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Enviro Exam 1

definitions for enviro exam 1

Ecology The study of the interaction of organisms with one another and with their environment
Environmental Science the study of the interaction between living and non-living things with the goal of understanding how the environmental works, finding solutions to environmental problems, or both
Environmentalism A way of thinking and a movement of political activism based on a common conviction that our natural environment should be protected
Reductionism natural objects and processes can be explained by studying their parts
Holism living nature is a scheme of interactions whereby the whole is more than the sum of its parts
Sustainable Development development that provides people with a better life without sacrificing or depleting resources or causing environmental impacts that will undercut the ability of future generations to meet their needs
The Scientific Method a simple way of gaining knowledge: observation, hypothesis, test, and theory
Neolithic Revolution the development of agriculture by humans some 10,000 years ago leading to more permanent settlement and population increases
Industrial Revolution the development of manufacturing processes using fossil fuels and based on the application of scientific knowledge and technology
Environmental Revolution a change in the adaptation of humans to the rising deterioration of the environment
Population a group within a single species whose individuals can do freely and interbreed
Ecosystem a grouping of plants, animals, and other organisms interacting with each other and with their environment in such a way as to perpetuate the grouping more or less indefinetly. They have characteristic forms: deserts, grasslands, tundra, deciduous forests
Biome a group of ecosystems that are related by having a similar type of vegetation governed by similar climatic conditions.
Biosphere the overall ecosystem of Earth. All ecosystems and biomes are interconnected and inner dependent through gloabal processes: water cycle, atmospheric cycle
Pollution any material that's out of place
Overpopulation too many people using too many resources
Engineering method identify problem, propose solution, test solution, implement solution in real syste and monitor effectiveness
Producers organisms that capture energy from the Sun or from chemicals in the environment to convert carbon dioxide to organic matter
Consumers feed directly on producers or on other consumers
Decomposers feed on detritus
Organic all those materials that make up the bodies of living organisms
Inorganic materials and chemicals in air, water, rocks, and minerals which exist apart from the activity of living organisms
Autotrophs produce their own organic material from inorganic constituents in their environment through the use of an external energy source
Heterotrophs consume organic material to obtain energy: divided into numerous subcategories: consumers and decomposers
Food Chain the transfer of energy and material through a series of organisms as each one is fed upon by the next
Food Web the combination of all the feeding relationships that exist in an ecosystem
Trophic Levels feeding level with respect to the primary cource of energy. Plants are the first, primary consumers are second, secondary consumers and so on
Sybiosis Living together - 3 types
Mutualism both organisms benefit
Parasitism one organism benefits, the other does not
Commensalism one organism benefits and the other one is not harmed
Competition organisms living in the same area and using the same resources and must share the resources; reduced by each species living in its own habitat or niche
Competitive exclusion no two organisms can inhabit the same habitat for a period of time
Habitat where an organism lives
Niche what the organism does in the place that they live
Resource partitioning two organisms who rely on the same resources have adapted to different areas in the habitat or different hunting times so they do not have fierce competition and both can survive
Biotic Communities the grouping or assembly of plants, animals, and microbes we observe when we study a natural forest, grassland, a pond or some other undisturbed area
Abiotic Communities non-living, chemical and physical factors such as the amount of water or moisture present, temperature, salinity, type of soil in a given area
Energy the ability to do work
Kinetic Energy energy of motion: heat and light
Potential Energy stored energy: firewood, battery
Entropy the amount of energy in a system that is NOT available to do work : disorder
Thermodynamics how energy is transformed: 2 types
1st Law of Thermodynamics energy can only be transferred from one source to another, it can neither be created nor destroyed
2nd Law of Thermodynamics no process involving energy transformation can spontaneously occur unless it's from a high concentration to a low concentration, energy is always lost
Carnivore an animal that feeds on other animals
Herbivore an animal that feeds only on plant materials
Omnivore an animal that feeds on both plant and animal material
Photosynthesis the chemical process carried on my green plants through which light energy is used to produce glucose from carbon dioxide and water to produce oxygen
Resource Depletion resources are stresswed because of the demands of an expanding population oand affluence-driven consumption per person. This leads to global atmospheric changes, loss of biodiversity, and the decline of ecosystems
Exponential Growth rapid amount of growth in a short period of time
Linear Growth a steady growth or no growth at all during a period of time
Stewardship one of the 3 strategic themes that must be embraced by our society in order to move toward a sustainable future. It represents the ethical and moral framework that should inform our public and private actions
Detritus Based Food Web a food web with decomposers. they are needed to break down the remains of dead organisms to recycle nutrients and energy so they can be used again. Food webs/chains wouldn't exist withouth detritus feeders
Grazine Food Web a food web without decomposers: could not last long in real life situations
Created by: rcraun