Resources and Human Impact: Environmental Degradation

Science Object

Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object, co-developed between NOAA and NSTA, is the third of four Science Objects in the Resources and Human Impact SciPack. It explores how human activities, such as reducing the amount of forest cover, increasing the amount and variety of chemicals that enter the atmosphere, intensive farming and fishing, and consuming fossil fuels have changed Earth’s land, oceans, and atmosphere. Although the land, atmosphere, and the oceans have a limited capacity to absorb wastes and recycle materials naturally, humans have disrupted these natural cycles. Fresh water, limited in supply, is essential for life and most industrial processes. Overuse and pollution of rivers, lakes, oceans, and groundwater reduces the availability and suitability of these resources for all organisms. Technology used in the extraction and consumption of fossil fuels needed to meet the growing human demand has increased the depletion of nonrenewable energy resources such as fossil fuels, and degraded or altered the environment, both locally and globally.

Grades
  • Elementary
  • Middle

Community ActivitySaved in 3869 Libraries

Reviews (20)
  • on Thu Sep 24, 2015 4:28 PM

We use many of the Earht's resources. I an concerned how the population and technology use is affecting these reources. Much of the world relies on non-renewable energy to heat their homes, power their electronic devices, and power their cars. Once these energy sources are used up, they will be gone forever. Developing technologies that can efficiently use renewable energy sources is critical to our future. Half of the electricity in the United States is still generated by burning coal. Burning coal is a major source of carbon dioxide gas. A single large wind turbine used instead of burning coal can prevent the emission of 5000 tons of carbon dioxide each year. In 2008 only around 10% of the world's energy came from renewable sources. The United States has around 5 percent of the world's population, but consumes 26 percent of the world's energy. Source: www.ducksters.com

Linda Howard
Linda Howard

  • on Thu Sep 24, 2015 4:23 PM

Environmental Degradation The first thing that came to mind when listening to the Introduction of “Environmental Degradation” was “Global Warming.” With technology being a plus for the world in so many ways it does not come without a cost. As stated in the Science Object Environmental degradation occurs when there is deterioration of the environment due to the destruction of ecosystems, the loss of biodiversity, or the depletion of resources such as air, water, and soil. Think about it! Global warming comes from carbon dioxide and other air pollution that is collecting in the atmosphere like a thickening blanket. As stated in an article posted by www.livescience.com /topics/global-warming/ the increase is coming from none other than greenhouse gases released by the burning of fossil fuels, land clearing, agriculture, and other human activities. This is why we must keep in mind that “mother earth” will take care of us if we take care of “mother earth” and consider the renewable resources that can be replenished naturally over a relatively short period of time versus those nonrenewable resources like coal and oil that take a very long time to replenish or cannot be replenished at all. This is a concern to consider when it comes to fossil fuel resources that can be used for gasoline and other fuel oils. I did think about how things could be even 50 years from now with a growing nation and even more demands for the use of these resources. It really never dawned on me until looking at the science pak how much extracting oil and natural gases could really damage the environment whenever there is a seepage or oil spill; or even something that seem harmless to some such as “offshore drilling” which can disrupt the ecosystem. I can see even clearer how natural landscapes are being permanently altered and how our wildlife is being displaced and habitats destroyed! This is a bit mind boggling to even think about in terms of the present and future state of mankind. We really need to considered issues such as deforestation and how it is really disturbing the earth who’s natural ability to absorb and recycle carbon dioxide. After viewing the Science Object I thought of these three words, “Save the tree.” Wow! At least the USA and Europe have shifted their focus away from forest and have become more industrialized. I really enjoyed the Science Object and learned so much! I have an even better understanding of “global warming” the environment and the major role we play in environmental degradation.

Kizzy Amos
Kizzy Amos

  • on Thu Sep 24, 2015 4:23 PM

Environmental Degradation The first thing that came to mind when listening to the Introduction of “Environmental Degradation” was “Global Warming.” With technology being a plus for the world in so many ways it does not come without a cost. As stated in the Science Object Environmental degradation occurs when there is deterioration of the environment due to the destruction of ecosystems, the loss of biodiversity, or the depletion of resources such as air, water, and soil. Think about it! Global warming comes from carbon dioxide and other air pollution that is collecting in the atmosphere like a thickening blanket. As stated in an article posted by www.livescience.com /topics/global-warming/ the increase is coming from none other than greenhouse gases released by the burning of fossil fuels, land clearing, agriculture, and other human activities. This is why we must keep in mind that “mother earth” will take care of us if we take care of “mother earth” and consider the renewable resources that can be replenished naturally over a relatively short period of time versus those nonrenewable resources like coal and oil that take a very long time to replenish or cannot be replenished at all. This is a concern to consider when it comes to fossil fuel resources that can be used for gasoline and other fuel oils. I did think about how things could be even 50 years from now with a growing nation and even more demands for the use of these resources. It really never dawned on me until looking at the science pak how much extracting oil and natural gases could really damage the environment whenever there is a seepage or oil spill; or even something that seem harmless to some such as “offshore drilling” which can disrupt the ecosystem. I can see even clearer how natural landscapes are being permanently altered and how our wildlife is being displaced and habitats destroyed! This is a bit mind boggling to even think about in terms of the present and future state of mankind. We really need to considered issues such as deforestation and how it is really disturbing the earth who’s natural ability to absorb and recycle carbon dioxide. After viewing the Science Object I thought of these three words, “Save the tree.” Wow! At least the USA and Europe have shifted their focus away from forest and have become more industrialized. I really enjoyed the Science Object and learned so much! I have an even better understanding of “global warming” the environment and the major role we play in environmental degradation.

