scientist.gif (8189 bytes)BE AN EXPERT: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Your science text, other science books, encyclopedias, the library, and the Internet can help you with these assignment.

1. Environmental Timeline      10 Points
Make a timeline of the history of environmental science in America.
Include three important events for each time period.

          1500                     1600                    1700                     1800                     1900                     2000          






Define the following terms

threatened species
endangered species

3. Vocabulary Cards     10 Points
Add a K to each blank of a word that you know what it means.
Put an H in each block of enironmental words that you have heard before.
Define the words that are blank.

_____ environmental science _____ biodiversity _____ fishery
_____ precipitation _____ nonrenewable resource _____ parasitism
_____ species _____ death rate _____ captive breeding
_____ host _____ adaptation _____ condensation
_____ conservation _____ nitrogen fixation _____ carrying capacity
_____ ecology _____ coniferous tree _____ abiotic factor
_____ predator _____ biotic factor _____ secondary succession
_____ natural resource _____ omnivore _____ producer
_____ parasite _____ herbivore _____ biome
_____ food web _____ birth rate _____ deciduous tree
_____ photosynthesis _____ understory _____ selective cutting
_____ niche _____ evaporation _____ habitat destruction
_____ consumer _____ energy pyramid _____ natural selection
_____ community _____ prey _____ pioneer species
_____ decomposer _____ limiting factor _____ food chain
_____ carnivore _____ renewable resource _____ aquaculture
_____ canopy _____ mutualism _____ climate
_____ keystone species _____ clear cutting _____ primary succession

4. Environmental Scientists      10 Points
Identify these names from environmental science history.
What did they do that involved environmental science.

Bernardo Razzimazi
Ben Franklin
James Lind
Thomas Malthus
Wangari Maathai
John Snow
John Muir
Gifford Pinchot
Charles Kettering
Alice Hamilton
Aldo Leopold
Rachel Carson
Clair Patterson
Ken Sara-Wiwa
Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Jacques Cousteau
Dian Fossy
Jane Goodall
Chico Mendes
Theodore Roosevelt
Henry David Thoreau

5. Air Pollution     5 Points
List the 6 common air pollutants


6. Water Filtration      15 Points
Water in lakes, rivers, and swamps often contain impurities that make it look and smell bad.
The water may also contain bacteria and other microbiological organisms that can cause disease.
Consequently, water from most surface sources must be "cleaned" before it can be consumed by people.
Water treatment plants typically clean water by taking it through the following processes:


ExpertIconWaterFilter.bmp (141782 bytes) You will create a model of a water filtration system
that will demonstrate the procedures that municipal
water plants may use to purify water for drinking.

For the Materials and Procedure use Water Filtration found at:

7. What's a Crowd? (Prentice Hall p.703)     10 Points
Find out how living things respond to changes in their habitats.
Design and conduct an experiment to determine the effect of crowding on plant growth.


8. With or Without Salt (Prentice Hall p.707)     10 Points
Find out how living things respond to changes in their habitats.
Conduct an experiment to determine the correct amount of salt needed to hatch brine shrimp eggs.


9. A World in a Bottle (Prentice Hall p.710)          10 Points
Make a model of a closed habitat. 
Create a terrarium from a 2-liter pop bottle.
Keep a journal of your data and observations of biotic and abiotic factors. 
Discuss your conclusions with your teacher.  


10. Organism Report      10 Points
Choose an organism and describe its habitat.  
Describe how it obtains the food, water, and shelter it needs from their habitat.  
How does this habitat meet their needs in ways that another would not?
Include biotic and abiotic factors in the habitat. (100 words)

Using Graphs

11. My Rich Aunt     10 Points
Imagine you are four years old. A rich aunt wants to provide for your future. She has offered to do one of two things.
Option 1: she would give you $1000 a year until you are twenty- one (seventeen years from now); or
Option 2: she would give you $1 this year, $2 next year, and so on, doubling the amount each year until you were 21.
Which would you choose?  Why? 
Which way would you have the most money when you were twenty-one?

After checking your results with your teacher, get some graph paper and a ruler.

Study the graph and answer the following questions:
A. How much money would you have when you were 21 if you chose option 1?
B. How much would you have if you chose option 2?
C. If you only received money for ten years, which option would give you the most money?
D. How many years would it be before you had the same amount of money with both options?
E. Why did the money in option 2 increase so rapidly after the fourteenth year?
F. Which line do you think would look most like the world's population growth from 1650 to 2000? Why?

12. World Population Graph     10 Points
The estimated world population from 1650 to 2000 is listed in the chart below.
Make your own graph of this information.
Put population figures (in millions) on the left vertical margin, and years on the horizontal margin.
This line graph will show how fast the world's population is growing.
Do you think that a line showing this population growth would look more like the linear or the exponential line from the last exercise? Why?
Find the year along the line at the bottom of the graph.
Then find the correct population for that year along the left side of the page.
With your pencil and ruler, draw one dot for each pair of information.
When you have placed all of the dots on the graph, connect them with one curved line.

