Module 10 Biodiversity- Carmela Madrigal-Lua

Using the information from Module 10, identify the issues of biodiversity. (Length 250-300 words)
Biodiversity measures the importance of a living organism on a particular scale. There are many reasons to why humans need to value biodiversity. The two most important reasons are because of anthropocentric and ecocentric. Anthropocentric includes the different lifeforms, for instance, food, medicine, scientific information, and many other useful materials that are used daily. Ecocentric are also valuable because it is based on the idea of biodiversity on the intrinsic value of potential human uses. The issue here is that both non-human and human factors are the big influence in how it is impacted. There are threats to biodiversity to the point that things become extinct. In module 9, we discussed the climate change and the impacts to the ecosystems. The climate change would be considered to be the non-human factor that biodiversity faces a greater threat because of the temperature shifts. There are many negative impacts that human have on biodiversity that is covered in H.I.P.P.O. H.I.P.P.O has five different threats that it covers which are habitat loss, invasive of species, pollution, human population and overharvesting. Humans do not see that their actions have consequences that can lead things to extinction. For example, in module 4 the water concept made one aware of how much water one really uses, but I think that people are ignoring the fact that biodiversity is important and the more that we continue to take advantage of it the sooner we will run out of our useful sources. Overall, there are valuable things that come with biodiversity, but it is important that as an individual we play our part in not making the factors a bigger concern.

From the reading discuss one of the specific examples on any of the five factors of H.I.P.P.O. (Length 150-200 words)
H.I.P.P.O has five different threats it faces. The one that stood out in the reading was invasive of species. In the reading, it mentioned how when a new plant, animal, or microbe is moved into a new area, it will affect the species already there in different ways. For instance, the brown snake from Australia was accidently transported to Guam in a ship cargo during World War II. Since the snake was new to the environment it had no predators which meant that there was no way the population was able to keep a check allowing there to be many brown snakes. It had an easier possibility to survive there than the actual region that the animal comes from. People do not think that by purposely or accidently releasing a new species to nature can have consequences. Not to mention, that one will not know all the possible outcomes that it will have to the species living in that area and to the species released. I think that people should consider the five threats that H.I.P.P.O., stands for because not only are we jeopardizing other living creatures, but we are making the factor a bigger issue.

Draw two system diagrams to go with 1 and 2.





Module 9- Climate Change Carmela Madrigal

Climate Change

2. On my diagram, it shows how the discovery of fossil fuels created both positive and negative things for humanity.  It helped us improve our health and our wealth. It brought upon us the Industrial revolution, which would pave the course of our planet from that point on. Although health and wealth were the most positive outcomes of the industrial revolution, the massive amounts of released CO2, better known as greenhouse gases, were by far the most negative outcome of the Industrial Revolution. These greenhouse gases are crucial to the increase of climate change in recent history. Because of so much greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, it does not allow the radiation from the sun to go back out to space, making the surface of the earth much warmer. The release of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere created a great change in the earth’s climate. These changes could possibly go beyond the planetary boundaries, which will bring about great problems not only for the planet we live on but for humanity itself. Humanity thrived because the planet was in stable conditions, a lot of research backs this up. If we were to go beyond the planetary boundaries, it is not believed that our race would survive on this planet. Everything that we grew knowledgeable until now would change, especially in the agricultural fields. It would change the way we grow things and other various factors that play an important part of how we live. In other words, all of this would be catastrophic for mankind.

3. Personally, all of this information is terrifying to me. Climate change is a huge problem in today’s society. Essentially the change in climate could bring the end of humanity. Because of this climate change, it could change drastically our agricultural fields. What is even worse is the fact that we are the ones who are responsible for the climate change that the earth is experiencing. I think it is a great thing that the U.S. State Department cables were leaked. This helps us open our eyes to what is really going on in our world. The only way that we may be able to save our planet and ourselves is by working together as the human race to clean up our planet as much as possible before it is too late for all of us. I see this happening already all around us. It is easy to tell that as the years go by we experience much hotter summers and much colder winters. All of this I think is due to how rapidly climate is changing. Another reason why all of this information is very concerning is because climate change isn’t something that can be changed quickly. As stated in the module, it will take a very large amount of years for us to be able to fix it. This would also only work if everyone in the world would take action, which may never happen. The unfortunate truth of it all is we may very well not be able to save our planet, and we are slowly killing the chances for future generations to continue thriving in this world.

