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Ecologic Volume 1

Date post: 28-Mar-2016
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Student magazine looking into issues and ideas concerning the environment.
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Today’s ecology for today’s world.. E C O L O G I C Volum_ on_ 4/15/2011 Contributors: Christopher Abbott, Valerie Adkins, Philip Arnold, Angelica Ciccarello, Lisa Conway, Samah Iwais, Brooke Lobay, Melissa Mecklenburg, Kristine Pettry, Marc Reimer, Joselyn Rodriguez and Carmen Rosado
  • Todaysecologyfortodaysworld..E







    C Volum_ on_

    4/15/2011 Contributors:ChristopherAbbott,ValerieAdkins,PhilipArnold,AngelicaCiccarello,LisaConway,SamahIwais,BrookeLobay,MelissaMecklenburg,KristinePettry,MarcReimer,JoselynRodriguezandCarmenRosado

  • Thank you to all that participated in this class assignment.

    This was our first attempt at an e-magazine that is written by citizens.

    We are not scientists or politicians. We are simply students trying to learn about our environment.

    We are discovering the basics of our environment and looking at how it affects our life, health,

    economics, government and global community.

    The following group of essays is what we discovered about the mission of the EPA,

    Companies and their products, and our thoughts of the environment.

    We encourage you to seek out this information for yourself.

    What is important to you? How can you help? Can you make a difference?

    Can you teach someone about our environment?

    We hope you look into the environment and find something to be passionate about.

    Thank you for reading our magazine.

    It was a pleasure to put together.

    My many thanks to my students for having an open heart and mind.

    Good luck to you all.

  • Who is the EPA and what do they do?

    We have all heard of the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, but do we know who they are and what they do? The EPA began on December 2, 1970 and is an agency of the federal government of the United States. Its purpose is to protect human health and the environment, by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress. The agency is led by an administrator, who is appointed by the president and approved by Congress. The current administrator is Lisa P. Jackson. The agency currently has approximately 18,000 full-time employees spread over 10 regional offices, and 27 laboratories across the country. Members of the EPA staff include engineers, scientists, and environmental protection specialists; along with legal, public affairs, financial, and computer specialists.

    The following summaries, written by students, will describe the EPA or actions of the EPA from four different perspectives: Criminal Justice, Accounting/Business, Health/Human Resources and Law/Legal. Information was gathered from the official EPA website, www.epa.gov unless otherwise stated in the summary.

    Show Me the Money By Philip Arnold

    Where funding for the EPA is concerned there is about 259 billion dollars between contracts, loans and government grants for the environment. Now of the 259 billion dollars for the environment about 82% of this money is for grants. This is money that the government gives to further the study and research of what it is that we can do to improve the quality of the environment and what it is we need to do to protect this very precious resource. Now to get these grants you need to get an application grant kit. You would fill this out and then turn it in to the EPA for consideration. After you did the application you would need to write up a proposal for the

    grant. This would tell the EPA what you are planning on doing with your grant money. You would then need to do some grant money management training. This would consist of showing that you have the capability of managing the grant money, accepting the grant money, managing the grant activities and finally closing the grant. There are tons of grant money out there for the taking. You just need to know how to get some of it.

  • Business and the EPA

    By Melissa Mecklenburg

    Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) is a competitive grant program that gives an innovative way for the community to get together and take action to lower the toxic pollution in the local area. The community creates a partnership that creates solutions to reduce the release of toxic pollutants and to lower peoples expose to them. According to the EPA website the goals of CARE are, Reduce exposures to toxic pollutants through collaborative action at the local level, Help communities understand all potential sources of exposure to toxic pollutants. Work with communities to set priorities for risk-reduction activities, and create self-sustaining, community-based partnership that will continue to improve the local environment. CARE is different than other voluntary programs because it gives tools, technical support, and funding to use other voluntary programs to reduce the emissions. CARE is focused on all types of exposure. The funding for the program is spread over two years.


