Module 10

Research a biodiversity hotspot and summarize what species live there, where it’s at, if there are any threats to the ecosystem in less than 200 words. Find 4 images of the species that live there and provide a brief 1-3 sentence description. Make sure to cite where you got the images from.

 

I chose to research tropical rainforests. They can be found in South America, Africa, and Indo-Malaysia. There are over 50 million invertebrate species in the rain forests. Scientists have also identified roughly 2000 plant species that would aid in curing different cancers, but this makes up less than 1% of the total number of plant species in the rain forests. Monkeys live in all rainforests. Bright colors ward off predators because they have found the bright colors associate with that animal or plant being poisonous. Current threats to rainforests are deforestation. Scientists say about a football field sized piece of rainforest is destroyed every second, which translates to about 31 million football fields of rainforest destroyed each year. Deforestation is also causing species to become extinct or close to becoming extinct. Mangrove forests are also being threatened by pollutants such as crude oil, toxic waste, and sewage.

https://wildtracks.wordpress.com/world-ecosystems/forest-ecosystems/tropical-forest-ecosystem/

poisondart

This is a poison dart frog and are located in South American rainforests. They eat termites, crickets, flies and ants. They live near marshes, streams, and rivers.

http://www.rainforestanimals.net/rainforestanimal/poisondartfrog.html

The jajaguarsmallguar is found in Central and South America. They eat a variety of animals that include turtles and deer. They can grow to be 5.5 to 8 feet long.

http://www.rainforestanimals.net/rainforestanimal/jaguar.html

 

This is an orchid found in Central and South America. Some can grow to be large enough that petals are 30 inches long and flowers growing orchid1to 14 feet long.

 

 

 

 

 

 

bromeliadThis is a Bromeliad found in Central and South America, and one in Africa. This is the similar to pineapples, they are in the same family.

 

http://www.ecorazzi.com/2012/02/08/ten-amazing-rainforest-plants/

Module 8 – Devin Walk

Where I currently live in Bellefonte PA, there is a Zone 2 Hailstorm, which is toward the lower end, meaning it isn’t frequent or intense. It is also in a Zone 2 of the frequency and intensity of tornadoes. It is a Zone 1 with wildfires, which is also very low. I think the Nathan map document is well-suited for this task because it shows all the naturally occurring weather patterns and just how severely they can be, depending on where you live. Clearly Central Pennsylvania isn’t going to have the same weather pattern as a town in the southwest United States.

 

On March 29, 2016 there was volcanic activity in the Philippines. Luckily no one was hurt or killed. My hometown can’t experience this type of disaster because there isn’t a volcano anywhere near here, and the volcanos in the United States are pretty dormant for the most part. Since this was just volcanic activity and nothing too major, I’m not quite sure how to compare it to the size of my hometown. I’m sure though it would be really crazy if there was a volcano around here and actually started doing stuff. If there was a hypothetically volcano in Bellefonte or somewhere closeby, I don’t think the people that live in the higher elevations would be affected as badly because they would be away from the molten lava, if anything, buildings and trees would catch on fire and that would spread. To hypothetically reduce Bellefonte’s vulnerability to a volcano wouldn’t really be possible unless we were surrounded by a large body of water that would put the fire and lava out. The best thing to do would be to evacuate everyone. That would ensure people get out safely

 

The only natural hazards Bellefonte faces are severe lightning storms, I’ve seen my fair share here, and the occasional blizzard in the winter. I read an article from the New York Times and it did indeed show that my area has a very low natural disaster risk. It then had three smaller maps below the large map which displayed the tornado, hurricane, and earthquake risk and Central Pennsylvania is at the very low risk end.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/05/01/weekinreview/01safe.html?_r=0
I think better preparing for natural hazards would be the best option. For instance, with large snowstorms, urging people to get stocked up on supplies just in case the power goes out or the snowplows can’t make it out onto the roads. Public authorities would be the best people to tell people to go out and prepare. The people I know don’t really trust the weatherman and what he predicts, but I’m sure they would listen to an authoritative figure. I can’t really do anything.

Module 7 Devin Walk

I live in the small town of Bellefonte, PA. It is mainly automobile-oriented. However, in downtown Bellefonte, there are sidewalks all over the town and throughout the neighborhoods. As you go further out of town, there aren’t sidewalks and it becomes more like an actual automobile-oriented town. There is a CATA bus that takes people from one stop in Bellefonte to State College, Boalsburg, and Pleasant Gap, so you could also say that Bellefonte is partially a “streetcar suburb” but as previously stated, it’s primarily automobile-oriented. Bellefonte has a little over 6000 people living within its borough. I was born here and never left. I hope to one day maybe move to a city or even move to State College. I think Bellefonte is a nice small town, but sometimes it can be inconvenient to go to the store, since I don’t live in downtown Bellefonte, I live more outside of it. Bellefonte is somewhat surrounded by farmlands.

