Learning Activity 10 – Jiye Choi

1.Define biodiversity and explain why biodiversity has been threatened. (150~250 words)

Biodiversity is the variety of the living organisms and ecological complexes, richness of living organism. It can be a small scale or a large scale. Climate, geological history affect to the biodiversity. Now we want to talk about threats of biodiversity. Extinction is a natural event, we know that most of species have gone extinct. As the living organism extinct, biodiversity is threatened. What make the extinct happen? There are many reasons for that. As we learned from the module, H.I.P.P.O can be the good criterion. It is Habitat loss, Invasive Species, Pollution, Human Population, and Overharvesting.  Today, due to increase of human action, so many species have been threatened. For example, since we need more land with increase of the human population, people execute deforest. As a result, many living organisms which lived in that area will lose their living foundation. Climate change also one of the biggest reason. Since the distribution of species is to a great extent dictated by climate, just like the appropriation of biological systems and plant vegetation zones. I think those 5 listed events are closely related to each other. Most of them resulted by human action and each event occur other events.

2.Give an example where biodiversity is very high and describe the area. (100~200words)

When I saw the term biodiversity, the first place popped up in my mind was Korean DMZ (demilitarized zone). In the midst of worldwide strains and military acting, the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) isolating North and South Korea has, for about 65 years, provided sanctuary to creatures and plants which endangered and threatened. The DMZ has been unbendingly upheld. It is uninhabited by people, and its isolation has permitted harmed woodlands to restore and farmlands that are a large number of years old to come back to a characteristic state. This natural detachment area along the 250 km (160 mi) length of the DMZ has made an involuntary park which is presently perceived as a standout amongst the most all around saved territories of calm living space on the planet. So the Korean DMZ is an example place for variety biodiversity and since no one has access to the DMZ, people assume it is possible that there are more species than what we expected.

Reference: Wikipedia ‘Korean Demilitarized Zone’

3.Make a diagram correspond to threats of biodiversity.030

Learning Activity – Jiye Choi


The article was quite long, so it was little bit hard to draw diagram for me. So, I tried to draw a big picture and put important and main ideas. Everything was started from greenhouse gas and CO2 emission. As greenhouse gas emission with development of industries, climate has changed. So nations gather together to solve the problem, the first result was Kyoto protocol. Few years later, Copenhagen accord emerged which aim to cut down greenhouse gas. Not every nation agreed with Copenhagen accord especially poorer countries and rapidly growing countries like china. Those countries support Kyoto protocol it is because Kyoto protocol is which rich countries have binding obligations. So this is more favorable for them. For richer nations, at the same time, Copenhagen accord which can prevent to extend the Kyoto protocol need to pass the Copenhagen accord. Therefore US as a rich nation, they need support from nations that opposed to Copenhagen accord to pass the accord. This lead US to spend money secretly for opposed nations. The best example from article is Maldives. Maldives got 50 million dollars for supporting the accord. They even support actively than any other countries from poor countries. The other example is Ethiopia, US threat to Zenawi, Ethiopian prime minister that sign the accord or discussion ends now. So they also supported the accord. US did similar action to other nations and exchange financial aid with support. All this action ended up with 140 countries signed up for the Copenhagen accord.

As we learned from now, climate change is very serious problem. Because climate change is global scale problem, we all need to aware of it and try to solve the problem together. I think that’s why the political action is important like negotiation between countries and make protocol. I think what US did for get a support from other countries was not a good choice. In my opinion, Copenhagen accord which all nations without excepting developing countries and poor countries need to cut off the CO2 emission is better than Kyoto protocol which rich countries have obligation to cut off the CO2 emission. It is because as I said, climate change is global scale issue. All nations need to cooperate to solve the problem. So you might think that I agree with what US have done. But my response is no. US choose wrong way to persuade them. In politics, giving money to other country to get what they want is considered cheating. US cheated for their benefit, and this is from selfishness. This is problem in ethics view. But I can’t blame only US, all this event occurred because all nations take their profit and not considering environmental issue. For example, developing countries are one of the most emissive place because industrial development. This mean they need to cut off the CO2 emission for environment and sustainability. But they support Kyoto protocol since only rich countries obligatorily cut off CO2 emission so that they don’t have to reduce the CO2 emission and keep development. Today, earth already passed some planetary boundaries. All countries in the planet need to cooperate to save the planet.