YEAR  WORLD POPULATION (in millions, estimated)
1650             500
1700             600
1750             700
1800             900
1850             1300
1900             1700
1950             2500
1976             4000
2000             7000

13. Family Histories      5 Points
To understand why world population is now growing so fast, we will discuss some issues.   This activity will help you understand one of them. Read the four "family histories" below and answer the questions.  Draw a "family tree" for each Family to help you with the math.

Family A: A has one child.

Family B: B has two children and each of them has two children. 

Family C: C has three children and each of them has three children. 

Family D: D has four children and each of them has four children. 


14. Population Sizes      10 Points
Determining Population Size Using Sampling and Mark and Recapture found at:
Use sampling to determine the number of trees in a forest. 
Use Mark and Recapture to determine the size of a bean population.


15. Observing Cricket Competition      10 Points
Create a Cricket Terrarium.
Male crickets will compete for territories.
Cover the bottom of the terrarium with soil.
Add a toilet or paper towel tube under which the crickets can hide. 
Include a wet portion of a papertowel that will provide water.
Before putting the crickets in the terrarium, mark each crickets back with a different color dot of paint for identification. 
The crickets will first fight. 
In time, each will set up their own territory.
Observe a cricket for a set period of time.
Record its movements on chart and any write down any interactions you see that it has with other crickets on objects.
What happened when you first put the crickets in the terrarium?
What is the size of a cricket's territory?
What happens when crickets go into other cricket territory?
What is the advantage of having a territory?
What would happen if you added a toad to the terrarium?
What would happen if we added a garter snake to the terrarium?
Name the predator(s) and the prey.


16. Symbiosis   5 Points
Classify the interactions of organisms in a community.    
Define symbiosis.
List the three types of symbiosis.

Using animals explain two examples of each of the three types of symbiosis. 


17. Feeding Frenzy      10 Points
Make a bird feeder and create a log of the birds that you see.
Fill a dry 2-liter bottle with birdseed. 
Use paperclips to attach a plastic plate to the neck of the bottle. 
Hang the feeder outside where it may be easily observed.
Observe the feeder at different times of the day. 
Keep a log of all the animals that come to your feeder. 
Record any interactions you see. 
Use a bird guide to help you identify the birds.
Name all the different bird species that came to your feeder.
Do birds have a schedule that they follow at your feeder?
What seeds are in your bird seed?"
Do some birds eat only certain kinds of seeds?
Are there bird "bullies"?


18. Breaking It Down (Prentice Hall 739)      10 Points
Nothing in an ecosystem is wasted.
When living things die, organisms such as mushrooms recycle them. 
This natural process of breakdown is called decomposition.
When fallen leaves and other waste products decompose, a fluffy brown mixture called compost is formed.
Make a model of a compost chamber and design an experiment to test the effect of one variable on decomposition.
You will build two compost chambers. 
You will choose a variable to investigate: moisture, oxygen, temperature, or activity of soil organisms. 
You will conduct the experiment. 
You will analyze your data and present the results. 
You may present your results in a written report, an oral report, or a poster.


19. Where Did Your Dinner Come From?     5 Points
On a sheet of paper, keep track of the food that you eat for seven days. 
Next to each item, write the name of the plant, animal, or other organism that was the source of the food. 
Some foods have more than one source. 

How many food sources came from plants?
How many food sources came from animals.


20. Energy-Role Walk      5 Points
Make a list of the organisms in your neighborhood and determine their energy roles.
Take a short walk outdoors with a family member.
Write down the name of any organism you see and classify it as a producer, consumer, or decomposers. 
Distinguish between the different types of consumers: herbivore, omnivore, carnivore, and scavenger.

. Comic Strip     10 Points
Choose one of the cycles: Water, Carbon and Oxygen, or Nitrogen. 
Draw a comic strip with five panels that shows the important events in the cycle. 
Remember that the last panel must end with the same event that begins the first panel.


22. The Sealed Jar      10 Points
There are guppies, plants, algae, and snails in a jar. 
The top is sealed with a lid.  
Explain the role of each organism in the the Carbon and Oxygen Cycle. 
Create this mini aquarium.

. Biomes in Miniature (Prentice Hall 756-757)      10 Points
Determine how well three kinds of plants grow in different biomes.
Make a model biome. 
Plant 30 rye grass seeds, 10 flower seeds (impatiens)  and 5 lima bean seeds. 
Observe and compare the growth of the plants in the model biomes on a data table.


24. How Much Rain Is That?      10 Points
Cjoose one of the 6 biomes: Rain Forest, Desert, Grassland, Deciduous Forest, Boreal Forest, and Tundra.
Collect data on the average yearly Temperature, Rainfall, and a Typical Organism found in biome.  
Create a chart to display the information you found.


25. Biome Encyclopedia      5 Points
Write a half-page encyclopedia entry (100 words) about one of the Earth's biomes.  
Describe the biome. 
Name at least two plants and animals that live in the biome you chose. 
Tell about the adaptations the plants or animals have that allow these organisms to thrive in the biome. 
You need a rough draft and a final copy.


