigation-finding out where we are, and where we want to go. What will success look like for you? Is it a 5 on the AP or a 5 in life?

"Errors and trust are opportunities to learn"

Keep this in mind when you are struggling-we have your back. We are here to challenge you and make you think. Hopefully laugh a lot too.

As always, let me know how I can help. My email is I'll share other contact info in class. You should always check your email the night before class, and I'll do the same to make sure I've answered all of your questions.



e2: Paris and planes


Paris velib

  1. Why did Paris decide to support mass transit? What are the benefits?
  2. When did the policy shifts start happening?

  3. How much traffic are they planning to cut by 2020?
  4. Where did the space for public transport come from?

  5. What does Velib stand for? What is the project’s aim?
  6. What are the benefits of the velibe? (Environmentally and Economically)
  7. How did they encourage the use of bikes (since 2005)?
  8. What is the "21st century mode of transport"?

  9. What made Paris so successful compared to other countries (Amsterdam)?
  10. Which businesses has benefited from this new change?
  11. How does Velib encourage short trips over leisure use? Why do they do this?
  12. How are the bicycles built and designed? Why?
  13. What do they mean by people seeing it as “grandpa’s bike”?
  14. What was taken into consideration with the specific design of Velib bikes?
  15. What problem has the Velib program encountered in terms of the terrain of Paris?
  16. How did they use the cities geography to their advantage?
  17. How is Velib a social technology?
  18. How does the bike repair boat work?
  19. What advantage does Velib have over the subway and the bus?
  20. Any good ideas?

Aviation limited

  1. What percent of the world’s transportation in powered by oil?
  2. Why do you think that the aviation impact was deemed a local problem until recently?
  3. What percent is the aviation industry growing each year?
  4. Which plane has recently become “revolutionary,” and why?
  5. At this point, what has to be sacrificed in order for the plane to be more fuel efficient?
  6. How come there are “interstates” in the air that planes fly the path of?
  7. How could access to restricted airspace help save fuel and put out less greenhouse emissions? Could this be a tool/argument to get countries that aren’t on the best terms to talk to each other?
  8. What are the “carbon offsets” that some airlines are selling?
  9. What metaphor is used to parallel what engineering a fuel is like?
  10. Which element is the hybrid airship inflated with? Why is this safer than the what the Hindenburg inflated with?


e2: paving the way

APES questions—e2 energy 3 paving the way

  1. how many gallons of gas does each american use each day?
  2. why is it encouraging that the VP of research and development (R&D) at GM says what he does?
  3. we will soon see a video about Chinese autos, one of which is called the Geely “King Kong”. is this a small car?
  4. look up Amory Lovins, what does he think represents the best solution?
  5. hydrogen is not really a fuel, but an energy transport technology. why?
  6. what was Henry Ford’s car for his wife?
  7. how many mpg did the Model T get, compared to today?
  8. how efficient is the fuel in a car? why?
  9. Vijay says the solution involves what?
  10. FiberForge is in Colorado, not the normal industrial centers, why is this important?
  11. why is stamping familiar for car makers?
  12. what is Amory’s reference to “The Graduate”? how is this relevant to you? (look it up on youtube)
  13. what are the most expensive parts of a car plant?
  14. what is the role of public policy in this solution?
  15. why is the Chevy Volt different from the Prius and the Tesla?
  16. why is the prius mileage better in the city than the freeway, the opposite of normal cars?
  17. why is the battery technology Elon Musk is developing such a game changer?
  18. why is the hydrogen fuel cell better than battery solutions?
  19. imagine you are having a conversation with your parents about getting a more efficient car. what would you tell them?
  20. since this video came out (2007), GM and other car makers were near bankruptcy, and were rescued by the US government. What was the tradeoff for this rescue?
  21. summarize Vijay’s argument at the end of the video. how would you make this happen?


e2: Seoul stream of consciousness

e2: Seoul-stream of consciousness


Cheonggyecheon-"clear water stream"

1. " A king who utilized water well, ruled well"-why?

