Module 10- Biodiversity

  1. In 150-200 words explain the biodiversity of your hometown or a park near you. Include a description of H.I.P.P.O. and how it affects the area you live in.
    1. I am from the town of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, which resides in Bucks County, the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. My hometown is the home of many species such as squirrels, White Tail Deer, Fox, Chipmunks, many different bird species and many different plant species. This area of Bucks County used to be an area heavily dominated by farming until about 30 years ago when it has been highly developed and has since become a suburban town rather than strictly farmland. H.I.P.P.O. Stands for Habitat loss, invasive species, pollution, Human Population and Overharvesting. In my area the three biggest threats would be Habitat loss, human population and over harvesting. Habitat is shown through the fact that the town has become highly developed and has ruined many natural habitats. A rise in human population has been the cause for this and this has also led to the increase of overharvesting. Due to the rise in population local farmers have lowered the crop rotation and have began to plant the same crops, being predominantly corn, every year and they have began to ruin the soil on which they plant crops.
  2. 2. In 150-200 words describe a state park near you and place it into a protected area category.
    1. A state park that is very close to my home is called Peace Valley Park or it is also known as Lake Galena. This manmade park was filled with natural spring water to create the lake and dam. This park is home to a lot of known species and habitat reserves. The goal of this Nature center “are to bring about a better understanding and respect for nature’s laws and balances through “hands on” earth education experiences and to provide a place where County citizens can enjoy the peace and beauty of a natural area.” It is also home to 14 miles of hiking and walking trails throughout which the community can walk and observe the beautiful surrounding nature. As far as which protected area category I would put it into, it is hard to tell. After reading through the different categories I would have to say that it is a Category 4: Habitat/species management Areas. I believe it is this one because it has been designated as important habitats for a natural community and because there are continuous monitoring and management plans to ensure the conservation of the community.

Climate change

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Based off of the diagram that I created from the information supplied in the article, WikiLeaks cables reveal how US manipulated climate accord, there are many different core ideas shown within. To begin, my systems diagram shows that the main issue stemming from greenhouse gas emissions is global warming. This issue lead to the desire of many nations to create negotiations for a climate change treaty. This treaty would include different agreements that would change the way in which climate change progresses and is impacting the world in which we live in. This would include the flow of billions of dollars to be redirected into the direction of climate control This desire to create a treaty led to the creation of the Copenhagen Accord Plan. This was an unofficial document that had emerged form the Copenhagen climate change summit in the later months of 2009. From this plan, the United States attempted to find allied countries to help out with there purpose. They attempted to find as many countries as they could to associate themselves with the accord and then eventually support it. This would immensely boost the possibility of this plan being adopted and being put into place. But in order to get these countries support the United States stopped at nothing to get the support of these countries. They used money, spying, threats and promises of aid to get their strongly desired support for the Copenhagen accord. Following this they eventually got 116 countries have associated themselves with the accord and then 26 countries to say they intended to associate as well.

 

Since the introduction of the steam engine and the introduction of more high quality machinery in the Industrial Revolution the human race has been burning fossil fuels like it was their job to do so. This ultimately changed the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and has changed the world for the worse since then. This pressing issue has led to much debate since the solution of the problem would require the support and action of all countries and people in the world. This exact problem is the reason in which the United States of America created the Copenhagen accord plan. Which was a plan created to reduce the creation of the greenhouse gas affect by mandating action by all countries supporting it and who fell into the jurisdiction of it, to comply and put into action supporting actions that would lower the greenhouse gas affect on the environment. In order to get this accord officially adopted the United States went out of their way with immoral practices and strategies. Thus resulting from this the United State produced the State Department Cables that were then made public. I believe that this act was not justified or correct because it leads to other countries not trusting us in what we do or say we are going to do. Although I believe that it was incorrect for us to do this I believe that it was good in some ways. For example it showed the citizens of our country the ultimate negative impacts of the emission of greenhouse gases and thus the result in climate change.

Natural Hazards

After looking at the Nathan World Map of Natural Hazards, I saw some natural hazards that happen to my hometown and around it. My hometown is Doylestown, PA is in zone 0 for tropical cyclones, having 76-141 peak wind speeds. My area is not known for having volcano eruptions. On the map, it does not even show Doylestown, PA to have had a volcano eruption before 1800 AD. Although there are not volcanoes, Doylestown does have hailstorms and lies in zone 2. This means that my hometown is right above zone 1, and its frequency and intensity is a little above low. The Nathan World Map of Natural Hazards is not well suited for this task because it doesn’t show exact points on the map, but relative locations of the world. Every time I would try to zoom in to get precise answers, it would get very blurry and illegible.

