ENV 492 - Global Environmental Issues

About this class

This capstone course for senior environmental science majors will explore global environmental issues. Students will research a topic, analyze primary literature, engage in class discussion and formal speaking, and write a paper critically evaluating the issue.

SUNY Brockport
by shall7 on April 15, 2015
As I have conveyed in my last two posts, there is a serious issue with pharmaceuticals and PCPs in water bodies around the globe. Much of this concern is in the Great Lakes region of the United States where the problems of contamination stem from the increase population on and around the lakes. By providing accurate and precise measurements of this pollution in our water bodies, it is possible to make the public more aware of this issue.

391 | 0 | 0
SUNY Brockport
by kristen_mooney on April 13, 2015
Behavior is strongly influenced by the psychological factor of perception. Tying that into the food industry, more specifically animal industry, perceptions of meat varies- specifically between two different contexts: “everyday context” (relating to buying, preparing and eating) and the “production context” (relating to primary production, slaughtering and meat processing). Consumer perceptions are not set in stone and may change, however, how and in what direction consumer perceptions alter is difficult to foresee because of the amount of complexity that drives the change. 

923 | 1 | 0
SUNY Brockport
by cookjeff14@yahoo.com on April 11, 2015
The peril of coral reefs      The purpose of healthy coral reef systems is to provide food for marine creatures which inhibit them. For example, various types of reef fish feed upon microorganisms and help maintain the cleanliness of the reef environment. Another reason is to provide shelter for other sea creatures, such as clown fish, moray eels, and octopus. Coral reefs also act as barriers to help protect shorelines in coastal areas from the pounding surf.   

731 | 1 | 1
SUNY Brockport
by npusa on March 9, 2015
 Climate change will test humanities survival capabilities on many levels. One challenge we must overcome is getting around how the changing climate will affect agriculture. How can we adapt and change our practices to combat this new climate?  Many options are largely extensions or intensifications of existing climate risk management. We have been dealing with the unpredictable Earths effect on agriculture since we first domesticated crops and animals millennia ago. These solutions just need to be intensified and adjusted to adapt.

323 | 0 | 0
SUNY Brockport
by npusa on March 9, 2015
Whether you believe that Earth’s climate is changing naturally or due to anthropogenic activity you cannot get around that fact that the climate is changing. With this change humanities way of life needs to follow. Agriculture is at the forefront of this necessity and our survival hinges on its adaptation. Past greenhouse gas emissions have guaranteed an increase in global temperatures of about 1 degree Celsius each decade for many decades, these emissions continue to increase, and there is a lack of progress on developing global emission reduction agreements.

307 | 0 | 0
SUNY Brockport
by jhcoke on March 3, 2015
What is Fracking? Fracking is a mechanical and chemical means of opening fissures in rock to allow the escape of petroleum products such as oil and natural gas (methane). Fracking has been around for more than 150 years. The process used in fracking has evolved over those years to produce higher yields of product. The first commercial oil well was drilled in Pennsylvania by Edwin Drake in 1859. Since that first well was drilled different methods have been experimented with to increases the production rate of the wells. The methods used included injecting different liquids in the 1860’s. Explosives were even tried in order to fracture the rocks. In the 1930’s acid was used to etch or widen the crevasses in the rock. Modern day fracking began when the drilling company, Halliburton, patented a process called Hydraulic fracturing in 1949. That basic process has been used since then with some variation. The process of fracking produces large quantities of toxic byproducts. If these byproducts aren’t processed correctly they can lead to environmental issues. Other forms of energy production, such as coal mining and nuclear power have their own environmental issues. Over all, natural gas production has far less environmental impact than traditional coal produced energy. Richardson, J, Analyst at CohnReznick Think Energyhttp://energywithjr.quora.com/The-History-of-Fracking-A-Timeline Stanford University, 2014 Environmental costs, health risks, and benefits of fracking examined.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140912112522.htm

712 | 1 | 0
SUNY Brockport
by nmatt3 on March 2, 2015
The way our agriculture system is set up currently, there a a number of factors that threaten its existance for the coming years. Land-use limitations, water limitations, and energy limitations, along side with soil erosion, are among the top problems our agriculture system faces today. These problems, if not properly dealt with, could have catastrophic effects on the availability of our food products. The main concern with these problems is that many of the effects will not be felt until it is already too late.

389 | 0 | 0
SUNY Brockport
by clipp2 on March 2, 2015
                In a world where the threat to biodiversity is becoming greater and greater with each passing and the realization of its importance is being thrust to the forefront of the thought of conservationists, the field of genetic engineering is becoming an increasingly more prominent tool.  As widely discussed as this topic has become over the past two decades, it’s a field and a concept that is still relatively new and very much in its infancy.  It wasn’t even until the 1960’s that it became evident just how common and important genetic variation is for the successful survival of s

1,005 | 0 | 0
SUNY Brockport
by Tohle on March 2, 2015
New effects from Micro-plastics in our oceans and freshwaters are being discovered everyday as the topic is researched more.  A recent publication gave another threat to coral reefs, microplastics are being ingested by scleractinian corals.  “Experimental feeding trials revealed that corals mistake microplastics for prey and can consume up to ~50 μg plastic cm−2 h−1 , rates similar to their consumption of plankton and Artemia nauplii in experimental feeding assays.”  (Hall et. al. 2015)

499 | 0 | 0
SUNY Brockport
by Ken Johnston on March 2, 2015
In order to implement management practices on cyanobacteria and their explosive production for the human benefit, one must understand their properties, behavior in natural ecosystems and the environmental conditions which support their growth. Much of this blog will provide how cyanobacteria are structured and their abilities which they possess that support their proliferation in aquatic systems as well as public health consequences.

