Over half (50%) of the world’s marine fish populations are fully exploited.

A) True
B) False


Oceans cover _______ of the Earth’s surface.

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A) 52%
B) 71%
C) 25%
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E) 10%


Colder, saltier water is _________ while warmer, less salty water is __________?

A) heavier, lighter
B) lighter, heavier
C) neither


Currently, the greatest ecological crisis facing marine food webs is ________.

A) radiation
B) oil spills
C) plastic dumping
D) overharvesting
E) abandoned fishing nets


Which of the following correctly describe animals living in the deepest parts of the oceans?

A) species do not scavenge carcasses or organic debris

B) some species carry bacteria that produce light by bioluminescence

C) none are predators, and all have a mutualistic relationship with bacteria

D) A and B

E) A and C


Salt marshes ________.

A) occur mostly along coasts in temperate areas

B) occur mostly in tropical areas

C) occur mostly in arctic areas

D) contain too much salt to be inhabited by many organisms

E) presently have remained undisturbed by human activities


Marine reserves ________.

A) are people responsible for policing the open ocean waters

B) are people responsible for policing the coastlines

C) allow young fish to disperse into surrounding areas

D) provide no benefits to fishers, so are unanimously opposed by them

E) are opposed by most environmentalists


By the year _________ all ocean species populations we fish for today will collapse.

A) Fishing has not caused the collapse of any species of fish

B) 2048

C) This has already occurred

D) 2100

E) 2015


Driftnetting destroys coral reefs and their associated communities.

A) True
B) False


The first national park in the world was ________.

A) Yosemite

B) General Grant

C) Yellowstone

D) Sequoia

E) Mount Rainier


Which of the following gave the President authority to declare selected public lands as national monuments?

A) The Homesteaders Act

B) The Swampland Act

C) The Wilderness Act

D) The Antiquities Act

E) The National Parks Act


Why do developing nations impose few or no restrictions on logging?

A) Local residents use most of the timber, and the government does not want to impose restrictions on its citizens.

B) They are desperate for economic development.

C) Most timber is extracted by local corporations that support the government.

D) There is an infinite supply of timber because wood is a renewable resource.

E) No ancient forests remain in developing nations.


The National Forest Management Act ________ national forest land.

A) was passed in 1976 with the intent to ensure multiple use and sustainable yield of

B) was passed by the Bush administration in 2004 to loosen environmental protections and restrict public oversight of

C) directs timber companies to remove small trees, underbrush, and dead trees to reduce fires in

D) offers subsidies to timber companies for road building on

E) was passed to set up the formation of land trusts on


Paper parks are ________.

A) portions of the wilderness areas where timber harvesting is permitted

B) portions of the wilderness areas where timber harvesting is permitted

C) land trust areas where timber harvesting is permitted

D) parks established where timber harvesters formerly harvested wood for paper mills

E) areas protected on paper but not in reality due to lack of funding


Forests reach their greatest ecological complexity when ________.

A) they are frequently burned

B) they are frequently logged using clear-cutting

C) in the early stages of recovering from logging

D) many species are allowed to mature and exhibit a multi-level canopy

E) shrubs and other ground cover plants are absent


Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, like other National Refuges, is administered by the EPA.

A) True
B) False


Biosphere reserves are designated by UNESCO, and divided into 3 areas or zones of protection.

A) True
B) False


The atmosphere around Earth naturally causes global warming because ________.

A) warm air cannot escape, as in a greenhouse

B) molecules in the atmosphere are warmed by radiation from Earth and retain that heat

C) fossil fuels release heat

D) plants absorb CO2

E) plants release O2


Earth’s climate ________.

A) has not changed over the history of the planet

B) is changing radically as a result of natural and human processes

C) will stabilize over the next century, according to the predictions of most scientists

D) has been documented to have changed once due to the evolution of green photosynthesizing plants

E) is undeterminable because there is no method of studying climatic history of the planet


Milankovitch cycles ________.

A) refer to shifts in the temperature of surface water in the middle latitudes of the Pacific Ocean

B) are changes in Earth’s rotation and orbit around the sun that trigger climate variation

C) describe the timing of the northern lights in the thermosphere

D) describe the transpiration, evaporation, and precipitation of Earth’s water

E) describe upwelling and downwelling in the ocean


Carbon-based fuels harvested from lithospheric crust reservoirs ________.

A) have formed slowly over many millions of years

B) are readily lost from Earth’s surface in the absence of humans

C) are formed from the deposition, partial decay, and compression of organic matter

D) A and B

E) A and C


Oceans are one of the primary factors affecting planetary climate due in part to carbon absorption.

A) True
B) False


Global warming is a single aspect of climate change.

A) True
B) False


The El Niño shifts atmospheric pressure, sea surface temp, and ocean circulation in the Atlantic Ocean.

A) True
B) False


Which of the following help to drive ocean currents?

A) density differences

B) oil transport tankers

C) gravity

D) A and B

E) A and C


Which of the following is true of eutrophication in marine systems?

A) It is rare and occurs only in bad weather

B) It can aid corals by killing parasites

C) It provides needed limiting nutrients

D) It does not occur

E) It can lead to algal blooms and red tides that kill fish


Upwelling ________.

A) occurs in areas where there are no currents

B) is the flow of warm water up toward the ocean surface

C) occurs where winds blow at right angles toward the coastline

D) of ocean water results in areas of high primary productivity at the ocean surface

E) transports oxygen up toward the ocean surface


Kelp are ________.