26. Air Pollution     15 Points
Does indoor or outdoor air have more pollution particles?

14 index cards
Petroleum jelly
Cotton Swabs
Magnifying glass

1. Label the index cards: I-1 to I-7 and O-1 to O-7
2. Usin a cotton swab smear petroleum kelly on cards I-1 and O-1.
3. Tape them to the same window: I-1 on the indide and O-1 on the outside.
4. After 24 hours, take the cards down. You should see small particles on the cards.
5. Repeat the procedure for the next 6 days using the other cards.
6. Make a note of the weather each day.
7. Examine the cards closely using the magnifying glass and compare them to each other.
8. Record your observations, noting any differences.

Analysis and Conclusion
How does the air inside compare to the air outside?

Try different locations.
Try different seasons of the year.


27. Miles Per Gallon      10 Points
The next time your family's car is filled up, record the mileage. 
Record the trips taken and the mileage for seven days. 
Fill the car up again and calculate how many miles per gallon your car gets. 

Miles Per Gallon =   Miles driven divided by the number of gallons used
Example: 300 miles driven divided by 20 gallons used = 15 miles per gallon

Could any of the trips you recorded been combined? 


28. Determine the pH of Common Substances     10 Points
Acid rain is a problem that affects the United States and many countries around the world.  
Acids and bases are two extremes that describe chemicals. 
A substance that is not acidic or basic is a neutral. 
The pH scale measures the acidic or basic level of a substance. 
The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. 
A pH of 7 is neutral, while a pH less than 7 is acidic and a pH greater than 7 is basic.
In this experiment you will use pH indicator to measure the pH of some fruits, common beverages and soaps.

pH paper (Ask me for it)
Lemon, lime, orange
Coke, Sprite, milk
Dish soap or detergent
Distilled water
Small cups
Notebook and pencil
Small knife


1. Are lemon, limes and oranges acids or bases?
2. Are coke and sprite acids or bases?
3. Is milk an acid or a base?
4. Is soap an acid or a base?
5. Which substance was most acidic? (Had the lowest number)
6. Which substance is the most basic? (Had the highest number)

The next time it rains check the pH level.


29. How Do You Decide?     5 Points
On a sheet of paper, list the three environmental issues you think are the most important today.
Next to each issue, write the reason this issue is important.
Look for issues that are of concern to your city or state.
Examples: Should people be rewarded for buying smaller, fuel-efficient cars?
                Companies should be given tax credits for using less product packaging?
                Should cycling be required?


30. Environmentalist Activist      10 Points
Choose any of the environmentalists from #3 and find out more about them. 
Write a short biography of that person's life.
Explains how he or she became involved in environmental issues. 
Be sure to include any obstacles the person overcame to accomplish his or her goal. 
Your report should include a complete an accurate description of the person and many interesting details.
Create a project to show your work.
Include a picture of the environmentalist.


31. Recycling Paper (Prentice Hall 783)     10 Points
Make recycled paper.
Observe and compare dry newspaper and recycled paper made from newspaper.







What Happened to the Tuna?      10 Points
Use the data to make a line graph.  Label the axis of the graph and add a title.

   Year   Western Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
1970 218,000
1975 370,000
1980 67,000
1985 58,000
1990 46,000
1995 63,000
2000 67,000

Research another fish during the same period.  Add its population to your to your graph.


33. Renewable Resource Survey      10 Points
With a family member, conduct a "Forest and Fishery" survey of your home.  
Make a list of all the things that are made from either forest or fishery products.  
Ask other family members to predict how many items are on the list. 
Look beyond the most obvious products, such as wood and paper from forests, and salt and seafood from the ocean.
Check the labels closely to see if they can find the names of other items. 
Look for nuts, spices, tree bark for mulch, and seaweed.


. Endangered Species     10 Points
Research an endangered species found in Illinois. 
Find out its natural habitat, why it is endangered, what is being done to help it.
How many individuals are left in the wild? 
Prepare a 100-word report about the organism, including a drawing. 
Use the drawing and the report to create a poster on your endangered species.


35. Species Recovery      10 Points
Do research on one species that was endangered or threatened but which has now recovered.  
Find out how the organism recovered, and what its new status is. 
Write a 100-word report on the species.


36. Grocery Store Gene Pool      10 Points
With a parent or other adult visit a grocery store. 
Choose one type of fruit or vegetable, such as apples or potatoes. 
Make a list of all the different varieties of that fruit or vegetable that the store sells. 
Purchase one of each type and set up a display in the classroom.


37. Food Chains
Use the picture to answer the questions.

SciNatureFoodChainPicture.bmp (291774 bytes)

Decomposers --->                     --->                     --->                     --->                     ---->


Environmental Occupations     5 Points

A. List three career opportunities in environmental science.

B. Pick one and research it. Explain why this profession interests you.
C. Find the answers to these questions.
        What education is required?
        Do you need training?
        What is the salary you would earn.
D. Where are three places that you could apply for a job?


Endangered Species at

Environmental History Timeline at

Environmental Movement Timeline at

Environmental Protection Agency at

John Muir Exhibit at

Keep America Beautiful at

National Climate Data Center at

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation at

National Resources Conservation Service at

Raising Crickets at

Six Common Air Pollutants found at:

Society of American Foresters at

USDA Forest Service at

Wildlife Conservation Society

World Wildlife Fund at