Learning Activity 8 – Jiye Choi

Even though Nathan World Map of Natural Hazards is small to see, I think it is pretty accurate with respect to chosen area, Seoul. Because South Korea is such a small country, so it was hard to see where Seoul exactly is but entire Korea is quite seem to be accurate. There are about 4~5 typhoons which affect Korea but there are definitely more typhoons that are not strong enough, and even if we don’t experienced intensive earthquake, there are tiny little earthquakes reported so we can’t say we are safe from earthquake either. It is very dry during winter, wildfire causes too.


I chose an example of earthquake occurred in Japan. My hometown can experience the same type of disaster and we actually experienced few times. Earthquakes explained by plate tectonics, and Japan place at where 4 plates meet. That’s why there are so many earthquakes in Japan, and Korea is located along Japan so we are kind of influence from it. However, earthquakes in Japan is much strong than Korea. The example I chose, which scale is 6 which is considered strong and the most recent earthquake in Korea is 2.9 which is much less strong than Japan’s. Korea is more vulnerable than Japan because Japan had many experience with large scale earthquake so they are well prepared, while Korea is not prepared for earthquake so it will be more damage when there is 6 scale earthquake. To reduce the vulnerability we need to build earthquake-proof buildings, and have safety practice for earthquake.


For my experience, Seoul is the safe city from the natural hazard. However, currently due to the appearance of skyscrapers, the ground compromised all the soil around it. As a result, the possibility to occur the sinkhole would be increased. In addition, because of the high population density of Seoul, the damage from this disaster could bring high damage and need lots of money to reconstruct it. Therefore, it could be a serious problem. For example, in 2015, a couple leaving a transport in Seoul plunged 10 feet into the walkway when a sinkhole opened underneath their feet. The occurrence was gotten on the transport’s observation video and spread crosswise over online networking destinations.


To solve this serious problem, the indiscriminate development or construction of the skyscrapers would be eschewed. In addition, the basic construction work must be solid fundamental. There are two basic solutions to reduce the occurrence of sinkhole, which are education and technology. With education, we can learn how to avoid or reduce many impacts. Therefore, we need to conduct disaster drill. When we actually meet that the real situation, we can reduce the damage of human life. In addition, technology helps the recovery process. Therefore, engineers are the best people to perform this problem and government can control the problem and aid for recovery.


Learning activity 7 – Jiye Choi

Since I’m not from urban area, I choose somewhere else but close to my town and urban area which is Seoul. Seoul is the capital of South Korea I can say whole city is urban downtown.  It is such a big city and has high urban density at the same time. Population of South Korea is about 50-million and the population of Seoul is about 10-million 1/5 of nation population live in Seoul.  Area of the city is 605km^2 which is 1/3 of Tokyo. Seoul has great transportation system.  There are 18 different subway lines you can go almost everywhere with subway not only in the Seoul but you can go to another city. There are lots of bus lines too, in general the first bus is starting at 5am and running through about 12am. Han-gang river flow across the city and Bukhansan(Mt.) national park is located in the Seoul. Even though I don’t have any family or relatives I often go to Seoul for fun like meeting friends, shopping etc.

First city I chose is New York. New York is one of the biggest cities in the USA which is very similar to Seoul. I thought New York and Seoul are very similar to each other whenever I visited New York. First, both cities have high urban density. Second, they have good transportation system. As I mention previous paragraph, Seoul has great transportation system and also New York have 24 hours subway, and lots of buses running throughout the day. Both cities have limited space but many people to manage, they built skyscrapers. However, big attraction is both cities have green inside of the city (Central park and bukhansan Mt. national park). Finally, two cities have river which running through the city but the difference is that Hudson River has New York harbor which is very active,but Han-gang River isn’t active as New York harbor they don’t transport big ships. To be more sustainable, they need to develop the parks and encourage people to use transportation systems.

Second city I chose is Shanghai, China. Shanghai is not a capital of China but it is the greatest city. The area is 10 times larger than Seoul and population 24-million. It means Shanghai has less urban density than Seoul. First, as many big cities, Shanghai has Yangzi River running through the city. Shanghai is still developing level, they don’t really concentrating on the sustainability yet. Air quality is very low, because of factories and constructions. Today, Seoul people having hard time with fine dust, it is much worse than that in Shanghai. But Shanghai also has good transportation system, for example subway have 16 different lines. They can encourage people to take public transportation and to be more sustainable, they should consider environmental aspects when they develop the industries.

learning activity 6 – Jiye Choi

When I went to high school I came to USA and I lived with my host family. Even if I lived with my host mom and dad, all other members of the host family were vegan. I don’t know when they started to be a vegan, but they didn’t eat any meats, dairy, fishes, eggs and so on. As a part of family and recommendation from host mom, I had to start eat what they are eating because there were no meats, dairy whatever at home. Most of their friends were also vegan. Being a vegan was social norms at that point. I ate organic products, vegetables, and non-dairy products and ate very healthy almost 2 years. As time goes, I spontaneously eat healthier and became similar to host family.