The disaster I chose after viewing the Hungarian National Association of Radio Distress Signaling and Infocommunications’ Emergency and Disaster Information Service website, was the heat wave that happened in Kenya on March 25th, 2016. Temperatures in Turkana County hit a high of 40.5 degrees centigrade, one of the highest recorded in the country in recent weeks. Unfortunately, my hometown of Doylestown, PA can also experience this disaster. Some of the risks for this disaster are dehydration, fainting, dizziness, and some cardiovascular problems. Doylestown is vulnerable to heat waves, especially in the summertime. Temperatures are always rising, creating these waves of heat. Differently from Kenya, almost all houses in Doylestown, PA have air conditioning systems. Unfortunately, the scale of the heat waves in Kenya is much larger than the scale in Doylestown because of the air resources my hometown has. This disaster is not as bad as Kenya’s because they have to resort to wrapping wet fabric around their water cans to keep them cool, while in Doylestown, we have water systems in our homes that keep the water extra cold. However, in my hometown, there are also less wealthy neighborhoods that create different levels of vulnerability. These neighborhoods do not have the same amount of money as other neighborhoods do, which affects the types of systems in their homes, such as air conditioning systems. We can reduce my towns vulnerability by assuring every citizen that they will have a working air conditioning system in order to keep their homes cold during the rising temperatures in the summer.

In Doylestown, there are many natural disasters that occur. A few years ago, Hurricane Sandy put my school district out of school for an entire week. This disaster impacted homes with flooding, torn down siding on homes, and other implications. My hometown also has the natural disaster of winter storms. During these storms, “People are injured or killed in traffic accidents on icy roads or suffer from hypothermia (low body temperature) due to being cold for a long period of time.” Also during these storms, another major danger is power outages. There are also other weather extremes Doylestown faces such as hail, strong winds, blizzards, thunderstorms and fires. House fires are sometimes very common during certain seasons.

http://www.pema.pa.gov/planningandpreparedness/readypa/Documents/EP%20Guide.pdf

There are many actions that can be done to reduce vulnerability to natural disasters, specifically in Doylestown. An example of this is pre-event preparedness. On all news providers, every meteorologist forecasts the weather and prepares citizens for the worst storms that are ahead. One example is a snow blizzard that hit Doylestown, PA. Meteorologists forecasted this blizzard almost a week in advance in order to prepare Doylestown individuals for what was going to happen. Another way to reduce vulnerability is building resilience in non-disaster times. Although this may be a lot of money to build infrastructure that is durable during hurricanes and earthquakes, it will be able to save many buildings and even lives. Doylestown can also study natural hazards so that we know how to prepare for and respond to them when an extreme event occurs. These different actions that can be taken to reduce vulnerability can in turn save many lives and maintain infrastructure from being lost. The best people for these actions are construction workers. These are the people who build these buildings and if they know all the measures to take in order to withstand these disasters, then Doylestown’s vulnerability would be very low.

A Wonderful Town Lacking Whats Most Important

I come from the hometown of Doylestown Pennsylvania. Doylestown is a large town and a “city” that serves as the center of Bucks County. It is located 27 miles north of Philadelphia and 8- miles south of New York City. Due to the fact that this town is split in-between sections of rural and suburban areas, it is fully dependent on the use of automobiles as transportation. Differing from this belief that its fully dependent on automobiles, when you actually start to enter the heart od Doylestown and the Borough, it becomes more and more pedestrian-oriented. In this area people may find a place to park and can then walk around to different neighborhoods, parks, libraries, shops and restaurants in a very small vicinity to each other. Although the borough of Doylestown and downtown Doylestown do have shops they are more like boutiques and smaller shops. Any real retail store or wholesale shopping center or shopping mall is a drive away in the automobile dependent areas. To given an estimate there are around 10,000 people in this setting.

The first city form the module that I chose was Detroit, Michigan. One of the coolest aspects of the city is how they have transformed abandoned buildings and areas into urban agriculture. This differs from my hometown Doylestown slightly; in the way that we do not use abandon land for farming but yet the other way around. Our city is kind of the reverse of Detroit in that it is solely used for agriculture but then what ever land isn’t used by agriculture is used for Suburban use. This does lead me to the belief that we should take advantage of abandon urban area and also just the use of peoples personal property. Like Detroit we should attempt to have more area used for personal agriculture. This would lessen the harmful impact on our world in a plethora of ways such as shipment of supplies and food and the fuels needed to do this.

The Last or second city that I chose due to its sustainability is Curibita, Brazil. This city has claimed to have one of the best transportation and subway systems in the world. They have buses running every minute while also making this service cheap and reliable. Where I am from public transportation does not exist and I think that’s a huge flaw within our town. I believe that the introduction of a public transportation would save time, money, energy and also the world. This is because when not everyone is driving a car, buying gas and polluting the environment it would now be coming from a much smaller source that would benefit the environment greatly. I believe that Doylestown should take after Curibita in the attempt to better our earth.

