ECOLOGY AND THE CONSERVATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES
|Science in Society
To develop an understanding of the interdependence of all organisms and the need for conserving natural resources
An increase in human population can have a significant impact on the biosphere.
To understand that increased population, mobility and affluence are changing the demands on the environment
INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES: The learner will:
1.01 compare present lifestyles with the past and identify changes that have occurred because of population growth.
OUTLINE OF CONTENT:
1.02 identify environmental problems that are a result of population growth.
1.03 identify environmental problems associated with overpopulated areas.
I. Life styles
II. Content-result of population growth
1. Food, clothing, shelter
B. Agrarian Society
a. Temporary shelters
2. Environmental impact
a. Waste biodegradable
3. Land use
b. Limited energy
a. Short-term intense impact
4. Social structure
a. Population growth
5. Energy demand
1. Food, clothing, shelter
2. Impact on environment
C. Industrial Society
a. Clearing land
3. Land use
4. Energy demand
c. Move on
d. Waste accumulates
a. Minerals used for
a. Population growth
1) Needed for farm work
2) More can live longer
1. Food, clothing, shelter
2. Impact an environment
a. Water use
3. Land use
b. Clearing land
c. Use of non-renewable resources
4. Energy demands
b. Non-essential buildings
5. Social structure
a. Baby born in U.S. uses more energy than baby born in developing country
A. Air and water pollution
III. Content - overcrowded areas
B. Overuse of land
1. Clearing forests
C. Water shortage
3. Improper agricultural practices
4. Destruction of wetlands
a. Make room for buildings
D. Waste disposal
G. Increase pesticide and other chemicals for food production
H. Wildlife habitat destroyed imply
I. Pollution related diseases
J. Affluence - Population growth in the U.S. impacts the environment more than population growth in developing countries - more products, packaging, waste, energy used
K. Energy drain
L. Mobility - humans are able to adapt (by using more energy) to remote areas and sparsely populated areas - impacts more of the land.
A. Density-dependent factors
C. Large quantities of energy needed
D. Waste accumulation
E. Concentrated drain on water supply
F. Water and air pollution
G. Water and air used too often
I. Competition for space (land)
J. Food supply - places strain on other areas
1. Clearing rain forest for raising cat food
K. Too many people try to occupy a limited number of niches produce stress on the individual and the emotional.
COMPONENT OF SCIENCE: Science in Society
To enable students to demonstrate positive attitudes toward science in solving problems and making personal decisions about issues affecting the individual, society and the environment.
4.1 ATTITUDES - The progress of science and the attitudes of society influence one another.
4.1a - Scientists can bring information, insights, and analytical skills to bear on matters of public concern.
BENCHMARK: Scientists can use their particular expertise to address public concern.
Immigration, emigration, limiting factors, mobility, affluence, monoculture
This classroom connector addresses Instructional Objective 1.01
Write three ways your family's lifestyle would change if you suddenly had twice the number of people in your present home. (Monitor to see that each student writes. Ask several students to share the changes.)
Just as your house would be crowded and would change your life, the earth has become crowded and has changed our lifestyle. Today we will compare our present lifestyles with the past and identify changes that have occurred because of population growth.
We will discuss three main societies: Hunters-gatherers, Agrarian, and Industrial (including the present). We will compare their food, clothing, and shelter; their impact on the environment; their use of the land; their energy demands; and their social structure.
(A chart can be prepared by making three headings across the top of the page for hunter-Gatherer, Agrarian, and Industrial. Down the side of the page and for consideration with each of the original headings should be: Food, Clothing, Shelter: Environmental Interaction; Land Use; Social Structure; and Energy Use. The chart may be used to help the student take organized notes or as a supervised practice device. The answers may be covered to use in evaluation.) What did the Hunters-gatherers use for food, clothing, and shelter? (Guide the answers animals for all three, caves, harvested plants, shelters were temporary.)
What did the Agrarian society do for food, shelter, and clothing? (Guide the answers - more permanent houses from wood or earth, grew food, clothing from plants and animals, domesticated some animals and increased their populations.)
What does the Industrial society do for food, shelter, and clothing? (Guide the answers food from plants and animals, shelter and clothing from plants, animals, and synthetic materials from petroleum products.)
Compare the three societies. Since a large population would require more food, shelter, and clothing, which lifestyle could support a large population for a long period of time? (Answers will vary.) You have made a guess but the answer is none of these will support a large population for a long period of time.
What are the differences among the three societies in their impact on the environment? (Guide their answers - All three killed animals and harvested plants, produced biodegradable wastes, burned wood for fuel, have population limited by disease, weather, and predation. The hunters-gatherers moved frequently thus spreading their impact. Agrarian society cleared the land, overused the land, and moved on. They lived in groups and their wastes, along with their domesticated animals wastes, accumulated. In the industrial societies, more water is used for industries, mobility allows one population to affect the environment of far distant places. New non-biodegradable wastes are created which interferes with the food chain. Chemicals are used to increase fond production and to lengthen life, thus keeping limiting factors from controlling the population. Water and air are polluted.)
Compare the use of the land in the three different societies. (Guide the answers. The hunters-gatherers moved frequently and had limited impact an the land itself. Agrarian cleared land, farmed it extensively, then moved on. Industrial society paves to alter the land and drainage and guilds non-essential buildings for businesses, etc. Larger populations require the use of wetlands for homes and increase the competition with wildlife for territory. Industrialized societies create demands for lands in other countries by purchasing products grown cheaply there. For example, rain forest cleared to provide furniture for export. Mining for minerals and fuel damages the land. Parks and wildlife preserves and zoning regulates land use. Affluence and mobility allows humans to impact more land than that on which they live.)
