Chase Sandler Create Your Own Activity

  1. In 250-350 words, explain what Biodiversity is and why it is so important for us to understand how it works.


By definition, biodiversity is a measure of variation and richness of living organisms at a particular scale. The term refers to all of the different varieties of organisms that exist across planet Earth. The theory of biological diversity tries to explain how the variability between species exists and what it means for different ecosystems. Earth is about 4.54 billion years old. After a geological crust formed, living organisms were able to form and use the resources provided to them in order to grow and diversify.

In nature, biodiversity is prevalent to the survival of human species. We are provided with food, shelter, fossil fuels, medications, and much more. As far as mankind knows, as of now, about 70,000 species of plants exist. These plants are essential to the survival of humans, but also birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, insects, and much more!

Biodiversity allows for the formation of a sort of ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are services in which ecosystems perform for humanity. Each organism depends on another organism in order to survive. These services are necessary to the survival of each and every living species. When a species dies off, it causes major problems for another species survival. When major environmental changes occur, it can cause mass extinctions. These types of environmental changes are that of things we have touched on during this course such as climate change, natural hazards, and the growth of food/agriculture.

Since the beginning of life, five major mass extinctions have occurred. These extinctions were the result of minor events that ended up leading to large and sudden drops in biodiversity. The most well known major extinction was the extinction of dinosaurs. That extinction was caused strictly by the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event where major asteroid impacts effected the global environment in a way that did not allow for dinosaurs to survive. This altering of the environment was strong enough to wipe out an entire species. This is why biodiversity is so important and it forces us to have to maintain our environment. If we effect the environment too much, we could cause our own extinction.


  1. In 250-350 words, discuss a current event that could cause major effects to our global environment and what this would mean for the species throughout Earth.


According to an article by NASA, the wintertime extent of 2016 has caused the Arctic sea ice level to hit a record low and could result global environmental major issues. Each year, the cap of frozen seawater melts as the spring and summer times occur. Then, as winter starts up again, the ice forms, and reaches its maximum point. This year, the Arctic sea ice level reached a maximum point of 5.607 million square miles. This is the lowest maximum ice level since 1979. During the last 13 years, the 13 lowest maximums have occurred.

Many human factors have provoked this issue, but it is also due to wind patterns that have caused unfavorable ice growth from warm airwaves. Over the course of a few decades, the ocean has warmed up. This is a result of a warmer atmosphere, which keeps the Earth warm. The warmer the atmosphere, the warmer the seawater, and the less ice formations occur. Other human factors are a much bigger cause of this issue. Pollution, ocean garbage disposal, and much more have caused this rise in the atmosphere’s temperature. Natural occurrences cannot be prevented, but all of the actions that the human species perform that are not in favor of our environment have caused this problem.

The reason that this change is such a problem is that the Arctic sea ice plays a very important role in maintaining Earth’s temperature. This means that areas in which colder ecosystems exist are starting to warm up. Different organisms need different types of environments in order to survive. If the temperatures change too much, species that cannot cope with the change will die off. This will cause a chain reaction and cause issues for more and more species. This current event is a major problem for the maintaining of biodiversity.


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  1. Create a systems diagram in which you explain the causes and effects of the current event on biodiversity.
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Chase Sandler Module 9

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My diagram is short and sweet. I attempted to design my diagram so that each step leads right into the next. The diagram explains exactly how the climate change lead to different results as a cause of another result. By starting off with the general problem, we know that that is the climate shift. As a direct result, the U.S. was forced to introduce the Copenhagen Accord. The accord took a ton of efforts by the states to bribe and perform other illegal actions in order to get other nations to sign on. When the Copenhagen Accord was passed, a ton of issues began to arise. Mainly, the problems began with deciding on how to handle the potential loss of billions of dollars. As a result of this conflict, a few things happened. Three of the things that happened were that the U.S. had to establish the implementation of the cables, the Phishing attacks began, and we needed to support the people with financial aid in order to keep things stable. My diagram depicts all of this in a simple manner that shows the flow of one event to the next.