Vulnerability Reduction Carmela Madrigal-Lua

1.My hometown is Abbottstown, Pennsylvania. I felt that it was difficult trying to locate the exact point on the map since it is such a big scale. I would have to say that since my town is small it does not experience many natural hazards or disasters. Looking at the maps perspective I would say that were at a level zone of zero for earthquakes and extratropical. It also said that for a wildfire it is level one, for tornadoes it is a level two, and it scored a much higher zone for hailstorms it was a level three. I would say that I am not sure how accurate these locations really are because I don’t have an actual exact location. The levels that it ranked my town seem to be accurate. Another thing is during a winter storm my town can expect to get a lot of hailstorms which does occur. Overall, I think that this task would be easier if there was a better system to view a better accuracy of the results.

2. From visiting, The Hungarian National Association web site, I would focus on the power outage. This took place on April 1, 2016 at 3:42 am in the state of Kentucky, Calloway County. The cause of the power outage was due to serve weather. There were 15,000 people affected because of this incident. Although no one was injured and there were no casualties. I can say that my hometown could experience the same kind of weather disaster. The reason why is that power outage is common to occur when there is a server weather and it has happened in the past. I think that most of the times that this has happened it has not lasted long because they get to the issue and resolve it as soon as possible. The reason I believe it is something that is handled quick and fast is because of the size of my town which is small. Although I know that if this were to happen elsewhere like a town which is 30 mins away from me called York it would take a longer time since it is a bigger populated area. This kind of disaster would affect everyone differently because in my neighborhood everyone lives in single homes. I think that the only thing once can do for cases like these is have the generator in case that one of the power outages are very severe that we go days without power.

3. From my personal experience, I have been living in the sam place for about 8 years now. I can say that there are not many natural hazards or disasters that occur. The only one time I can recall is when it rained and hail stormed at the same time. I was driving home from my classes and I misjudged how bad the roads really were. As I arrived home the driveway seemed fine to walk on until I slipped and I cut my temple. Once in a while when it rains there will be flooded, but other than that I can’t really recall other forms of natural disasters.

4. Ever since that incident, I learned to be more alert. I think that we misjudge what we see and think it is still safe. I think that it is a harder task to know how bad it really is if it is dark outside which was the case for me. Something that I should have done differently was calling my parents to ask them how the weather was before I headed it. Another thing is it is always important to check the weather forecast because you can prevent incidents like mine. In order to prevent situations like these is that my town should add more night lighting around my neighborhood for better visualization. The best person that would be able to perform this task would be by going to my borough and placing a request. In conclusion, I think that I could play my part in collecting signatures from my town to make this happen.

Sustainable Cities- Carmen Madrigal

My hometown is Abbottstown, it is located in Adams County in Pennsylvania. I live in a small town with 1,013 residents that and it is a suburb area. Since it is a rather small town there are not as many jobs in this area. I have to say that it is enjoyable area to live in, but if you do not have a vehicle for transportation then you won’t be able to get anywhere. The reason why is it is small and it is located in a peaceful community the only downfall is there is not much to do. Although I like the fact that the small area I live in is in the middle of closer towns nearby which makes it easier for getting to places such as York, East Berlin, Hanover, New Oxford, and Gettysburg.

My first chose on a city would have to be Rochester, New York. It is an automobile suburb that has neighborhoods. Even though it is designed so that residents commute to cities via automobile it is a little similar to the town I live in. The reason why is because there are not many places to work in this area you need a car in order to get around. The difference is that there are many sidewalks in my neighborhood. I personally think that I could live here if I had to live somewhere else because it’s similar to where I live now. Something that can be learned from this city is that instead of taking cars everywhere people should use bikes or walk to places because it would improve the loss of fossil fuels.

The second city would be Jamaica Plain located in Boston Massachusetts. The reason why is it is a streetcar suburb. This is a little bit different from where I live. Although the concept of this place is it is set up similar to automobile suburb, but they have street car parking. The interesting thing is that they have nearby stores. This makes it a little easier for those who do not have a car to still have some kind of access to nearby places. I think that one of the insights that could be learned from this city is that my town should add more stores. I think that this would offer more jobs to people in my town and it would make it more convenient.

Food Choice & Social Norms

1. This learning activity is very interesting because I can think of several situations that I personally have experience with food choices. I think that the most important one that I experienced and still do would be being a college student with little time. Ever since I have started college I feel that I do not make good food choices. I think that because I do not live at home I no longer have homemade meals as much or even healthy meals. Juggling time with work, classes, homework, cleaning, hanging with friends and family and along with anything else it makes it much harder. I think that it is easier for me to get fast food, food at the cafe at my college, or anything that is fast. The only times I usually have homemade meals is when I go home to visit my parents other than that I don’t have the chance to make my own food. I think that nowadays it is much more complicated for college students to have homemade meals especially if you live in a dorm. I hope that I can come up with a better way to be able to eat healthier.

