GEOG-1 Physical Geography Homework 10


Topic 1: Ecosystems

We shall not go too deeply into the science of ecology, except through the textbook, and the following video (part of a series; if you’re interested, check out the Systems Innovation channel).

Watch: Ecosystems [Systems Innovation]

Ecological resources are often discussed in terms of the ‘ecosystem services’ that offer benefits to human societies.

Recommended: Ecosystem services [California Academy of Sciences]

It is often with regard to ecological resources that individual human beings have a powerful personal influence. Through the actions of specific people, entire species have escaped extinction thus far. Careers acting on behalf of wildlife and naturally diverse ecosystems may be some of the most challenging, time-critical, but personally fulfilling domains of natural resource management that we have seen and will continue to see in the near future. Even part-time volunteer work can be quite meaningful.

Watch: Top 5 Inspirational Animal Conservation Stories [BBC Earth]

Recommended: Modern day wildlife conservation | Nick Bubb [TEDx Talks]

Topic 2: Infectious diseases

Without commenting on the specifics of the covid-19 virus and its origins, I thought it might be helpful to take a broad look at eth general issue and how it connects with population and environment.

Watch: How Pandemics Spread [TED-Ed]

Watch: Why are outbreaks of infectious diseases on the rise? [DW News]

Recommended: How deforestation helps deadly viruses jump from animals to humans

Recommended: How Climate Change Is Contributing to Infectious Disease [ProPublica]

Homework 10:

  1. What are some of the characteristics of ecosystems? How does an ecosystem differ from a community?
  2. What is your favorite ‘inspirational animal conservation story’ from the video?
  3. Briefly discuss how viral pandemics might form.
  4. Are infectious diseases on the rise? If so, why?

Chapter 9 Essay Questions 2, 4, 5, 9, 11, 14

9.2. Compare and contrast the function and structure of the grazing and detritus food chain.

9.4. Describe how evolution works through natural selection, spatial isolation, and gene mutation.

9.5. Explain in detail how energy moves through the grazing food chain and the detritus food chain. Also, discuss how these food chains are related to each other and are necessary for the cycling of nutrients in an ecosystem.

9.9. What are some of the major components of ecosystems? How are these components related to each other?

9.11. Discuss the term dispersal. Include in your answer an explanation of why organisms want to disperse, and how organisms accomplish this life-cycle strategy.

9.14. Compare and contrast the characteristics (climate, plant types, animal life, soil types, etc.) of the following biomes: Tundra, Temperate Deciduous Forest, Desert, and Tropical Rainforest

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