In my opinion, the State Department cables should not have been made public. This would only cause more issues by stirring up community members. I feel that it is in the control of the people to reduce pollution and other causes of climate change. The United States government is responsible for the well being of the people. If the well being of the people involves government intervention on policies that affect the shift in climate, than that is what should have been done. What should not have been done though, is that other nations should not have been bribed and performed corrupt actions just to pass the Copenhagen Accords. This was not in the best interest of the people because it brought along other problems such as illegal activities. If this was truly in the best interest of the people, than their would have been no negative affects such as loss of billions of dollars, financial aid support, Phishing attacks, and more.

Chase Sandler Module 8, Tornado

According to the Nathan World Map of Natural Hazards, my hometown in Plainview, New York, prone to a few natural disasters. Since I am located on an Island, I am surrounded by water. Therefore, the first disaster my town is prone to have is hurricanes. Hurricanes can form off the coasts and have extreme affects such as power outages and more. We also have heavy rainfall storms were can cause another natural disaster, flooding. Flooding occurs when the sea water level gets too high and our sewage systems cannot filter out the water quickly enough. This can be disastrous to my area and can cause people to lose everything, including their homes.

The natural disaster that I found was a tornado that occurred in Alabama on April 1, 2016 at 3:25 am. The damage level of the disaster was ranked as medium and the exact area in Alabama of this occurrence took place in Eldridge, Ardmore.

My hometown cannot experience this same type of disaster. No one is completely sure what causes tornadoes. It is thought to be the result of the updraft and downdraft in thunderstorms, which can make a tornado vortex. These types of thunderstorms do not usually occur in Long Island, New York, which is where I am from. Therefore, my hometown doesn’t really experience tornadoes at all. Although tornadoes can physically form in New York, it is very unusual and extremely minor if any at all.

The damage from this tornado was mainly to physical objects as there were zero deaths or injuries as a result of this disaster. The reason for the medium ranking was that nobody was too much affected by the aftermath of this event. It was merely a regular sized tornado that people in Alabama are probably used to and were able to handle in a safe matter. My hometown is relatively small, about 6 miles in radius. This tornado definitely traveled less than that far being that it was minor sized. This is a much smaller area than the area that was affected, but on a very low scale. My hometown is not used to this type of disaster so they would probably not have been as well prepared. For this reason, if this disaster were to have occurred in my hometown, it would have been significantly more serious. The scale of the event would be much greater, and people may have even gotten hurt if we were that ill prepared.

A severe natural disaster that recently occurred in my hometown last year was Hurricane Sandy. Sandy took down tons of different towns in Long Island, taking out power, wrecking infrastructure, causing injuries and even some deaths. This disaster affected the people in my town differently, depending on the materials that their homes were made of, and how close they were located to the water. Residents who were located closer to the water felt the affects of the disaster much greater. This makes people much more vulnerable, because this factor is out of their control, so all they could do was hope for the best.

Like I have previously stated, the most serious natural disasters that we have to deal with in my town are hurricanes and flooding. These disasters, although can be devastating, are not as bad when compared to areas that experience tornadoes and things that are harder to prevent. Although storms can cause much damage, by simply staying indoors you can usually keep yourself safe. When a tornado is tearing up miles at a time, it is a bit difficult to just stay in your home and hope it doesn’t come your way.

In order to prevent and reduce the vulnerability to natural hazards in my city or town, we can do a few things. First off, we can do everything we can to inform people as soon as we have any signs of these hazards coming our way. Next, we can do our best to build the entire infrastructure to be able to handle the worst weather conditions that the area should experience. This means it should be able to handle extreme snowfall, heat, cold, hurricanes, flooding, and storms in general. Weather is out of our control, but the best way for us to keep ourselves safe is to prepare and be ready.

Works Cited

“‘Long-track Tornadoes’ Possible Today for North Alabama.” N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2016.

“Weather and Atmospheric Conditions That Cause Hurricanes.” News & Issues. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2016.