    In 2008, Environment Financial Advisory Board (EFBA) urged agencies to encourage states to create Air Quality Finance Authorities to finance the reduction of air pollution for a variety of facilities such as auto body shops, truck shops, dry cleaners, diesel engines, And heavy construction equipment. EFBA also encourage states and local governments to have the Voluntary Environmental Improvement Bond to finance energy, water, and air pollution reduction programs. Energy companies across the country implemented energy efficiency improvements such as installing solar panels and performed an audit on cost savings and programs. As of today, energy efficient programs have helped companies with diesel truck programs, organic dry cleaning programs, and other initiatives, all which are funded with bonds issued by district.



    The EPA is spending money in all different areas and for different types of resources. One of the current spending is on The Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Gap. The EPA has conducted a study to gain a better understanding of the challenges that they will be facing in the future in keeping the clean water and drinking water industries. They conducted it to see if there would be a large gap between the investments that they need to continue the clean water and drinking water the next twenty years. The analysis that they had conducted found a major funding gap that could end up developing if the water systems continued to maintain the current spending and operational practices. Clean and safe water is critical for human health and ecosystem health. As early as 5000 years ago, centralized systems supplied drinking water to communities in parts of the Middle East. Twenty-five hundred years ago, Athens, Greece rebuilt its city with sewers that transported sanitary waste to rural areas for disposal onto orchards and agricultural fields. In the centuries since, these two services supply of drinking water and disposal of wastewaterhave become intrinsic responsibilities of communities

  • worldwide. (U.S. EPA Office of Water, 2002) The analysis that was conducted has estimated that the clean water capital payment gap for the next twenty years is $122 billion with no revenue growth. The Drinking water analysis payment gap is $102 billion with no revenue growth scenario and a $45 billion in revenue growth. The methods used in this analysis preclude the calculation of standard errors about these estimates to determine whether the difference between the drinking water and clean water gaps are statistically significant. There is a big amount of money difference between the two but as you can see this is over a 20 year period and the gaps are when the funding and spending may take a hit. They are each based on percentage rates for the analysis. Such as the clean water analysis is based on a 3.0 percent rate and the drinking water analysis varies between 2.5, 3.0 and a 3.5 percent rate. This analysis is one of the important ones seeing how it is what helps keep our drinking water safe and helps keep track of all the chemicals and other things that are in the water that could damage our health or even harm us and take away our lives.

    Law Practices within the EPA By Lisa Conway

    There are many different aspects of the EPAs daily functions. The main function of the EPA is to protect our environment. There are many things that the EPA must do to accomplish this function. Although the EPA is a government agency it must be run somewhat like a large corporation. The EPA needs employees, insurance, money, and cooperation from other countries. In order to have these things they need to have some sort of legal knowledge. That is why there are several different law offices within the EPA.

    The Office of General Counsel is the chief legal counsel for the EPA. This office oversees the operations of the other ten law offices. The current chief counsel is Scott Fulton. The first office under the Office of General Counsel would be the Resource Management Office. The Resource Management Office is in charge of the recruitment of new attorneys and law clerks. This office is also responsible for the EPA law library.

    The General Law Office gives advice on Labor and Employment Law. This office also handles Intellectual Property Law which deals with patents, trademarks, and copyright infringements. The Civil Rights and Finance Law Office make sure that the EPA provides equal employment opportunities. It also handles all contracts that the EPA enters into. Last but not least it oversees

    agreements entered into with other outside government agencies.

    The Air and Radiation Law Office assists the Office of Air and Radiation in rules and guidelines in regards to radiation and threats to public safety. This office also represents the EPA in any court proceedings in which the EPA is being sued. The Pesticides and Toxic Substances Law Office handle the legality of issues that arise from pesticides and other toxic chemicals being released. They are also responsible for informing the public about any toxic substances that are released into their community.

    The Solid Waste and Emergency Response Law Office gives legal support in regards to programs implemented for hazardous and solid waste. This office assists in clean up incentives so that every party involved is satisfied with the clean up. The Water Law Office provides legal support to the EPA programs such as the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Marine Protection and Sanctuaries Act.