 

The first city I’ll talk about is Boston. Although Bellefonte is nowhere near as populated as Boston, you will see people driving and also taking buses in Boston, like in neighborhoods and the Jamaica Plains have streetcars which are similar to the buses we have here in Bellefonte. I think that it would be kinda nice for the neighborhoods in downtown Bellefonte to have the pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods. Most of the streets in those neighborhoods are one-way which makes it kinda challenging to navigate, especially if you aren’t from here. I think the bus system we have is pretty good. Most things are within walking distance in Bellefonte, so it really is only necessary to have it commute to State College or anywhere else nearby.

 

The second city I’ll talk about is New York City. I went there for the first time the fall of 2014 to march in the Veteran’s Day parade with my high school marching band. You may see small gardens on the rooftops of some buildings in NYC. I think, even though the area surrounding Bellefonte is agrarian, that Bellefonte buildings should have some too. There are small apartment buildings and that would be nice for those people that live in those buildings because it makes it more convenient for them. Bellefonte isn’t near as polluted or near places that produce pollution.

Module 6: Devin Walk

I’m a very picky eater. This makes it challenging to find places or even home cooked meals I actually would enjoy and eat. However, there are select fast-food places I do enjoy eating at, and I used to eat there on a somewhat regular basis, mainly because I knew what I would be fed at home wasn’t something I would like. I do become frustrated that no one in my home thinks of me when preparing meals. Please do not tell me to try new foods, I have tried foods and I just do not like them, that’s isn’t going to change. So I choose the fast-food because it’s something I know I will eat and it’s convenient for me.
The food choice in my above paragraph relates to the nutrition portion of this module. I know I am clearly not getting enough of the nutritional needs I need. I hate vegetables and fruit, so I know I’m really not getting the vitamins and minerals I need from them. I myself am not obese, I am at a lower weight for my height in fact, but eating fast food does lead to obesity if eaten on a more frequent occasion and in high amounts. I only eat it maybe once or twice a week. Obesity is also connected to industrialized agriculture, mainly in the systems that produce large quantities of grains. Those are high calorie crops which in turn lead to high calorie foods. Picky eaters aren’t a normal thing you encounter every day, but I have to admit that most restaurants do try to have a “wide range” of food, even if it’s similar food. They also have kids menus which are nice because most kids aren’t willing to try new foods so it’s convenient for them, and picky eaters. Module 6 Devin Walk

Devin Walk Module 5: Development

I chose the case study about a wood fired power plant near Flint, Michigan. The facility incinerates wood waste to generate electricity for sale to the Consumer Power Company, but creates a lot of pollution. The incinerator is located near the Dort/Carpenter Industrial Park which already has three hazardous waste facilities regulated by the EPA. Two facilities emit toxic air pollution and three facilities deal with multiple forms of toxic waste. The community has attempted to solve their problem through every legal action possible, but nothing has worked. The inerator was shut down for a year because it had a permit violation, but still continues to run. The goal of development was to for the facility to become more environmentally friendly, but it really should be shut down because it just isn’t doing any good- besides powering electricity, which can be supplied through other means. This relates back to sustainable development because obviously wood doesn’t last forever and for this incinerator to run, it needs wood. http://www.umich.edu/~snre492/Jones/flint.htm

 

The second case study I chose talked about eliminating measles in southern Africa. Measles is one of the most contagious infections to humans and is in the top four children killers worldwide. out of 30-40 million cases of measles, 454,000 deaths were reported in 2004 and half of these deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. In 1996, seven south African countries came up with a plan to eliminate measles and it consisted of routine immunization and giving opportunities for all children ages 9-14 to get the vaccine, and follow-up vaccines. This relates back to world development because in the United States, up until the epidemic last year when people weren’t vaccinating their babies, people have always been getting vaccines and stuff. And sometimes it’s easy to forget that every country isn’t as advanced as what we are, because we really are privileged to live here and get the medical attention we need, if required. http://www.cgdev.org/page/case-17-eliminating-measles-southern-africa
I live in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania and to connect my first case study back to where I live, there was a wire-making company called Syro and when it was in full operation, back in the 60s-80s, it made a lot of pollution and poured the waste products into Spring Creek, which for them, was conveniently located behind their plant. The second case I talked about doesn’t relate to my hometown at all, but I did find it extremely interesting. We can learn from these cases to for one thing, not pollute the environment that we live near because it’s toxic and can lead to disease or illness. I wouldn’t consider my hometown poor, but I wouldn’t consider it the wealthiest either. I believe most people get their immunizations and vaccines, we don’t have outbreaks of disease 

Module 4 – Devin Walk

I live in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania specifically in Benner Township. We get our water from the Spring Creek watershed. It flows into the well in my backyard, where it then goes through our water softener and then through the facets. From there, the water flows down the drain to the main water line that is under the Bellefonte Wastewater Treatment Area.