I wasn’t a vegan, but I lived like vegan for 2 years. I came to college and I looked back when I lived with my host family, I was much healthier then now. I hadn’t worked out at all and just eaten what they eat, and I lost almost 20 lbs. Today, many people is struggling with obesity and diabetes, I heard my stories from people who I met that they overcome with those diseases and become healthy. Although I’m still not a vegan person, I think it is important that social norms should be eat healthier because these days many people like to eat fast food and instant food since it is convenient and easy. Not only you become healthy but also we can save livestock and environment.  jiye_choi_module6

learning activity 5 – Jiye Choi

I chose the development study case about Indonesia from Colby : http://personal.colby.edu/personal/t/thtieten/ag-ind.html

Indonesia which is located Southeast Asia had agricultural policy since 1967. Indonesia wanted to cultivate significant amount of rice. To develop the agriculture, government supported farmers by providing fertilizer, pesticides and water that need to growing rice. Government even moved people to city so that more land can be used as a rice paddy. However, because of government’s economic support, farmers started to overused fertilizer, pesticides and water and it results environmental problems. There were pesticide resistant pests and eliminated natural predators that help control pests. Indonesia actually failed to balance economic development and environmental development which led to unsustainable outcome. The government only focused on economic aspect. In recent years, Indonesia realized the importance of sustainable development, they are trying to fulfill sustainable agricultural development.


According to the Human Development Index (HDI) 2011, Rwanda had been selected as one of low HDI countries. Those low HDI countries like Nepal, Haiti, or Congo, have been suffering from inequality and low wages that make almost impossible to make living. Despite of the fact that they are in serious situation, Rwanda has been making progress for the nation. There are lots of constructions going on and development sector runs pretty busy to improve the nation. Therefore, demanding of real estates has been going up. In addition, there are the matters of importing the construction materials to the country. It is pretty complex situation that one side wants to develop in the sense of constructing buildings; however, the other side speaks out that governments in the East African bloc should provide incentives for manufacturers in order to produce finishing materials like flooring or ceilings.  The thing that the country is eager to grow and have better situation allows people to keep moving forward.



I live in state college right now, but my home country is South Korea. These two case studies have some similarity and difference at the same time. South Korea also eat rice as a staple as Indonesia, as a Indonesia our government also control the agricultural industry but not like Indonesia. We don’t provide pesticides or land to farmer and suggest sustainable development. Rice paddy is reducing in Korea these days. It is because of development of building and construction. As I stated in second paragraph, Rwanda also developing the construction but the difference between two countries is Rwanda is a developing country so they are starting to construct new buildings and they have more available space than South Korea. Because of concentration on city, people trying to construct building in limited space resulting land scraper. I learned that development is not always good thing. Because I’m from small town I always wanted to live in big city with various facilities, but there are benefits from rural area. The most important thing is balance between development, sustainability and environment.

Learning Activity 4- Jiye Choi

I’m from South Korea. Korea is a peninsula where 3 sides of country is a sea. It means we have a lot of accesses to water. I live in small city, Yeoju 1 hour from Seoul. Seoul and Yeoju is connected with river called Hangang River. Because I don’t know much about how the water supply chain works in my hometown I searched how it works. It is such a long process to get water to my house. First, water comes from river, reservoir so on, because there is a river running through my town our source of water is river. The water goes through intake station and gauging well then examines the water. After that water passes sand basin, chemical tank, mixing basin to filter out impurities. And finally through a clean water reservoir, filter bed and the chloride injection to purify water using chemical processes before it supplies to houses. Few years ago, government built 3 reservoirs for irrigation in my town, so we are in stable situation for water supply.

After track my water footprint of a day I realized which action takes most water usage. I needed to analysis the usage of water before I get started with attempt. Shower was the biggest part of usage, so I decided to skip my shower for a day to cut down water footprint. And by stages, I set my priorities. Drinking was essential and brushing teeth. But it was very hard to live a day with just 2 gallons of water. One time of flushing toilet is 3 gallons. It excesses the 2 gallons. As the final outcome was fail. But still I tried to cut down as much as I can do. Used cup went I brushed teeth, skipped dish washing. Compared to 1-b data, I used much less water but 2 gallons was too little for one day. We are lucky that we have plenty of water compare to Haiti and Mozambique people. For example, Africa has just small amount of water. Water depends on geography and climate because it is different with USA and Africa. Most area of Africa is desert which leads to water shortage and water shortage matters to water use. It limits the usage of water.