A) a species of endangered fish

B) large algae that protect shorelines from erosion, and supply shelter and food for invertebrates and fish

C) poisonous if ingested by fish or humans

D) plants that grow on the deep ocean floor

E) mostly found in tropical waters


Which of the following correctly describe coral reefs?

A) growing colonies of colonial organisms related to jellyfish

B) reefs protect shorelines and absorb wave energy

C) provide no source of food or shelter for other marine organisms

D) A and B

E) A and C


Bycatch ________.

A) is fishing for turtles only at the surface of the ocean

B) is the practice of returning female and young fish back to the ocean

C) is fishing for two species of fish concurrently

D) is fishing only at deep levels of the ocean

E) refers to the accidental capture of animals like dolphins


Present?day fisheries managers using an ecosystem-based strategy would ________.

A) wish to set aside areas of ocean where systems can function without human interference

B) favor short?term solutions to marine ecosystem problems

C) favor protection of commercially valuable species and not others

D) favor taxes on commercial fishing boats

E) want all laws regarding fishing to be abolished


Most marine protected areas ________.

A) are along the coastlines of developed nations

B) have been established without the consent of the United States

C) are in the open oceans

D) prohibit the installation if oil pipelines and fiber?optic cable lines within them

E) ban fishing and extractive activities


Red tides are caused by ________.

A) nutrient upwelling

B) increased ocean oxygen content

C) nutrient pollution leading to marine algae blooms

D) the position of the moon

E) increased ocean carbon dioxide content


________ will hopefully reduce solid wastes in oceans.

A) The Marine Debris Research, Prevention and Reduction Act

B) The little green aliens invading the planet soon (or so I’ve heard…)

C) The U.S. Oil Pollution Act

D) The Mangrove Protection Act

E) The establishment of Marine Protected Areas


Which of the following seafood is currently caught or harvested in a sustainable manner, and would therefore make very wise consumer choices?

A) Farmed catfish

B) Canadian snow crab

C) Farmed oysters

D) Farmed US tilapia

E) All of the above


________% of Earth’s land area is currently covered by forest.

A) Less than 5

B) 5-10

C) 31

D) 50

E) 40


Deforestation ________.

A) is not widespread in North America

B) prevents erosion

C) decreases carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

D) causes population explosions

E) has the greatest impacts in tropical areas and arid regions


Clear-cutting ________.

A) involves elimination of subsidies to farmers

B) removes all trees from an area

C) restricts timber harvesting to mountaintops

D) is a form of violent protest favored by radical environmental organizations

E) is harvesting trees from coastal areas only


The Healthy Forests Restoration Act ________ national forest land.

A) directs timber companies to remove small trees, underbrush, and dead trees to reduce fires in

B) offers subsidies to timber companies if they replant areas in

C) restricts the use of snowmobiles on

D) was passed in 1976 with the intent to ensure multiple use and sustainable yield of

E) was passed to set up the formation of land trusts on


Wilderness areas ________.

A) allow hunting as long as proper permits are acquired

B) were set up under the administration of George W. Bush in the early 2000s

C) are biosphere reserves managed by UNESCO

D) were set up under the wise-use movement of the 1980s and 1990s

E) are off-limits to development of any kind but are open to low-impact recreation


Second-growth forests ________.

A) are those forests in the National Parks that are protected from logging

B) are less abundant on Earth today than they were 500 years ago

C) are forests whose timber has second-rate value

D) in North America are mostly in British Columbia and Alaska

E) are forests that establish themselves after old-growth timber has been removed


The latest information tells us that salvage logging ________.

A) causes decreased erosion

B) has no effect on the severity of wildfires

C) decreases long-term timber yield by more than 60%

D) eliminates wildfires from forests

E) tends to produce more severe wildfires


Controlled burns would be used in forests ________.

A) plagued with insects as a cheaper alternative to pesticides

B) to convert primary forests into secondary forests

C) where there high densities of endangered species, such as tropical rain forests

D) that are subject to severe wild fires to remove fuel load and stimulate new growth

E) that have heavy recreational use to warn people about the dangers of fires


Carbon dioxide ________.

A) levels remain the greatest concern of the 4 primary climate changing factors

B) is the most abundant greenhouse gas

C) is more potent (in total) than methane

D) the main anthropogenic greenhouse gas produced in the United States

E) all of the above


The Steller’s sea cow and Caribbean monk seal were hunted to extinction.

A) True
B) False


Shelter-wood cutting or seed-tree cutting are worse than clear-cutting.

A) True
B) False


The Nature Conservancy is the world’s largest land trust, protecting 1.7 million acres.

A) True
B) False


Milankovitch cycles affect seasons on a 31,731 year period.

A) True
B) False


The sun does not dramatically affect our planetary climate cycle.

A) True
B) False


During most of our species’ 160,000-year existence, and until about 10,000 years ago, we depended on ________.

A) crops

B) hunting and gathering

C) hunting

D) crops and cattle

E) cattle


Agricultural practices, where the members of a farming family produce only enough food for themselves and do not make use of large-scale irrigation, chemical fertilizer, or machinery and technology, is called ________.

A) subsidence agriculture

B) advanced organic farming

C) subsistence agriculture

D) reduced tillage agriculture

E) intensive traditional agriculture


Which of the following crops have an independent origin in the Andes of South America?

A) rice

B) goats

C) barley

D) potato

E) corn


Industrialized agriculture ________.

