Environmental Science


Environmental Science (Environment & Humanity):

DANTES Final Exam Outline  

Each topic will be covered in class. 


Ecological Concepts (29% - 31%)


  • Ecosystems: Natural systems consisting of all living and non-living things.

  • Role of organisms: Producers, consumers, and decomposers.

  • Biodiversity and stability: The total richness of biological variation.

  • Energy flow: The flow of energy through a food chain.

  • Trophic levels: The feeding position in a food chain such as primary producers, herbivore, primary carnivore, etc.

  • Food chains and food webs: Food chains are a sequence of organisms that feed upon another in a sequence (BCBD) and Food webs are the interconnected sets of many food chains (BCBD).

  • Biogeochemical cycling: The changes that a particular element goes through as it passes back and forth through the various earth systems, particularly between living and non-living matter.

  • Biomes and productivity: Large community of plants and animals that occupy a distinct region defined by its climate and dominant vegetation.

  • Population biology: Study of populations of organisms.

  • Evolution: Process in which species of organisms undergo change over a long period of time through genetic variation and natural selection.

  • Succession in freshwater and terrestrial communities: A series of biological communities replace each other over time in a predictable fashion.


Habitat Destruction (24% - 26%)


  • Human population dynamics: Human population growth is growing at about 1.5% annually, 89 million people per year.

  • Global climate and weather: While weather can change in just a few hours, climate is the average weather in a given place and changes in climate occur over longer time frames.

  • Ozone layer: A poisonous blue form of oxygen that occurs naturally in large concentrations in the stratosphere.

  • Pollution-physical, chemical, and biological aspects: Anything that corrupts, degrades, or makes something less valuable or desirable can be considered pollution.

  • Agricultural, technological and industrial advances: We saw a massive and rapid increase in agricultural productivity and vast improvements in farm technology between the 18th century and the end of the 19th century.

  • Industrial development of emerging nations: In recent decades, a few countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa have experienced substantial industrial growth, fueled by exporting to bigger economies.

  • Habitat destruction: An example is the loss of biodiversity through the clearing of tropical forests.

  • Desertification: The transformation of land once suitable for agriculture into desert.

  • Eutrophication: The process of heightened biological productivity in a body of water.


Environment Management and Conservation (24% - 26%)


  • Renewable and nonrenewable resources: Renewable energy is an energy source that can be easily replenished.

  • Agricultural practices: Determine the level of food production, and to a great extent, the state of the global environment.

  • Pesticides and pest control: A substance or mix of substances used to prevent or destroy pests such as insects, mice, unwanted plants and/or other animals.

  • Soil conservation and land use practices: There’s a growing need to prevent and control soil erosion and soil contamination to maintain soil fertility.

  • Air pollution control: Air pollution control can be split into two categories: the control of particulate emission and the control of gaseous emissions.

  • Water quality and supply: Parameters for drinking water quality typically fall under two categories: chemical/physical and microbiological.

  • Wastewater treatment: The process of removing contaminants from wastewater and household sewage.

  • Solid and hazardous waste: Contain properties that make it dangerous or potentially harmful to human health or the environment.

  • Recycling and resources recovery: Recycling turns wastes into valuable products.

  • Environmental risk assessment: Analyzing and evaluating the possibility of adverse ecological effects caused by environmental pollutants.


Social Processes and the Environment (19% - 21%)


  • Environmental laws, policies, and ethics: Created to protect the environment and natural resources affected, impacted, or endangered by human activities.

  • Planning and decision making: Based on quantified data based on the environment’s vulnerability, status of conservation, and its ability to recover.

  • International policy conflicts and agreements: Attention began to increase in regard to global environmental problems during the Cold War era particularly after 1972.

  • Differing cultural and societal values: Environmental policy is sometimes driven by cultural norms, which may be seen as negative or positive depending on the point of view.