Obesity and the social norms that clash against it

Being a multi sport athlete in high school and college has been very time consuming and many times leaves me in a rush. Going from practice to practice or from class to practice or even vice versa, has led to a change in my eating habits big time. Having little time has led to an increase in me eating fast food meals much more often and frequently. In society eating fast food is considered to be lazy, cheap and unhealthy. It has also become a societal norm to idolize those with very skinny figures and those who don’t indulge on fast food meals often or at all. This societal norm has led to me not eating fast food sometimes when I needed to eat anything. I felt self-conscious always being seen eating this and that’s why I have refrained from doing it at times.

One major societal issue in today’s day in age is obesity. Obesity is a result of either the unhealthy lifestyle of people due to many different things or as a result of genetic predisposition. Obesity is also caused by a plethora of food being in the presence of people. Without healthy physical fitness activities and intelligent nutritional decisions it is almost impossible to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This issue of obesity can stem from food choice as well just due to unhealthy eating. I believe that the social norm on this subject is very tricky and is a difficult issue to attack. To start I don’t think there is a perfect lifestyle to live based off of food or fitness. I think they’re are many combinations and varieties that will work. In terms of a social norm I think there shouldn’t be an ideal body type that people are expected to look like because everyone has a different biological makeup that prohibits them from looking certain ways.food_diagram_ben_bishop

The Philippine’s and Haiti’s Trouble with El Nino

The location for the development that I read up on was in the Philippines. I found the article on El Nino’s affect on the Philippines off of the website- http://www.irinnews.org/news/2016/02/19/el-nino-hits-philippines-farmers-drought-rats.

In the past couple of years El Nino has affected the Philippine’s climate greatly. El Nino is a weather phenomenon in which the climate and temperature patterns are greatly changed over a period of time. This natural phenomenon has brought immense drought and rat infestation to the Philippine’s, destroying income, crops and income. The goal of this development is to bring back food, water and healthy eating back to this country that needs it desperately. This relates to the module because of two things. One being how countries have different regions with different growing conditions for crops and also because of the Philippine’s end uses. The Philippine’s is made up of different islands with different growing capabilities. Also the end uses here are not as they should be. Due to their current lack of agriculture, their end uses do not include proper income, nutrition and tasty meals.

 

My second case study comes from the World Food Programme at https://www.wfp.org/news/news-release/el-nino-drought-blamed-severe-food-insecurity-doubles-6-months-haiti . This developmental case study is also about the affects of El Nino but this time in Haiti. Come this spring season of 2016 if the harvest does not produce more crops than they have the past three years, El Nino will have caused a fourth consecutive low harvest due to the droughts it has been causing worldwide. These droughts resulting in low harvest have affected the nation drastically. The farmers who normally depend on their harvest to provide for their family can no longer do so and it has resulted in high malnutrition nation wide. This relates to module 5 because f the discussion around Human impact on Haiti. It differs though because this article more speaks to the fact that instead of humans having a huge impact it is also climate change.

 

When I am not here at PSU, I live in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately and fortunately where I am from there is a plethora of water to our use and disposal at any time. It is very easy to get or use water and also somewhat cheap. This differs greatly from the Philippine’s and Haiti. Another way we differ from Haiti and the Philippine’s is that we are not experiencing a drought and we generally have fertile soil for growing crops. Although our soil is more of a clay/rock mixture it is still capable of growing crops and many families do just that. The last way that Doylestown would differ from either of the locations I read about would be because it is not prone to natural disasters in any way and the climate is fairly stable year to year.

Module 4-Individual and collective action

1a) Prior to coming up to state college I resided in good old Bucks County, PA. More specifically I lived in Doylestown Pennsylvania. At my house I have a source of water that comes form the township itself rather than from a well. This water originates from the water and sewage treatment facility owned by Borough Water Department. The water from facilities of these which can be found in New Britain, Buckingham, Doylestown, Warrington and Plumstead all provide water for homes though a rather complex system of pipes. Following the daily use of water by a majority of the newer houses in these boroughs, the water is then drained into a sewer system. This sewer system is owned, regulated and controlled by Bucks County Water and Sewer Company (BCWSA). Once the water reaches its “final” destination at the sewage treatment center it is then purified and a majority is reused thus encouraging and taking a part in the movement for more sustainability. In theses townships and residing neighborhoods the water and sewage are both billed separately based off of the amount used.