    The Ethics Office implements the ethical guidelines that all EPA employees must adhere to. They are responsible for all the training of these guidelines. The Alternative Dispute Resolution Law Office

  • provides legal advice to the EPA about other forms of resolution to disputes or problems. They also provided training to select EPA employees concerning these resolutions.

    The largest of all the law offices would be the Cross Cutting Issues Law Office. This office provides legal information about international environmental laws. It is also responsible for keeping the EPA updated about federal statutes that are changed or enacted that concern any EPA programs. They also handle all legal issues that stem from the EPAs scientific functions. This office handles all 5th Amendment takings of private property for preservation.

    The EPA has ten different law offices within their agency with one general counsel overseeing all the operations. These law offices handle every legal aspect of the EPA. After reading over the EPA website I think that my paralegal training might take me in a whole new direction that I will be proud of.

    Endangered Species Act ~ 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq. (1973)

    Kristine Pettry

    The Endangered Species Act was established in 1973 and is a program that provides conservation of threatened and endangered plants, animals and the habitats that they reside in. There were many agencies responsible for helping get the Endangered Species Act started, they include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service. The law requires federal agencies to consult with the FWS and NOAA to ensure that any action that they fund, authorize, or carry out will not jeopardize the existence of any species, or effect their habitat. The law also prohibits the taking of any species on the last and does not allow import or export commerce of any animal or plant listed, whether it is interstate or foreign.

    Fines Hit Honeywell Hard By Christopher Abbott

    On March 11th 2011 Honeywell International Inc. was sentenced to pay $11.8 million worth of a criminal fine. Thanks to the EPA for stopping the company from exposing workers to radioactive and hazardous materials that were illegally stored on the grounds. The EPA made an example out of Honeywell International Inc. showing other companies out there that they wont put up with it. This is not the first time that Honeywell has knowingly illegally stored radioactive and hazardous materials. In April of 2009 the EPA found almost 7,500 illegally stored hazardous and radioactive waste barrels. According to the plea agreement Honeywell will have to serve a five year probation as well as a community service program which will collect and transport hazardous waste from the community as well as proper treatment and disposal of said waste over a two year period costing the company an additional estimated $200,000.

  • Honeywell pleads guilty in Illinois to illegal storage of hazardous waste. Corporation sentenced to pay $11.8 million dollar criminal fine!

    By Marc Reimer Honeywell Corp pleads guilty to 1 felony offense for storing hazardous waste materials without a permit in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

    Radioactive and hazardous materials put employees at a high risk for infection and diseases. Honeywell was keeping drummed materials called Koh Mud. It consists of uranium and KOH, it has a PH greater than or equal to 12.5.

    Honeywell has been issued a 5 year probation sentence and fines that reach 11.8 million dollars. It must comply with all of the terms and conditions of a consent order that was entered into the Illinois Attorney Generals Office and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency which was filed on April 21, 2010.

    Connecticut Chemical Distributor Agrees to Pay $164,000 for Clean Air and

    Right-to-Know Violations by Carmen Rosado

    The EPA has filed a complaint against a Connecticut based factory. Pharmco products stores chemical for sales and distributions in the Brookfield area they also combine commercial alcohol. The EPA claims that the Pharmco Company has violated the Clean Air Act. The claim filed on December 30 states that they failed to submit a RMP (Risk management plan). They also failed to report the presence of toxic chemicals in the warehouse and the inventory for four chemicals another violation this time for the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. Pharmco agreed to pay a sum of $164,000 dollars for their violations. Among Pharmco other chemical warehouses in the area are also being checked for violations within their companies. It has cooperated completely with the EPA and has made. Some of their new procedures that they put I place are to keep a better more sophisticated management inventory system that will help them from not meeting the authorized threshold for the chemicals. The only mistake that Pharmco had done was not to keep an RMP for the chemicals; otherwise the warehouse is very safe. www.epa.gov

    Health and Human Resources within The EPA

    By: Angelica Ciccarello and Valerie Adkins

    According to the EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, Environmental protection is about human protection. Its about community protection. Its about family protection. The goal of the EPAs human health research is to improve our scientific knowledge base and to develop tools and methods to enable the Agency to identify and characterize human health impacts associated with environmental exposures.

