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Science, Grade 9 - 12, Environmental Elective, 2005

1.) Identify the influence of human population, technology, and cultural and industrial changes on the environment.

•  Describing the relationship between carrying capacity and population size
2.) Evaluate various fossil fuels for their effectiveness as energy resources.

•  Describing the formation and use of nonrenewable fossil fuels
•  Identifying by-products of the combustion of fossil fuels, including particulates, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon dioxide
•  Identifying chemical equations associated with the combustion of fossil fuels
•  Describing benefits of abundant, affordable energy to mankind
•  Identifying effects of fossil fuel by-products on the environment, including ozone depletion; formation of acid rain, brown haze, and greenhouse gases; and concentration of particulates and heavy metals
3.) Evaluate other sources of energy for their effectiveness as alternatives to fossil fuels.

•  Comparing nuclear fission and nuclear fusion reactions in the production of energy
•  Comparing energy production and waste output in generating nuclear energy
•  Differentiating between renewable and nonrenewable energy resources
•  Identifying local energy sources
Examples: landfill gas, wind, water, sun

•  Identifying ways the law of conservation of energy relates to fuel consumption
Examples: development of hybrid cars, construction of energy-efficient homes

4.) Identify the impact of pollutants on the atmosphere.

•  Identifying layers of the atmosphere and the composition of air
•  Describing the formation of primary, secondary, and indoor air pollutants
•  Relating pollutants to smog and thermal inversions
•  Investigating the impact of air quality on the environment
•  Interpreting social, political, and economic influences on air quality
5.) Describe properties of water that make it a universal solvent.

6.) Identify sources of local drinking water.

•  Determining the quality of fresh water using chemical testing and bioassessment
•  Describing the use of chemicals and microorganisms in water treatment
•  Describing water conservation methods
•  Describing the process of underground water accumulation, including the formation of aquifers
•  Identifying major residential, industrial, and agricultural water consumers
•  Identifying principal uses of water
7.) Identify reasons coastal waters serve as an important resource.

Examples: economic stability, biodiversity, recreation

•  Classifying biota of estuaries, marshes, tidal pools, wetlands, beaches, and inlets
•  Comparing components of marine water to components of inland bodies of water
8.) Identify major contaminants in water resulting from natural phenomena, homes, industry, and agriculture.

•  Describing the eutrophication of water by industrial effluents and agricultural runoffs
•  Classifying sources of water pollution as point and nonpoint
9.) Describe land-use practices that promote sustainability and economic growth.

Examples: no-till planting, crop rotation

•  Defining various types and sources of waste and their impact on the soil
Examples:

- types—biodegradeable, nonbiodegradeable, organic, radioactive, nonradioactive;

- sources—pesticides, herbicides

•  Identifying ways to manage waste, including composting, recycling, reusing, and reclaiming
10.) Describe the composition of soil profiles and soil samples of varying climates.

•  Identifying various processes and activities that promote soil formation
Examples: weathering, decomposition, deposition

•  Relating particle size to soil texture and type of sand, silt, or clay
11.) Describe agents of erosion, including moving water, gravity, glaciers, and wind.

•  Describing methods for preventing soil erosion
Examples: planting vegetation, constructing terraces, providing barriers

12.) Identify positive and negative effects of human activities on biodiversity.

•  Identifying endangered and extinct species locally, regionally, and worldwide
•  Identifying causes for species extinction locally, regionally, and worldwide
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