2. Mountains and water are key elements to Feng Sui-why?

3. 600 years ago, the stream passed through many biomes-name a few

4. "Cover it up" was started in 1968-what happened to the city? Has this continued?

5. "Induced demand" means what? How could you control this if you were emperor?

6. Noh Soo Hong says "they think I'm nut": what does this say about the public awareness about carrying capacity and sustainable development? Are there parallels to other urban societies? What sort of economic/social benefits might you experience?

7. Lee Myung Bak is now the President of Korea, what were his previous two jobs? What's the lesson here? There is an old saying: "only Nixon could have gone to China" What's the connection?

8. What unique talents did Lee Myung Bak bring to the project?

9. What changes did they make to public transportation during construction, and what did they learn about traffic while doing this "experiment"?

10. Is traffic more like a liquid or a gas? Explain.

11. What is the heat island effect, and how did the restoration change this in Seoul?

12. The two ladies are a crackup-they talk over each other, but what is their unique perspective on this?

13. Big picture: think of why the city was located there, how it evolved to cover it's reason for being there, then once it was uncovered and restored, the city re-discovered it's roots. Where else could you imagine seeing this?

14. Hawaiian society was based on the Ahupua'a concept. How is this similar?

15. Koreans plant 480,000 trees each year to offset the impact of the stream-why?

16. Many cities in Europe have strict urban planning policies-compare these with Seoul.

17. Soon we will see a similar video about Alexandria Virginia, where pedestrian traffic has changed. How did pedestrian traffic change in Seoul due to the "road diet"

18. The present mayor of Seoul says "sustainability is the key element to the survival of the city". Why?


e2 China: red to green

e2 china: red to green

  1. What is the pun in the title “red to green”?
  2. How is China’s future so important globally?
  3. Why is it unprecedented in human history?
  4. What numbers does Willam McDonough cite? Why are these critical?
  5. What doe Jiang Yi say? Why is this not only a concern for China?
  6. What is the impact of Chinese pollution to LA?
  7. What is the comparison with Brazil?
  8. 8-10% growth means a doubling time of how long?
  9. “Small dark cold shacks” to what? What are their needs after this?
  10. What three things would you buy if you were coming from there?
  11. “As China goes, so does the planet” Why?
  12. China has resources, money, and an educated populace. How is this a key to their modernization?
  13. What is BHCP? How could this be used elsewhere? What will be the impact on China?
  14. Why is Accord 21 important? Design? Location? Materials?
  15. Why are the inspectors so skeptical? How is this similar to our LEED experience at the elab?
  16. Why are green building standards not just a luxury there?
  17. What is the impact of pollution on China, and her people?
  18. How does Feng Shui ("wind-water", traditional Chinese: 風水; simplified Chinese: 风水) impact the design of the Hybrid project?
  19. How is geothermal heating/cooling used? What temperature is the GT well? Why is this important?
  20. Why are the bikers wearing masks?
  21. What is forcing bikers to cars? What is the impact and solution?
  22. Look at the catwalks from building to building. How does this cultivate the “city within a city”? A similar idea was used at Pixar by Steve Jobs, and is the idea behind the new Apple campus. Why?
  23. What grey water solutions do you see?
  24. What does the NRDC guy say about generation rules?
  25. What does McDonough quote from Jefferson?
  26. What is the final pun about the Tao?


