Biogas System- Madison Halbom

Biogas System.mbh

My diagram is focused very much on the sustainability of an environment and how closely coupled the environment and human interaction is with it. When looking at my diagram you can see that the Biogas System is able to function based on the usage of cow feces. Then it is shown that the system from there produces Compost, gas, and clean cooking which are all differently related to the environment and being produced by a human made system. Another concept that my diagram is based off of is the idea of feedback mechanisms. The biogas mechanism is only able to sustain itself through the production of cow feces and cows are only able to maintain life while the villagers have the means to feed and care for them so this creates a positive  feedback loop because by the more feces feces being produced the more money is made and the more cows are bought to produce.

My diagram compared to Marten’s  is similar in the ideas of what is produced and the feedback system ideas but differs in the fact that he was able to separate the social system and the ecosystem into to different areas but still had them connected in major ways. Our diagrams are different because in creating the diagrams I had a specific system that I was working with while he had general concepts. This made mine a little more messy to distinguish which system each box would belong to. What can be learned from the differences is that you are able to classify clearly black and white in some cases but in others a lot of times the ideas and categories tend to be intertwined with one another.

BioGas Diagram

I centered my diagram of Indian villages around the usage of BioGas.  BioGas is a huge step forward in a developing country like India.  First and foremost, gathering wood for fire is very primitive and time-consuming like the video suggested.  With an easier form of fuel such as BioGas, village members will have more time to focus on other things like education.  BioGas also improves the health of the village because not only will villagers be eating better cooking, they will also be healthier since villagers will avoid hazerdous smoke.  The process of BioGas is sustainable and leads to a feedback loop.  Since trees aren’t cut down for firewood, the trees can go through the process of photosynthesis, and therefore purify the air.  In this cycle, choosing a eco-friendly method of fuel allows for the system to replenish itself.

When comparing my diagram to the diagram made by Gerry Marten, there are several similarities and differences.  For instance, both Marten’s diagram and my diagram showed how important the environment was to the development of a community.  In addition, we both also showed how a community can have a positive impact on the environment by doing things like preventing deforestation.  Our two diagrams differ in ways like how Marten’s focused on the different ways fuel was gathered  He made good points about how a family’s size affects growth.  For instance, a family of 5 will have an easier time collecting wood when compared to a family of 3.  Because of this, BioGas won’t have as big of an impact on a person’s leisure if they already aren’t spending significant time collecting firewood.

Module 2 Post


biogas_mcb5605The diagram I have made about the BioGas’s affects on social and ecosystem in Bangalore, India can most similarly be described as a feedback loop. The core idea behind my web diagram is how BioGas is good for India’s social and eco system. We see this because it keeps going back to the job and education growth and how those are positively affected if the BioGas method continues to be used. This growth causes more and more people to be educated and get jobs, like in the compost, farm, masonry or even BioGas business. This system is a feedback loop since the more families who have a BioGas system have kids who can focus on school and young women who work on their own compost business. These businesses can help support the children’s’ education who can then put their education to good use to support farm and business growth, therefore confirming that it is a feedback loop.

Each of the diagrams are very similar in types of comparisons. For example, how the social system goes in order of the people in the community to the business in the community. These are then compared to the ecosystem subjects, which are also mostly farms and trees and how those are affected by the social aspects of the web. There are then arrows and lines of how all of these are connected. For example, how bio generators are better for human populations and life sustainability and growth. They are different in exact subject matter and what seemed to be important for me and who ever created the Gerald Marten Web.

Biogas in India

The main purpose for my figure was my attempt visually represent the positive effects that the biogas generator has had on the Indian population as well as its environment and ecosystem.  Prior to the installation of a Biogas system the people and environment were wasting a lot of time trying collect materials such as fire wood.  This was also affecting the environment, as well as the education for the children.  Another effect that happened was that the Biogas system helped reduce the pollution to the air.  This directly improves the health of everyone in India.  Another improvement in this system was that the children no longer have to go “scavenge” for fire wood, thus allowing them to finally attend school on time.  This system also produces both methane gas, as well as compost.  This opens a door for India to start selling “fertilizers” and fuel.

