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In this unit, students will be lead to discuss many environmental problems due to human activities like, deforestation, soil erosion, greenhouse effect and the use of too much pesticides and insecticides in agriculture.

Learning targets

Outline the effects of humans on ecosystems, with emphasis on examples of international importance (tropical rain forests, oceans and important rivers).


    • List the undesirable effects of deforestation (to include extinction, loss of soil, flooding, carbon dioxide build up)


Discuss the weight of our actions on the environment and how it affect us as Global and Moral Citizens.

  • Describe the undesirable effects of overuse of fertilizers (to include sophistication of lakes and rivers)


  • Describe the undesirable effects of pollution to include:
    • water pollution by sewage and chemical waste
    • air pollution by sulfur dioxide
    • air pollution by greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide and methane) contributing to global warming
    • pollution due to pesticides including insecticides and herbicides
    • pollution due to nuclear fall-out
  • Discuss the effects of non-biodegradable plastics in the environment
  • Discuss the causes and effects on the environment of acid rain, and the measures that might be taken to reduce its incidence
  • Explain how increases in greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide and methane) are thought to cause global warming


  • Describe the need for conservation of:
    • species and their habitats
    • natural resources (limited to water and nonrenewable materials including fossil fuels)
  • Explain how limited and non-renewable resources can be recycled (including recycling of paper and treatment of sewage to make the water that it contains safe to return to the environment or for human use)

Why does science literacy matter?

Presentation media

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Labs and activities

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