APES Test Flashcards: Chapters 1-4, 27, 28

City Planning
A formal, conscious plan for the design of a new city for social or environmental purposes. This concept is significant because city planning can either help or hinder the preservation of the environment around it.
Fall Line
An abrupt drop in the elevation of land. This concept is significant because it leads to the creation of waterfalls which provide hydroelectric power to cities, create good soil and serve as a waste disposal system. Early factors that helped establish the founding of cities during America’s industrial period.
Garden City
A city or land planning system that considers a city and countryside together. This concept is significant because it helps to preserve natural ecosystems and cools down a city.
Greenbelt
A belt or area of recreational parks, farmland or connecting urban areas forming a system of countryside and urban landscapes. This concept is significant because it includes the natural environment within the planning of the city and helps to cool the city down.
Made Lands
Lands that are created from waste to create more land for construction. This concept is significant because often these land sites contain toxic chemicals and unstable soil making this land dangerous to live on. It also shows the consequences of urban sprawl. An example of made lands is Treasure Island.
Site
All the environmental factors of a particular location to build a city and the features of that location. This concept is significant because it can be related back to fall line and includes soil, water, access to natural resources that propel the growth of a city.
Commons
Publicly owned land or other resources that are able to be accessed by the public for private uses. This concept is significant because it can be related to the “Tragedy of the Commons” and the idea that countries compete for access to natural resources and destroy the environment in their quest for them. Commons include fisheries, forests, and deep ocean areas where natural mineral deposits are found
Direct Costs
When a product is manufactured for sale, these costs are added into the price of the item in order to facilitate the costs the producer faced when making the item. For example take the costs associated with producing commercially usable nickle. These costs would cover the amount of energy needed to run the smelter, building the plant, purchasing the ore and paying employees.
Environmental Economics
The effects that a particular environment has on an economy and how various economic processes affect the living resources within that ecosystem. This concept can be related to the dolphin hunters in the movie “The Cove”. The fact that the city of Taiji was so close to an area where dolphins were resulted in the economy being primarily based off dolphin capture. The fact that this was the principle industry in the economy had an effect on the dolphin population in Taiji.
Externality (Indirect Costs)
An effect usually unaccounted for when producing a particular product. When the price of an item is calculated, these are the costs that do not show up in the final price of the item. For example with whaling, externalities include loss of revenue to tourist boats that view the whales and loss of the ecological role whales play in an ecosystem
Marginal Costs
The estimated cost of how much it would take to remove one unit of environmental degradation. For example, how much it would theoretically cost to remove the damage done by one unit of pollution from a factory.
Policy Instruments
Means to implement a society’s environmental policies. This includes persuading people through talk or social pressure, regulations, taxation, subsidies, licenses on specific goods. Examples of this include Smog Check, hunting/fishing licenses and recycling programs.
Risk-Benefit Analysis
The analysis of a particular situation where the proposed risks of the possible action are weighed against the proposed benefits of the possible action to determine if that action is sound. For example, when it was decided to drain Mono Lake, the risks to the brine shrimp and ecosystem were weighed against the benefits to the city of Los Angeles and it was determined that draining part of the lake for water use was not environmentally sound.
Population
A group of individuals of the same species living in the same area or interbreeding and sharing genetic information. This term is significant because it describes a specific group of organisms within an ecosystem and groups them in such a way that they are able to be tracked over time.
Species
All individuals that are capable of interbreeding. Different populations of organisms make up a species. This is significant because each individual species on Earth is made up of a number of different populations. For example, the human species is made up of populations of people all over the planet.
Birth Rate
The rate at which new members are added to the population through birth. This concept is important because it can be related to the one-child policy in China which is a way that humans have tried to control the birth rate’s impact on population growth.
Death Rate
The rate at which members are removed from a population by death. This concept is significant because the death rate is another factor that can be used to control a population. The more organisms that are killed within a population, the smaller the population is. Those members that manage to survive are also possess stronger genes, allowing the gene pool to become stronger.
Growth Rate
The rate at which a population grows over time. This can be influenced by factors such as availability to resources, land, weather,etc. Generally, those countries that are industrializing tend to have higher growth rates than those that don’t.
Population Dynamics
The general study of population changes. This is significant because studying population changes allows you to see what effect environmental changes have on specific species within an environment.
Zero Population Growth
When the birth rate is equal to the death rate of a population resulting in zero net population growth. This is significant because it can be related to countries that have finished industrialization. These countries have access to technology and better education that causes them to delay having children.
Age Structure
The age makeup of a population that includes members from various age groups within a population. Age structure is significant because it influences the birth and death rates in a population. Generally, the younger the age structure, the higher the birth rate. The older the age structure the higher the death rate.
Demographic Transition
A three stage pattern in birth rates and death rates that occurs during the process of industrial and economic development in nations. This process is significant because it leads to an eventual decline in population growth. Countries that have finished demographic transition include the United States and Europe. Countries that have started demographic transition include India and China.
Human Carrying Capacity
The amount of human population that can live on the Earth at the same time. It can be related to deep ecology-or the idea that everything must be sacrificed to sustain the Earth if the human population wishes to sustain itself at the current rate.
Life Expectancy
The average number of years an individual can expect to live given the individuals present age. Relates to the standard of living within a country. As a country industrializes, the standard of living increases, and life expectancy increases with it. Countries with high life expectancy include the United States.
Maximum Lifetime
A genetically predetermined maximum possible age to which a specific species can live. Important because it relates to the viability of an organism and how strong the gene pool is.
Logistical Growth Curve
A smooth S shaped curve that predicts that the human population would only increase exponentially temporarily after which the population would decline. Used to track the population growth of endangered species.
Logistic Carrying Capacity
The uppermost limit that a population can reach in order to be sustained in an environment. Considered unrealistic due to improvements in medicine and society.
Aesthetic Justification
A value of the environment that has to do with its aesthetic appeal. For example, preserving a beach because it has a beautiful view
Ecological Justification
A value of the environment that has to do with an ecosystem’s ability to sustain human beneficial organisms or environmental ecosystems. For example, preserving a river because it provides fish that human use for food.
Gaia Hypothesis
A hypothesis that states that environmental life at a global level has been changed by organisms on earth since the beginning of life on Earth itself and that the changes this causes are beneficial for continuing the survival of life on Earth.
Megacities
Urban areas that have at least ten million people living in them. Examples include New York, Los Angeles, and London
Moral Justification
A value of the environment that has to do with the environment’s right to exsist and that the people surrounding said environment have an obligation to help protect and foster life there.
Precautionary Principle
A principle which states that the public should not wait for scientific evidence before beginning environmental protection methods if the threat of environmental damage is severe or irreversible. Can be connected to global warming and the case study on Mono Lake.