e2 druk white school ladakh


Druk White school in Ladakh

  1. We’ve heard Brad Pitt ask “was it a conscious decision or a momentary lapse of reason”. What is the difference to you?
  2. Look up Ladakh here:
  3. Why is it critical to educate youth about their culture?
  4. What is the message from His Holiness the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa?
  5. Why is Ladakh “a fragile place”?
  6. Ladakh is on several borders. What impact does this have on the cultural diversity there?
  7. The lowest part of Ladakh is about the altitude of the Mauna Kea visitor center (9000 ft.) and the top is twice as high as the summit of Mauna Kea. Consider the biomes there, and what could possibly survive there?
  8. What impact did the airport have in Ladakh?
  9. What Buddhist principles are cited as coincident with sustainable design?
  10. Watching them build the school, did you see any heavy equipment or power tools? Why?
  11. What is the resonant feature of the circular building?
  12. Why is it useful to marry local resources and concepts to a modern design?
  13. What was the learning opportunity for the modern architects there?
  14. Compare the earthquake survival in the monasteries with other schools in asia that have not survived earthquakes. Why are they different?
  15. Why is frugality a key concept in sustainability? Where else do you see this?
  16. How is passive solar used, and why is this critical there?
  17. What is a trombe wall system? Where else do you see this?
  18. How will climate change life there?
  19. How do they take water out of the waste cycle?
  20. Why is it useful for the kids to know how the building works? How does this contrast with a passive occupancy? What social impacts does this have? Where else do you see this?
  21. What is the impact of bringing in rural students? What does it preserve? What does it enable?
  22. What does Glancey think of the project?
  23. Why is the woman architect’s approach so different?
  24. Circle back to the vision of His Holiness the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa. What is his vision for the future?


Green for all

Green for all

e2 design 1.2 green for all

1. In the intro (Brad Pitt), there is mention of how much energy buildings use. Why is this?
2. Why do you think there is a split between ethics and aesthetics in design?
3. Henk Rogers (Tetris) says that if we expect island nations to live with sustainable energy sources, we should do so here first. How is this similar to Sergio Palleroni?
4. “Honesty” comes up again here. Why?
5. What are the points Jeff Speck brings up?
6. Who are the Yaqui indians? Why is this important?
7. If you make $2 per day, how long would it take to build a house that costs $5000?
8. What was wrong with the government homes?
9. How is architecture linked to health? Why is this relevant in the elab?
10. Why is the open courtyard a thermal, light and social solution?
11. How does the community “own” the building? Why is this brilliant?
12. How is this extened to political and social empowerment?
13. The new home owners cut the ribbon. Where did this happen at the elab, and why is this culturally relevant in Hawaii?
14. Many cities are divided by a road or railway. What does the saying “wrong side of the tracks” mean?
15. How does the Guadalupe project change this?
16. Who was involved, and why is this important?
17. In Hawaii we have “ohana” homes. What are these called in the video?
18. Look at the roof design in the simulation. Why is this important?
19. What does Sergio mean about the politics of Austin? What cities in Oregon and California might be similar?
20. How did this video inspire you?


AP exam review notes

APES notes

Keystone: influence greater than relative abundance

ex: predator keeps herbivore pop down, preserves rare grass


terrestrial, freshwater, marine

latitude, humidity, elevation-terrestrial

freshwater: rivers, wetlands and basins (deeper than what they serve)


neritic -close to shelf

benthic-deep, sloping away from con shelf

pelagic-open sea

abyssal-very deep


food webs:

connections of energy from producer to consumer

trophic pyramid (see plankton to ahi, bioaccumulation)

primary producers: autotrophs-photosynthetic plants, chemotrophic (sulfur)-inorganic sources (also foundation species)

heterotrophs-get energy from organic sources:

herbivores, carnivores, scavengers

lots of energy lost between trophic levels (thermodynamics) rule of 10%


abiotic environment

producers-autotrophs, e.g. plants

consumers-heterotrophs, e.g. herbivores, canrivores



CO2, water, light into organic compounds (e.g. sugars)


carbon fixation (redox rx) reduction is CO2 to CHO

chlorophyll, carotenes and xanthophylls

cellular respiration-

conversion of energy to ATP (phosphate bonds)

glucose, amino acids and fatty acids with O2 as an oxidizer (accepts electrons) OIL RIG

aerobic and anaerobic metabolysis (aerobic is 19x more efficient)

TCA cycle, mitochondria


variation of life forms within a biome or ecosystem




creates stability and robustness in ecosystems

biogeochemical cycles (nutrient cycles)

how an element or molecule travels through biotic (living things) and abiotic (earth, air, water) parts of earth

reservoirs may differ: N2 in air, P in soil

closed system: C N O P

open system: energy, e.g. photosynthesis







also mercury and atrazine (herbicide)