I believe that my diagram is a little bit similar to figure 1.5 in the Gerry Marten reading.  The diagrams were both broken up into two systems, social and eco.  However the major difference is the level of detail between the two.  My diagram contains the bare minimal information that is pointing to the positive effects.  Gerry’s diagram delves into how each and every effect is connected.  There are similarities because both of us looked at the positive effect of the biogas generators.  There are differences because I did not look into the “fine” details of every effect.  What can be learned is that there is farm more details that are missed if the effects aren’t thoroughly thought about.


Annaliese Long – Module 2


The core idea that I tried to incorporate into my diagram is the idea of sustainability. This is the main idea in my system diagram because with all of the factors that result from the use of the biogas plant, hopefully, the impacts on both humans and the environment are not as severe as before. With less severe impacts on each other, the environment becomes more sustainable for humans. The biogas plant has so many advantages with just a better standard of living for humans. When it is burned in the kitchen, it results in a cleaner kitchen and safer cooking. Also, before children and their mothers would have to go out looking for wood, and this would negatively interfere with the children’s lives. It would also be difficult to find good wood sometimes. Not only will the biogas plant be better for humans, but also the environment. The waste that it creates is safe and even beneficial to the environment, so this is another advantage that I included on my diagram. The two diagrams are the same in the way that they both include social and environmental aspects. The two diagrams are different in the way that his diagram includes way more concepts and arrows than mine does. There are similarities and differences because each person interprets information differently and people all have their own perspective on ideas. What can be learned is that system diagrams can be really detailed like the one in the reading, or they can be very simple like mine.

Module 2-Jason Brown

Untitled document (3)

My diagram shows what the original problem was and how it was solved to help the community. It started off with the stoves. The people were worried about the negative impacts that the smoke had on their health and how damaging it was to the environment. Trees had to be taken down for firewood and the kids were missing school to help their mom cook so they could eat. Then, a positive feedback loop was created with the introduction of the biogas system. People started to recycle cow dung which polluted the village and turned it into usable methane gas. This not only stopped the killing of trees, but it lead to no more smoke. Also, the leftover mixture could then be used to fertilize the fields and sold to other local villagers for profit. Now because of this, there will be more waste in the future. Profit will rise. There will be more jobs to keep this running. The loop will keep going and the village’s health will greatly improve.


The diagram that the book showed had very specific terms just like mine did. I tried to put mine into social and ecosystem like the book and it kind of worked. We both connected everything together and showed how one box lead to another.The main difference is mine not having as much info as the books. I could have connected more items. These similarities and differences exist because we both looked at this system in different ways. We saw how different activities connected to each other. We can see how the bigger issues break off into smaller subtopics by looking at these diagrams and see the true drivers of the system.

M2 Biogas Diagram

The core ideas behind my biogas diagram focused on the components affected by the introduction of biogas systems as alternative fuel for the rural community in Bangalore. The diagram shows the chain effects between the ecosystem and social system.The introduction of biogas system begins with Vidya’s story of his childhood, which was filled with memories of his mother using firewood for cooking and its effects. The hazards of smoke inhalation and the challenges of collecting of firewood were some of his mother’s hardship. For these reasons, Vidya began this endeavour of improving life for the rural areas by introducing biogas generators. The biogas technologies has a great impact to the population in the rural areas plus promotes several sustainable factors for the community. As indicated in my diagram the biogas provides clean sustainable fuel as well as; promoting education, health benefits, income from sale of the compost, trees are saved, coffee farmers have an increase and better quality yield from the compost also clean and safer kitchens. My diagram and the figure 1.5 in Marten’s reading are quite similar due to the fact that both diagram show the ecosystem and social system relationship as well as feedback between the components. My diagram differs because the biogas in my scenario is generated from the animal waste only also Marten’s diagram shows a direct impact of biogas system to the birth rate. There are similarities and differences due to the background narrative for the diagrams. Therefore basic underlying components will be similar and specific effects vary from community to community.biogas_mja5560

One of the core ideas in my diagram is that with the advancement of biogas the health of this specific indian community was vastly helped.  I also tried to show how the wealth of the community is almost solely based off of the compost or in other words, part of the ecosystem.  This community started their journey for a stove fuel by using firewood which then started to cause problems with being exposed to dirty air.  This could be an example of a positive feedback loop because every time they burned firewood the dirtier the air that they lived in became.  This community then showed its resilience in that it searched for a new way to better their air and livelihood as a community by using biogas to power their stoves.  The organization of my diagram is actually very similar to figure 1.5.  I also decided to split up my diagram into two separate sides instead of making one large map.  they are different in that I happen to have an equal amount of boxes on both sides of my diagram where as in figure 1.5 there were much more topics on the social systems side.  I think that in the future I could perhaps focus more on the connections between the ecosystem and social system rather than focusing on matching one ecosystem topic per social system topic.