A) increased the ability to obtain more food from the same area by mechanization

B) rapidly deteriorated soils, requiring continuous movement to new croplands

C) had no impact on agriculture

D) is necessary today for all cultures

E) improved soils permanently, providing more food from less space


The practice of planting large areas with a single type of crop, monoculture ________.

A) accounts for less than 1% of US croplands

B) is always accompanied by no-till agriculture

C) is typical of Native American farming techniques

D) is a development of industrialized agriculture

E) requires no chemical fertilizers or pesticides


The breakdown of large rocks into smaller pieces is ________.

A) a major cause of topsoil erosion

B) unaffected by winds

C) mineralization

D) affected by rainfall, freezing and thawing

E) primarily caused by topsoil erosion


When surface water flows downhill and removes topsoil in uniform layers: ________.

A) splash erosion

B) rill erosion

C) sheet erosion

D) composting

E) leaching


The loss of more than 10% productivity in arid areas due to erosion, soil compaction, forest removal, and an array of other factors is called ________.

A) salinization

B) climatization

C) stratification

D) global change

E) desertification


The buildup of salts in soils as a result of over irrigation is ________.

A) salinization

B) leaching

C) weathering

D) erosion

E) evaporation


The consequences of over fertilization can include ________.

A) very large fruits and vegetables

B) large crop yields per acre

C) eutrophication in nearby waters

D) crops spreading rapidly into nearby areas

E) very fertile soils in future years


Which of the following is a cultural hazard?

A) Earthquake

B) Smoking

C) Viral infection

D) Pesticide contamination

E) All are biological hazards


Toxicology is:

A) The study of skull and crossbones symbols

B) The study of the effects of poisonous substances

C) The degree of harm a substance can cause to a particular species

D) Any substance that causes environmental degradation

E) Any toxic substance


A “carcinogen” causes:

A) Cancer

B) Damage to the nervous system

C) DNA mutation

D) Birth defects

E) Interference in the endocrine system


A study that analyzes individual patients (i.e. autopsies) uses:

A) A case history approach

B) A rodent model of disease

C) An epidemiological approach

D) Mainly private funding sources

E) Probability and risk as major components of the study


Some indoor chemical hazard(s) are ________.

A) Radon and asbestos

B) petroleum and toxic waste tanks tank leaks

C) wastewater toxicants

D) DDT and DDE



The relative humidity is the ________.

A) amount of oxygen in the atmosphere

B) amount of water vapor a given volume of air holds relative to the maximum amount it could hold

C) difference in available water vapor at midnight and at noon

D) amount of water vapor in the atmosphere

E) amount of oxygen a given volume of air holds relative to the maximum amount it could hold


Weather patterns are largely determined in the ________.

A) troposphere

B) stratosphere

C) mesosphere

D) lithosphere

E) biosphere


The huge dust storms that took place in the US in the 1930s ________.

A) were the result of ozone depletion

B) were the result of glacier melt

C) were the result of poor farming techniques

D) were the result of polar cells

E) were triggered by tornados, worsened by global climate change


Radon ________.

A) contributes to the breakdown of the ozone layer

B) binds with hemoglobin, preventing binding with oxygen

C) may cause lung cancer when inhaled

D) in the atmosphere limits the availability of sunlight for plants

E) is caused by the breakdown of the ozone layer


Natural sources of air pollution come from ________.

A) birds

B) soil dust and volcanic dust

C) evaporation of solvents

D) coal-fired electrical plants

E) internal combustion engines


Lead enters the atmosphere as a particulate pollutant. This is a problem because it ________.

A) can become attached to radon

B) is a precious metal, and it is being lost to the atmosphere

C) causes central nervous system damage and malfunction in humans

D) causes excess nutrification of waterways, resulting in eutrophication

E) will cause the ozone hole to increase


Photochemical smog differs from industrial smog in that it ________.

A) is an unhealthy mixture of pollutants

B) is primarily composed of carbon monoxide

C) consists of primary pollutants

D) is formed only in the presence of sunlight

E) has large quantities of soot


One of the problems that occur as a consequence of CFC pollution is ________.

A) increasing skin cancer in humans

B) respiratory irritation and lung cancer

C) decreased ozone levels over Antarctica

D) B and C

E) A and C


A great deal of indoor air pollution comes from ________.

A) outdoor pollution

B) carbon monoxide

C) cooking with natural gas stoves

D) carpets, furniture, pressed wood products, and wood stoves

E) having to wash dishes


In developed countries, the two most deadly sources of indoor pollution are ________.

A) radon and cigarette smoke

B) synthetic furniture materials and radiation from electronic equipment

C) pesticides and cigarette smoke

D) pesticides and cleaning agents

E) radiation from electronic equipment and pesticides


Bacterial and fungal spores can collect as a potential indoor pollution from which type of source?

A) old paint or gasoline

B) non-maintained heating and cooling ducts

C) high amounts of pesticides in the home

D) heavy radon which can create mutant super bugs

E) pipe insulation


Air near Earth’s surface tends to be ________.

A) cooler and wetter; then it rises, is warmed by the sun, and sinks again

B) warmer; it rises as it is displaced by Coriolis forces

C) warmer and drier; then it rises, condensing and gathering moisture

D) warmer and wetter; then it rises, expanding and cooling

E) cooler and drier; it rises when it is displaced by sinking warm air


Which of the following is a consequence of acid deposition?

A) increased likelihood of low-lying and evil ground fogs, like in that freaky horror movie

B) rapid surface water and soil pH change resulting in death of fish and trees

C) offshore eutrophication that damages moored jet skis and fishing boats

D) rainwater that can damage skin cells or cause cancers

E) increase in the rate of global warming


The most obvious cause of industrial smog is ________.