1b) Calculated results

1c)Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 8.29.34 PMIf I were to live in an area where the daily use of water is restricted to 2 gallons of water I would have to change my lifestyle tremendously. I would have to lower water usage for all things like cooking, drinking, showering, bathroom use and maybe even cut things out like dishwasher and washing machine use. I would do this by cooking meals that needed little amounts of water and then take a quick shower and finally drink what whatever was left. I would use plastic and paper plates and utensils so that I didn’t have to wash them. I would also use a shower with a smaller water flow so that less water is wasted in a quicker amount of time. Based off of this experiment and he amount of water that my family uses per day me and my family would all definitely fail. Our Usage is almost 100 times more than two gallons and I also just believe that we have too big of a family to survive off of that. Lastly geography matters to water usage because of places like developing countries who are limited to clean drinking water. Unlike where I am from they do not have a constant supply of large amounts of water.

Module 3-Ethics

1. I personally believe that it is much better to be a good person rather than to perform good deeds. I believe this because being a good person is completely and utterly different then performing good deeds throughout your life. You can perform good deeds throughout your whole life and still be a terrible person. For example there is Pablo Escobar. Being one of the worlds biggest drug dealers he is not a good person at heart. He violated many laws and personal ethics while also performing good deeds. While he was performing these outrageous acts he was also known publically for building homes and schools for the poor while also running for governor. Although these public acts made him look good and gave him great publicity he was an awful human being at heart. In conclusion Pablo Escobar shows the ultimate difference between performing good deeds and being a good person. This shows that being a good person can include both sides while performing good deeds can not always include both.

5. In my eyes I value the pleasure and pain of non-human animals to be equal and just as valuable to those of humans. I believe this due to my religious believes and the fact that all being beings were created equal. I feel as if all deserve the same respect and rights. Although I believe and feel this way I can also see the other side of this debate. Although it may be believed that for humans to survive and remain at its dominant state on the food chain, they must not value other beings nearly at the same level of there own kind or species, I believe this to be incorrect. Although I believe that non human species should be valued as equal I believe that this only corresponds to BREATHING species. I think that if we counted other non-breathing species as equal then we would be in a completely different world and it would be almost impossible for the human race to survive and thrive.

6. I personally believe that my life is just as important as anyone else’s. But, not to seem arrogant or egocentric but I believe that I have worked hard to come to the point where I now am in my life just as all of us Penn State students have. Although I believe that I am just as important as others I believe that it is our duties as citizens and members of this world to protect and watch the back of others. We live in a survival of the fittest type world and if it becomes a race to the finish over who may get a job or a new position or anything similar to this than I would have to say that I would value my own life over others. But with this being said I would never put another persons live in jeopardy just to make mine better.

Biogas Generator_bdb5296

Geog 030 module 2 chart

As I was creating my diagram I was attempting to illustrate the importance of the relationship between one social system, Bangalore, India and its surrounding ecosystem. Together these two systems can have both positive and negative effects upon each other. For example in this ecosystem people have both a positive effect on the ecosystem by creating compost used for fertilizer and they also have a negative effect by creating deforestation. On my diagram the negative impacts are shown through dashed lines while positive impacts are shown through solid lines. These two groups worked as a coupled human-environment system based off of the way that they both affect each other in different ways. Under the social system side you can see that the people of this community imposed negative impacts by the way that they caused deforestation and also caused health problems amongst the people of their community. But with the introduction of the biogas generators they were able to create many positive outcomes for both the community and the ecosystem.

In comparison to Marten’s 1.5 Figure and my systems diagram, there are some similarities and differences. Both Marten’s and mine have some of the same topics such as Children, cooking, deforestation, and biogas generators. However, there are some differences in that my descriptions on my arrows are less detailed than on the 1.5 figure. By comparing both diagrams, individuals are able to interpret the information differently. One individual might think a topic is important to include while another individual may not. It is very useful to compare and contrast these diagrams in order to see other impactful topics I may have not included.

Link to my blog: http://sites.psu.edu/geog30/2016/01/27/biogas-generator_bdb5296/

Getting to Know You

HI everyone my name is Benjamin Bishop and I am a freshman at Penn State UP. I’m from Doylestown Pennsylvania, which is about 45 minutes north of Philadelphia. I am currently studying biomedical engineering and would like to continue that through the pre-med track. After receiving my undergraduate degree I would like to go onto dental school to become an orthodontist. My interest in this class sparks primarily from my lack of knowledge on the course content that we will go over. I hope to learn a lot throughout the course as I get to know some of you as well!

 

One of my main concerns with our planet today is climate change. Climate change is simply the direst result of us humans actions taken on our world. As module one said in the section titled Scale, climate change is an issue that takes place on a global scale. Therefore it must be a global attempt to fix this issue before it is too late. To fix this issue that covers a vast number of smaller issues I believe that we must first attack the smaller issues at hand such as pollution and then to get even smaller, car emissions. I believe that we must fix these issues before it gets to late. Who’s with me?