Sarah Gross- Module 2


In my diagram, the object has an impact on the object that the arrow is pointing towards. For example, the fertilizer made by the biogas impacted women by providing job opportunities and doubling their income. It also impacted the economy because it was being sold. The landscape of this town included both the social system and the ecosystem of the town. The social system side of my system diagram includes women and children, health, time, technology, job opportunities, and the economy. The ecosystem includes compost (fertilizer), cow dung which powered the biogas, gas produced from the biogas, and new crops, like coffee plants. All of these social systems and ecosystems were inseparably part of the landscape. This also explains the human ecology of this town. For example, women and children were impacted highly by the income of the fertilizer produced by the biogas. The video took place in the technology capital of India, where new job opportunities pulled people from rural areas.

My system diagram is similar to the system diagram in the Marten reading because of the major technology component that the social system had. Without the new technology and the invention of the biogas, women in India would have to keep using firewood, causing health problems and an increase in time use. Compared to the Marten diagram, my social system did not show a huge impact on the population in India. The Marten diagram also connects the human activities and the ecosystem services. This includes the energy, material, and information. There was a need for the biogas mainly for convenience, not because it was hurting the population.  There are similarities and differences because of what is being compared. My diagram is from biogas in India, but the location, beliefs, objects, and more can determine what is in the diagram and how they are compared. By comparing the two diagrams, we can see what truly impacts the social systems and the ecosystems. My location does not have a lot of the objects that the Marten diagram does. By comparing them, I learn about the many ways they impact each other.

Hannah Levine

Hannah Levine

Hannah Levine

The basis behind my diagram is the idea of “systems perspective” and “system diagrams,” because no matter what you are dealing with, everything in the human or social system affects everything in the ecosystem, and everything in the ecosystem affects everything in the social system.  If you look at these systems as having both direct and trickle-down effects, you will find that small changes lead to big ripple effects.  As I have found in the module, biogas is one factor that can have a positive effect on both the environmental or ecosystem spheres, as well as the social system.  Using biogas led to cleaner air and byproducts, leading to healthier populations of humans, and an increase in the job opportunities for women especially.

Gerry Marten’s diagram differs because it displays much more broad concepts about the ecosystem and social system such as “knowledge,” “population,” and “animals.”  While this is somewhat similar to my diagram in that there are core facets that may be affected no matter what, it is different because it does not identify specific relationships that were presented in the biogas case.  One thing that Marten’s diagram does do, however, is represent the two systems as a cyclical process.  In retrospect I should have done this as well.

Biogas in India

First, I’d like to apologize the formatting of my image I have for my diagram. I am using my ipad and the google docs appwas notcooperating with me, and I just couldn’t get it to save as a jpeg, so I had to do te next best thing.

My diagram illustrates all of the causes from a wood burning stove to a biogas stove and how they affect both the social system and the ecosystem. If you follow the directions of the arrows on my diagram, you can see how one thing leads to another. Although I got all of my information from the five mnute video about biogas in India, I got the concept from figure 2.2- Human Environment System Diagram. I felt that this video was a great example of how both humans and the environment impact one another. Another part of this module that came to mind while watching the video and working on my digram was figure 2.4- Parents and Children System digram. This video shows in India, even though over populated, continue to keep re populating because in most rural areas the children do a lot of the work for the family.

Marten’s diagram and mine are both very similar as they are different I believe. At first glance, I think the similarities stand out due to the clear distinction between the Social System and the Ecosystem on both of our digrams. Once taking a closer observation of the two, it is clear that Marten’s is  bit more complex where everything sort of intertwines one another. Where mine on the otherhand, is a bit more simple. It shows how one thing leads to another. The information portrayed on the two are different due to the difference of topics. Taking one look at my diagram, one might think it is completely different from that of Marten’s, but I feel differently. Following the arrows, you will see that the social systems provides services to the ecosystem and vice versa.


Biogas System Diagram – Michael Celoni

The core idea behind my diagram is sustainability and that everything in the diagram affects or is affected by something else. It is a system diagram showing how the social system affects the ecosystem and vice versa. Assuming the diagram is accurate and successful, the biogas system will lead to population growth which will then lead to carrying capacity.

