Scrapes Book Assignment

By: McKenzie Colyer
Mod G

First Quarter

Experience: Hiking Camel Back Mountain in Arizona

Camelback Mountain ascends 1,280 ft, from 1,424 ft above sea level to 2,704 ft. Camelback Mountain two trails can be taken.  On my experience project, I took the Echo Canyon trail which is an intense and difficult hike 1.2 miles to the summit.  The hike itself can lat from 1.5 hours to 3 hours but it also depends on the hiker's knowledge of the trail. The trail consists of steep inclines of rocks and railroad ties.  Due to the high temperatures and high visitation levels, early times are the best to start.  My mom and I began the hike at 6 AM, just as the sun was rising, and as we were leaving the trail, we could feel the temperatures steadily climbing.  Along the hike to the top, we encountered many types of plants but not much wildlife.  During the hike, we could observe nature in its nature form without human manipulation.  We also had a great view of Phoenix enabling us to see the intermingling of human content and nature.  After this trip, I can relate the different types of landscapes compared to Illinois.

Brain-injured teen receives $2 million in 'affluenza' case settlement

"Brain-injured teen receives $2 million in 'affluenza' case settlement." CNN Wire 7 May 2014. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources. Web. 2 Oct. 2014.

After a serious car crash in Texas, people thought the driver of the vehicle, Ethan Couch, was influenced by the disease of affluenza. Ethan couch was driving under the influence and the result was four deaths and two critically injured.  Only six months later, one of the injured's medical bills already topped $1 million.  The family then filed a lawsuit against Couch and their business of which company's car he was driving.  The issue was taken to court where he was sentenced to ten years probation and a treatment facility.  Two experts later testified he was under the influence of affluenza.

I feel that the teenager should take his own responsibility for his actions and not relay on his upbringing.  He shouldn't be given the treatment of someone who just faced on the wrong side of affluenza.  He should be treated fairly and face the consequences of doing something idiotic.  After others read this situation, I hope they realize affluenza is a serious occurrence but it is not an excuse for everyone to use.  People still need to face their hardships and take responsibility.  

BP May Be Fined Up to $18 Billion for Spill in Gulf

Robertson, Campbell, and Clifford Krauss. "BP May Be Fined Up to $18 Billion for Spill in Gulf." New York Times 5 Sept. 2014: A1(L). Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources. Web. 2 Oct. 2014.

After the serious oil spill on April 20, 2010 which resulted in 11 workers' deaths and millions barrels of oils spilled in the Gulf of Mexico, BP has set aside $3.5 billion for cleanup costs, but it will not be enough.  BP has already pleaded guilty to manslaughter and other charges and agreed to pay $4 billion in federal criminal penalties.  However, due to recent findings,  BP is now possibly being charged $18 billion in civil penalilties.  The amount of negligence that was originally thought of as simple and slim has now been found out that the awareness of such incidents  actually lead up to the the spill.  Even though this is not the beginning to the costs, they are not going to end anytime soon.

This article recalls the spill that was the result of humans and greatly damaged the environment.  The occurrence of this shows how much humans can truly impact nature we live in.  I hope this article reminds everyone of the horrible 'accident' that occurred.  It also shows that maybe we shouldn't be relying so much this natural occurrences and go a more eco-friendly route.  I can't believe that an event that occurred so long ago still has an affect on our ecosystem and we still are finding ways to make up for the loss.   

Second Quarter

Experience: Poverty Inc.

On November 18, select group of Junior students were granted the opportunity to partake in a special screening and Q&A featuring the movie Poverty Inc. The movie focused on third world countries and the issue of donations.  Donations from first world countries, such as the United States, have not helped with the progression of poverty stricken countries.  These countries on the other hand have become reliant on he donations and have also put out the local businesses hurting the countries economy.  Many people receiving the donations suggest others should provide knowledge for furthering themselves.  The knowledge could be on a job industry or a way to promote themselves.  Being able to witness the effects of our so called 'charity' was thought provoking.  To the course, the people are being judged on their environments around them.  If they are in a certain land biome they may send different food but it could already be produced in that area affecting the entire economy and over harvesting.  

Article: "Is time running out for the Tundra? (climate: SIBERIAN TUNDRA)"

Hoare, Natalie. "Is time running out for the Tundra?" Geographical Mar. 2010: 32+. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.

