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NSCI 362 NSCI362 Final Exam Answers


Part I. Multiple Choice (each questions is worth one point, for a total of 30 points).
Select the response that best answers the question. Some questions and answers may
continue on the next page, so be sure to check that you have read all the question and
available answers. Use light blue highlight to indicate your answer letter and answer,
e.g. C) population.

What activity/activities contribute(s) to making the human species the most significant agent of
environmental change on Earth?
a) continued population growth
b) consuming non-renewable resources
c) eradicating unique species
d) ignoring the environment
e) All of the above.
How does biodiversity help agriculture?
a) By enhancing natural pest control.
b) By maintaining ecological services, such as pollination
c) By retaining genetic resources
d) all of these
e) none of these

Urban ecologists study urban trends and patterns in the context of four variables (POET) referring to:
a) pollution, opportunity, emigration, and transportation
b) population, organization, environment, and technology
c) pain & suffering, overt crime rate, employment, and trades
d) poverty, overcrowding, education, and traffic
e) politics, options, ecosystems, and travel

An ecosystem can be characterized as:

a) populations + community.
b) all species, population, and community interactions for organisms in a given area.
c) the abiotic components of the environment.
d) all of the biological interactions, plus interactions with the abiotic environment, in a given area.
e) interactions between physical processes and the abiotic environment.

Light is the energy source for which process?

a) respiration
b) glycolysis
c) mitochondria
d) photosynthesis
e) None of the above
In the sub-Saharan African countries life expectancy has been reduced by more than 20 years due
a) malaria.
b) cholera.
c) polio
d) small pox
The study of contaminants in the biosphere, including their harmful effects on ecosystems is termed:
a) Agrobiology.
b) Physiology.
c) Ecotoxicology.
d) Archaeology
e) Cytology

Stratospheric ozone is important because it:

a) absorbs UV radiation .
b) is what we breathe.
c) powers the weather cycle.
d) is an industrial pollutant.
e) is part of the troposphere.

Rapid population growth exacerbates

a) world hunger
b) underdevelopment
c) poverty
d) environmental degradation
e) all of these

The greenhouse effect occurs because:

a) greenhouse gases released interact chemically to produce excess heat.

b) there are too many greenhouses scattered across the Earth's surface.
c) carbon dioxide and other trace gases trap infrared radiation in the Earth's atmosphere.
d) sulfur emissions from smokestacks and volcanoes continue to occur.
e) the gases produced by human activities allow significantly more heat to pass out of the Earth's
In a water treatment plant, chlorination:
a) removes suspended particles.
b) uses aerobic microorganisms to decompose organic wastes.
c) removes phosphorus and nitrogen.
d) involves the anaerobic digestion of organic wastes.
e) kills disease-causing organisms.
Which of the following is NOT an ecosystem service performed by the atmosphere?
a) blocking ultraviolet (UV) radiation
b) moderating the climate
c) redistributing water in the hydrologic cycle
d) redistributing phosphorous between ecosystems
e) diluting locally generated pollutants

A relatively distinct terrestrial region characterized by similar environmental factors regardless of

where it occurs in the world is called a/an:
a) biome.
b) community.
c) ecosystem.
d) habitat.
e) population.
The international treaty which provides operational rules on reducing greenhouse gas
emissions is called
a) Kyoto Protocol.
b) Montreal Protocol.
c) IPCC Protocol.
d) Mount Pinatubo Protocol.
e) The enhanced greenhouse effect.
The long-term solution to the food supply problem is to:
control human population growth.
expand organic farming.
implement the use of genetically engineered crops and livestock.
develop and then utilize genetically diverse varieties of various crops.
expand energy-intensive agricultural methods that produce high yields of food.
Particulates are considered air pollutants because.
a) they can be so small they can physically impair the functioning of our lungs
b) they can contain toxic materials
c) they deflect light away from the earth

d) they can enhance condensation and precipitation

e) all of these

Sustainable development derives much effectiveness by focusing on:

a) Empowering and educating women
b) Building industrial megaprojects
c) Developing efficient cash crop plantations
d) Exporting high technology to developing countries
Which of the following consumes the most water?
a) agriculture
b) industry
c) residences and commercial buildings
d) transportation

Greenhouse gases include all but

a) carbon dioxide
b) water vapor
c) methane
d) CFCs
e) nitrogen

a) is growing more quickly in developing countries than in developed countries.
b) currently accounts for housing about 75% of the global population.
c) results in fewer employment opportunities in developed countries as compared to rural areas.
d) refers to the migration of city people to the country to enjoy country living.
e) describes a grouping of 10,000 or more individuals.