My diagram is fairly similar to Gerry Marten’s diagram of the same concept. We both have columns for ecosystem and social system with arrows going across connecting them. Marten separated biogas into biogas technology and biogas generators where I just have biogas generator in the middle of the diagram. We also do not have the same exact items for either system in our diagrams. There are similarities and differences because we both have the key concepts down of what goes on in the village and what the biogas generator is like, but we interpret how they are connected in different ways. From comparing two diagrams, we can learn how each author of the diagram thinks. We can also see what was included in one diagram but not the other and how they were all the different topics in each of them are connected.


Biogas in India


This image above is a system diagram for biogas in India, with system diagram, we can better understand the relationship between system’s components. In the diagram, we can see that how biogas affects ecosystem and social system, biogas generator uses locally accessible cow dung to produce clean methane gas, and the “leftover” slurry can be used as organic compost, which should be seen as a sustainable development since it doesn’t compromise the resources of the future generations. When comparing my diagram to the one in “What is Human Ecology?”, the same part would be that we both use arrows to show the effects, the different part would be that I use the procedure of producing biogas as a “tree trunk” and present the effects in two categories, but in the reading the author list the major topics under the two categories and find the relationships between the topics. I think the reason why we have differences and similarities is that we both know arrow can help us clear our thoughts and trace the chain of effects, but we have different ways to arrange the information. By comparing the diagrams, I think I would focus more on the correlation between different effects rather than just listing them under different categories, and I would also consider sing line arrows since it makes the diagram cleaner.

Biogas Generator in India

The main purpose for my diagram and what I was attempting to portray and put an emphasis on the effects (mostly positive) that the biogas generator has had on the Indian population as well as its environment and ecosystem. India is a very large country with a population that is either very wealthy or very impoverished. The video focused on issues that affected poor family households before biogas. These issues include but are not limited to the over-use of firewood to cook, which would produce excessive smoke and cause health disparities for individuals; child labor; children not being able to go to school and get an education because they spend their days helping their mother’s collect firewood; deforestation and pollution; the excessive use of landfills. With the introduction of biogas, a lot of these issues could be resolved or at least reduced. Indian families have healthier and more sustainable livelihoods, with the production of compost and the economic improvement in the country, more job opportunities have become available especially for women. There is less child labor and children are able to acquire more of an education.

My diagram and Gerry Marten’s diagram have a couple of similarities, for example, both of our diagrams portray the effect that biogas has on the social system and the ecosystem of India. Both of our diagrams also briefly focus on labor and deforestation (how the amount of firewood and cooking fuel lead to this). This is because these are two very important topics that come into play when talking about the need for biogas generators in the population. Unlike my diagram, Gerry Marten’s diagram touches upon the effect that biogas generators would have on farm fields. Gerry Marten’s diagram also seems much more general than mine as he focuses on general topics such as the human population, biogas technology, animals and plants etc. and I get more into details without looking at the bigger picture in my diagram. The reason for those specific differences could be due to the fact that I based my acquired knowledge and diagram on a very short 5-minute video that listed details rather than general outcomes. Gerry Marten probably has more background knowledge and context about biogas generators in India. Comparing my diagram to Gerry Marten’s diagram helped me realize and understand that the introduction and use of biogas generators also affects farm fields, animals and plants. That’s something that I briefly overlooked as I was mostly focused on the human population. I also found it interesting how he mentioned that mostly the wealthy in India would benefit from the social and ecological advantages that biogas generators bring, simply because that is what I mostly believed myself. I believe it is something that has the ability to further expand the gap between the rich and the poor in India.Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 10.53.15 PM

Module 2: Learning Activity – Chris Miller

In my diagram I tried to show what the people were doing in their lives and the impact this was having on the environment.  Prior to the installation of a Biogas system the people and environment were not in cohesion.  People took what they needed from the environment and their lives were hard.  They couldn’t worry about the environment because they were focused on surviving.  This wasn’t good for the local population or the ecosystem.  The situation with a Biogas system looks like a positive feedback loop.  The loop started when people began composting, which turned their waste into something beneficial.  This improved crop yields and these extra crops will create more waste than before.  The waste is also providing jobs to locals and the farmers should have more income from their increased crop yields.  With more money in the local economy consumption should rise, thereby creating more waste in the future and continuing the loop.

