ECS 111 November 2016
These are suggested homework. You may also choose any of the articles introduced in class as a review topic. As discussed in class, you should not try and answer all of these. Choose one or two and do a complete essay on them. References should not be random blogs, but juried articles or news items from archived media such as NYT or the Economist.
1) Choose a wild animal and discuss its basic habitat and its role in this ecosystem or set of ecosystems. What is its current status relative to conservation concerns? What constitutes its primary food source?
2) Describe one of the major biomes found on earth. Include a discussion of its primary physical and biological attributes.
3) Compare and contrast two of the types of soil profiles discussed during the class. Discuss their distribution and the role they have in maintaining their associated ecosystems.
4) Discuss von Humboldt’s observation that the different biomes seen as one goes from the equator to the poles are also found with altitude in mountain systems. Why does this vary depending on which side of the mountain range is considered? Provide some examples.
5) Consider the following population equations.
Compute the steady states and discuss them. What type of system is this?
6) Discuss the immigration issues currently facing the European Union. How are these being handled by the various member states? Is this a threat to the EU itself? What are the consequences of these demographic shift in the Middle East?
7) Write an essay on the use of fire by human cultures. You might approach this broadly or focus on a particular culture such as the native Americans or the bantu of Africa.
8) What factors are involved in the transition of a forest ecosystem into a grassland? Consider the anthropogenic place in such transitions. What are the evolutionary issues here?
9) Consider a form of energy. Discuss the history of its exploitation and future use.
10) Consider the transport of energy and how technology has influenced particular types of energy sources. How have economics changed the exploitation of this type of energy?
11) Choose a particular disease and discuss its consequences for human health. Describe its role in history and its modern manifestations.
12) Read the section out of Keohane and Olmstead (2016) on competitive markets (pgs 70-78). Choose a commodity such as the one they use, coffee, and discuss the nature of the global market.
13) Using the principles in question 12) discuss the concept of competition in energy markets. How does this change if one is considering transportation costs versus electrical power? (Note: here you might peruse the index for energy topics they introduce. The section of scarcity starting on page 100 is also a useful place to start.)
14) Consider the Keohane and Olmstead (2016) treatment of the economics of habitat management as it pertains to implementation of the Endangered Species Act. See their pages 224-230.
15) The common cold is a malady the effects humans through the world. It is associated with various viruses that all lead to a definable set of symptoms involving the upper respiratory track. Write an essay on this disease. The topic is immense. A simple Google Scholar search yielded 3.3 million citations! Therefore, you need to focus. In a quick survey of the citations, you might think of one of the following issues.
· The overall review of its nature and impacts (see Heikkinin and Järvinen (2003).
· Stress and cold susceptibility
· Vitamins such as vitamin C and the cold
· Economics of the cold; either economic loss and/or earnings from cold relief products
· Build a simple model such as those introduced in the lectures for colds in a population.
16) Discuss the sustainability of the fossil fuel industry and the problem of their use as we move into the future.
17) Produce a simple editorial style essay on the possible impacts or future climate change on agriculture. To focus you essay, you might restrict yourself to on agricultural sector, such as grains, fisheries, or meat production.
18) Consider the different impact of climate change on the different global biomes. Why are some impacted more than others? What specific biodiversity losses are expected due to global warming?
19) Write a short review of an environmental law. Explicitly introduce the major provisions in the law. Discuss, briefly, its legislative and implementation history.