2. The societal issue would connect to my food choice in the paragraph above would be making unhealthy decisions and wasting food. Relying on fast food is not good because it leads to health problems and consuming more food which is considered wasting food. The reason why America has so many people who are obese is that everyone prefers something fast and easy or we just don’t have enough time to make our own food. Now the social norm would be making better food decisions so one can eat healthier which relates to not wasting as much food. The reason is the healthier that one eats the less food that will be consumed because healthier food fills someone up more. Overall, it is best to manage time to be able to manage the amount of food one consumes and so that one can have time to prepare their own homemade meals.




Module 5 Development- Case studies

The first case study I chose was “North River Sewage Treatment Plant”. The city planning commission didn’t get the input of the community on what their opinions of a treatment plant, which made it a bigger problem. The city then promised to build a state park which did not happen until 23 years later. The problem is that in the sewage treatment plant located in the northern part of Manhattan, New York City had an overbearing odor. The community made complaints about this issue and the problem is the odor is a bigger problem in the summer. Many of the residents that live there have complained about health risks and symptoms they have experienced due to the noxious odors. I think that this study relates to some of the information that was in this module. The reason why is in the reading I read how the impacts of the environment can harm certain people or groups, which then raises an issue of environmental justice. The goal is being able to handle this issue better and the only way is by carefully monitoring the levels of hydrogen sulfide. Although not all the issues have been addressed properly such as the smell, but an investigation has taken place to address this concern. The sewage treatment plant’s location was a bad location not to mention it was originally supposed to be located somewhere else. Overall, there is not much that can be done other than to maintain the odors and keep the hydrogen sulfide under control.

For the second case study, I chose “The reusing of waste water to reduce fresh water withdrawal”. The purpose of this concept is to reduce the amount of fresh water is used by the industrial process. It also hopes to cut down how much water is released to the public. This plant is located in Iberian Peninsula in a dry area Spain. This article relates to the module because it mentions how natural resources can’t be replaced. The thing is we take our resources for granted and they are becoming scarce. The Villaluenga cement plant has been able to reduce the amount of water they used. This plant is now able to use water plants and can recycle water to not use fresh water. This can help save a lot of water which helps with our natural resources. Overall, this has been able to reduce the amount of water being discharged and used.

These two cases are different from one another. I believe these are both important because they can occur anywhere. I currently live in Mont Alto, PA, but I am from Abbottstown, PA. Thankfully, there are no current environmental issues that are a concern at the moment back where I am from. I think the reason for that is because I live in a small town and it’s rather easy to maintain everything going on. Although just because this isn’t a concern in my town it does not mean it does not occur in other places near me. For example, York is about 25 minutes away from where I am and I know that they face some odor problems like the residents of New York City in Manhattan. I think because they are cities they will face more situations like these with sewage treatment plants. I think that the concept of the case study on reusing wastewater to reduce the amount of fresh water being used is very important because it can help the environment by reducing the amount of water that is being used. I think that we are not aware of our environment issues because we take things for granted such as our natural resources. Although these case studies teach us a lot of things because we are not aware of situations that occur around us. By being able to understand current environmental issues we can help develop new strategies to improve these current problems.

Module 4: Water Usage

1. A. I live in a small town in Pennsylvania called Abbottstown which is in Adams County. In my town, the main source of water comes from York Water Company. On the website, I read that it supplies about 20 million gallons of water each day, which consists of 65,000 residents, industrial, and commercial customers. I was shocked on how much area they are responsible for providing water for. The water comes from the Susquehanna River, Lake Williams, and Lake Redman. It goes through several different sources before it gets to the customers, such as the pumping station, rapid mixer, and the plate settling basin. During the plate settling stage, other actions also take place as well such as the multimedia filters which clarifies the water. Throughout the clarifying stage, it checks the thickness of the water. It then goes through the dehydrator which removes any soil. Then it goes through the rapid mixer, plate settling basins, multimedia filters, and the clear water cell. Finally, the water is finished to be used by the clients. In conclusion, every stage has specific roles that they in order to get the water clean and ready for the consumers.


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Activity                                                              How much water is used? (Gallons)

Brushing Teeth                                                                              3 gallons

Shower                                                                                           32 gallons

Toilet                                                                                               25 gallons

Washing hands                                                                              9 gallons

Dishes                                                                                             36 gallons

Washing clothes                                                                           30 gallons

Drinking water                                                                              ½ gallon