Chase Sandler Environmental Impacts

The town I am from is called Plainview. It is located in central Long Island, New York. The types of neighborhoods within the town are pedestrian-oriented. It is a small/medium-sized town of about 26,000 residents. This is on a different scale from what I will discuss on New York City, as well as Shanghai, China. The streets are usually quiet and pretty empty, besides the few main roads, which have some heavy traffic during peak times of the day. Plainview is the town I had grown up in from the time I was 6 years old. In this time, I have seen many changes go on. As the recession and other factors hit the town during 2008-2009, the first thing people tried to cut back on financially was transportation. Many residents downgraded vehicles in order to save money, or simply used the bus system. From a financial standpoint, this change was very helpful, but what was even better was that the recession resulted in environmental benefits as well. By using smaller and fewer cars, the environment experienced less pollution and this even saved fossil fuel resources.

The first city that I will be discussing is New York City. New York City’s population is of the largest in the world of any city. The city makes my town seem nothing but a spectrum in a major galaxy. This can cause many issues for a city. One major issue is pollution. The environmental impacts of pollution have been devastating in New York. The city deploys thousands of tons of pollution into the atmosphere everyday. A major cause of this pollution has resulted from the transportation methods. Whether it is taxi cars, automobiles, buses, construction vehicles, and more, New York City has way too many. These vehicles exhale pollution, all day, everyday. The city is small enough that most people can commute around on foot, yet people choose the lazy option of auto transportation. As stated in the lesson, there are many ways that people can cut down this pollution and find other ways of transportation. The lesson suggests biking, walking, or even trains if needed. My town shared this problem of pollution caused by transportation. Both places were forced to make change, but for different reasons.

The second city I will be discussing is Shanghai, China. Shanghai has the largest population of any city in the world. Again, this issue causes them to have more air pollution, as well as water pollution. The air pollution of Shanghai is between 23 and 31 times greater than the international standard. Residents of Shanghai need transportation in order to get around, but they are much more efficient at using environmental friendly methods. They use subways, metros, and efficient bus systems that enter every town and city in China. The high population still results in major pollution, but the country is working to solve this problem everyday. People of Shanghai also use bicycles to get around at a high rate. Automobiles are more of a luxury than a necessity. My town can relate to this way of living. We had to cut back on spending so we realized how luxurious automobiles were not as important as living well and healthy.

Chase Sandler Module 6

A few weeks ago, my friend and I took a road trip up North to a state school in New York. Here, we would meet some of our best friends from home and spend the weekend. Keep in mind that our friends are from a much lower income family than my own. For the past few months, I have been working on my nutrition, eating healthier, taking in less calories and carbs and more protein. Generally, eating healthier foods, cooking them, or ordering healthy meals out to dinner can get much more expensive than if you would eat less healthy foods such as fast foods. My friends, use to spending a very minimal amount on food, suggested that we get McDonalds for dinner. This of course would violate the diet I was working to keep. I wanted to suggest we get something healthier, maybe even make something from supermarket foods. I felt too bad asking my friend to go somewhere else for food, being that he even offered to pay. It is a social norm not to inconvenience someone who is doing things for you, especially if you know they do not have the funding for more. I felt too bad and therefore settled for the McDonald’s dinner with a smile on my face. Social norms caused me to make a poor food choice.

Poor food choices can lead to very big societal issues. Based off of my food choice, I can connect a societal issue that our country faces everyday. This is the issue of obesity. Agriculture subsides were put in place in order to reduce the cost of food so that the average citizen can obtain the energy that they need to live everyday. Like every other good thing in life, this can also have major consequences. By reducing costs of foods, such as McDonalds fast foods, people tend to consume more food because they are getting such good deals. This leads to over consumption, and eventually obesity. The next societal issue that we face from these poor food choices is environmental damage. Farmers tend to over farm, especially if they are not benefiting from these subsidies. Over farming can lead to damage caused on the land. This is a big issue, especially for long-term consequences.



