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Environmental Systems and Sustainability 1.1 What is sustainability? 1.2 Describe the three basic principles of sustainability 1.3 Describe the concept of ecological footprint. 1.4 Discuss human´s use of resources and production of wastes 1.5 What is a system and give its characteristics 1.6 Identify the components of a system, and use them in examples 1.7 Explain positive and negative feedback 1.8 Distinguish between open, closed and isolated systems. 1.9 Distinguish between biotic and abiotic components 1.10 Understand nutrient cycling and the flow of energy 1.11 Describe the cycles of Water, and Carbon. 1.12 Define the term trophic level. 1.13 Recognize the flow of energy and matter in the different trophic levels trough a food chain and a food web 1.14 Know characteristics and examples of biomes 1.15 Describe population interactions 1.16 Describe S and J population curves. 1.17 Explain the concept of carrying capacity and limiting factor 1.18 Describe how communities and ecosystems change over time 1.19 Distinguish between primary and secondary succession 1.20 Identify factors that lead to loss of diversity. Unit 2. Sustainable Society 2.1 Describe growth in human populations. 2.2 Identify factors that affect the size of human population 2.3 Analyze population´s age-structure pyramids 2.4 Describe the demographic transition model 2.5 Describe the Earth’s water budget 2.6 Analyze people´s impact in fresh water resources 2.7 Describe measures or actions that people can take to use water in a more sustainable way

2.8 Describe sustainable ways to reduce and prevent water pollution 2.9 Outline the two inner layers of the atmosphere 2.10 Define the term air pollution 2.11 Outline the major outdoor air pollutants 2.12 Describe the way in which smog is formed 2.13 Describe the formation of acid deposition (rain) and state its harmful effects 2.14 Describe strategies to reduce outdoor air pollution 2.15 State the role of stratospheric ozone in the absorption of ultraviolet radiation 2.16 State the effects of ultraviolet radiation on living tissues and biological productivity 2.17 Explain the interaction between ozone and halogenated organic gases 2.18 Describe ways to reduce the emissions of ozone-depleting substances 2.19 Describe the Green House effect and how greenhouse gases maintain global temperatures 2.20 Understand the concept of Climate Change 2.21 Describe how human activities add greenhouse gases that contribute to Climate Change 2.22 List the potential effects of Climate Change Unit 3. Sustainable Development 3.1 Describe the difference between a renewable and a nonrenewable resource 3.2 Outline the range of energy resources that we use (renewable and non renewable) 3.3 State advantages and disadvantages of these energy resources 3.4 Explain why reducing, reusing and recycling reduce human impact in the environment 3.5 Describe how are economic systems related to the biosphere 3.6 State the principles for shifting to more environmentally sustainable economies 3.7 Explain sustainability in terms of natural capital and natural income 3.8 Understand the concept of sustainable development

ESS - very relevant objectives  

This is a not-exhaustive list of very relevant objectives for the Environmental Systems and Sustainability course.

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