Environmental Science 111
Study Guide for Final Exam
Chapters 13 thru 17
You should be able to…
Chapter 13:
o Describe where the majority of our power originates from.
o Which countries have the greatest reserves of tar sands, oil, coal, natural
gas, shale oil, geothermal, and other energy resources.
o Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of:
 Traditional fossil fuels
 Nuclear energy
 Renewable energy
o Explain the importance of energy efficiency and conservation.
o Describe ways to transition to alternative energy.
Chapter 14:
o List the major health hazards globally and nationally.
o Give examples of major biological hazards and how they’re transmitted
(e.g. malaria carried by the Anopheles mosquito, MRSA, AIDS – how do
treatments for bacterial infection compare to viral infections - antibiotic
resistant bacteria, etc).
o Give examples of chemical hazards, their sources, and the type of
illnesses and problems they can cause. (e.g. BPA, DDT, PCB’s, and
methyl mercury).
o Explain how we measure and avoid risks to these hazards.
o Explain the terms biological magnification (bioaccumulation), using
examples of environmentally persistent chemicals, such as DDT, PCB’s,
and methyl mercury.
o Explain the terms carcinogen, teratogen, and mutagen.
Chapter 15:
o Describe the various layers of the atmosphere.
o List and explain the most common sources of outdoor air pollution, and
their environmental effects.
o List and explain the most common sources of indoor air pollution, and their
environmental effects.
o Describe natural sources of air pollution.
o Describe the cause of acid deposition (rain, fog, etc) and its effect on the
o Explain what photochemical smog is.
o Describe various techniques (technological, political, economic, etc) for
controlling or eliminating air pollution.
o List and describe the major sources of different “greenhouse” gases
(e.g. methane, carbon dioxide, etc)
o Describe the many ways that climate scientists determine past climatic
conditions (tree rings, varves, glacial bubbles, etc).
o Describe all of the possible effects if global warming continues.
o Explain various ways that we can slow down climate warming
(sequestering carbon, cap and trade, etc).
o Compare and contrast stratospheric and tropospheric ozone.
o Explain what ozone does to protect the earth’s surface.
o Explain what the “hole” in the ozone layer means, and what the
anthropogenic source of CFC’s was found to be.
o Describe what solution has been attempted to protect the ozone layer.
Chapter 16:
Explain what solid wastes are (e-waste, municipal, industrial, etc.)
Compare and contrast solid waste to hazardous solid waste.
List the top three producers of hazardous waste in the US.
Describe sustainable steps to deal with solid waste (first reducing, then
reusing, composting food, recycling in various ways, and then safely
disposing of what’s left).
Describe what are the most persistent solid wastes - the hardest to
biodegrade (e.g. disposable diapers)
List the obstacles to recycling and other sustainable methods of dealing
with solid waste.
Describe the International Basel Convention’s ban on transferring
hazardous waste. (Has the US embraced it?)
Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages to burning or
burying solid waste. (Especially hazardous waste).
Describe a good way to transition to a more sustainable society (use other
countries as examples).
Explain what phytoremediation and bioremediation are and how effective
they are in cleaning up the environment.
Describe lead pollution and its most common sources.
Explain what measures have been tried (and how effective they are) to
control lead in the environment.
Explain what the dirty dozen represents (POPs).
Describe what treatise have been enacted and how involved is the US.
Chapter 17:
Describe Chattanooga’s environmental success story.
Explain how economic systems and politics are related to the biosphere.
Define natural capital, natural services, etc.
Compare and contrast traditional economic versus environmental
Describe environmental economic ways to help control pollution.
Using Lester Brown and Paul Hawken as a case study, explain the steps
they suggest for making a transition to a more sustainable economy.
Name and describe the concept that suggests brining the population size
and growth rate down in order to better environmentally support humans
and other species.
Describe the lesson that Biosphere 2 taught us.
What a tipping point is in terms of environmental issues. Give an example
(e.g. CO2 levels, loss of biodiversity, etc).
Compare and contrast various environmental worldviews.