Chase Sandler Module 5

  1. After checking out Irin news, I found a very interesting case study. The study involves a particular situation that has risen in Somalia. Somalia is currently undergoing a significant drought in which they have many problems that have resulted. The first issue, is a food crisis. The Somali people claim that a “large-scale abnormal outmigration of livestock”. This means that as a result of the drought, animals that they would use for food are dying off. The land of Somalia is not particularly great for farming, so livestock is the main source of food. Of course, the drought has affected farming situations as well. People cannot afford to keep their livestock healthy and are therefore trying to sell what they have. The value of their livestock is also dropping significantly because of this. In order to help the situation, the people of Somalia are moving from rural areas into city towns. This is because the drought has affected people of the lands way more than in the city. In order to control water flow, the government has rationing securities in effect.
  2. For my second case study, I have chosen to research the air pollution situation within Japan. The air pollution levels in central Tokyo are so serious that thick smog exists in the air at almost all times. This smog as flown over to parts of China as well. The air pollution is listed between 88-98 micrograms per cubic meter. Anything over 80 micrograms per square meter is considered too dangerous to breathe the air outside. This means that every time the people of Tokyo go outside, they are putting their lives at risk. This is a majorly serious problem for the people of Tokyo. In order to lower these pollution levels, Tokyo has taken measures to curb air pollution levels. Believe it or not, since 2001, they have been successful in lower rates over 55% with these restrictions. Many bureaus in Japan regulate the air pollution emissions and place heavy restrictions on transportation uses. Many people in Japan ride bikes and walk to where they need to go in order to keep emission levels low. I find this case study very interesting because the emission levels are so high, yet the people of Japan continue to fight back.
  3. Back home, I am from New York. As many people know, New York City has a major air pollution problem as well. Although it is not as bad as that in Tokyo, the millions of people that call this city home add to pollution everyday. Taxis, buses, and cars fill the streets of New York, emitting more poison each and everyday. By examining the situation in Tokyo and learning how they have lowered their pollution rate, we can do the same here in New York and attempt the same methods. If we are not successful, Tokyo can become my New York reality. As for the first case study on Somalia and their current drought, I do not share as much of a similar situation. Luckily for me, I have never experienced a water drought in anywhere I have been. In order to ensure that I do not ever have to deal with that nightmare, I can take part in rationing water by only using water when I need it. I can eliminate methods that waste water such as taking long showers; letting sinks run when not needed, and much more. These two case studies were extremely interesting to me. They helped me realize that although I don’t have to deal with these horrific situations, I should still be apart of something to prevent/help these issues.

Chase Sandler Module 4

Part 1 A:


I am from Long Island, New York. During this module, I called up my local water district office and asked for the water supply chain information. The clerk at the desk informed me that she could give me specifics for legal matters but she gave me an overall idea of how the water flow directions itself. The water tower in my hometown is located on a back road called Haypath Road. The water comes down from the tower and underground up to our town park. At the park, the water pipes direct off into different directions of the town. There are three main areas in my town of which the pipes lead too. Once the pipes reach the center most parts of these areas, they funnel off into sewage systems underground. Homes receive the water supply from the underground pipes determined by one of three locations. The water is either funneled off to the user or sent underground to the sewage system.


As a side note, I found this information to be extremely difficult to find. My local office was not very happy to give out such information. I hope that the information I supplied above is sufficient. Thanks.


Part 1 B:


  1. Water Bottles consumed: 4 X 500 Ml
  2. Toilet Flush: 8 flushes X 8 Gallons
  3. Shower: 2 times X 15 Gallons
  4. Brush Teeth: 2 times X 6 Cups
  5. Cook Food: 10 Cups
  6. Gym Water Fountain: 1000 Ml

Total: 96.15 Gallons

Part 1 C:

If I lived in an area where water was restricted and I had 2 gallons to live on per day, I would use my share wisely. For this experiment, the first thing I dedicate my water to is brushing my teeth. I used 2 cups of water, one for the morning and one for the nighttime. I would consume 2 liters for drinking water throughout the day. Next, I saved 10 cups of water for cooking and cleaning. I then tried to save the rest of my water for any random activity I may need it for. At the end of the day, I needed to take a shower. In order to do this, I attempted to only shower for 30 seconds in order to use about a quarter of a gallon of water. This was unsuccessful. My other issue was the fact that our toilet is restricted in the way of each flush requires one gallon of water no matter what. This is where my experiment failed.


Geography is extremely important in terms of water use. Countries in places such as the Middle East tend to have to ration water. This is because they have many droughts and need to balance their use. This is a major problem.



Chase Sandler Learning Activity 3

  1. Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?