Here is my table depicting my activities for one day that I used water.

Activity Use Estimate
Drinking Water (Acadia water) Two 16 ounce water bottles 32 oz
Shower Once, 7 minutes 12 gallons
Use the restroom Four times 2.5 gallons x 4 = 10 gallons
Brush Teeth Twice 16 oz total

In order for myself to live on two gallons of water for a whole day, I would have to change my daily activities. Two gallons would equal 256 ounces. I would continue to drink two 16 oz water bottles, leaving me with 214 ounces. I would change how long I shower and only take like a one minute shower, only turning the water on to get myself wet and then turn off the water and wash my hair and stuff then turn it back on to rinse myself off. Hopefully that wouldn’t use more than a gallon of water. According to the USGS, a one minute shower uses two gallons of water, but that’s with continuous use. So maybe my method would consume less water. If I were to try this I know I would fail just because flushing the toilet once loses 2.5 gallons of water and I’m not just going to not flush because that’s gross. Geography matters to water use because in areas that are well developed, such as first world countries, we are able to drill deeper into the ground for water, irrigate water, and/or filter water from lakes/streams to use in our water supply. Whereas third world countries don’t have the money or resources to do that and they tend to be in more arid climates which makes finding a water source more challenging.

Module 3: Ethics

Q1: I think it’s more important to be a good person because when I think of a good person, I think of somebody who has a level-head and doesn’t let drama or problems get in their way of being a good person and because they genuinely do things because they are a good person. They don’t do it so they can brag about it on social media and get little pats on the back. A good person does things because it makes them feel good to know they either helped someone or cheered someone up. I think it’s really rare to find someone that is genuinely a good person. Most small children that I have known are typically good people; they’re naive, but they try to be good people and even perform good acts. I believe as we grow up and become exposed to the real world, it makes us not necessarily want to not be a good person, rather it makes us have a sense of judgement of “should I do this for that person or should I not?” Someone I know very well always wants to brighten peoples days- especially if they’re having a bad one. It cheers her up to make people happy and I know she’s genuine when she does it. Does she always perform good acts? No, she doesn’t but that doesn’t make her any less of a good person.

Q3: I think the way decisions are made matter more than outcomes of these decisions. I watch a lot of Law and Order in my spare time and even though it’s just a TV show, it shows how the DA has to build his case on the information given to him and how the accused’s lawyer has to build his argument against the DA to argue for his client. Another example I have is they are remodeling where I work, and they didn’t really consult the employees that worked there about what things should change to make it easier and/or better for us. It was more along the lines of cosmetic changes that benefit us some, but not to the extent we were hoping. That would be an example of distributive justice, but my point is that I really wished they had let the workers have a say in what would change and would make things better.

Q4: I think ecosystems matter for their own sake because humans haven’t been around nearly as long as the ecosystems and animals (that have evolved by now) that have been here for millions of years. This planet really does belong to the ecosystems and the organisms that reside in them. As humans, it’s sad to think that we are slowly overpopulating the Earth and pushing some animals out of their homes and to almost extinction. Ecosystems matter because without them what are we? We need some ecosystems in order to survive and we need to take better care of the ones that we have now. So I suppose my view on this issue is ecocentric because I think the environment is important.

Biogas System

dmw5728 biogas

Throughout the module, I learned about systems and what compromise them, as well as how different feedback loops work, and populations and technology. Systems are very important, as seen in my diagram. The ecosystem is crucial to some of the steps in the social system, such as organic compost being sold by the farmers and bought by the women. The compost will aid in the farmers producing better and more crops to be sold which provides them with income. Cow dung produces methane gas which can be used by the Biogas as a source of fuel.

Comparing my diagram to Figure 1.5 in the Marten reading, our diagrams both contain the categories “social system” and “ecosystem” as well as “cow/animal dung.” We also briefly mentioned farming in our diagrams. Our diagrams differ in that he used “demand for cooking fuel” and “number of children” and “human population” where I only mentioned women and farmers. I believe there are similarities and differences because him and I are two completely different people and we each picked up different things in the video to take into account for this diagram. You can learn how people pick up different information despite watching the same video.

Getting to know you

Hi, my name is Devin Walk. I am a freshman majoring in Civil Engineering. I’m from Bellefonte, PA which is about 10 minutes from University Park, and that’s where I grew up. My ultimate goal with earning my degree is to become a project manager for various construction jobs. I chose to take this class because I thought it would be interesting to learn how geography could affect the field I’m interested in studying.

Reading through Module 1, one key issue that stuck with me was the drought issue in California. The pictures of Folsom Lake from 2011 and 2014 were unbelievable. It just goes to show that when resources aren’t being properly sustained, they can be used up and sometimes you won’t be able to get it back- like nonrenewable resources.