My diagram is similar to 1.5 in that we have both broken it into two main categories (Social System and Ecosystem).  Our diagrams also both show the interconnectedness between the social system and ecosystem.  There are many differences most notably that my diagram focuses on a broader view.  The books diagram is a little more specific and focuses on the small problems and positives within the system.  I think that there are similarities and differences because we are both trying to illustrate an interconnected system but took slightly different approaches.  By looking at both diagrams you can see both the large issues and the small drivers of those issues.


Biogas System Hollabaugh


This diagram demonstrates the social and ecosystem effects that the introduction of biogas induces. The arrows indicate how one component interacts with another. For example, biogas produces compost, which can be sold for money, and used for farming. The diagram shows three positive feedback loops (green) and one negative feedback loop (red). One example of a positive feedback loop is that biogas produces compost, which is used on farms, which in turn make more biogas. The negative feedback loop is produced when biogas is introduced. normaly cooking requires wood burning, which requires wood collecting. When biogas is introduced this need for wood burning decreases, which means the need for wood collecting also decreases. Both the wood collecting and burning had adverse affects on schoolwork, time, and health, so the negative feedback loop has a positive effect on the system. When comparing this diagram to figure 1.5 in the Marten reading, it can be noted that there are many differences. This diagram breaks down the social aspects into health, money, time, cooking, and school work, while figure 1.5 uses a broader range of the human population. Figure 1.5 does not clearly show the social benefits such as improvement to health like this figure does, which is something that can be learned by examining both figures. They do use very similar concepts however, which is what makes them similar.

Ben Ceci – Biogas Concept Map



My diagram illustrates the factors involved in the social system and the ecosystem. After watching that video, I was intrigued on the process of creating the biogas and thought that it was very interesting. On the social end of it, I feel as though the main focus should be on health issues and that income should be the least important because if the process is not safe, it does not make sense to continue this process. As far as the ecosystem goes, the smoke was my biggest concern because it can directly affect the health of those involved, especially the women and children. What I found least important was that they were using up the firewood and natural resources.

When comparing my diagram to Marten’s diagram in “What is Human Ecology?”, one thing that immediately stands out is that we both use the same social system and ecosystem categories. While our categories are the same, our subcategories are not. Marten’s diagram focuses on broader ranges of categories while mine are more specific to the biogas process. One thing that I learned from comparing the two diagrams is that even though Marten’s diagram is focusing in on a broader topic, and mine is more specific to the biogas process, they follow the same format. This shows that when dealing with the same categories, you can expect to have similar results, no matter how specific you get.

Activity 2

The core idea behind my diagram is that showing how to make full use of waste and get benefit from them. Biogas exactly illustrates the interaction relationship between human activities and the environment. Before people introduce biogas, they use wood as fuel, and that actually cause a series negative influence on both human and environment. By using biogas technology, cow dung, food, and other organic matter breakdown and produce a mixture of gases that can be used as fuel. Moreover, this can be considered as a Positive Feedback loop. Waste produce gas and fertilizer, and gain more farmer and animal product, then more waste will use for biogas production. Unlike the dam totally relies on the nature, biogas only takes advantage of nature. In other words, the first condition is uncontrollable, and the second condition can be controlled. Those are depended on sustainability. The dam influenced nature system dramatically, but the biogas didn’t.Comparing to the Figure 1.5, the same thing is that both of the diagram shows the relationship between biogas, society and ecosystem. However, the different thing is the form of diagram. Figure 1.5 list social system’s benefits on the left and ecosystem’s benefit on the right.  However, my diagram shows biogas as the center of two systems, and connect to the core I list what will happen. According to these two examples, we can learn that the form of the diagram depends on  your concerns.


Learning Activity 2- Haley Overton


After watching the video about the biogas in India I knew that it directly impacted two different systems, social and eco. Through each of these systems other things were then affected. I noticed that through the social system the people in India would be directly impacted by the biogas. For example, there would be better and safer homes which would lead to a lot of health improvements, especially because of the smoke reduction they talked about in the video. The social system would also be positively impacted through the businesses. More and more business opportunities would be created leading to a large decrease in poverty in India. A decrease in poverty affects so many different levels within a social system. Another thing that would be changing within the social system would be the decrease in child labor. With this going down significantly, more children would be able to attend school and get a better education. Then I started thinking about how the biogas would be affecting the ecosystem. This was pretty obvious since it is much better for the environment. There would be much less deforestation which would allow for more available firewood which could be used a lot of different ways. Overall there would be a large decrease in pollution which is not only better for the environment but also the health of the people because there would be a lot less disease. Biogas would also lead to cleaner  fertilizer which means there would be cleaner food and water. Clean food and water also means an improvement in health. Essentially, everything the biogas would be doing, whether within the social or eco systems, there would be significant positive changes for the people and the environment.

