ScrapESbook-Marist Honors Environmental Science
Claire Kelly

ScrapESbook Quarter 2
A: Warming Climate Puts Wetlands More at Risk to Invasive Species

Recently, the Environmental News Network published an article about a study done by Duke University. The results of the study proved that the changing climate in the wetland biomes outs the habitat at a greater risk for invasive species. Increased sediment and nutrient runoff is negatively effecting the ecosystem, as is human interference. Though this change is occurring, it is slowly effecting the ecosystem, and I believe that if we work together, we can help stop invasive species from invading wetlands.

While many people may consider this a small issue, I believe that it is something that we need to dram our attention to. Though it may be a hard fight, we can stop these species from overtaking wetlands. This article is well written, as it describes the issue in detail and gives several facts and important pieces of information. Some pros shown in this article are that rather than this being a fast takeover, there is plenty of time for this issue to be resolved before the invasive species take over. If we work to help relocate the invasive species we can successfully save the wetlands. Some cons shown in this article are that while the invasive species invasion may be occurring slowly, eventually the slow progressions will add up to a big problem. Another con that the article discusses is that while humans play a role in this problem, many of the problems that are leading to these invasive species are related to nature and therefore cannot be stopped by humans. However, if we work together to stop this problem, a successful solution may be looming on the horizon.

Duke University. (2014, December 10). Warming Climate Puts Wetlands More at Risk to Invasive Species. Retrieved December 11, 2014, from

A: California Drought Is Said to Have Natural Cause

In a recent article in the New York Times, the causes of the California drought are examined. After presenting the evidence, the article states that the drought is due to natural causes, and that hunan interaction had little to do with the start of the drought.

I believe that this article is correct in saying that the drought began due to natural causes. After considering the evidence that the article presents, it is logical to assume that this drought had natural causes. Some pros of this article include the realization that this was caused by natural things, as this shows that the environment is responsible, not humans. Some cons to this are that there were no irregular wind patterns present before the drought. This may be considered a con because it shows that even when nothing is irregular, droughts can begin. This negatively effects residents of California, as they cannot tell when a drought may be coming. The proof of natural causes starting the drought reassures humans that it is not their fault that these types of environmental disasters happen. Together, we can help the people effected by this drought.

Henry Fountain. (2014, December 8). California Drought Is Said to Have Natural Cause. Retrieved on December 11, 2014 from   

E: Nature Journals

For my experience this semester, I chose to spend 30 minutes outside in a natural area three times. The first time, my cousins Erin and Shannon joined me on a nature walk in the Palos Forest preserves. We visited Swallow Cliff and the surrounding forest area to observe and walk through the forest. While walking, we saw many interesting types of bird and insects.  We viewed different types of plants from the path and were able to also view many different types of trees. This relates back to our unit on biomes, as we were able to identify the type of biome we were in based on the trees and their leaf shape. We were also able to observe nature undisturbed by observing nature from the path. This was beneficial because we were able to see plants and animals in their natural environment rather than disturbed by humans.

For my next nature journal, my other cousins and I hiked in the woods behind my cottage in Indiana. We walked through the woods and were able to see not only many different plant and animals, such as deer, but we were also able to see a sand dune. The sand dune was very different from the rest of the forest, as it had different plants that could survive there than could survive in the rest of the forest. We also spent several minutes looking for sticks for our bonfire, which lead us to find many different animals and insects, especially ones that tend to hide in dark places such as under piles of sticks. It was interesting to see the different types of plants that grew in the wooded areas and on the sand dune. While they were two separate places, they are within the same forest, and these different species add to the biodiversity of the forest as a whole.

For my third and final nature journal, I visited a nearby pond with my siblings and my cousins from Missouri. At the pond, I was able to observe a habitat that I hadn't had the opportunity to see in my last two nature journals. It was interesting to compare the different plants and animals found near a lake and found in a forest. At the lake, we observed ducks swimming in the pond and people fishing. I also noticed a different kind of tree than the ones found in the forest's I had previously visited. It was interesting for me to see that there is so much diversity so close to home. The difference between the forests and the lake was astonishing and really proved that all different types of nature have their similarities and differences.

