Water Usage – Kelsey Shoepe

1-a: Back at home I live in a larger suburb of Austin, Texas. Because of this we have many water reserves around our area. The closest one is actually just down the road from my house. This reserve provides water for my neighborhood as well as two other surrounding neighborhoods. The water makes its way through a filtration system that is located at the reserve then flows through the pipes located at the bottom of the reserve which leads to all of the different houses that this reserve provides water for. We also have a few water towers in our area that provide water the same way. Going through a filtration process then heading to the different houses around my hometown. From what I have found the City of Round Rock pumps its water from two different sources, wells and surface water. After the water travels from the reserve/water towers we have access to water, with consistent pressure all throughout our house. The wastewater then goes to the Brushy Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant located roughly 5 or so miles from my house.

1-b: February 9, 2016

Shower – 20 minutes – 42 gallons

Brushing Teeth – 2 times – 0.35 gallons

Using the Bathroom – 5 times – 8 gallons

Washing Clothes – 2 loads – 40 gallons

Washing Hands – 7 times – 2 gallons

Dishwasher – 1 time – 10 gallons

Drinking – 26 oz./water bottle – 3 times – 1 gallon (throughout the day)

Total – 103.35 gallons

1-c: Using only 2 gallons of water for a day proved difficult, especially in the personal hygiene department. My main priority was to not use as much water when cooking. I realized that the only way I was going to be able to do that was by eating out. Having someone else provide my food, technically, means that I wasn’t the one using the water. This was one strategy I had. I also decided to take a shorter shower. This was the main problem I had. Only having 2 gallons would have meant that I couldn’t have had more then a one-minute shower. In this experiment I failed to live off of only two gallons of water for the day. Compared to my part 1 I used considerably less water since I cut out preparing my own food. I was also able to cut down the amount to time I used water for brushing my teeth, washing my hands, etc. Just by shutting off the water if you aren’t using it in between helped cut down on the amount of water I used throughout the day. Geography plays a huge part in water usage. If you live in a more secluded area it would make more sense that you wouldn’t have as much water usage as someone who lives in an extremely populated city. This is just one of the reasons why people everywhere are always trying to make new systems for water usage and trying to make drinking water available for more people.


Module 3 – Kelsey Shoepe

Starting with question six (“Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less?) I would have to say that my life is no better then anybody else’s. I’m honestly not sure how some people would think that their life is worth more then the person sitting net to them. I would say that my life is worth the same as everyone else’s. Yes, everybody’s experiences are different day-to-day but that doesn’t mean their life is worth more. Throughout your lifetime you will experience most, if not all in some cases, the same things as other people. They could be your neighbors or they could be somebody who lives across the world from you. I am one hundred percent taking the altruistic stance on this question. I have always been, and always will be somebody who cares more about the well being of others then making sure I am okay. Everybody has people who love them, family, friends… a support system. It might look different then my own but that doesn’t mean mine is any better then theirs and vice versa. There is also no way to actually measure how much a life is worth so people shouldn’t try to judge others based on how much more their life is worth versus someone else. I don’t think my answer would change in this situation. I could never bring myself to say that my life is better and worth more in any situation.

Going up the list to question three (“Does the process by which decisions are made matter more than the outcomes of these decisions?) it wouldn’t make sense, in my opinion, that the process of a decision would mean more then the outcome. The way I look at this, as long as you achieve the desired outcome of the situation it shouldn’t matter the steps it took you to get there. If the process takes ten steps or if it takes 2 steps, you the outcome is what you wanted or even better then you had anticipated then who cares how long it took to get there. The outcome of the decisions affects many more people then the process by which the decision was made. If the decision and the outcome of that decision doesn’t go as planned it would matter more then how you got to the unplanned decision. It would work the same way if the decision had a positive outcome. People might want to know how it happened so they could duplicate it but they would still care more about that outcome. As for this situation I think the only time my answer would change would be if the outcome of the decision was so great that we needed to know the steps it took to possibly change the world. Say there was a cure for cancer; we would need to know the steps to get there (even though the outcome would be life changing for many people) so we could continue to reproduce this cure.

For the last questions, question one (Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts?) I would say that it is more important to be a good person. Just because you perform good acts doesn’t mean that makes you a good person. You could put on a show for people you feel the need to impress but when you are around friends and family, even people you are close with, you could be a very different person. One who doesn’t care about being a good person but cares more about better their lives. Being a good person means that you not only care about the well being of yourself but you care about the well being of others. You are selfish and selfless. You care about the world around you, the community you live in and making sure you are contributing to the community in the most positive way you can. I don’t think my decision would change on this issue because just because you perform a good act doesn’t prove anything. Performing these acts could just be for your own personal gain and it could have nothing to do with ultimately being a good person.





Module 2 – Kelsey Shoepe

kms6527- Mod 2 Chart

Some of the core ideas behind my diagram are the cause and affects that the biogas tank had on the ecosystem and the social system of India. I tried to have this chart display the positive and the negative affects of this new technology. As an example you can see in the Social System part of the chart that the “Use of Methane Gas” impacts more then one of the social system criteria. By using this gas the people in India are able to reduce the amount of wood they are using which in turn improves the quality of life and creates educational opportunities for people. From my understanding I thought of this as a negative feedback loop. This is because under this circumstance the action that is being performed will eventually being familiar to people which hopefully create less steps to follow to use the biogas tank and even the steps to build new ones. This entire chart is also an example of a human-environment system. This is because (looking at the chart) we are treating the environment and what is happening to it as a system on its own and then you can look at the human system and the people using the biogas tank as a completely separate system.

Looking at Figure 1.5 there are similarities in our charts right away. You can see that Marten also broke up his chart into two main sections with the Social System and the Ecosystem. There are also slight similarities in what each of those charts consists of. However the differences would have to be that Marten used more broad terms and concepts when labeling his charts whereas I used specific terms and phrases from the video. There are similarities and differences because I made my chart based on the video where Marten did not. Through my model you are able to see the benefits that the biogas tank has on the villages that use them and how it is changing the lives of many in India.

Getting to Know You – Kelsey Shoepe

Hello everyone! My name is Kelsey Shoepe and I am a junior studying Rehabilitation and Human Services in the College of Education. I am currently living in an apartment just off of Atherton. I was born in Hazleton, PA but moved to Texas when I was around 5. I have lived there ever since. After graduation I plan on moving back to Texas to work with students, most likely elementary or middle school students. I would like to work with students who have disabilities, most likely as an inclusion resource into the classroom for students in the special education program. I am interested in the course because the only time I have ever taken a geography course was in high school. I would love to learn more about the general concepts. I guess an interesting fact about myself would be that I have two tattoos – which are both the handwritings of my grandparents.

After going through this first module the one thing that struck me as interesting was how when people make decisions it will ultimately have some type of effect on the Earth’s ecosystems. I would love to learn more about what decisions are being made that have had such a large impact on the Earth and what will happen if people continue to make these choices. I can already tell that this class will be very different from the one I took in high school because then all we had to do was memorize a map of different countries, cities, states, etc. This class (already) seems to be much more in depth about certain aspects of geography and the who, what, when, where, why and how of the topics we will be covering.