A) indoor air pollution

B) burning trash

C) generation of nuclear power

D) fires for heating food

E) burning fossil fuels


The reason that temperature increases with altitude through most of the stratosphere is ________.

A) greenhouse gases warm the air

B) jet stream winds produce frictional heat

C) heat is released by absorption of UV radiation by oxygen and ozone

D) sunlight is more intense in the stratosphere

E) water vapor levels are high and store heat


Which one of the following is not yet regulated by the EPA as a criteria pollutant?

A) nitrogen dioxide

B) carbon dioxide

C) lead

D) carbon monoxide

E) sulfur dioxides


Only about 2.5% of all the water on our planet is freshwater. However, ________.

A) over half of this is extremely hard water and is nearly unusable for drinking or agriculture

B) most of this is in large, freshwater lakes

C) most of this is found in ice caps and glaciers

D) most of this is in underground aquifers

E) over half of this is in wetlands near coastlines and is becoming contaminated with salt water


An artesian or confined aquifer occurs when ________.

A) a water?bearing porous layer of rock, sand, or gravel has accumulated groundwater over a long period of time

B) there are several aquifers that have merged

C) granite is overlain by a sandy substrate, allowing percolation into the aquifer

D) a well is dug through layers of sand and gravel into the water table

E) a water?bearing layer is trapped between two layers, such as clay, that are less permeable


Humans across the globe use freshwater for the primarily purpose(s) of ________.

A) drinking and cooking

B) washing and home use

C) agricultural irrigation

D) mining and industrial processes

E) all of the above


We build dams to ________.

A) drain wetlands for urban development

B) control the spread of water borne diseases

C) transform watersheds into farms, towns and recreational areas

D) improve habitat for native fish

E) generate electricity, prevent flooding and provide for agricultural irrigation


Data indicate that the present rate of freshwater consumption in most developed countries is ________.

A) unsustainable

B) irrelevant, as water is not currently limiting

C) sustainable for the foreseeable future

D) only a problem in areas not on the coast

E) increasing groundwater storage and decreasing surface water storage


The fish in the lake at the local park are dying. A professor from the local college comes to investigate, and first she measures the dissolved oxygen and nutrient content. She wants to check for the ________.

A) aquatic biodiversity

B) possibility of eutrophication

C) presence of heavy metals

D) presence of bacteria

E) influence of acid precipitation


Which of the following has contributed to aquifer contamination?

A) fungi entering through wells

B) natural gases, such as carbon monoxide, dissolving into aquifers

C) inappropriate use of household detergents

D) hazardous waste disposal, by pumping waste underground

E) leaching of excess water into aquifers


You have been sent out to a small town where residents have recently begun complaining about a funny taste to the water. Which of the following items would you measure as you begin to assess water quality in this reservoir?

A) turbidity, hard water ions, and pH

B) amount of dissolved oxygen

C) presence of E. coli bacteria

D) CO2 level

E) all of the above


Which of these statements describes the impact of sediment pollution?

A) dramatically changes aquatic habitats

B) fish populations may not survive

C) primarily produced by clear-cutting, mining, or poor cultivation practices

D) A and B

E) all of the above


____ of the world’s largest rivers have been affected by dams, canals, and diversions.

A) 80%

B) all rivers!

C) 60%

D) 20%

E) 35%


Groundwater is increasingly becoming contaminated, but the problem is hidden from view. Which of these statements describes why this is the case?

A) relatively easy to monitor, but we’re lazy

B) retains contaminants for decades, millenia, or longer

C) leaching never happen from buried pipes or sewage traps

D) groundwater flows outside our front door, in plain sight

E) high in dissolved oxygen, so contaminants are broken down quickly


A soil deficient in humus would ________.

A) have a large amount of vegetative detritus at the surface

B) have very few decomposers and be unable to hold much moisture

C) have unusually low levels of biological activity

D) have no cations

E) have very little mineral material


The A horizon in the soil profile is ________.

A) primarily loam

B) inorganic and organic material most nutritive for plants

C) composed primarily of bedrock

D) usually more sand than silt or clay

E) composed of equal amounts of bedrock and organic material


Which of the following is one of the major pollutants of groundwater?

A) fertilizers from agricultural fields

B) acid rain

C) carbon dioxide

D) treated sewage from cities

E) home garbage


Which of the following best describes floodplains?

A) an area that is incidentally flooded when farming or mining operations change the course of rivers

B) an area that is periodically flooded because humans have altered the landscape

C) an area where flood irrigation of crops is used, such as a rice paddy

D) a region of land that has been deliberately, permanently flooded due to human disturbance, such as in dam building

E) a region of land that is periodically flooded when a river overflows


Which of the following will contribute to water conservation?

A) using aerial sprays for crop irrigation

B) planting non-native wetland plants for landscaping

C) watering lawns at night, using low-flow faucets, landscaping with native plants

D) watering lawns during peak sunlight hours, when plants need water most

E) washing dishes by hand


You want to maintain a healthy pond at your school site. Last year another pond became eutrophic; to avoid that, you want to ________.

A) decrease the calcium available in the profundal zone

B) increase the nitrogen-based fertilizers used in the college irrigation system

C) increase the ozone in the littoral zone

D) avoid increasing phosphorus and nitrogen runoff into the limnetic zone

E) install powerful motors for good nutrient mixing in the benthic zone


Which of the following are potential solutions to reducing toxic chemicals in our groundwater?