681 | 0 | 0
SUNY Brockport
by jbeach on March 2, 2015
A major motivating factor for many who are involved in the wildlife trade are economic gains. But not all of those who partake in wildlife trading are doing so on the basis of an economic incentive; many are also driven by cultural factors. These could be in the forms of: food, healthcare, religion, clothing, and sport (Behrens et al. 2009). The international wildlife trade is estimated to trade billions of live animals and plants globally.

1,313 | 1 | 0
SUNY Brockport
by ssand1 on March 2, 2015
Increased water use will create a major stress on water available for individuals and the entire global ecosystem. Unless our projected rapid increase in population is prevented through educational awareness, certain practices and new technologies should be implemented with a heavier emphasis to avoid basic environmental injustices. If about 40% of fresh water in the United States is unfit for recreational or drinking use because of various pollutants, what could possibly be occurring in undeveloped locations that do not have basic regulations? (Pimentel et al 2004).

327 | 0 | 0
SUNY Brockport
by abriz1 on March 2, 2015
In my first post I talked a lot about how many developing countries have a desperate need for clean, good quality freshwater because they are currently using contaminated water for drinking, bathing, and cooking (Nweke and Sandwers, 2009).   While polluted water is a big factor in the cause and spread of disease throughout developing countries, I think it is important to know exactly what the proposed mechanism is to bring freshwater to the people.

340 | 0 | 0
SUNY Brockport
by tpalm on March 2, 2015
The economic and urban expansion of cities in the southwest United States continue, but is it smart to build and expand upon cites in arid desert-like climates? One of the major sources of water that fuel this expansion originates as tributaries in the Rocky Mountains and flows across these arid states as the Colorado River. Wildman and Forde (2012) stated that this water is being used by 30 million people and for 3 billion dollars of agricultural productivity. However, this massive withdrawal of water is unsustainable, as seen in the fact the river no longer reaches the ocean.

508 | 0 | 0
SUNY Brockport
by rstra3 on March 2, 2015
“The major challenge for humanity in the twenty-first century is to learn to live within the web of life on Earth without destroying it.” (Cassils, 2004)   With a population that has recently reached and exceeded 7 billion people, the interwoven problems in relation to overpopulation, consumption, resource depletion, and environmental degradation continues to be compounded upon (Ehrlich, 2012). Overpopulation in relation to these other factors is not strictly an issue among the science community, but is also a highly political and economic issue as well.

6,373 | 1 | 0
SUNY Brockport
by awest6 on March 2, 2015
Though often overlooked, or taken for granted, soil is nearly as quintessential to life as sunlight. Soils provide an anchor for the roots of primary producers upon which all other forms of terrestrial life depend. In addition, they filter sources of groundwater, harbor vast quantities of beneficial bacteria, fungi and nutrients, can be utilized as raw materials, and encapsulate clues about the deep history of our planet in the form of fossils or artifacts.

468 | 0 | 0
SUNY Brockport
by atorn1 on March 2, 2015
Sass et al. performed a study on the effects of Silver and Bighead carp, commonly known as Asian carp, on zooplankton communities in the Illinois River, Illinois USA. This was done to see what damage could occur to the Great Lakes if the Asian carp make their way through the electric barriers in Chicago Sanitary Ship Canal, based on the damage already done to the Illinois River. But how can we compare a river to a Lake? The answer is we can’t so it is possible that the influence of Asian carp on zooplankton communities in rivers is different that the influence in the Great Lakes.

520 | 0 | 0
SUNY Brockport
by ajess1 on March 2, 2015
            Digging deeper into reason why American rates are lower than European rates there are more and more large factors jumping out at me. The first being that many European countries have strict laws put into play to increase recycling among companies and individuals, and the second being these countries are generally smaller that the United States.

1,544 | 1 | 0
SUNY Brockport
by cookjeff14@yahoo.com on March 2, 2015
The trouble with our oceans is that we are polluting them at an alarming rate. From climate change to over fishing, some marine species may simply never recover. Coral reefs, however, have been decimated and in some cases, completely eradicated. Over the last 20-30 years, we’ve known that acidification caused by pollution, acid rain and increasing atmospheric temperatures have changed the pH levels of the world’s oceans.

463 | 0 | 0
SUNY Brockport
by sgril1 on March 2, 2015
Briefing:   The Saiga antelope (Saiga tatarica) are the only species under the Saiga genus. There are two subspecies in five different populations, none of which overlap in range and show little to no gene flow (Milner-Gulland et al 2001). The saiga are found in Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia (Figure 1). Some of the ranges are within the same country but some cross country boundaries. Previously a population also existed in China, but by the 1960s that population was extinct (SCA).

634 | 0 | 0
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|
Student

|

There are no comments yet!

There no collaborative classes

About the author

Soon after arriving to The College at Brockport, State University of New York, I heard some discussion about incorporating student blogs within classes.

Institution

Class Subject