    The EPA has various research programs to support human health and ecosystems. The research programs include:

    Human Health Research Program Endocrine Disruptor Research Computational Toxicology Research Program Exposure Research

  • Human Exposure & Atmospheric Sciences Clean Air Exposure Science Particulate Matter and Health Outcomes

    The EPA uses the results of scientific research to help identify information between exposure to environmental contaminants and certain diseases, conditions, or other health outcomes. In doing this, the EPA is promoting environmental and personal health.


    We have done a little research for you on some companies that are trying to make a difference in the production of their products, use of their products and the recycling of their products. Changes that make them just a little more eco friendly. Each article is accompanied by the web address of the company. We encourage you to look into these companies and others to find out how your consumerism can help our world.

    An Eco-friendly Company: Seventh Generation By: Angelica Ciccarello & Melissa Mecklenburg

    Mission Statement of Seventh Generation: At Seventh Generation, we know your home is your world. For the past 20 years, its been our mission to help you protect your world with our safe and effective household products.

    Programs Introduced:

    Focuses on informing consumers to make eco-friendly choices on products

    Line of non-toxic household products Educate in future generations Seventh Generation is the first consumer packaged goods company in the United States that does not

    use the production of palm oil, which is bad for the environment. Palm oil comes from palm trees, which we try to avoid because it involves deforestation of rain forests. Using these chemicals also involves threatening the endangered species of the rainforest. If we all begin to use products that are economically friendly, we can all work together to save the environment from air pollutants. http://www.seventhgeneration.com/

  • Refreshed Commitment to our Environment Joselyn Rodriguez and Valerie Adkins

    Aquafina was introduced to Wichita, Kansas, in 1994 and reached national distribution in 1997. Since then, Aquafina has won over consumers with its great taste and purity. Aquafina is currently Americas best selling national brand of bottle water. Aquafina has introduced a program that uses 50% less plastic than the 2002 bottle, which is now called Eco-fina. Eco-fina water is extensively purified and exceeds purity standards set by the federal government and has less plastic in the bottles then leading brands. Aquafina is going green by providing conservation in

    producing more and more plastic bottles in their own plants. Doing so has decreased tractor-trailer loads of empty bottles off the road saving 260 thousand gallons of fuel and related emissions. Aquafina have created more jobs in the recycling world as well as providing conservation. By recycling bottle in there company they are eliminating international shipping cost for production. For more information please go to www.Aquafina.com and check out all the other great things Aquafina is doing for our environment.


    Brooke Lobay and Kristy Pettry


    Frito Lay has taken many steps to save water, minimize waste and reduce emissions. Since 1999 they have reduce their water usage by 40% by making water work harder to let them use less of it. The way go about it is recovering the starch left in water after washing the potatoes slices to keep that water from having to be treated by cities; waste water systems. They also recycle the water they use to make the potatoes chips. In 2007 they have saved 570 million gallons of water.

    They have helped minimize waste by reusing the shipping cartons five or six times. They are using 125 thousand less paper board. They want to reduce, reuse and recycle as soon as possible. They also want to figure out new ways of packaging and processing to further reduce waste.

  • To reduce emissions they have changed their facilities and in there fleet lowered their CO2 emissions by 96 million pounds. An example is they designed a new Sprinter Truck. The truck has more efficient engines, aerodynamic designs and light weight materials so they are now getting 50% more miles per gallon and all of their sales cars have been converted to hybrid vehicles.

    The Frito-Lay company is still working to take even more steps to help conserve our resources. This company is one of many that are working towards a better planet.

    Vodka360AveryGreenCompanyBy Lisa Conway

    In researching companies that are going green, I found many that impressed me. From Keeblers teracycle program to Timberlands recycled boots. The one that stood out the most is 360 Vodka. This company has been making efforts to become a more environmental friendly company since 2007.

    Forest 360 is a program that they have initiated in coalition with the Missouri Department of Conservation. This program will plant indigenous trees on more than 40 acres of land surrounding the distillery.