A) legislating and enforcing less stringent regulations of industry

B) maintain industrial processes

C) leaving wastewater untreated

D) modify our purchasing decisions as consumers

E) increasing fertilizer application


Which of these statements is true of the Clean Water Act of 1977

A) originally called the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972

B) made it illegal to discharge pollution without a permit

C) provided standards for industrial wastewater

D) funded sewage treatment plants nationwide

E) all of the above


2/3 of the world’s illiterate are women.

A) True
B) False


The earliest plant and animal domestication occurred in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East.

A) True
B) False


It’s in rich, well-developed regions that are fully capable of supporting large human population that 99% of the next billion people will be born.

A) True
B) False


One (1) American has as much environmental impact as 4.5 Chinese, 10 Indians, or 19 Afghans.

A) True
B) False


Industry-sponsored studies have shown that endocrine disruptors are dangerous even at low doses.

A) True
B) False


Primary air pollutants, like carbon dioxide, are directly harmful and can react to form harmful substances.

A) True
B) False


Selective removal of re-growth trees is a modern forestry method that minimizes soil erosion and impact on the ecosystem.

A) True
B) False


The criteria pollutants do not include sulfur dioxide or nitrogen dioxide.

A) True
B) False


CFCs are inert, remain in the stratosphere for a century, but are broken by UV radiation leading to destruction of ozone.

A) True
B) False


An estimated 5 million people die per year from inadequately treated drinking water.

A) True
B) False


In the US, nonpoint sources of water pollution have a greater impact on quality.

A) True
B) False


Using oil-eating bacteria to clean up beach pollution from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill is an example of _____________________.

A) bioremediation

B) a pristine environment

C) corporate malfeasance

D) ecotourism

E) frankenscience


When you burn a log in your fireplace you are converting ________.

A) thermal to electromagnetic energy

B) chemical to nuclear energy

C) proteins to amino acids

D) chemical to thermal (heat) energy

E) electromagnetic to chemical


Which of these is not true of matter?

A) it can be transformed

B) it can be destroyed

C) the amount stays constant

D) it is recycled in nutrient cycles

E) it has mass and occupies space


How many electrons does carbon have?

A) 8

B) 2

C) 6

D) 4

E) 7


Within the water molecule, ________ connect(s) two hydrogens to every oxygen.

A) hydrogen bonds

B) gravity

C) magnetic force

D) isotopes

E) chemical bonds


An isotope is an atom with a differing number of _________.

A) electrons

B) cybertrons

C) neutrons

D) positrons

E) protons


Which bond type occurs when atoms share electrons unequally, with one atom exerting a greater pull?

A) polar covalent bond

B) non-polar covalent bond

C) james bond

D) hydrogen bond

E) ionic bond


Which of the following correctly describes a property of water?

A) water molecules do not show cohesion

B) absorbs heat with small changes in its temp

C) does not dissolve ions and compounds necessary for life

D) changes temperature rapidly

E) more dense as a solid


Precipitation ________.

A) has become more basic in the last 100 years, due to industrial air pollution

B) that is acidic would have a pH lower than pure water

C) that is acidic has a low concentration of hydrogen ions

D) that is acidic would have a pH higher than 7

E) that is pH 4 is twice as acidic as precipitation that is pH 5


________ are the primary water?insoluble components of cell membranes.

A) Carbohydrates

B) Lipids

C) Nucleic acids

D) Acids

E) Proteins


Skin, hair, muscles, and enzymes are all excellent examples of the macromolecule ________.

A) nucleic acids

B) carbohydrates

C) organelles

D) lipids

E) proteins


Plastics are ________.

A) synthetic proteins

B) naturally occurring macromolecules

C) unstable and break down easily

D) synthetic polymers made in a lab

E) assembled by enzymes in cells


___________ are multi- or single-celled organisms containing a nucleus & other membrane-bound organelles.

A) eukaryotes

B) prokaryotes

C) teflons

D) cells

E) kevlars


The nature of energy changes from a more-ordered to a less-ordered state, increasing in entropy.

A) second law of thermodynamics

B) first law of thermodynamics


During photosynthesis within plants, ________.

A) entropy stays the same

B) oxygen is consumed

C) there is net consumption of water and carbon dioxide

D) the high?quality energy of the sun is converted to a lower quality

E) entropy increases


Cellular respiration ________.

A) results in a net decrease in energy

B) involves a net consumption of water

C) releases carbon dioxide, water, and ATP energy

D) requires the green pigment chlorophyll

E) represents a increase in entropy


Earthquakes along the Ring of Fire result from ________.

A) release of gases from the underlying mantle

B) separation of layers within sedimentary rock

C) energy released from movement at plate boundaries and faults

D) global climate change

E) surges of magma from the earth’s core


The San Andreas Fault in California is an example of a(n) ________.

A) convergent plate boundary

B) tsunami

C) transform plate boundary

D) divergent plate boundary

E) continental collision and uplift


The force driving plate tectonics is ________.

A) nuclear reactions in magma

B) gravity

C) freezing and thawing of water in the earth’s crust

D) heat in the deepest layers of the earth

E) solar radiation


Coal, oil, and natural gas are ________.

A) inorganic

B) synthetic

C) fossil fuels

D) part of a sustainable energy future

E) renewable


A system receiving inputs and producing outputs without undergoing any changes in size or function is said to be in ________.

A) environmental balance

B) dynamic equilibrium

C) harmonic resonance

D) normal balance

E) static control


The physical, abiotic components of our planet can be divided into the ________.

A) lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere

B) geosphere and atmosphere

C) centrosphere, geosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere

D) lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere

E) lithosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere


The Earth as an ecosystem consists of the ________.

A) abiotic portions of the environment

B) air surrounding our planet

C) solid earth beneath our feet

D) water, saltwater, and freshwater in surface bodies and the atmosphere

E) sum of all the planet’s living organisms and the abiotic portions of the environment


A small section of prairie grasses, over a year, produces enough biomass to feed insects, mice, rabbits, birds, deer, antelope, and a host of decomposers. The amount of food energy potentially available to the herbivores and heterotrophs is the ________.

A) secondary production

B) food chain

C) respiration

D) net primary production

E) gross primary production


The swamplands of extreme southern Louisiana, which contain elements of both the forests and coastal marshes, could be called ________.

A) a superbiome

B) a dead zone

C) a closed ecosystem

D) an ecotone

E) an abiotic system


Macronutrients ________.

A) are what large predators eat

B) are large molecules necessary for making macromolecules

C) can only be taken up by plants from rock cycles

D) are the only nutrients that can be tracked in nutrient cycles

E) are required in large amounts for organisms to survive


The largest pools of carbon in the carbon cycle are ________.

A) hydrosphere

B) sedimentary rock and fossil fuels

C) freshwater systems and oceans

D) atmosphere

E) plants and animals


The origin of all phosphorus in biological tissues is ________.

A) phosphorus dissolved in the ocean and taken up by shellfish

B) atmospheric phosphorus gas

C) phosphorus weathered from rock

D) phosphorus in animal bones

E) volcanic activities


Examining areas from the landscape scale, termed landscape ecology, is useful because ________.

A) multiple ecosystems may exist in a single area with many transitional zones

B) humans have not yet caused alterations to landscapes

C) the dynamics of animals result in localized problems

D) it helps to define the entire closed system

E) the role of ecosystems is often overstated


The eutrophication that has taken place in the Gulf of Mexico and other locations appears to be due to ________.

A) heavy metals dumped in the sewage

B) weather alone, because it is only obvious in the summer

C) pesticide use along the waterways

D) global warming from human use of fossil fuels

E) excess nutrients from fertilizers


The origin of all nitrogen in biological tissues is ________.

A) volcanoes

B) lightning

C) nitrogen weathered from rock

D) earthquake activities

E) atmospheric N2 gas


Nitrogen fixation is a process that makes nitrogen available to plants and is carried out by ________.

A) nitrogen gas dissolving in freshwater and in the ocean

B) nitrogen-fixing bacteria

C) volcanic eruptions

D) photosynthesis

E) parasitic bacteria


Aquifers are ________.

A) underground water reservoirs

B) recharge lakes at water quality facilities

C) oceans

D) the result of transpiration

E) natural ponds and lakes


By damming rivers and using methods such as flood irrigation, we are ________.

A) increasing transportation

B) increasing evaporation

C) decreasing the water table

D) decreasing transpiration

E) increasing the water table


A small moth pollinates native trees when they bloom in April. Some of the moths emerge in early March and discover a different blooming shrub to use as a resource. This is an example of what, over time, could be ________.

A) an extinction for the original population

B) a change in age structure of the original population

C) an invasive species

D) allopatric speciation

E) sympatric speciation


One example of artificial selection is ________.

A) pet dogs that have gone wild and living in packs

B) picking out the type of processed “meat” you’d like on your Subway sandwich

C) gypsy moths as an invasive species

D) planting specific seeds from a weed over thousands of generations to arrive at plants like broccoli and brussel sprouts

E) humans placing a gene for human insulin into a flower


A number of coyotes move into an area and begin to eat a population of small harvest mice. After several years, the harvest mice are much speedier runners than before the coyotes came. This is an example of ________.

A) allopatric speciation

B) disruptive selection

C) directional selection

D) sympatric speciation

E) stabilizing selection


Endemic species ________.

A) are invasive species that cause extinction

B) are generalist organisms

C) have high rates of mutations that lead to large numbers of offspring species

D) cause disease

E) are found only in one place/habitat on the planet


The functional role of a species and its use of resources in its community is its ________.

A) niche

B) distribution

C) selection

D) place in the food chain

E) habitat


A Type I survivorship curve, with higher death rates at older ages, is typical of ________.

A) large primates such as humans

B) flowering plants such as dandelions

C) cone-bearing plants such as redwood trees

D) large open-water birds, such as seagulls

E) amphibians such as frogs


Carrying capacity is the ________.

A) limitation on numbers of species in a community

B) greatest number of different niches possible in a given area

C) potential growth in the number of species in a given area

D) average number of offspring carried to term by a species

E) maximum sustainable population that a given environment can support


Density-dependent factors ________.

A) cause decreases in the number of species in an ecosystem

B) include the effects of a hard freeze on a single species within a community

C) include the effects of predators, food, and mating competition on a single species within a community

D) include the effects of flooding on an entire community

E) include the effects of a landslide on an entire community


Groups of organisms with low biotic potential, such as gray whales, that produce at most one offspring every other year ________.

A) show the initial stages of the extinction process

B) are not subject to density-dependent limiting factors

C) have escaped from the processes of natural selection and adaptation

D) are K-selected

E) are r-selected


Which of the following is a method used for preserving biodiversity?

A) national parks

B) protected nature preserves

C) ecotourism

D) business loans to developing areas

E) all of the above


It took all of human history to reach 1 billion humans in the year 1800, but we added the most recent 1 billion humans in only ____ years.

