EC2C. Stay Current—Energy Through the System

Staying current for Chapter 2 { Ecosystem Change Contents } SEE ALSO…Losing Biodiversity Chapter 5: Soil, the Living Skin of the Earth  Chapter 7: One Global Ocean  Chapter 8: Champions of a Sustainable World 2021-06-04. [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/06/rise-and-fall-world-s-largest-lake] – The rise and fall of the world’s largest lake. By Sid Perkins. Science Magazine. Excerpt: When continental plates smashed […]

EC1C. Stay Current—Earth Alive!

Staying current for Chapter 1 See Non-chronological resources for this chapter { Ecosystem Change Contents } 2022-08-04. Surveys commissioned by 16th century Spanish king provide unprecedented ecological snapshot. [https://www.science.org/content/article/surveys-commissioned-king-spain-16th-century-provide-unprecedented-ecological-snapshot] By Viviana Flores, Science Magazine. Excerpt: In the 1570s, when King Philip II of Spain sent emissaries to survey the flora and fauna of villages in […]

EC7. Neighborhood and Global Stewardship

Chapter 7 { Ecosystem Change Contents } The citizens of the United States use more energy and resources per person than do people in other countries. What can we do to reduce our individual and collective impact on earth’s global system? On the pages that follow, we have described some actions taken by students to […]

EC6. Carrying Capacity

Chapter 6 { Ecosystem Change Contents } In an influential essay entitled, “Essay on the Principle of Population,” Thomas Malthus noted that the growth of population and what he thought should be the inevitable tidal wave of people that would eventually inhabit the Earth, hadn’t occurred and that somehow the human population must be kept […]

EC5. Carbon in the Biosphere

Chapter 5 { Ecosystem Change Contents } I. The Carbon Dioxide Cycle When we enjoy the beauty of a tree we probably aren’t thinking of this marvelous structure as a carbon-based system that transforms sunlight and gases into food. A single cell in a tree leaf is a tiny system that uses light energy plus […]

EC4. Changes in the Global System

Chapter 4 { Ecosystem Change Contents } Dr. Steven Schneider, climatologist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, has been very vocal in alerting the public to the impending dangers of global climate change. In an interview for the TV documentary, “Race to Save the Planet,” he shares his sense of urgency…. “Fifteen thousand years […]

EC3. Studying Desert Ecosystems

Chapter 3 { Ecosystem Change Contents } I. An Interview with Dr. Samira Omar Desert ecosystems are very vulnerable to overgrazing by domestic animals. Herds people living at the edges of desert ecosystems have often triggered positive feedback mechanisms that have further reduced the productivity of the land both for wildlife and people. Nature’s time […]

EC2. Energy Through the System

Chapter 2 { Ecosystem Change Contents } Picture the following chain of events: hundreds of oak caterpillars munching holes in the leaves of an old oak tree while squirrels and jays collect acorns and gobble caterpillars too. The squirrel stops to scratch a flea. A pair of chickadees hop through the branches collecting caterpillars for […]

EC1.1. Make A Model Ecosystem

{ Ecosystem Change Contents } { All GSS Books } Design your own miniature ecosystem in a clear plastic or glass container and observe it for at least one month.  In the following laboratory investigation, you will design a small model ecosystem in a terrarium and follow the changes in the living and non-living components […]

EC1. Earth Alive!

Chapter 1 { Ecosystem Change Contents } Imagine you are an astronaut viewing planet earth from a space shuttle 160 miles above the surface. Changing patterns of clouds and reflections from water and snow fields create the illusion of a colossal spherical organism. Many human cultures have believed that Earth is alive; many have attributed […]