    The Close The Loop program was designed to recycle the tops of the vodka bottles. Once a person is done using the top of the bottle they simply mail it back in a postage paid envelope that is made out of 100% recycled material. For every top collected 360 Vodka donates $1.00 to Global Green USA. To date they have collected 50,000 tops.

    The packaging for 360 Vodka is also helpful to the environment. The bottle itself is made out of 85% recycled glass. It is also a very decorative bottle that could be reused for many things. The ink that is used on the label is soy. The label is also made from 100% recycled material. The adhesive used for the label is all organic.

    360 Vodka has not only implemented the previous programs, they have also gone green in their day to day operations. They put in an on site recycling co-op and drop off center. They only purchase products that are green. This includes their paper products all the way down to the lightbulbs used. 360 Vodka also uses only biodiesel fuel for their on site maintenance equipment and their shuttle trucks. This companies website also includes tips for helping the environment and will let you download a guide to going green.

    To date 360 Vodkas initiatives have saved

    629 Fully grown trees 288,188 Gallons of water 17,439 lbs of solid waste

  • 199 million BTU of energy 59,823 lbs of greenhouse gases

    I found this website very interesting and full of information. Please take a look and see what you can do to help the environment. www.vodka360.com

    Go all natural, with Naked Juice


    Naked juice is an all natural fruit juice that has become much more popular over the past few years. Every day someone new is claiming there juice to be healthier, more nutrient rich, and organic. Naked Juice offers you nothing but delicious all-natural drinks made from variety of fruits and vegetables. Every juice drink made does not contain a drop of artificial flavor or color. Also, no preservatives or sugar has been added to ensure the best of health for the consumer. They have many different types of juices touching base on certain aspects of the drink such as; antioxidants, protein, and even probiotic blend of juices. They may not look the prettiest but they are delicious and good for you.

    Simple changes in habits like shutting off the water while brushing our teeth and riding a bicycle to work are paving the way to a greener world. When it comes to clothing, green-followers choose eco-friendly promotional apparel. Of course the greenest outfit you can ever wear is nakedness. Therefore, with the launch of their new 100% recycled custom bottles, Naked Juice is supporting a very green lifestyle. Naked Juice is also a huge page on face book, they will be donating 5 cents to keep America beautiful for every bottle of Naked Juice, thats been drank on Face book. In other words that means for every person that becomes a fan of the naked juice fan page. With the support of Face book users, Naked Juice will donate up to $400,000 to the worthy corporation.

    Just like many eco friendly sports bottles, the Naked Juices latest bottles are made from 100% recycled plastic. Bottle made from other bottles, our oil consumption has decreased 57,000 barrels a year, and has been using 48% less energy.

    Naked juice is sold throughout the US at health food stores and neighborhood markets, as well as major food retailers and club stores. They are also available in Canada and the UK. Naked Juice's customers include Costco, Kroger, Wal-Mart, Target, and Whole Foods Market (2).

    Naked juice started very small selling their juice in only one store in California in 1983 and has since branched out across the entire United States.

    The company is very dedicated to it consumers and encourages them to contact them with any questions or concerns that one may have. They stand by their product and most of all they stand by their consumers. They state that they get only the best, freshest ingredients from anywhere that meets their standards. Anything of the ingredients that they are not 100% happy with will not go into their product. Be healthy and green and go get some Naked Juice!

    Reference: (1)Nakedjuice.com (2)Silva, Jill Wendholt (2006-04-26). "These antioxidant-rich foods have the power to change your life". The Seattle Times

  • New 3M Inventions Target Solar Cell Technology A $200 million investment will expand Scotchshield film production

    by Carmen Rosado Major businesses will soon be able to take advantage of the newest invention from 3M.They have invested 200 million dollars in a new plastic film production. Leading solar film manufacturing company recently completed expansion in Singapores for 3M ScotchshieldTM Film. Over 25 years ago 3M had invented the first solar energy and mirror films. The new panels are a multilayer film intended to improve protection of the back of a solar cell while overcome problems associated with previous designs such as high cost or difficulty in applying laminates. They are also made to sustain the weather all year around. 3M has formed a Renewable Energy Division that goes with the products they already have. Some of the products they have out in the market now consist of films, tapes, coatings, encapsulates, sealants and adhesives for solar energy, wind energy, geothermal and biofuel businesses. These panels are to cost less for a better quality. Smock, D. (2010). New 3M Inventions Target Solar Cell Technology. Design News. www.designnews.com/article/444818-