Total:    135.5 gallons/day


  1. C. If I had to live in an area where I could only use 2 gallons a day instead of 135.5 gallons I would find it to be very difficult. I know that in the past I made wiser chooses on how I would use my water, but that was when I was in Mexico for vacation. The reason why I think that I would not be able to live off of 2 gallons is because I failed to do so when I gave it a try. I realized that I only made it half way through the day until I couldn’t go through with it. I thought that the most important things were to drink water and brush my teeth. Although when it came to the time that I couldn’t flush my toilet, wash my dishes, or shower that’s when it became harder for me. I know that there could be a routine made up for each day so that I could fit everything that needs to be done. In order to accomplish that I would have to make dramatic changes in my life by not showering every day, flushing the toilet, washing my hands, doing my laundry and so on. I think that limiting how much water you use a day is a very difficult task because I am used to being able to use a lot of water. I know that by reducing the amount of water I use per day can make a big difference in the environment. I can say that I will manage my amount of water usage more wisely from now on. It is scary to think that many places such as Haiti, are limited on how much water they use a day. I am lucky to be able to live in an area where there is an unlimited amount of water supply.


Module 3 Ethics- Carmen Madrigal

1.) Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)? This question made me think a lot because I personally think that in order for one to be a good person they must have role model characteristics to make them a great person. Although in my opinion, I have always believed that it is more important to be a good person, than to be someone who performs good acts. My reasoning behind my opinion is that anyone can perform a good deed, but it is hard to find a good individual. Another thing is most good people always perform acts of kindness because they mean it. I’d prefer someone who is sincere about doing something over someone who does it to do a good deed. In my personal view, I believe I am a good person because of my actions and the way I always try to reach out and do more for those that need the help. Your actions are never always seen, but first impressions are always important and if someone sees that you are a good person then it’ll take you further in life.

3.) Does the process by which decisions are made matter more than the outcomes of these decisions (procedural justice vs. distributive justice)? I felt as if this question made me think of where I would fall. I personally think that I fall in between, but tend to lean more towards decisions matter more when you think them through. The reason is that I have always been the kind to think ahead, although there have been times where I have acted without thinking. I know that even when you plan ahead sometimes the outcomes are not as you planned them out to be. I think that as much as one sits there on planning ahead rather the decisions is right or wrong, one can never really predict the outcome. I will have to say that it is better to think to thank to act without thinking because depending on whatever the case may be there could be consequences that could be prevented.

6.) Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)? I believe that my life is valuable because you only get to live once, but I think that my life is the same as others. The reason why that is is everyone decides what to do with their life, so what someone makes out of it is on them. My parents have always told me, “treat others how you would like to be treated”, which has made me think that everyone is the same just with different ways of living. No matter what anyone says every life is valuable no matter where you come from or what your past may be. I have always believed that the more you do by heart the more that you will get out of life. In which, I have to say it has got me further in life and has made me the individual I am.

Drawing Systems Diagrams- Carmela Madrigal-Lua


The graph below shows how the need for a healthier fuel creates a positive effect on our ecosystem. The reason why wood causes dangerous health is risks, the need for biogas is established. This leads to the need for innovation, since we are able to create a form to use biogas, we develop a healthier lifestyle. Healthier children get better educations and a better chance at economic stability. The creation of biogas also creates fertilizer compound which brings better crops and better economic stability. The need for biogas also creates a larger amount if jobs leading to the better economic state. Ultimately, wood would be abolished and our ecosystem would be at a great place economically and health wise.

Now comparing my graph to Figure 1.5, I can see that they look a little different, but they have similar concepts. One similarity is that both diagrams all interact with one or more concepts. I think that there is similarities and differences because every diagram is created differently, but it is meant to cover similar concepts due to the fact that it covers information on the social system and ecosystem. By comparing the two diagrams, we can learn that there are many other concepts that can be found in a social system and ecosystem. Being able to create my own diagram and compare it to another one gave me a better understanding of social systems and ecosystems around us and a better understanding of what was covered in the video.

Getting to Know You- Carmela Madrigal-Lua

Hello, everyone!
My name is Carmela Madrigal-Lua, but I go by Carmen. I am currently a sophomore at Penn State Mont Alto. I have spent most of my years in New Oxford, Pa, but I was born in California. My major is Early Childhood Education grades PreK-4 and I’m minoring in Criminal Justice. The age preference I would like to teach would be first grade, but I am more than happier to teach any grade because I love working with children. The reason why I am taking this course is because my major requires me to take. Although I think it is great because I can learn more about Geography. A fact about me is that I am the first one in my family to attend college. I have learned a lot so far from my college experience and I hope to continue to learn more throughout the remaining years.
Module one covered a lot of information that was very interesting. Although the one thing that stood out to me the most was human-environment interactions. In the reading, it said that it is the examination between ecological and social systems. It also talked about the many things that are under threat because of dry conditions, for example, there has been the shortage in water and wildfires. Another interesting point that I read in the reading was how human decisions can make a change on the natural environment which is also known as governance. I personally think that this is important to know because if we do not understand how much a human can impact the environment we will continue to harm it as the years pass.