Compare the energy demands in the different societies. (Guide the answers. The Hunter-gatherers burned plants for fuel. Agrarian societies began some mining for tools and fuel. Industrial societies use fuel for manufacturing and homes. They also use fossil fuel for products such as plastics thus increasing the demands for these non-renewable resources. Industrial societies use alternate energy sources such as geothermal, solar, and wind.)
Compare the social structure of the different societies. (Guide the answers. The Hunter-gatherers deliberately controlled the population by abstinence from sexual intercourse, abortion, infanticide, late marriage, and late weaning. People who could not keep up with the group moving from place to place were left behind. In the agrarian societies many of the population controls were abandoned because there was plenty of food and there was a need for workers on farms, offspring to inherit property, and care for aging parents. The increased food supply and lack of need to move from place to place contributed to increased longevity. In the industrial societies it is difficult to initiate population control methods because of increased individual rights. The population is growing exponentially. The affluence of the industrial society allows mobility and communication allows the spread of ideas and culture.
Divide the class into Hunters-gatherers, agrarians, and industrialists. Let the students role-play by sharing the five aspects of their life styles.
(They may use their notes.) Ask each group the following questions:
1. In your society, is more time and energy spend on wants or needs? (Industrial society has more leisure time, thus spends more on wants.)
2. What effect does the rights of the individual have on your life style? (For the people to survive in the hunter-gatherer society, the individual had few rights. There were more rights in the agrarian and industrial societies.)
3. What effect does mobility have on your societies? (The hunter-gatherer had to move to find food and the industrialist has to move to find a space to live, build factories, and grow food.)
4. In which does the environment limit your population? (Hunters-gatherers) In what ways? (Predators, cultural practices and limited food supply.)
5. What effects do culture and religion have on your population? (Hunters-gatherers abstained from sexual intercourse, married and weaned late, and practiced abortion and infanticide. Agrarian and industrial societies have more individual rights and more restrictions on behavior such as birth control.)
6. In the present day, where will we move next? (Answers will vary)
7. In which society is the food supply a limiting factor? (Eventually all will be affected but the hunter-gatherer would be affected more.)
Now that we have compared the lifestyles and changes that have occurred because of population growth, write two positive changes and two negative changes that have been due to population growth. (Give time and allow a few to share their changes.)
This classroom connector addresses Instructional Objective 1.02.
Write two ways in which the school would be affected if 500 new students moved to your neighborhood and attended your school. (Pause, then let them share their answers aloud.) As you have noted there are many problems that are a result of population growth in your school. Today, we will identify environmental problems that are a result of population growth in our world. You will probably identify many of the same problems you have noted.
Let's make a list on the board of problems you have on your list that would apply to the whole town. (pause) What about the whole world? (pause) (Be sure the list includes air and water pollution; water shortage; waste disposal; noise, stress which prompts illnesses, crime, etc.; overuse of land such as clearing forests, building roads and buildings, destruction of wetlands and other wildlife habitats; demand for more food encourages improper agricultural practices and an increase in pesticides and other chemicals; increase in energy demand; increase in pollution related diseases.)
(You may allow students to work in groups.) A new island suddenly appeared one mile off the coast of Florida near a sparsely populated area with a sleepy fishing village. The island is teeming with water fowl and vegetation. It has two miles of beautiful beach. Many animals from the mainland visit. The villagers fish and gather oysters, shrimp and other seafood from the surrounding ocean and small creek. Draw a map based on the discussion above. Alter your map to show how you think the village will change in five years and ten years. (Make sure they use the list above to address the changes that could occur. The students must assume that people will move to the area and to the island. Allow time for the students to share their maps and ideas with the class. Save these maps and use them with the activity in objective 2.03.)
(Assign students to contact the city and state government agencies in the community to find out what has been done in the last five years due to the population changes in your city or state. The students should report to the class.)
Now that you have identified the problems with population growth, list the one problem which in your opinion is the most pressing to a city which is facing a sudden population growth. (Allow time for the students to share their answers.)
(Have students write a letter to the mayor of the fictitious fishing village to suggest ways he could get ready for the people.)
Several old magazines with lots of pictures the students may cut out, scissors, poster or notebook paper, glue or tape, research materials.
This classroom connector addresses Instructional Objective 1.03.
Each of you write down one area of the world you think is overpopulated. (Allow time to think, then share.) Today we will identify environmental problems associated with overpopulated areas.
Remember we have studied the effects of overpopulation in the animal and plant kingdom. Density-dependent factors such as parasites, stress, disease, food and water shortage cause the population to decrease when a population is crowded. In the human population, these same factors must be overcome if the people are able to live close together. You will be assigned an overpopulation area to research. Find out how they provide transportation, large quantities of energy needed, dispose of wastes, provide the large quantities of fresh, potable water, cope with air and water pollution, handle the crime problem, provide enough space for houses and industries and businesses, and provide enough food. (You may assign the following or select some areas close to your school.) Topics: Any large city, Southern Florida, Chesapeake Bay, any National Park such as Yellowstone (too many tourists).
(The students could make a collage of pictures from magazines showing some problems and how they are being addressed in an overcrowded area.)
(students will be assigned a job in a crowded community. They will answer the questions as the person they are pretending to be would answer them. Be sure each person answers all of the questions. Feel free to add other jobs to the list.)
Policeman, grocer, land developer, zoo keeper, real estate agent, house wife, farmer, bus driver, truck driver, road builder, water treatment plant operator, landfill operator, and banker might be considered.
1. How does overcrowding affect your job?
2. Where do you get your food?
3. Where does your garbage go? Do you recycle?
4. Do you like all the growth in the population in your city?
5. lay there a problem finding places to live? What is done about it?
6. Would you have the same job in a small town? Why or why not?
7. What effect does your job have on the environment?
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