    Sun Chips by Marc Reimer

    Sun Chips have introduced new items to ensure a greener effect on todays ecology. They are using state of the art aspects to making sure the company does not abuse the earth. Below, you will find some of the things that Sun Chips is doing to help!

    Sun Chips has introduced a quieter compostable bag to move away from the usage of plastic and using a green approach towards the health of todays ecology. Sun Chips has 8 plants and in Modesta, California, Sun Chips uses solar panels for energy to produce over 145,000 bags of snacks each day. Sun Chips has a way of making water work harder to ensure the declined use of water, in fact, since 1999; they have dropped their water usage by 40%.

    The use of the 3Rs have helped in reducing waste, reusing water, recycling items for different usage have made Sun Chips in environmental leader in becoming a green company. Sun Chips teracycle is turning waste products into new and exciting products such as the new bags that Sun Chips are now using!

  • Food for Thought: Here are some thoughts and opinions. These thoughts are meant to get you thinking. They might inspire you, anger you or make you laugh.

    We Are Doomed! By Christopher Abbott

    Beware!! Ultimately the human race will run out of the necessary resources to survive. Great concern over comes me regarding the problems we face as a race in whole due to over population. Although there are still many areas of the world that are not populated, the areas that are populated are insanely so. Take a look at places like New York, California, and worse yet China. They are so overly populated it is actually hard to get to your destination with ease. I feel that we as a whole need to start taking steps to control our population before there arent any resources left. Varying data around the internet makes it difficult to give any precise numbers on current world population. Even when I just base numbers off estimates and averages Im compiling from multiple sources the world population is around 7 billion people on earth, China alone makes up 20% of that. Yet still we continue to breed and wonder why gas prices along with everything else are going up. Realistically Im not saying to start killing off people (although it may not be that bad of an idea depending on the people), but rather just get a handle on how many people are born. Over population is going to end up killing us off as a race. Now is the time for us to take control! We need to do something about all these prisoners that we cant even fit in the prison systems, along with all these people that keep popping out kids just to get a bigger welfare check. Its people like these that are eventually going to run us out of resources, among others. Maybe Hitler didnt have that bad of an idea, he just went about it all wrong. We as a race need to step up and do something about our ever growing population before we no longer have a planet to inhabit.

    Food for Thought~by Kristine Pettry

    After taking this ecology class I have learned a lot about our environment, but the most interesting thing that I think I have learned is not just one thing in particular but the fact that everything we do or everything that we don't do has an effect on the environment. Nature and humans are connected more then I think most people understand. Before this class I was kind of one of those people thinking that what I did wasn't going to affect anything and if it did I would be dead before it mattered, so I didn't care. This is completely untrue, everything we do effects us now in one way or another whether it is something small or something huge.

  • The Question is by Lisa Conway

    The question is what am I taking away from my ecology class?. There have been so many things that we have covered that it so hard to answer. So many things that have changed the way I look at or do certain things. The biggest thing that I have changed is the way that I recycle.

    While our class was covering the recycle chapter I conducted an experiment. I made sure that I was separating everything that was recyclable for the weekend. At the end of that weekend I had more recyclable items than I did actual trash. I do recycle but I have never sorted through everything so carefully. It made such a huge difference.

    I have now since purchased two extra cans for recycling, to make it easier. The amount of actual garbage that goes in the trash compared to what used to go in is beyond belief. I am now the biggest advocator of recycling. I have actually looked into composting to save on the amount of trash as well.

    The way I look at it is if my little family has taken away 2 garbage bags away from dumps per week, what would it be like if everyone did it. I dont think that there would any problems. It does not cost anything to recycle. It might cost a little extra time but it is worth it.