I think that my diagram is pretty similar to Gerald Marten’s in Figure 1.5. Both diagrams show how the biogas would be impacting the social and ecosystems. Both of our diagrams emphasized on the fact that it would benefit the environment and the people. However, in Marten’s diagram he focused a lot on how everything was connected within each system. When I was making mine I didn’t think so much about how each thing in each system also directly affected each other. I think that by looking at both diagrams do a good job of showing who/what is going to be affected and they both emphasize how good the biogas would be for India.

Systems Diagram: Jacqueline Jimenez

Biogas_diagram JBJ5158


My diagram shows the connections between the social systems and ecosystems in India and how they are positively as well as negatively impacted by each other. The transition from wood burning stoves to methane stoves had huge impacts on both systems. Wood burning stoves cause health problems as well as negative impacts on the education of children, while methane stoves are healthier and introduce more job opportunities for women that can now be the provider for their families instead of relying on their husbands or fathers. The diagram represents a feedback loop. It clearly shows the connections between how humanity impacts the environment which then affects how the environment impacts humanity. Both negative and positive feedback loops were shown. Stability in agriculture is extremely important and was positively impacted by biogas production. By having the excess compost be used on the farms, the crops were better which caused the people to be able to live better lives. The soil became more stable and able to continue to grow crops for the people.

Just at first glance, my diagram is broken up into two main sections, social systems and ecosystems just as Gerry Marten did in his diagram. Both of our diagrams reference the need for child labor to be able to gather the necessary fuel. Marten’s diagram included the impacts on farms and plants while mine focuses more on the people and the benefits they receive from no longer using wood burning stoves. By comparing these two diagrams, we can learn that there are more connections between the social systems and the ecosystem than we can see at first look.

Biogas Diagram: Alex Deebel

When considering the topics from module two, I think about the types of feedback loops and how they are incorporated in my diagram. Examples of positive feedback loops occur when more money leads to more education, which leads to more technology. These are both good things for any social system. Also, more cows produce to more dung, which can be combined with water to make more slurry. The slurry makes more methane gas for cooking, and compost, which can be sold for money. Examples of negative feedback loops occur when the methane gas is used for cooking, which reduces smoke and infection in humans and the environment.


Making methane gas and using it for fuel is much more sustainable than cutting down trees, and wasting time gathering wood. Dung from livestock will always be available, so there will always be a source of energy to cook with. This is very important, especially in developing nations and nations with large populations.


There are several similarities between my diagram and the Marten diagram from the reading. They include population, knowledge/education, and technology on the social systems side, and plants, animals, and water on the ecosystem side. Differences include more detailed breakdowns of what each of those similarities produce. These differences occur because my diagram is about a specific human invention, whereas Marten’s is about the basic interaction. We can learn that each of the interactions listed in Marten’s diagram have many additional parts that make the relationships much more complicated.


Steven DeAngelis Module 2

The core idea of my Biogas diagram is that all of the key components are connected.  The human ecosystem and the natural ecosystem work together to create a clean energy source for rural villages in India.

My diagram is similar to Figure 1.5 in the Marten reading because they both deal with the issue of scarcity of resources and how the biogas plant provides an ever renewable resource to a community in need.  Similarities include The population decline in rural areas, compost being used as fertilizer for crops, animal dung being used as fuel in the biogas plant and many others.  A difference between my diagram and the one in the reading is the one in the reading lacks the impact that selling fertilizer to farmers has on the women that sell the fertilizer.  The reason for these similarities and differences is because the reading is dealing with a general situation where as my diagram is dealing with a specific case.

By comparing the two diagrams we can learn that any village that requires the use of a biogas plant will have the same basic structure, but in each individual case the biogas plant may have different effects on the components of the village itself, such as the people or the crops.