Kizzy Amos
Kizzy Amos

  • on Thu Sep 17, 2015 2:52 PM

The scipack did an excellent job of detailing and explaining the information. The short videos and review questions provide an opportunity to self-check your understanding of the information. It stands to reason that population increases are a result of our improved or advances in technology. This technological advancement has decreased some factors that might normally create limitations such as, water, disease, climate conditions etc. Tech advancements and population growth are a primary cause for environmental degradation. We must be careful in our pursuit to advance and improve by continuing to preserve and protect our Earth, ecosystems and natural resources.

Tanya Barrett
Tanya Barrett

  • on Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:21 AM

This Scipack is a great resource for helping students understand the impact that they have on the environment. One environmental change can have a domino-effect on the rest of the ecosystem. Also we continue to have technological advances, the Earth continues to suffer. It is my hope that after students work through this Scipack they will have a better understanding of why we need to take care of our each and possibly become change agents in their local communities.

JeRita Humphrey
JeRita Humphrey

  • on Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:37 PM

The SciPack have great information for 3rd graders to help with teach pollution as well as preservation of our environment. This information discusses land degradation in the environment due to population growth and the effect it has on the resources. Natural resources are being depleted (air, land, water) which ends up destroying our ecosystems and habitats. Human acts has caused the environment to become overpopulated, cause air and water pollution, deforestation, and global warming. This information will help students to take a closer look on how humans (including themselves) can help stop pollution and degradation of our land by being more responsible and aware of the problem.

Felicia Anthony
Felicia Anthony

  • on Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:21 PM

This resource on degradation was packed with great information regarding population, resource use and environmental impact. This lesson covered dependency of renewable and nonrenewable resources. I found the correlations to population and degradation very interesting. According to the lesson, even technology is effecting earth. It is amazing to learn about the various effects that human activity has on the earth.

Sheri Smith
Sheri Smith

  • on Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:20 PM

This was a very unique Sci Pack to explore through. Initially I did not understand the impact of resources on the natural environment. Societies everywhere are closely and inextricably linked to the natural environment in which they are embedded. Human productive and social activities. And thus social structures and relations are shaped to a significant degree by the natural resource mix available, by physical geography, by weather patterns, by the amenability of natural conditions to transformation, and by a variety of other characteristics of the environment. Environmental decline also impacts upon social structures. Social groups are affected differently: some may benefit from changes in price structures or in social relations that result from scarcities caused by environmental stress. More commonly, however, environmental decline adversely affects the health, well-being and livelihood opportunities of the individuals affected by pollution or natural resource depletion. Soil erosion, deforestation, the loss or depletion of animal and plant species limit the productive opportunities of vast numbers of people. Technology has allowed human populations to grow beyond the natural carrying capacity of Earth, but the use of the same technology has begun to take a toll on Earth and its systems. Over the past several decades, it has become more and more clear that increased population growth carries environmental consequences. Environmental degradation occurs when there is a deterioration of the environment due to the destruction of ecosystems, the loss of biodiversity, or the depletion of resources such as air, water, and soil. After reviewing this Sci Pack, I now have a better understanding and a greater appreciation for understanding the components Environmental Degradation.

Aisha Burchfield  (Covington, GA)
Aisha Burchfield (Covington, GA)

  • on Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:42 AM

I really enjoy Science Objects. In 1-3 hours, the Resources and Human Impact: Environmental Degradation Science Object will help me re-learn, refresh, or learn for the first time some critical science concepts I will have to know to obtain my Science Educator credentials. I appreciate that I can complete them at my own pace, and that, if used as park of a SciPack, I have access to a content expert to go to for help. The NSTA Learning Center Science Objects are very beneficial! Not only will they enrich my teaching, the knowledge will enrich my life.

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:24 PM

The resources, dilemma, and the future of the environment is our responsibility to handle. We cannot afford to lose it today and expect that tomorrow will still be better. This sci-object has taught really important lessons that if we start building in our younger generation, we can see them become good stewards in the future.