Learning Activity 3 – Jiye Choi

1. Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts?

I think it is more important to be a good person rather than to perform good acts. I personally think that action comes with virtue. Virtue ethics emphasizes what we should be. Anybody can pretend to be a good person by perform good acts, but this is just a formal action, not comes from the heart. The important thing that I believe is if you are a good person, that person will perform a good act automatically. For example, even criminal can act like a good person but this doesn’t mean the criminal is a good person, they can perform bad acts and good acts at the same time. Bad action could be very serious. In this case, ever so criminal did perform good acts this doesn’t have truth. Of course it is also   important that people acts good action, but I think it is more significant to be a good person before act.

5. Do the pleasure and pain of non-human animals matter as much as the pleasure and pain of humans?

My answer for this question is absolutely yes. I think the pressure and pain of non-human animals matter as much as the humans. All creatures have to treat equally. For example, people use rats in the experiment. Many rats are sacrificed by medicine experiments, cosmetic experiments and many clinical demonstrations. This is an example of anthropocentrism. People use non-human animals for their good even if it is painful or crucial for them. It doesn’t mean they can’t feel the pain or feel emotions because they can’t tell or speak. Animals can use reason or feel emotion too. Non-human animal welfare should be equally considered as human welfare. I think speciesism is coming from people regard non-human animals not as valuable as human. Even in non-human animal speciesm, there is speciesism according to what their species. People keep dogs and cats while people hate ants or insects and kill them without any pity. But I think we should think about non-human animals and acknowledge they can feel pain and pleasure too.

6. Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less?

From my perspective, my life is more important than others for the following reasons. To begin with although there are many responsibilities that I have such as supporting my family, working duties and so on, I live for myself. Responsibilities that I have on others are all related to me, but that is not solely for me. I take care about others for sure, however, that doesn’t mean others’ lives are more important than mine. Secondly, no one lives out for my life. During the season of career fair, many students are seeking for their jobs. This is because they need to make money for their lives. Even if we donate money or do volunteer, this doesn’t mean we consider others’ lives more important. This is because I am part of my society and I have social responsibility. For this reasons I think my own life is more important than the lives of others.

Learning Activity 2: Jiye Choi

Biogas is the core idea which connects ecosystem and social system basically in my diagram. Biogas impacts both ecosystem and social system in many ways and also ecosystem and social are interacting each other. First, biogas is reducing smoke in the house that helped to reduce air pollution. Before biogas, people used wood burning stove which is harmful for family health and also to get a fuel, children helped to get a wood which resulted late for school and miss breakfast this is positive feedback loop. This will cause more problems. Development of technologies, it creates jobs and activates economy. Wood burning stove might have low resilience than biogas generation, because the resources are limited. On the other hand, the resource for biogas, manure is pretty much never running out this mean, biogas is more stable than wood burning. So basically, diagram shows that ecosystem and social system has close relationship.

Comparing my diagram to figure 1.5, the contents are similar to each other but the linkages are different. If we see the figure 1.5 all the components are linked each other in the system. But my diagram, some links are across the system and not linked all components in the system. the big difference is while they linked whole systems in figure 1.5, my diagram linked each individual components.  Both diagram separate ecosystem and social system it is the same part. By comparing two diagrams we can learn what other people think and other perspectives.


Jiye Choi – getting to know you


My name is Jiye Choi, and I’m a junior at Penn State, university park campus. I went high school reading, Pennsylvania. I am originally from South Korea. My parents live in Korea and I have one Chihuahua. I’m majoring in Energy engineering which I think it has close relationship with geography. The major reason why I’m taking this course is to fulfill my general education credit. Although there were several other options to choose, I selected this course because I was interested in geography. However, I didn’t have enough knowledge about geography before. I thought geography equals just reading a map. But geography was more than that. It is necessary to understanding where we live and to know the relationship between human and environment and more.

Today, overall world population is increasing gradually. In 2014, the world population exceeds 7 billion.  In global scale we can say it’s increasing however, if we observe closer to the local scale it is not same as global scale. For example, in Korea, experts predict drastic a decrease in population. It is because of low birthrate and elderly society.  And what makes me interesting is all of this never caused by itself. The low birthrate is also related to economic, political, educational issues. It’s very interesting that our world is all interact each other but there are differences all over the world.