The Siberian Tundra is inhabited by the Netets people for over 1,00 years.  This is one of the world's last remaining wildernesses, the Yamal Peninsula protrudes like a giant thumb into the Arctic Circle, squeezed between the icy Kara Sea and the vast Gulf of Ob.  The Tundra, however, is also experiencing climate changes which not only affect the Netets but also the reindeer that inhabit there, and the permafrost.  The climate change has affected the beginning of winter and the coldest temperatures.  This affects the ground and food sources and traveling.  Also, the permafrost is continually being affected.  The permafrost controls the amount of global warming in  the world.  It consists of gases such as carbon dioxide and methane and if too much is released, more damage can be done.  This article dives deeper into the biome of the Tundra and its great affect on all other biomes.  

Article: Shivering flirts.

Reebs, Stephan. "Shivering flirts." Natural History May 2008: 10. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.

In according to class events, we concluded that females focused on males that had longer tail feathers and eye spots. However, in this article, seven years of research concluded that the differences between male peahen tails are too small to be noticed.  On the other hand, they noticed a trend called shivering.  Shivering occurs when a male peahen shakes its tail at the female to entice them. This information still shows selective breeding on the males by the females due their 'dancing' but in a different way.

Third Quarter

Article: New Microbial Ecology Study Results from Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries Described

   In accordance with our studies of Aquatic Ecosystems, we described the abiotic factors that influence organisms.  One of the factors was salinity, the amount of dissolved salt in water.  This factor majorly contributes to the organisms in the underwater fresh springs beneath the Dead Sea.

    The springs contain an abundance of sulfur- oxidizing bacteria. The Leibniz Institute  has concluded that the high rates of sulfide is a result from the salinity and oxygen from the Dead Sea.  As we confirmed the impact of salinity on the surrounding ecosystem, we can conclude that salinity is indeed an abiotic factor.

Article: New Agriculture and Soil Science Study Findings Reported from Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).

      In reference to our broad studies on inland wetlands, Spain has taken the next step.  They have begun plating specialized plants into the wetlands to grow.  They have utilized the rare soil inhabited the wetlands and pushed forward. Due to the soil's location, it is not human and animal ridden. These small factors contribute greatly.  They produce an entirely different plant and soil.  

     These conclusions can lead to the design of all new agriculture.  The uninhabited soil can be the most beneficial.  

Experience: Nature Journals

   For my nature journals, I was able to explore and account for the areas surrounding my house.   I live my a forest preserve and amongst many forests and trees. During my nature journals, I would find a comfy spot and just sit and watch as motionlessly as possible.

     The best part was the animals.  As few as there are out in our harsh environment, they all had their own scheduled.  They stayed on their routes and didn't stray.  However, one of the most eye opening experiences was the beauty of nature itself.  The landscapes just complimented one another and produced one awesome sight.  

    This experience aided me in appreciating the worlds beauty and how we destroy it with our toxins.  In the snow, the exhaust from cars becomes visible and dirt appears.  After time, the beautiful white turns a despicable brown. This further defines how we treat the world and how it can affect future generations.  

4th Quarter Research Project

Experience: Tree Planting

In the planting of our tree, I learned not only how to care for a tree, but alos how to benefit my society.  With my newly gained knowledge for tree planting, I can aid my community by planting.  In addition to a new generation of trees, I can also prolong a trees life by removing grass and munch at the base of thye tree. Although the concepts seem small, they can make a larger impact on the world around us.

As a new advocate for the planting of trees, I can now view our trees not only as plants but as survivors. They scar and are imperfect under all else. Trees may seem untouchable but actually need an advocate to protect them. I can't wait to share these ideas and their benefits.

Experience: Chicago River Field Trip

This past April, our environmental science class went on a field trip with our friends from Chicago River. During the trip, we went on a hike, performed water chemistry, found macroinvertebrates, and reflected with nature.

The trip opened my eyes to the world around me. I was finally able to learn to appreciate ever the small organisms that contribute to our environment. I would strongly advise others to also submerge themselves in nature. I feel if more people were able to relive this experience, they would learn to treat the world as it was meant to. They would try to recycle to preserve our living world.

Comment Stream

3 years ago

What a great time you and your Mom had on the hike! The first article you have, however, doesn't relate to envi sci. (-2 pts) Try to find articles that relate to topics we've talked about so far in class or articles that relate to environmental science. 48/50

3 years ago

2nd Qt = 50/50!!!

2 years ago

Must have been cold, sitting out in the snow! Way to be brave. Make sure there is a picture of you doing your experience. The reflection on the second article, seemed a bit short. 48/50

2 years ago

That's a great picture of Lauren!!! :) thanks for a great year, McKenzie!! 50/50