In order to answer this question, I feel that we need to understand what it means to be a good person versus being a person who performs good acts. Being a good person means that you do, say, and believe in doing things for others simply because you feel it is the right thing to do. Being a person who does good acts just makes you someone who does good things. You could be doing those things for an alternative motive. For example, a student may bring his teacher an apple to class everyday; but that student is hoping that because of his good act, his teacher will reward him with an A at the end of the semester. In my opinion, under this definition, being a good person is way more important that being a person who performs good acts.


When analyzing this question, we need to also take into account, virtue ethics versus action ethics. Virtue focuses more on what we should be whereas ethics on what we should do. In this situation, the virtue is the good person whereas the action is the person who performs good acts. In my opinion, the good person who genuinely cares will be of more importance than the person who just performs these good acts.


  1. Does the process by which decisions are made matter more than the outcomes of these decisions (procedural justice vs. distributive justice)?


When making any decision in life, people need to weigh out the pros versus the cons; also known as distributive justice. They base a decision on which outweighs the other. If a decision is expected to result in something beneficial, than that person will have taken steps that lead them to believe this. The actual result is irrelevant. As long as the process in which the decision was made was done in the best way possible, the outcome cannot be guaranteed. What I mean by this is nothing in life is one hundred percent guaranteed. If an NFL team wins all 16 regular season games and has a 99.99% chance of winning the Super Bowl, a chance of failure still exists. If someone was going to place a bet on that team winning the Super Bowl and they end up losing, they know that the steps they took to take that chance and to make that decision were more than logical.



  1. Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)?


When answering this question I feel that it is very biased based on how you were raised. In my opinion, my life is worth no more or less than anybody else’s. Growing up in my home, helping others was very important. I always had to help my little sister with homework, my mom to bring in the food packages every week, and my dad to shovel the snow as well as other physical labor. Being raised in this manner, I have grown to try to help others as a second nature. When I help others I feel good about myself. It is for this reason that I feel my life is worth the same as everyone else.


Selfish people do not like to help others. They do what is best for themselves and only themselves. They usually feel a sense of entitlement and do not care about the opinions of others. For this reason, they feel that their life is of more worth than somebody else. Someone who is altruistic or selfless is much more likely to help somebody else and to feel that they are of the same worth.

Chase Sandler Learning Activity 2

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When designing my diagram I took into account many different methods within the systems perspective area based off of this module. I analyzed the different effects and results that both the Ecosystem and Social System would undergo as a result of this biogas in India. So when deciding how the different components of each system interact, I had to take a few things into account.

As for the Social System, I chose to include who was going to be effected by the biogas. Next I stated how each example would specifically be effected, good or bad. After that, I went on to the Ecosystem and analyzed how the video stated that this would be affected. I broke down the category into three main groups and went on to give the best examples of what types of changes would actually occur.

My diagram is both similar and different to that of Gerald Martin. Both of our diagrams give an overall perspective of how the Environment System would be affected by the biogas usage in India. We both focus on results on the actual population in terms of health benefits and disease reduction. While his diagram focuses a lot into the population affects, mine gives an overall view of what will happen. Both diagrams do a great job, in my opinion, of portraying this Human Environment (Social) System.

Chase Sandler, Overpopulation

Hi all. My name is Chase Sandler and I am a senior in the Information Sciences and Technologies program here at Penn State. Currently, I live in the Centre Court apartment building. As a kid, I grew up in Long Island, New York, in a town called Plainview. I have had some internship experience as a Systems Analyst at two different software companies. I would like to work my way up to a Project Manager level position after some experience as a analyst. In this course, I hope to learn some new things that I did not have prior knowledge of. I do not have too much knowledge of the topics in this course, so I am excited to find out what it is all about. As a side note, I am in the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity, I love to watch football, my favorite team is the Dallas Cowboys, and my dog is 16 years old.

Based off of this lesson, scale is a major factor within the field of geography. Scale determines how big or small something is. This factor can decide whether certain events are catastrophic, minor, or something in between. One example of an issue that relates to scale is overpopulation. Overpopulation is an issue that has plagued our world for decades. Each year the world population exceeds that of the previous year. This can have an effect on food/water scarcities, disease, economies, and just plain old space to live. The scale of this issue is becoming larger each day.