A) 50 years

B) 120 years

C) 2 years

D) 200 years

E) 12 years


According to the IPAT model, technology that enhances our exploitation of minerals, fossil fuels, timber, and ocean fish ________.

A) decreases sensitivity

B) increases population

C) decreases environmental impact

D) increases sensitivity

E) increases environmental impact


Computer simulations of status quo policies predict that around 2030 _________ will suddenly decrease, while projections based on policies for sustainability predict that _________ will suddenly decrease.

A) food; population

B) population; food

C) pollution; pollution

D) production; pollution

E) resources; industrial output


Based on governmental policy, which nation would you predict to have the highest rate of contraceptive use at 90% and highest rate of female infanticide?

A) New Zealand

B) China

C) South Africa

D) United States

E) Australia


The richest 20% of the world’s population use ______ of the world’s resources.

A) 14

B) 62

C) 86

D) 20

E) 52


Which of the following continents has more countries with population growth rates above 3%?

A) North America

B) Australia

C) Africa

D) South America

E) Eurasia


Which of these statements are United Nations Millennium Development Goals for 2015?

A) eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

B) reduce child mortality

C) ensure environmental sustainability

D) A thru C

E) help Luke destroy the Death star 2.0


Environmental science is the study of ________.

A) wealth and upward mobility

B) how the environment affects humans and vice-versa

C) biodegradable materials

D) the effect of pollution on freighter movement

E) extinction of different species


Geothermal energy, wind and solar radiation are all examples of ________.

A) biodiversity

B) biotic environmental factors

C) biodegradable materials

D) renewable natural resources

E) non-renewable resources


Which of these are direct primary causes of there being over 7.11 billion humans on the planet?

A) agricultural revolution

B) French revolution

C) industrial revolution

D) A and C

E) 60’s counter-culture revolution


The average footprint per person has increased from 2.2 to 2.7 since 2008, and the footprints of many developing nations, such as India and China, have also increased. This means that ________.

A) the populations of both India and China have decreased since 2008

B) some nations no longer have a measurable footprint

C) our collective lifestyle is even more unsustainable than before

D) our collective lifestyle is slightly more sustainable than before

E) the ability of the planet to sustain human beings has increased


Advances in agriculture ________.

A) do not include chemical fertilizers

B) are always sustainable, since they are based on natural ecosystems

C) did not increase the amount of food per person from a global perspective

D) have often resulted in alteration and destruction of natural systems

E) have resulted in increased death rates


The scientific process and knowledge is based on ________.

A) the fact that hypotheses can be proven absolutely

B) observation alone

C) testing hypotheses that are built on observations which lead to results to interpret

D) ending with educated guesses

E) numerical data alone


An experiment ________.

A) involves only collection of data

B) is designed to generate new scientific hypothesis

C) is an activity designed to test whether a hypothesis is valid or falsified

D) often involves manipulating as many variables as possible

E) does not need to be repeated if well designed


In general, natural resources should be ________.

A) used by everyone equally

B) evenly divided among all countries

C) used efficiently for the greatest good and also conserved for future generations

D) used only by those on whose property they exist

E) consumed


Ecosystem services ________.

A) are economically valuable services provided by natural systems

B) are valuable to natural systems but not to human-created systems

C) required to rebalance natural systems that we have disturbed

D) are not necessary to sustainable systems

E) contribute to keeping ecosystems productive


The cumulative total and kind of living things on Earth is ________.

A) increasing rapidly

B) called taxonomy

C) its biodiversity

D) an abiotic factor

E) its environment


The philosophy of classical economics developed by Adam Smith ________.

A) advocates laissez-faire policies that many credit for the tremendous gains in material prosperity of industrial nations

B) argues that individuals acting in their own self-interest harm society

C) proposes maintenance of economies through government restraint and regulation

D) assures equality between rich and poor

E) was adopted by the Aborigines in the Kakadu region of Australia


Contingent valuation ________.

A) involves buying and selling “rights to pollute”

B) says we should treat others as we wish to be treated

C) says all individuals deserve just and equal treatment

D) measures how much time, effort, and money people spend to travel for natural recreation

E) measures how much people would pay to restore a resource after it is damaged


Which of the following is an assumption of neoclassical economics?

A) External costs and benefits are valuable.

B) All citizens deserve just and equal treatment.

C) Long-term effects and planning are important.

D) Resources are finite.

E) Growth is good.


Cassandras are ________.

A) people who believe technology will find new resources

B) a tribe of Australian Aborigines

C) followers of Plato

D) an invasive species

E) people who acknowledge that Earth’s resources are finite


A(n) _____________ is best defined as one who evaluates an action based on its impact on overall health, economic costs and benefits, and aesthetic concerns of only humans.

A) ecocentrist

B) market economist

C) biocentrist

D) anthropocentrist

E) ethnocentrist


Modern market economies generally do not address ________.

A) market value of goods


C) aesthetic and cultural value

D) cost of production

E) cost-benefit analysis


External costs include ________.

A) environmental damage

B) wages

C) worker’s compensation and insurance

D) raw materials

E) utilities


Aldo Leopold’s “Land Ethic” philosophy describes _____________.

A) individuals as members of a community of interdependent parts

B) how most toxic landfills are located in poorer communities

C) pesticide misuse

D) how American Navajos suffered from the adverse effects of uranium mining

E) the history of the EPA


________ is best defined as the knowledge, beliefs, values, and learned ways of life shared by a group of people.

A) Niche

B) Habitat

C) Culture

D) Economics

E) Worldview


Who is best known as the founder of the Sierra Club?