Joshua Wilkins Biogas diagram and analysis

The main point of this diagram is the sustaining of a community and environment. The biogas plant not only adds positive elements into the community, but also removes some harms from the community and the environment. It adds both economic and environmental stability into the community by providing buying power to poor families through the production of compost for sale and the lessening of deforestation and influx of compost improve the environment around the community.
My diagram and the diagram produced by Gery Marten are similar in they both contain human and environmental components. Both of our diagrams, also, take into account humanity’s effect on the environment. The difference between our two diagrams is that Marten separates the social and environmental systems, while my diagram they are more mixed together. His diagram takes into account the interactions inside those two systems, more than the interactions between the two systems. The interactions he has between the two are generalized to: energy, materials, and information, and are specified as either human activities or ecosystem services. These differences tell us that two kinds of system diagrams can exist. Information about the interaction between the social and environmental systems can be seen in diagrams like mine, while interactions in those two systems can be shown in diagrams like Marten’s. Each are important when looking at how different components in a community are affecting one another to possibly understand exactly what is happening and fixing any problems in the system.


Biogas Diagram

The core idea behind my diagram is to show the improvements on health and wellness brought about by the money generated from biogas. My diagram emphasizes the importance of the financial stability created by the biogas.As the biogas continue to be produced they will help to provide a more stable source of income. The video talks about the hardships faced by the children and women of India because of the lack of health and education. Women who sell the compost produced from the process were able to double their income. Farmers who used to compost on their crops were able to produce higher yields which results in a larger profit. My graph focuses on the how the money generated from the use of biogas improves the lives of many people. Focusing on the money generated is what makes my graph different from the graph presented in diagram 1.5. My diagram is similar to the diagram shown in figure 1.5 in that they both show how children are influenced by the biogas. I think there are similarities and differences in the two diagrams because there are many different perspectives to be taken with the presented situation.Comparing the two graphs provides the opportunity to see the benefits of biogas from different perspectivesbiogas_ars5930.jpg

Blog Post 2: Pavelko-Fox

Humans have impacted the natural environment more than any other animal this planet has ever known. In the diagram I have created there is a distinct relationship between society (India) and the environment. When you look at this from a systems perspective, you are able to see how both systems (humanity and environment) affect each other positively and negatively. As you can see there seems to be a direct correlation between population growth and decline in both health and sustainability. People need food and in order for more people to eat, more fuel needs to be consumed (leading to deforestation in this example). Geography in this case is needed to answer the question, “what happens when the carrying capacity has been reached/exceeded and people no longer have the resources to sustain the overgrown population?”. This is when we see innovation occur, like the bio-gas tanks used to capture methane as a viable source of fuel. There are many parallels in fact between my diagram and the one given to us by Gerry Marten. Both Marten and I use webbing to show how different things interact and effect each other. We also incorporated things like technology, population, plants, and human built structures in our examples. However Marten’s illustration is more of a template while my graph is a specific example of a problem in India. I think what we can take from these two examples are that these diagrams can be used to show the cause and effect of any change in an ecological system no matter how small.Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 11.20.35 PM

Module 2: Coupled Human Environment Systems


The main idea of my diagram is to show the relationship between the social aspects and ecosystem in India and the impact of the biogas generator. The central idea of my diagram focused on how the Biogas Generator decreased health problems and created compost and cooking fuel. Also, the idea of Fertilizer being created by compost lead to working women which, resulted in business which increased income for the people of India. By looking at the system I saw both positive and negative feedback loops. A positive feedback loop was that the biogas generators produced fertilizer which the women can sell, which created an increase in money. An example of a negative feedback loop was that when biogas was put in place, it created a negative feedback for the need of wood.

My diagram is similar to Marten’s reading “What is Human Ecology?” because both of our diagrams address how the social system and the ecosystem are constantly effecting each other. Our diagrams are also different because Marten’s diagram shows the much smaller details within the system while also showing the bigger picture. By comparing our diagrams, people are allowed to interpret the information differently, while still getting the main idea. Lastly, by understanding both diagrams, individuals are able to understand all the elements and how they effect one another.