GM crops

genetic engineering vs. selective breeding or mutation breeding

concerns: ecological, economic (LDC) and IP rights (see Monsanto)

uses restriction enzymes to ID and isolate genes

inserted using gene gun (plasmid) or agrobacterium


insertion or deletion of genes

recombinant DNA, transgenic organisms

if no DNA from other species, cisgenic (cis vs trans)

lentiviruses-can transfer genes to animal cells

Genentech-Berkeley 1978, created human insulin from E. Coli (vs. cow or pig insulin)


biological, chemical, antimicrobial, disinfectant

pests: pathogens, insects, weeds, mullosks, birds, mammals, fish, nematodes and microbes

any food competitor or spoiler, also disease vectors

herbicides-glyphosate (roundup)

insecticides-HCl, carbamates, pyrethrins, etc.

green fungicides-paldoxins

EPA regulates

banned: carcinogenic, mutagenic or bioaccumulators

see also NRDC

pesticide laws-

Federal insecticide act-1910

Federal insecticide, fungicide and rodenticide act (FIFRA)-1947 then 1972, 1988

1947-ag dept


3 categories: antimicrobials, biopesticides, conventional

forest management-

silviculture, protection and regulation (Pennsylvania = Penn’s woods)

conservation and economic concerns

watershed management included

see also FSC 1993, forest stewardship council (certifies wood harvests)

applied ecology-

conservation biology, ecology, habitat management

invasive species management

rangeland management

restoration ecology

land management-

habitat conservation

sustainable ag

urban planning

sustainable ag-

environmental stewardship

farm profitability

farming communities

e.g. ability to produce food indefinitely, without causing damage to ecosystem health

see also erosion, irrigation/salinization, crop rotation

see also landraces, e.g. prairie grasses

mining laws-

SMCRA surface mining control and reclamation act (1977)

1. regulates active coal mines

2. reclamation of abandoned mines

dept of interior admin

response to strip mining (1930+)



1. standards of performance

2. permitting

3. bonding

4. inspection/enforcement

5. land restrictions

compare to 1945 strip mining practices

Fisheries laws-

monitor and protect fisheries resources

overfishing conference 1936

1957: Beverton and Holt did study on fish dynamics


1. max sustainable biomass yield

2. max sust. econ yield

3. secure employment

4. secure protein supply

5. income from export

6. bio and economic yield

UNCLOS-UN convention on law of the sea

EEZ-exclusive economic zones

12 mi = coastal sovereignty

200 mi = fishing restrictions

2004-UN made stricter laws on fisheries mgt.

1995 code of conduct for responsible fisheries

quotas, taxation, enforcement (USCG)

tragedy of the commons-

1968 Science article-Garrett Hardin

individual benefit, common damage

strict management of global common goods

see also overgrazing, pollution, privatization

"a fundamental extension of morality"

Rachel Carson: Silent Spring 1962

DDT weakening shells of birds

“biocides” bioaccumulation (single animal)

ozone depletion-

stratospheric ozone depletion

4% since 1970

ozone hole over antarctica

catalytic destruction of ozone by chlorine and bromine

halogen compounds CFCs (freons) and bromofluorocarbons (halons)

ODS ozone depleting substances

ozone blocks UVB 270-315 nm

Montreal protocol 1987 banned CFCs

O + O3 --> 2O2 (transparent)

Cl + O3 -->ClO + O2

ClO + O3 -->Cl + 2O2


1. ++ carcinomas

2. melanomas

3. cataracts

4. ++ tropospheric ozone (toxic)

5. kills cyanobacteria (rice nitrogen fixers)


1963 CAA Clean air act

1970: NEPA National environmental policy act

EIS environmental impact statement

EPA environmental protection agency

1972 CWA clean water act

1973 ESA endangered species act

1973 CITES convention on international trade in endangered species

1974 SDWA safe drinking water act

1976 RCRA resource conservation and recovery act (cradle to grave act)

1980 CERCLA comprehensive environmental response compensation and reliability act (superfund)

1987 Montreal protocol: ozone depletion, CFCs banned

1997 Kyoto protocol: climate change, GHG

Case studies

loss of amphibians

zebra mussels

passenger pigeon extinction


kudzu invasion

grey wolves in yellowstone

california condor


lake erie dead

st. james bay, canada

gulf of mexico dead zone

aral sea

three gorges dam

california aqueduct


china one child policy

easter island




cuyahoga river

deepwater horizon


exxon valdez

hurricane katrina

kissimmee river

london fog

love canal

santa barbara oil spill

three mile island


Practice exam
Please do MC questions 1-100, using the answer blanks on Haiku/Powerschool.