A) Walter Sierra

B) John Ruskin

C) Ralph Waldo Emerson

D) Aldo Leopold

E) John Muir


A good example of “Ecosystem services” would include ___________.

A) global warming

B) creating pollution

C) genetically modifying food

D) erosion

E) pollination of crop plants


American school of philosophy exemplified by Emerson and Whitman which saw nature as a symbol of deeper spiritual truth ____________.

A) ecofeminism

B) environmental justice movement

C) transcendentalism

D) preservationism

E) pantheism


An example of greenwashing is ________.

A) covering up environmental injustices

B) creating the illusion of green or sustainable practices to mislead consumers

C) ecolabeling

D) discounting future effects

E) using biodegradable paints


Environmental policy aims to ________.

A) promote fairness among people and groups in the use of resources

B) preserve all present natural areas in their pristine condition

C) use natural resources for economically important industrial products

D) promote economic growth

E) protect the values of the landowner


Decisions rendered by the courts make up a body of law known as ________.

A) utilitarian law

B) case law

C) mandatory law

D) statutory law

E) environmental law


Statutory laws are passed by ________.

A) voters

B) the Legislative branch

C) the President of the United States

D) federal preemption



The takings clause means that ________.

A) state entities can take private property for less than market value

B) natural resources cannot be taken without payment

C) the government can cause environmental damage without compensation

D) private citizens can take value from public land by mining, timbering, or similar activities

E) private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation


A regulatory taking ________.

A) takes property without allowing for compensation for natural resources

B) means that the government does not take possession of the property but deprives the owner of most of its economic value

C) means that the government can cause environmental damage without being subject to regulations

D) removes environmental regulations from individual owners


In the 1992 Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council case, the Supreme Court ruled that a state law intended to prevent serious public harm ________.

A) violated the Fourteenth Amendment

B) violated the takings clause in the Fifth Amendment

C) compensates owners for mined natural resources

D) gave beachfront property owners exclusive rights

E) prevented Lucas from building homes on sinking shoreline


The first laws in the ‘first wave’ of U.S. environmental policy ________.

A) were to reduce pollution caused by early industrial efforts

B) were passed as early as 1980

C) were to preserve endangered species

D) dealt primarily with management of private land

E) were intended to promote settlement of the West


The very 1st National Park in the US, as well as in the World, was ________ National Park.

A) Yosemite

B) Death Valley

C) Grand Canyon

D) Glacier

E) Yellowstone


The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) ________.

A) required environmental impact statements for any projects funded by the U.S. government

B) altered the amount of chemicals allowed in water as a result of industrial pollution

C) put all federal land under stringent environmental protection

D) requires compensation to be given to anyone harmed by deliberate pollution from any business or corporate entity

E) was signed into law by Bill Clinton


To control pollution, industry has been given limits and been threatened with punishment if these limits are violated. This approach is called ________.

A) carrot

B) last chance

C) limit and manage

D) end of the alley

E) command and control


International environmental law stems from ________.

A) distribution and use of pollution permits

B) democratic voting procedures to choose and ratify laws

C) bidding on subsidies

D) informal agreements reached by multinational corporations

E) international conventions or treaties resulting in Protocols


The World Bank was established in 1944 to ________.

A) fund international projects for developed nations, including dams on international rivers or multicounty irrigation projects

B) provide ease of banking for multinational corporations

C) help weak governments by loaning money to heads of state for the military

D) fund economic development for all countries, rich and poor, including dams and irrigation in the poorest countries, for the poorest peoples

E) fund international environmental studies of issues such as pollution


Critics of the World Trade Organization (or WTO) ________.

A) say that the international taxes that it regulates are burdensome to smaller countries

B) complain that it frequently worsens environmental problems

C) complain that it shapes environmental policy by establishing unfair international laws

D) charge that the WTO’s subsidy policies unfairly target poor people

E) charge that it gives too much money to environmental causes


Lobbying, legal action and campaign funding are all means used by ________ to influence governmental environmental policies.

A) the judicial branch of government

B) the scientific community

C) the public or business sector

D) the legislative branch

E) social science studies


Cap and Trade is a system that ________.

A) has been repealed by Congress as useless in diminishing pollution

B) allows industries to set their own levels for pollution emission so trading can continue

C) rapidly brings pollution emissions to near zero for participating industries

D) permits industries that pollute under the federal cap to sell credits to industries that pollute over the cap

E) specifies a certain cap on industrial pollutants that can be traded to other nations


In a public-private partnership ________.

A) public lands are leased cheaply to for-profit entities for mining and drilling

B) the funding of environmental projects is shared 50-50 by state and federal agencies

C) a governmental agency does the work and a for-profit entity supervises

D) the profits from resources from public lands are split between local government and the federal government

E) a for-profit entity works on an environmental project, supervised by a government agency


Regarding environmental laws and the US Constitution ________.

A) By paying a waiver fee, federal laws can override the Constitution

B) Fundamental environmental policy is already set forth in the Constitution

C) The Constitution can be set aside for state environmental laws

D) In a case of conflict, state laws always take precedence over federal laws and the Constitution

E) State laws cannot violate the Constitution


The largest portion of atmospheric gases is ________.

A) nitrogen

B) sulfur

C) oxygen

D) argon

E) ozone


One (1) American has as much environmental impact as 4.5 Chinese, 10 Indians, or 19 Afghans.

Incorrect Response A) True
Correct Answer B) False


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