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Tristan J.

Class Period

1st Period Environmental Science

Hobbies and Interests

Bicycling, swimming, computers, chemistry

Activities outside of school

Working out, reading, surfing the Web

Why I am enrolled in AP Environmental Science?

I needed an earth science to graduate, and I felt that this course would be the most interesting.  I also like the opportunity to earn college credit.

What I hope to get out of this class.

I would like to learn what I can do to help the environment now, and have some ideas for how to protect it in the future.  I want to see that future generations will have at least as much to enjoy as we do.

Links of Interest (you will be adding to this as you go through the semester).

Uploaded Homework Assignment and Class projects

Journal Entries

Unit !:


Chapter 2:  Some analysts believe that the world’s remaining hunter-gatherer societies should be given title to the land on which they and their ancestors have lived for centuries and should be left alone by civilization.  They content that we have created protective reserves for endangered species, so why not create protective reserves for cultures?  What do you think?  Explain.


I think that we should create protective reserves for cultures because it is important to preserve cultures in order to retain their knowledge, such as their languages, their history, and their knowledge of the environment.  Also, cultures that have inhabited an area for thousands of years will be able to take care of it better than foreign cultures.  They need to maintain the local plant and animal life to sustain themselves, while foreign cultures will be more likely to exploit the resources and destroy the land.



Unit 2:

Chapter 4:  Why could the total amount of animal flesh on the earth never exceed the total amount of plant flesh, even if all animals are vegetarians?


Plants must provide energy for all animals on the Earth through photosynthesis.  Animals must consume plants in order to obtain energy, nutrients, and biomass.  If the biomass of animals exceeds the biomass of plants, animals will not be able to obtain enough food to survive, so each trophic level must have a lower biomass than the level below.  Otherwise, the animals would starve due to overconsumption of plants.

Unit 3:


Chapter 8:  Suppose a hurricane blows down most of the trees in a forest.  Timber company officials offer to salvage the fallen trees and plant a tree plantation to reduce the chances of fire and to improve the area’s appearance, with an agreement that they can harvest the trees when they reach maturity and plant another tree farm.  Others argue that the damaged forest should be left alone because hurricanes and other natural events are part of nature and the dead trees will serve as a source of nutrients for natural recovery through ecological succession.  What do you think should be done and why?


I think that the area should be left alone.  A tree farm is different from a natural ecosystem because most tree farms are monocultures, which only contain one species of tree.  Therefore, wildlife which is adapted for the natural environment will not inhabit the tree farm, and it will not provide the same ecological services as a natural forest ecosystem.  If the area recovers naturally through ecological succession, it can serve as habitat for more species and provide more enjoyment, and it will still be possible to harvest trees sustainably as they mature.

Unit 4:


Chapter 11:  Evaluate the following statements: (a) we should not get so worked up about exposure to toxic chemicals because almost any chemical can cause some harm at a large enough dosage. (b) we should not worry so much about exposure to toxic chemicals because through genetic adaptation, we can develop immunity to such chemical.


(a) Although it is true that all chemicals, including water, can cause harm at a large enough dosage, the dosage depends on the chemical.  Many industrial wastes and other pollutants have a low LD50, which means that they can cause death at relatively low concentrations.  Also, large amounts of pollutants can be released into the environment due to factors such as industrial accidents and inadequate pollution controls.

(b)  The process of genetic adaptation takes many centuries in species such as humans that have long generational times.  Therefore, pollutants in the environment will continue to affect humans for many generations to come.  It is more effective to control and prevent pollution so that it is not present in our environment in the first place.  Also, humans and other species may become extinct if they are unable to adapt to pollution in the environment, leading to a loss of biodiversity.

Unit 5:

Chapter 10:  In the area that you live, are you more likely to experience an earthquake or a volcano eruption?  What can you do to escape or reduce the harm if such a disaster strikes?  What actions can you take when it occurs?

In this area, it is more likely that earthquakes will occur; volcanic eruptions have not occurred for tens of thousands of years, but small earthquakes are known to occur frequently.  To reduce harm in the event of an earthquake or a volcanic eruption, you should make sure your house is sturdy so that it is less likely to collapse. If you live in a trailer or mobile home, you should make sure that a shelter is available to you if a disaster is predicted to occur.  In an earthquake or eruption, you should remain indoors to avoid hazards such as falling debris or volcanic ash, and attempt to take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture.  Remain in a safe location until the event ends, and be aware that aftershocks may occur minutes, hours, or days later.

Unit 6:

Chapter 17:  Congratulation!  You are in charge of reducing air pollution in your country.  List the 3 most important features of your policy.

I would first reduce the amount of fossil fuels consumed in power plants by promoting clean forms of energy such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power, reducing one of the greatest sources of greenhouse gas emissions.  Next, I would encourage increased energy efficiency in cars and promote new technologies such as electric and hydrogen cars, since cars are one of the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions.  Finally, I would make homes more efficient by requiring a shift to compact fluorescent lights and more efficient heating and cooling systems, which will lower the demand for electtical power and reduce the need to burn fossil fuels.

Unit 7:


Chapter 21:  Explain why you support or oppose requiring that:

  1. all beverage containers be reusable
  2. all household and businesses sort recyclable materials into separate containers for curbside pick-up
  3. garbage collecting systems implement the pay-as-you-trash approach
  4. consumers pay for plastic or paper bags to encourage the use of reusable shopping bags

(a) I support making beverage containers reusable because it decreases the environmental costs associated with making and recycling beverage containers.  Recycling requires the container to be melted down before it is made into a new container, while reuse eliminates these steps and saves energy.  Also, most beverage containers were reused in the early part of the 20th century, but this has been eliminated due to changes over time.


(b) I support this because people will become more aware of what they are recycling and throwing away, which can help reduce their waste.  Also, it will reduce costs for wate handling companies.


(c)  I am opposed to this proposal because I feel that it will cost too much to implement, which could take away money for other programs.  Also, many people are already aware of their wate production, and more will become aware, if recycling programs are improved.


(d) I support this because many consumers use large amounts of plastic or paper bags that wate natural resources.  Some consumers reuse bags as trash can liners or for other purposes, but these people can pay a small fee to obtain only as many as they need, and avoid wasting resources.

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