The change in species composition that takes place after a forest fire is referred to as
a) a climax community
b) a pioneer community
c) primary succession
d) secondary succession

In which level of the atmosphere do we experience our weather?

a) Troposphere
b) Stratosphere
c) Mesosphere
d) Thermosphere

How is coal related to solar energy?

a) both are clean
b) both are sustainable
c) solar energy comes from coal burning at the Suns core
d) coal is stored solar energy, captured by photosynthesis long ago.

The maximum number of individuals of a given species that a particular environment can support for
an indefinite period, assuming there are no changes in the environment is called its
a) environmental resistance
b) intrinsic rate of increase
c) carrying capacity
d) sustainability
e) demography
An environmental benefit of Nuclear power is:
a) No contribution to acid rain or smog formation
b) Very low greenhouse gas emissions
c) No emissions of mercury or heavy metals
d) Less mining impact than coal
e) All of these

Uncontrolled use of DDT and other pesticides is NOT directly associated with
a) poisoning of wildlife
b) red tides
c) contamination of the human food supply

Which of the following represents an idea associated with environmental sustainability?

a) The capacity of the environment to absorb toxins is unlimited.
b) The human population continues to grow.
c) We are using fossil fuels as if they were present in unlimited supply.
d) The Earth's resources are not present in infinite supply
e) None of the above

Prime agricultural lands are being lost to:

a) reforestation
b) urbanization
c) conservation lands
d) desertification

An example of an ecosystem effect of a pesticide is:

a) Bioaccumulation and biomagnifications of the pesticide

b) Elimination of pest predators
c) Emergence of a new pest species
d) Resurgence of pest numbers
e) all of these

The growth rate of a population is affected by

a) birth rate
b) immigration
c) death rate
d) emigration
e) all of these

Part II. Fill-in-the-blank questions. (Each question is worth 2 points, for a total of 20 points). There
are a total of 12 questions, but you are only required to answer 10. Insert your answer in place of
the underline and highlight your answer in light blue. Misspelled answers will be marked incorrect.
Submit the best answer possible.

1. An integrated explanation of numerous hypotheses is known as a theory.

2. The survival of an open system depends on an exchange of energy with its


3. The potential ecological niche of an organism is its fundamental niche while the
niche an organism actually occupies is its realized niche.

4. Thomas Malthus was a scientist who first sounded the alarm about the growth of
the human population and the ability of the earth to handle a large population of

5. Currently the percentage of people living in cities, compared with rural settings,
in highly developed countries is greater than that in developing countries.

6. Growing crops specifically for ethanol production would probably result in

increased desertification, increased soil erosion, reduced food production and
increased use of fossil fuels.

7. Based on the table below, the most water is used in Asia for irrigation.

Water Usage (in cubic kilometers), mid-1990's




Domestic /

















North and
Central America




South America




World Total




World Total, as




8. Legume plants, like soybeans, add nitrogen to the soil.

9. Acids and other toxic substances that cause problems when they enter streams
and the groundwater system are called inorganic chemicals.

1. Using a combination of biological, chemical and cultural methods to control pests

is referred to as integrated pest management.

1. Bioremediation involves the use of microorganisms to clean up a contaminated


2. Forests provide watersheds from which we obtain water. Bees pollinate flowering
plants. Earthworms and bacteria develop and maintain soil fertility for plants.
Some animals keep other species in check so that one species does not increase
enough to damage the stability of the area. All of these processes are examples
of ecosystem services, which are important environmental functions that
organisms provide.

Part III. Essay questions (Each question is worth 5 points, for a total of 50 points). There
are a total of 12 questions, but you are only required to answer 10. Answers will be graded
on content,accuracy, detail, information literacy, and effective writing. Remember,
these are essay questions and not short-answer questions. Your minimum length
requirement is to write at least a 5-sentence essay. Please use highlight or use a
different font size for your answers.

1. Identify a keystone species from your bioregion; describe its ecological niche and
why it is considered a keystone species.
2. What are the likely the ecological, socioeconomic and political implications of
increased climate change on a global scale within your lifetime
3. What are the similarities and differences between people overpopulation and
consumption overpopulation? Identify at least one nation with each problem.
4. What are the design principles of a sustainable city? That is, what does such a city
have or do that demonstrates sustainability?
5. How does increasing energy efficiency and conservation relate to the other objectives
of the U.S. National Energy Policy?
6. Explain the difficulties of relying upon biomass for energy as a source for direct
energy production or the production of biofuels?
7. How does the NIMBY syndrome relate to issues of waste management?
8. Describe your own views of the natural environment when you began this course and
contrast those views to the ones you hold now. Have your views changed? How? What
specific events (course assignments, classroom or extracurricular activities, or personal
experiences) have occurred to change your views or further strengthen the views you
9. Discuss the importance of preserving Earths biological diversity.
10. What is environmental sustainability and why many experts in environmental
science think human society isn't operating sustainability?
11. Discuss some ecosystem changes that may occur as the result of pesticide use.