    To answer the initial question it would be the way I recycle. If not for taking this class I would still be recycling but not to the extent I am today.

    Food for Thought

    Brooke Lobay

    The one thing that I would have to say was interesting, and I feel that people should look more into and consider would have to be about pollution and how it affects our ozone. To me that was a very interesting part of the class and very informative. I knew about how pollution affected our air to breathe but I had never known about it affecting the ozone like it does. All that pollution causing the whole in the ozone which is causing the global warming issues was extremely interesting.

    What I learned by Valerie Adkins

    I have learned a great deal in Ecology this semester. It is amazing how much of a strong relationship humans and the natural world have. We are both linked together in the circle of life. It is disturbing that people in our world have no problem destroying our planet, but that we are so protective of our own material things. We live in a selfish world and have no problem taking resources from the world in which we live in. We need to give back, educate, and protect our planet. The topic that I enjoyed the most was the chapter on Biodiversity.

  • Wildfires

    By Samah Iwais

    Wilde fires are uncontrolled blazes fueled by weather; wind, and dry underbrush, wildfires can burn acres of land and consume everything in their paths in minutes. Firefighters refer to these fires as triangles fuel, oxygen, and a heat source. Fuel is any flammable material surrounding a fire, including trees, grasses, brush, even homes. Although often harmful and destructive to humans, naturally occurring wildfires play an integral role in nature. They return nutrients to the soil by burning dead or decaying matter. They also act as a disinfectant, removing disease-ridden plants and harmful insects from a forest ecosystem. The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) encourages all ranchers whose cattle were on burned pasture to have their cattle inspected by a veterinarian for burns and other trauma from fires, because the can be harmful to the people. It is critical to have cattle inspected as life threatening conditions, difficult to diagnose without training, may occur within two to three days of the fire. Ranchers should contact their local veterinarians for inspection. Wildfires threaten our communities and our budget.

    Food For Thought

    By: Angelica Ciccarello

    The most interesting thing that I learned in my ecology class was the technique used to get natural gas out of the ground called fracing. I found it interesting that peoples water supply became destroyed and filled with over 500 dangerous chemicals. What bothered me the most was that the innocent people couldnt do anything about it because the government is allowed to do that. People were becoming seriously ill from drinking their water, and their animals were losing their hair. I encourage people to learn about fracing because Im sure they will find it as interesting as I did.

  • Food for thought

    By Carmen Rosado

    If there is anything that I would like others to know is that we consume to many unnecessary things in this world. Society has become obsessed with the fact that new and more advanced technology at our reach. The more we have the more we want. History should show us that we need to think about the resources that we take advantage of in our everyday lives. Population is growing every day, every minute and eventually we will run out of our resources. My ecology teacher Mrs. Dionisos told us that it is not like we can just order from other planets for the things that we need. We can all make a difference by changing some of the things that we do every day all day. Things like shutting off the light when not using or recycling plastics, card board etc. I have learned that if it is not something popular we dont

    care for it. All it takes is for someone to start and other will follow.

    Food for Thought

    Marc Reimer

    We, as a country have taken advantage of what Mother Nature has offered us. Instead of a give and give back relationship, we have become a give and take form of species. We, ourselves know the damage that we are continually causing yet we still do not make vast changes. The changes that we make are minimal at best.

    Earth is suffering from global warming, a depletion of the o zone layer. Our sea levels are rising due to glaciers melting which means our land is becoming smaller. Yet, we continue to over populate the earth.

    We are slowly but surely killing ourselves. We use nuclear energy, we create nuclear bombs, Have we not learned our lesson from Hiroshima or Nagasaki? What about Chernobyl? What about Japan? We have moved to an age in time where we feel it is necessary to become the leader in everything rather than being content with what we currently have.

    When will it all end? Will we succumb to our own need for power? I think mans time on earth will soon be over because of our own stupidity and our need to One up each other. This may not happen in my time or my childrens time, but, eventually, this will all catch up to us and when Mother Nature strikes, it will be for keeps. What is happening now is her letting us all know she is not happy. Eventually, she will take back what is rightfully hers.