ScrapESbook Quarter 1

E: Little Red School House Nature Center

On September 6, my cousin Lisa, goddaughter Colleen, and I went to the Little Red School House Nature Center from 11am-2pm. We experienced many things relating to nature. Inside the building, there were several activities that taught about animals and nature. We built a beaver dam out of sticks, did a nature puzzle that included animal sounds, and created felt pictures of nature. There were also many animals and animal artifacts on display. We saw several live fish, turtles, frogs, and snakes. We also played a game where you have to guess which bone belongs to which animal. This taught me about the bone structure of some common animals and how to tell the difference between several animals that look similar to each other. Also, observing the animals inside taught me how animals react differently when they are not in their natural habitat, as I have seen all of these animals outside in nature before so I could easily compare. After finishing up inside, we went outside. There, we saw fish in a pond. This showed me the difference of the behaviors of the fish inside and outside. Inside, the fish were not moving around very mush. Outside, the fish were a lot more energetic and moved around more. This is most likely because they had more room to move then the fish inside. Also outside, we saw beehives. This was interesting because I got to see where the bees live and how they interact with each other. It also showed me boxes for the bees rather then bee hives, which was something I had never seen before. Finally, we went for a short hike on one of the trails and we heard several different kinds of bird calls including that of a blue jay, gold finch, eastern screech owl, and American crow. It was interesting identifying the different kinds of birds and seeing that many different kinds of the same species can live in harmony in the same environment.

Visiting Little Red School House was an interesting and fun experience. I learned new things about nature, and helped my young goddaughter learn new things too. This was an overall good rewarding experience, and I can not wait to go back again and discover more that the Little Red School House Nature Center has to offer!

A: Flooding Risk From Climate Change, Country by Country

Recently, a New York Times article shed a new light on a little known effect of global warming, flooding. The article described how the progression of global warming may put several countries in danger of major floods in the next century. Surprisingly enough, the countries that release the most toxins that add to global warming are the countries that are in the least danger of flooding. About 177 million people live in areas that are in danger of flooding within the next century.

I believe that this article provides necessary information to the public about the potential dangers of global warming. It makes people aware of a danger that they may not otherwise recognize. There are many cons to this topic of global warming flooding. For example, flooding would destroy the environment, killing many organisms. It would also destroy homes, property, and could be potentially fatal to some people. But there are also some pros to the article topic. Since the flooding is not predicted to start for another 100 years, we have a long time to try and postpone or prevent the flooding from happening to the future generations. Another pro is that not all countries are doomed to flooding. If we take this threat seriously, we can protect ourselves and the environment.

Aisch, Gregor; Leonhardt, David; Quealy, Kevin. (2014, September 26). Flooding Risk From Climate Change, Country by Country. Retrieved September 28, 2014, from

A: Too Much of a Good Thing- Carbon Dioxide, Building Block of Life, Best in Moderation

The New York Times recently published an article involving the amount of carbon dioxide that we release into the atmosphere. The gas, which among other greenhouse gasses, took millions of years to form. We have released these gases into the environment in just a few hundred years. The speed of this process is causing detrimental effects on our environment and adding to global warming.

In my opinion, this is another article that brings a barely acknowledged idea to the attention of the public. The pros of this topic include the greenhouse gases, which warm the Earth so it does not freeze. It explains how they benefit the environment and what their purpose is in relationship to the atmosphere and environment as a whole. The cons of this, however, are that too much gas can cause the Earth to become extra warm, also known as global warming. Another con is that  a severe increase in the amount of gasses released can have a terrible effect on the surrounding environment and the organisms within that environment. This article proves that having too much of a good thing can have severe results.

Angier, Natalie. (2014, September 22). Too Much of a Good Thing- Carbon Dioxide, Building Block of Life, Best in Moderation. Retrieved September 28, 2014, from

Comment Stream

3 years ago

2nd Qt = 50/50!!! Way to spend time in nature with friends and family!