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Environmental Science: Active Learning Laboratories and Applied Problem Sets, 3rd Edition



Environmental Science: Active Learning Laboratories and Applied Problem Sets, 3rd Edition

Travis P. Wagner, Robert M. Sanford

ISBN: 978-1-119-46255-2 June 2018 272 Pages

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Historically viewed as a sub-discipline of biology or ecology, environmental science has quickly grown into its own interdisciplinary field; grounded in natural sciences with branches in technology and the social science, today’s environmental science seeks to understand the human impacts on the Earth and develop solutions that incorporate economic, ethical, planning, and policy thinking. This lab manual incorporates the field’s broad variety of perspectives and disciplines to provide a comprehensive introduction to the everyday practice of environmental science.

Hands-on laboratory activities incorporate practical techniques, analysis, and written communication in order to mimic the real-world workflow of an environmental scientist. This updated edition includes a renewed focus on problem solving, and offers more balanced coverage of the field’s diverse topics of interest including air pollution, urban ecology, solid waste, energy consumption, soil identification, water quality assessment, and more, with a clear emphasis on the scientific method. While labs focus on the individual, readers are encouraged to extrapolate to assess effects on their campus, community, state, country, and the world.

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Preface vii

Introduction xii

PART 1 General Information 1

Laboratory Health and Safety Procedures 2

Sample Student Lab Report 10

PART 2 Labs 15

LAB 1 Evaluating Sustainable Practices 16

LAB 2 Analyzing and Interpreting Environmental Data 23

LAB 3 Environmental Science in the Media 32

LAB 4 Sustainability and Business 35

LAB 5 Environmental Site Inspection 38

LAB 6 Urban Ecosystems 43

LAB 7 Experimental Design: Range of Tolerance 50

LAB 8 Experimental Design: Environmental Contamination 56

LAB 9 Landscaping for Energy Conservation 63

LAB 10 Alternative Energy: Wind Power 68

LAB 11 Global Climate Change and Automobiles 76

LAB 12 Household Contribution to Climate Change 81

LAB 13 Hydrology and Groundwater Pollution 86

LAB 14 Stormwater Generation and Management 93

LAB 15 Applying the Scientific Method: Dowsing for Water 100

LAB 16 Aquatic Species Diversity and Water Quality 104

LAB 17 Environmental Forensics 108

LAB 18 Actual/Virtual Field Trip: Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant 114

LAB 19 Actual/Virtual Field Trip: Wetlands and Their Ecosystem Functions 118

LAB 20 Actual/Virtual Field Trip: Water Treatment Plant 121

LAB 21 Soil Characterization 125

LAB 22 Climate Change and Sea Level Rise 131

LAB 23 Reducing the Generation of Solid Waste 138

LAB 24 Reducing Campus Food Waste 145

LAB 25 Compost Facility Planning and Siting 151

LAB 26 Actual/Virtual Field Trip: Solid Waste Management 159

LAB 27 Testing the Toxicity of Chemicals 163

LAB 28 Environmental Risk Perception 170

LAB 29 Human Survivorship Changes 174

LAB 30 Indoor Air Quality Inspection 179

LAB 31 Lung Power 184

PART 3 Applied Problem Sets 187

PROBLEM SET 1 The Scientific Method: Observation and Hypotheses 188

PROBLEM SET 2 The Scientific Method: Results and Discussion 191

PROBLEM SET 3 Quantification of Environmental Problems 196

PROBLEM SET 4 Ecosystem Diagram 201

PROBLEM SET 5 Biogeochemical Concept Map 202

PROBLEM SET 6 Global Climate Change, CO2, and You 204

PROBLEM SET 7 Recognizing Human Impacts 208

PROBLEM SET 8 Carbon Footprints and Sustainability 211

PROBLEM SET 9 Oil Consumption and Future Availability 213

PROBLEM SET 10 Water Quality and Consumer Choice 215

PROBLEM SET 11 Local Environmental Risk 218

PROBLEM SET 12 Society and Waste 220

PROBLEM SET 13 Environmental Modeling 223

PROBLEM SET 14 Environmental Awareness and Ecological Identity 227

PROBLEM SET 15 Trophic Levels and a Tidal Marsh 229

PROBLEM SET 16 Food Efficiency: The Breakfast Assessment 232

PROBLEM SET 17 Life-Cycle Assessment 235

PROBLEM SET 18 Understanding Pesticide Labels 238

PROBLEM SET 19 Review and Reflection 239

PART 4 Appendices 241

Glossary 242

The Metric System 248

Conversion Factors 249

Numerical Prefixes 250

About the Authors 251

New to this Edition:

  • Excel data analysis exercises that facilitate inferential statistical testing of hypotheses
  • Expanded focus on formal, professional report-writing, with clear examples of key elements
  • A dedicated instructor’s website featuring setup instructions, diagrams, and photographs, plus lecture notes, PowerPoint presentations, grading rubrics, and more

Wiley Advantage:

  • Uses problem-based, active learning techniques that encourage group and cohort paths to knowledge
  • Relates lab activities to real life, highlighting individual contributions to environmental problems
  • Blends traditional laboratory techniques with field work, Internet research, calculations, and critical analysis
  • Emphasizes improvement of written communication, and stresses the importance of writing in scientific fields
  • Includes relevant problem sets that can be used as lab supplements or homework assignments for environmental science lectures
  • Relies on basic, generally available equipment for more affordable, more versatile, more easily replicable experiments