Laws and treaties
Recent exams asked:
  • Identify two federal laws that might be used to save a bird or its habitat.

  • Identify a U.S., federal, or international treaty to prevent the extinction of animals.

  • State two specific provisions of the Clean Water Act.

  • Propose two incentives to switch to electric cars.

  • Discuss the law that requires monitoring of treated sewage discharged into a river.

Laws are formal rules of conduct that people, businesses, or even government agencies must follow; they areenforced by designated authorities. Laws are created and enforced at the local, state, or federal level. Federal lawsare passed by Congress and administered and enforced by specific government agencies. Law.s may be periodically amended.

Regulations are the detailed rules and procedures necessary to enforce a law, commonly established by the agencydesignated to administer the law. Most federal environmental laws are administered and enforced by theEnvironmental Protection Agency (EPA), with some being adJ;llinistered by other U.S. government agencies. The laws included in this section that are not regulated through the EPA are noted.

Treaties are formal agreements between international participants. They are also known as protocols, conventions, agreements, and covenants.

Laws: most important ones

CAA clean air act 1970

CWA clean water act 1972

CERCLA comprehensive response compensation and liability act 1980

ESA endangered species act 1973

FIFRA federal insecticide fungicide and rodenticide act 1996

NEPA national environmental policy act 1969 (EIS and EA)