Ronaldo Relador  (Bowie, MD)
Ronaldo Relador (Bowie, MD)

  • on Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:47 PM

Great resource for introducing and/or reviewing how the environment can deteriorate as a result of the destruction of ecosystems, the loss of biodiversity, or the depletion of air, water, and soil. Very engaging and informative; excellent for sharing with scholars as they delve into the realm of environmental science.

Lorrie Armfield  (Laurel, MD)
Lorrie Armfield (Laurel, MD)

  • on Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:23 PM

I never associated environmental stewardship and respect for nature with being scientifically literate. We must elevate our social consciousness in order preserve nature. I have a different outlook on recycling and pollution as a result of this reading. I liked the interactive video that demonstrated how the population growth in the Chesapeake Bay area limited the resources that the people had; especially when trees and land had to be altered in order for roads and highways to be built. Technology is a tool that has improved the way that that people live; however, it is also a tool that has led to the earth's degradation.

Charnita W
Charnita W

  • on Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:03 PM

The SciPack is a great resource to introduce or reinforce teaching on human impact on the world. The SciPack would serve as a great resource for middle and high school science teachers. The information given is relevant to all people but especially the future generation. The SciPack discusses how population growth in some regards has affected the world negatively in some ways. It discusses and reviews renewable and nonrenewable resources. The SciPack delves into how the use and methods of acquisition of some resources negatively affect parts of the world’s geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere. The SciPack continues by discussing the needs for the resources and how those needs impact the environment through their acquisition and use. The SciPack concludes with discussing how technology has shown to have a negative impact on the world during the acquisition and use of its resources. The information presented in that chapter is relevant to this fast growing technological environment.

Papillon  (Atlanta, GA)
Papillon (Atlanta, GA)

  • on Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:58 PM

This is good for 3rd grade and up. The Environmental Degradation Science Object, explains how as our population grows, we are harming our planet more. We use technology to make positive advances, but it also causes negative advances. This was a very scientific means of having us look in the mirror at our individual actions and our actions as a society. I think that it is great to take a scientific look at it, but I think the teacher will also want to extent learning and help students take a more personal examination of their own responsibility.

Bianca Jones
Bianca Jones

  • on Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:01 PM

This is a very good topic for third grade. We often talk about the affects of urban sprawl. We also talk about how we as humans destroy land areas in order to build our homes and make a place for us to live. Not only do we destroy our the land but we also create a lot of waste that is often not easy to clean up. This scipack was awesome can be used in many different ways.

Gerard Latimore
Gerard Latimore

  • on Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:01 PM

This is a very good topic for third grade. We often talk about the affects of urban sprawl. We also talk about how we as humans destroy land areas in order to build our homes and make a place for us to live. Not only do we destroy our the land but we also create a lot of waste that is often not easy to clean up. This scipack was awesome can be used in many different ways.

Gerard Latimore
Gerard Latimore

  • on Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:01 PM

This is a very good topic for third grade. We often talk about the affects of urban sprawl. We also talk about how we as humans destroy land areas in order to build our homes and make a place for us to live. Not only do we destroy our the land but we also create a lot of waste that is often not easy to clean up. This scipack was awesome can be used in many different ways.

Gerard Latimore
Gerard Latimore

  • on Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:01 PM

This is a very good topic for third grade. We often talk about the affects of urban sprawl. We also talk about how we as humans destroy land areas in order to build our homes and make a place for us to live. Not only do we destroy our the land but we also create a lot of waste that is often not easy to clean up. This scipack was awesome can be used in many different ways.

Gerard Latimore
Gerard Latimore

  • on Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:51 PM

The SciPack was caters to life science 3rd and 5th grades. In 3rd grade the SciPack caters to pollution and human impact for third graders. For fifth graders the SciPack caters to the constructive and destructive forces. The SciPack addresses problems that are realistic like Global Warming and other destructive forces. As a teacher, I thought about how this Scipack could be used to address global issues and help students become change agents.

Shereen Zimmerman
Shereen Zimmerman

  • on Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:35 PM

While working through this science object I was reminded of the need for students to be cognizant of the effects humans have on the planet. It's not enough to tell students to "not litter" and "reduce pollution", they need to see the environmental effects. In my area there are several different types of mines that would be good for my students to see the direct effect of the industry on the environment. One thing that surprised me during this science object, and something that I had not thought about, was the draining of water from factories into ponds. This is a terrible practice, but I had never considered the temperature of the water being a factor in killing aquatic life. I had only considered the chemicals and pollutants being the cause of death for the marine lifeforms. Overall an enjoyable refresher.

LeeAnne Arnold
LeeAnne Arnold


Free - NSTA Members

$5.95 - Nonmembers

Login or Create a Free Account to add this resource to your library.

Share