Environmental Studies VEN100

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Logo Academy for Distance Learning
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Description

Understand environmental principles and issues. An excellent introduction to environmental studies providing a broad based grounding in environmental and conservation issues, and a foundation course for higher learning. Course Structure There are six lessons in this course as follows:
  1. Living Things
    • Classification of plants and animals
    • identifying living organisms
    • using identification keys
  2. Basic Ecology
    • Populations
    • communities
    • ecosystems
    • constituents of ecosystem
    • the ecosphere
    • the web of life
    • habitats and niches
    • humans in the environment.
  3. Global Environmental Systems
    • The Earths structure
    • the atmosphere
    • climatic systems
    • Gaia theory
    • the carbon dioxide cycle
    • El Nino.

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Understand environmental principles and issues. An excellent introduction to environmental studies providing a broad based grounding in environmental and conservation issues, and a foundation course for higher learning. Course Structure There are six lessons in this course as follows:
  1. Living Things
    • Classification of plants and animals
    • identifying living organisms
    • using identification keys
  2. Basic Ecology
    • Populations
    • communities
    • ecosystems
    • constituents of ecosystem
    • the ecosphere
    • the web of life
    • habitats and niches
    • humans in the environment.
  3. Global Environmental Systems
    • The Earths structure
    • the atmosphere
    • climatic systems
    • Gaia theory
    • the carbon dioxide cycle
    • El Nino.
  4. Environmental Problems
    • Deforestation
    • loss of agricultural land
    • loss of biological diversity
    • loss of water
    • loss of non renewable resources
    • environmental weeds
    • the Greenhouse Effect
    • Ozone depletion
    • ozone as a Greenhouse gas
  5. Conservation
    • The definition and goals of conservation
    • the history of conservation
    • natural resources (renewable and non renewable).
  6. Acting Locally: Thinking Globally
    • Humans and water
    • how to minimize water usage
    • energy use in the home
    • reducing household waste
    • domestic transport and its affect on pollution
    • building materials and their environmental impact.
Aims
  • To understand the binomial system of classifying living things
  • To understand the use of keys to identify living things
  • To grasp the basics of ecology (the relationships between living organisms and their environment)
  • To have a basic grounding in Earth Science and an understanding of global environmental systems
  • To understand the Earth\'s major environmental problems and how they have come about
  • To gain an understanding of conservation and its importance to individuals and the world
  • To learn a range of ways to reduce the environmental impact of ones\' actions at home and globally
What you will do in the Course:
  • Classify a range of living organisms in your locality
  • Identify the genus and species names of plants in a nursery
  • Compose a food web for your local area
  • Carry out basic research into the weather in your area and what affects it
  • Carry out in depth research into at least one major environmental problem
  • Contact three conservation organisations to determine the issues they deal with
  • Survey a building to determine the types of building materials used
  • Design an environmentally friendly house

Example from Course Notes:

What Can Humans Do to Reduce Water Use?

This course is an excellent introduction to environmental studies. It will give the student a broad-based grounding in environmental and conservation issues and can serve as a course in its own right or as a platform for higher learning.

If you want to get a broad based understanding of the environment and what you can do to live in a more environmentally sensitive way; this is a great place to start.

  • Reduce demand for water per person. We waste a lot of water, and even though some is recycled, some becomes polluted and cannot be used.
  • Recycle waste water (bath and shower) for use in the garden.
  • Select plants suited to the local environment for use in the garden so that garden watering is minimised.
  • Mulch plants.
  • Collect rainwater (e.g. tanks).
  • Reduce pollution - through better industrial processes and waste water treatment, and through tighter anti-pollution laws.
  • Desalination - this can create it\'s own problems due to the energy consumption required to run the desalination plants.
  • Build more dams - this has major effects on the environment.
  • Water diversion works - this also has major environmental consequences.
  • Towing icebergs from Antarctica - not yet an economically feasible idea.
  • Cloud seeding to cause more rain in needy areas.
  • Reducing evaporation from water storages and channels through the use of covers, or anti-evaporative substances.
  • Encourage people to live where water supplies are better.
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