RCRA resource conservation and recovery act 1976

SWDA safe water drinking act 1974

SMCRA surface mining control and reclamation act 1977

TOSCA Toxic substances control act 1976

Treaties: big list

CITES convention on international trade in endangered species 1963, 1973

Copenhagen protocol 2009

Kyoto protocol 1997

Montreal Protocol 1987


Case studies

  • Loss of amphibians
    • sensitivity, immersed in pollutants, porous skin
    • declining ecosystem health
    • pollution (drugs, pesticides)
    • habitat loss
    • canary in the coal mine
  • Zebra mussels
    • invasive species from Asia
    • carried by tankers/ships into the great lakes
    • no predators, fast reproduction
    • crowds out native species, human infrastructure impact
  • Passenger pigeon Extinction
    • From 1 billion per flock to extinct in 70 years
    • hunted to extinction (1914)
    • humans can impact a species in a short period of time
  • DDT (Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloro-ethane)
    • extinction of birds
    • used against malaria
    • Rachel Carson "Silent spring" (no birds, so silent)
    • bioaccumulation in birds, others
    • persistent organic pollutant (POP)
    • major factor in the recovery of the bald eagle and peregrine falcon
  • Kudzu invasion (Southeast US)
    • intro in 1876 as decorative plant
    • very fast metabolism, fast photosynthesis
    • nitrogen fixer, so fast (jack and the beanstalk)
    • huge root mass, so lots of water
    • fastest plant wins
  • Gray wolves, Yellowstone
    • hunted: 1 million killed by ranchers
    • endangered species 1974
    • genetic bottleneck (see also whales)
    • ecosystem impact: elk, plants overgrown (no predators)
    • 1995 re-introduced, now just "threatened"
  • California Condor
    • lead poisoning from eating birds shot with lead shot
    • 22 remaining in 1987
    • 2003 APES exam did NOT allow use of DDT as a reason for decline
    • breeding programs restored some, slowly
  • Lake Erie dead
    • 1969 DO was close to zero, so dead
    • industrial waste, sewage and fossil fuels
    • paper mills, steel mills, chemical manufacturing
    • high phosphate detergents, algal bloom
    • all fish died
    • some improvement in progress
  • St. James Bay, Quebec Canada
    • hydroelectric dams ("turn off the hydro")
    • 1974, 11 hydro plants on 4 rivers
    • rivers diverted
    • salmon decline, also earthquakes from the mass of water
    • migrating bird decline
  • Gulf of Mexico dead zone
    • Largest of 400 dead zones around the planet, 2x since 2000
    • Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers dump sediment and fertilizers, algal bloom
    • impacts fishing, tourism
  • Aral Sea, Asia
    • saline lake, then dry lake
    • 75 percent decrease in volume, lack of flow
    • excessive diversion of rivers for irrigation
    • interesting: salt dust from this sea lands on the Himalayan ice pack, melting it
  • Three Gorges Dam, China
    • 2009, Yangtze river
    • displaced 1.2 million people
    • sedimentation, release of heavy metals (cooler, darker water)
    • increased salt water intrusion at river mouth to sea from lack of flow
    • lack of seasonal flooding (see also Nile river and Great Aswan Dam)
  • California Water project
    • 1916 diverted water from central valley (e.g. Manzanar) to LA, Owens river valley
    • 1941 added Mono Lake aqueduct, diverting more, including from northern CA (Yosemite)
    • Mono lake dried up, birds on island in the middle died (predators)
    • 2006 court said some water had to be restored to Mono Lake
  • China one child policy
    • 1979 began
    • reduce stress on food supply
    • fine for violators
    • forced abortions
    • female infanticide
    • now illegal to determine sex of baby before birth
    • suspended recently
  • Easter Island: tragedy of the commons
    • limited number of slow growing trees
    • cut down for trade, lumber
    • also rats
    • 1722, famine, few survivors
  • Bhopal chemical disaster
    • union carbide
    • MIC (methyl isocyanate) 1984
    • 2259 dead at once, 3787 later
    • total dead: 558,125
  • Chernobyl nuclear disaster
    • 1986 Ukraine
    • plant exploded
    • I 131 all over area,
    • 28 dead at once, 19 more later, 4,000 cancer deaths
  • Cuyahoga River Fire
    • Not one, but 13 fires there, biggest in 1969
    • chemicals dumped into the river caught fire
    • "a river that oozes rather than flows"
    • CWA legislated cleanup
  • Deepwater Horizon oil spill
    • BP oil rig in deep water, 2010
    • 5 million barrels of oil leaked
    • killed fish, sea birds
    • destroyed fishing industry
    • depleted DO
    • 5000 dead animals collected
  • Exxon Valdez oil spill
    • Drunk captain ran ship aground in Prince William Sound, AK
    • 1989
    • 750,000 barrels of oil
    • worst environmental disaster in human history
    • 1300 miles of coastline, 11,000 square miles of ocean
    • Response: oil pollution act of 1990: double hull ships, no more drunk captains
  • Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear disaster
    • Offshore earthquake and tsunami. 2011
    • flooded generators in plant, so no flow of water through reactor
    • meltdown, toxic even today
  • Hurricane Katrina
    • 1836 people dead
    • 81 billion dollars damage
    • storm surge, levees overloaded
    • poor planning, overdevelopment
  • Kissimmee River dredging, FL
    • everglades 1954 created a canal from a river
    • created straight line canal from twisting river
    • too fast water, damaged lake kissimmee
    • oxbow lake gone
  • London Fog air pollution
    • 1952 "big smoke" December
    • inversion layer
    • 12,000 dead, 100,000 seriously injured
    • led to UK clean air act of 1956, and later our CAA
  • Love Canal Waste dumping
    • Hooker chemical dumped waste into the canal
    • canal was then filled with clay
    • hooker put 55 gallon barrels full of haz mat into the clay
    • dump closed in 1953
    • local school board purchased the land
    • 1978, birth defects, then a superfund site
  • Santa Barbara oil spill
    • 1969
    • Union oil
    • 100,000 barrels of crude oil
  • Three Mile Island nuclear disaster
    • 1979
    • partial meltdown of reactor
    • I 131 released
    • China Syndrome
    • crystallized anti-nuclear sentiment in US
Homework location:


4.15.19 apex prep


APES 2008 FR

Download file "ap08_env_sci_frq.pdf"


e2: Green Apple

e2 design 1.1 green apple

  1. Why is it confusing to think of NYC as an ecosystem? Why does it make sense?
  2. Why is per capita a more accurate measure?
  3. Why did the guy who moved into the country gain weight?
  4. A wise person once said that the greatest cities are those built with walking in mind. How is this different in LA?
  5. Why would a skyscraper be more efficient than a smaller building?
  6. How did “environmental” become “smarter”?
  7. How was 4 Times Square a prototype? What other prototype buildings do you know of?
  8. Recently transparent PV panels were revealed. How would this change the frit concept?
  9. “Blast furnace slag” and fly ash are used for the concrete in the film. Why is fly ash banned in Europe?
  10. Instead of using drinking water to flush toilets, they use what?
  11. Why is a 5 year ROI basic business sense?
  12. How is payback different in Europe and Japan?
  13. What parts of the Living Building Challenge resonate with this video?
  14. What would make you want to live in the Solaire, near Battery Park?
  15. What are the blue things on the side of the building?
  16. We are 4.6% of the global population, consuming how much of the world’s resources?


Withgott 6.6 Sustainable Development

Download file "withgott 6.6 sust development.pdf"

Ecosystem "services": air and water purification, climate regulation, nutrient cycling (look uphill to our watersheds-why are we not permitted to hike there?)
Also: tourism, resources (timber, mining, fisheries)
PSA-payment for environmental services
  • watershed protection
  • biodiversity
  • scenic beauty (ecotourism)
  • carbon sequestration
ecotourism: 2 million tourists=2 billion $ annually
Ethics-study of good and bad (e.g. values)
relativists: context based
universalists: objective based, no matter the context or culture
Kant: categorical imperative; do unto others as you'd have them do to you (golden rule)
JS Mill: principle of utility: greatest benefit for the most people

instrumental or utilitarian value-pragmatic value
intrinsic or inherent value-value for its own sake
McCauley: "appeal to people's hearts more than their wallets"

Industrialization brought about environmental ethics-why only then? how does this differ from the tribal societies that were here first? Did they believe on owning the land?
Think back to William McDonough: "all children, of all species, for all time"
Issues you will leave YOUR kids: conservation? pollution? species extinction?

conservation=sustainable development
pollution=environmental justice
extinction=intrinsic or instrumental values

Why is this evolving?
We are not just surviving, so we can now make choices
We know more science, so can see cause and effect more clearly

Three views:
Anthro (man) centrism=man-centered: only based around impact on PEOPLE
Bio (life) centrism=life centered: balanced between people and the environment
Ecocentrism=whole system awareness: awareness of the interconnectedness of things (big picture)
Western philosophy is based on "subduing and controlling nature", for our benefit.
Some religions also emphasize stewardship.
Ancient Hawaiians had a word for this: Kuleana
Kuleana: Ahupua'a model: ridge to ridge, peak to ocean (up to your chest)
Implies "your business" or "responsibility", but is much deeper. You are not the steward, you don't accept it, or deign it, it is something given to you because of where you live.
Vontaire: French phrase: "tend to your own garden" "Il faut cultiver son jardin", means either "mind your own business" or "take care of what is given to you"

Transcendentalism 1840: Thoreau, Emerson, Whitman: objected to materialism (e.g. Walden by Thoreau)
Natural entities as symbols or messengers of deeper truths
Preservation ethic-John Muir
John Muir like this stuff. Home in Yosemite (recall the film about Ansel Adams)
Preservation ethic springs from his work: nature for its own sake
"everybody needs beauty as well as bread" "places to play in, pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike"
Conservation ethic-Gifford Pinchot
Later (1910) Gifford Pinchot-first professional American Forester-founded the US Forest Service under Teddy Roosevelt
Conservation ethic springs from his work: greatest good to the greatest number for the greatest span of time (note the last bit)
Prudent use of resources for the good of present AND future generations. Why is this critical?
Environmental Ethic-Aldo Leopold
Aldo Leopold (1930) followed from Pinchot, studied healthy ecosystems. Holistic perspective, people and the land as members of the same community.
"a thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise".
The Land Ethic-his work, also "Sand County Almanac", which along with "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson are the two most influential environmental books of the 20th century

