Environmental disasters can kill humans and wildlife, destroy resources, cost millions of dollars to clean up, and cause lasting damage to natural habitats. Yet monitoring and prevention needs to be appropriate and cost effective to work long term.
Choose and research an environmental disaster caused by humans and describe how it affected the Earth’s systems – atmosphere (air), hydrosphere (water), geosphere (land), and biosphere (habitats).
Research which technologies can be used to monitor and minimize negative effects that human activities have on the environment – especially those that led up to the disaster.
Describe how this technology will prevent this kind of environmental disaster in the future.
Discuss the costs of building and maintaining this protective technology.
Identify limitations of the use of technologies employed by the solution.
Produce a graphic diagram to illustrate your research.
Here are some examples of environmental disasters to choose from or choose one that interests you:
The effect of DDT on Bald Eagle populations documented in Silent Spring (1962).
The Love Canal toxic waste disaster and its toll on human life.
The 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident.
The effect of chlorofluorocarbons on the ozone layer discovered in the 1970s.
The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and its effect on Alaska’s wildlife and habitat.
The 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil-drilling platform explosion in the Gulf of Mexico
The ocean plastic crisis and its toll on wildlife.
Choose one of your own.
ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems - Human activities have significantly altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging or destroying natural habitats and causing the extinction of other species. But changes to Earth’s environments can have different impacts (negative and positive) for different living things. (MS-ESS3-3)
Performance Expectations - Students who demonstrate understanding can:
MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.* Clarification Statement: Examples of the design process include examining human environmental impacts, assessing the kinds of solutions that are feasible, and designing and evaluating solutions that could reduce that impact. Examples of human impacts can include water usage (such as the withdrawal of water from streams and aquifers or the construction of dams and levees), land usage (such as urban development, agriculture, or the removal of wetlands), and pollution (such as of the air, water, or land).]
When you research information you must cite the reference. Citing for websites is different from citing from books, magazines and periodicals. The style of citing shown here is from the MLA Style Citations (Modern Language Association).
When citing a WEBSITE the general format is as follows.
Author Last Name, First Name(s). "Title: Subtitle of Part of Web Page, if appropriate." Title: Subtitle: Section of Page if appropriate. Sponsoring/Publishing Agency, If Given. Additional significant descriptive information. Date of Electronic Publication or other Date, such as Last Updated. Day Month Year of access < URL >.
Amsel, Sheri. "Environmental Disasters - Human Impacts on Earth Systems - Research and Report (6-8 Grade NGSS)" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2023. March 25, 2023
< http://www.exploringnature.org/db/view/Environmental-Disasters-Human-Impacts-on-Earth-Systems-Research-and-Report-6-8-Grade-NGSS >