Environmental justice: pollution, exploitation, resource depletion, species degradation
e.g. Appalachians: mountaintop removal (mining) destroy forests, pollute water, bury streams, flooding, toxic waste

Economy=system that produces goods from resources (e.g. food from sunlight and water)
Economics-study of resource supply and demand
Economics and Ecology both come from the Greek "oikos" meaning household (seen this name somewhere else?)
inputs=natural resources, ecosystem services

Adam Smith (1750): self interested economic behavior can benefit society as long as the behavior is constrained by the rule of law and private property rights within a competitive marketplace
Classical Economics is the result, and the market is the "invisible hand" guiding these actions
Neoclassical (new classical) economics: supply and demand, also cost benefit analysis (e.g. removing pollution)
See above: when quantity is high (right side of graph), demand is low, supply is high.
When supply is low, price is high.
Equilibrium means "equal freedom"
Compare this with state run economies, where supply is controlled by the central government (e.g. Stalinist USSR, or present day Venezuela, Zimbabwe or other countries).
Fallacy #1 in the Neoclassical economic model: there will always be more resources (think of oil, timber or minerals).
Fallacey #2: all costs and benefits are borne directly by those in the transaction (e.g. no externalized costs).
Externalized costs:
  • health problems (e.g. pollution impact)
  • resource degradation or depletion
  • aesthetic (beauty) damage
  • declining value (resources, tourism, higher health care costs)
When economists ignore the externalized costs, this creates a false impression of the consequences of choices, so change is harder to achieve. It also means the government (e.g all of us) often picks up the cost.

Fallacy #3: future events have less value than present events ("I want it now, someone can deal with the consequences later")
This is known as "discounting" the future

Fallacy #4: Economic growth is essential for social order: "Affluenza"

Sustainable growth:
1; increase in inputs or 2: increase in efficient use of resources (e.g. recycling, cradle to cradle)
"Cornucopians" say #1 is the answer (horn of plenty)
"Cassandras" say #1 will not work (all prophesies of hers were true, but cursed that nobody believed her)

Here's how this could go down:

Cassandra folks: Limits to Growth (Jorgen Randers, who spoke at the opening of the Elab in 2009) and his graduate student Mathis Wackernagel, who founded the Global Footprint Network
Mathis was the first to teach in the elab, on the west whiteboard in our classroom...

Note this is different from Malthus, who only wrote about food and population:

Climate change is another example of this: How much will climate change cost?

Environmental Economics: modified neoclassical economics to achieve sustainability, advocating a "steady-state economy":
Check this out:
This leads to non-market valuation:

Which makes the most sense to you?
Ecosystem services value estimates:

Old way of measuring the output of a country: GDP: Gross Domestic Product (Used to be called GNP but corporations are often off-shore, like Apple)
Alternate method: Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI): positive impacts minus the negative impacts, also known as "full cost accounting" or "true cost accounting". Used in Maryland since 2010, now their GPI is greater than their GDP.

Ecolabeling empowers consumers (brings informed decision making to the marketplace)
See also socially responsible investing (Ben and Jerry's ice cream, Newman's own, etc.)
See also "fair trade" coffee at Starbucks and others
Dark side of this: "greenwashing"

Sustainable development involves a "triple bottom line" ("bottom line" refers to the bottom of a spreadsheet, used in accounting, often a profit/loss line):

UN sustainable goals, 2015:

Which of these can you impact?

Homework: page 155 1-11, page 156 1-4



APES class dates, Q4


4.1 M long

4.3 W

4.5 F


4.8 M

4.9 T long

4.11 Th


4.15 M

4.16 T

4.17 W long


4.22 M

4.25 Th


4.29 M

4.30 T

5.1 W long

5.3 F


5.6 M AP exam, 12 noon