Shaud BioGas


The core ideas behind my diagram of the biogas generators in India are chain reactions and connectivity, along with technologic jobs and wealth. First the diagram illustrates feedback mechanisms, how society and ecosystem are interrelated. When the population stops burning wood not only is the air cleaner but the farms have better irrigation which in turn improves the soil. Improved soil leads to more food and more for the population. The two are totally interconnected. The second core idea, that technology and wealth influence the environment are clear. New technology not only generates more wealth through better jobs and more production, it also will clean the air. However, in time the positive effect of decreasing deforestation may be offset by the greenhouse gasses produced by the generators and their power. It is notoriously hard to predict technology, as shown in this relationship.
My diagram is similar to the Marten reading because population is clearly tied with everything from tech to education. It is different in that specific effects on society clearly impact the environment directly, instead of generally traveling from human to environment and back. They are similar because there are many universal truths in the interconnectedness of societal effects, environmental effects, and the two. The differences arise from looking at a specific case of biogas in which clear outcomes are more evident. Comparisons between the two show a more complex model, not just two sides interacting directly OR two sides interacting within themselves then directly but rather a combination of both models.




The core ideas behind this diagram are the introduction of are a more balanced and social ecosystem. This leads to a higher standard of living by of the use of the new Biogas generation systems in India. It is a continuous source of fuel for the people and is clean burning and smokeless; a healthier environment.The farming productivity byproducts are a most efficient way of manufacturing the fuel product. Additionally The end product after the gas is harvested will be profitable as a source of fertilizers for local farmers growing crops. It is a fully sustainable and organic manufacturing process as depicted in the diagrams.


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.


Peter Han Systems Diagram

A systems diagram allows people to see the affects that many things have on the ecosystem as well as the social system. In my diagram I showed how the biogas generator improves overall health of the social system by using cow dung as its main source of generating energy instead of firewood. This allows for more stability throughout the ecosystem, as cow manure is easily accessible to this community. By not using firewood, the biogas generator reduces the amount of time children spend collecting firewood and allows them to focus on school and other activities. The biogas generator also reduces the amount of smoke that has had harmful affects. It is also more eco-friendly as it decreases pollution as well as deforestation. The main focus of my diagram was to show that there is a direct relation between the ecosystem and the social system and that a biogas generator affects both of these. Gerry Marten’s diagram shows how the need for a biogas generator came about as well as what is needed for it to be used. My diagram also showed the problems that led to the need for this new type of energy. My diagram showed more of the environmental effect from burning wood as well as the effects that the smoke and the gathering of wood had on the children. From the combination of both diagrams we can see that there can be a greater impact than one might expect from the introduction of this new generator. Also, we can see from the drawing of diagrams that there is a cycle and a way that all of the actions are related.

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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.

Biogas Diagram — Julian Pamplin M02

The diagram I’ve created to illustrate the various systems at work in the video focus on the benefits of the biogas generator on the surrounding ecosystem and social system. The main influences on the social system include benefits of opportunities for women and children specifically, as well as a positive impact on farmers in the rural regions around Bangalore, India. Key to this diagram is how technology enables the installation and use of the biogas generators and how the products of that system feeds back into the technology in the form of children able to study and assume roles in the burgeoning technology sector in the city. Other factors that influence the balance of the two systems are the opportunities for farmers and women to earn a living. Use of the biogas generator enables families to amass compost to be sold to local farmers. The farmers pay the women (thus helping the families financially) and are able to produce more crops of higher quality to be sold. Trees are considered in this diagram though their direct impact is not mentioned in the film. By reducing the need to use wood from trees for burning, the surrounding ecosystem in benefitted by a more diverse array of plant life. More trees not only means better soil for farmers, it means better conditions for consistently obtaining potable drinking water for everyone in the area.

The diagram I’ve constructed and the diagram used in the reading are similar in that they both chart the benefits and interdependence of the various parts of the ecosystem and social system. My diagram does not include the issue of a greater population because the point was not included in the film. I am not aware as to whether the population in the specific region referenced in the movie is significantly influenced by the need to gather wood for burning.

I feel it is important to address in the diagram the impact of the opportunities afforded the children in the video. Without the worries of health and missing school and time for school work to gather wood for fuel, the family has a greater chance of improving their lives by taking advantage of vocational opportunities that education makes possible. Biogas_diagram.jpp21

Module 2 – Ryan Daley


In my diagram I’m showing the connection between the family in the village and the biogas generators. As seen in the video children often collect sticks along withe their mothers in order to have fuel for the home and for cooking. In addition to the trees and shrubs acting as fuel the farm now becomes a fuel source not only for the family but also for the new biogas generator that is being used. Once the biogas generator is being used then all of the ecosystem becomes fuel for the human population of the village. And with this new kind of energy production the women have the opportunity to create a fertilizer business out of the waste the generators produce. Now instead of just giving the village a way to cook with no smoke, the biogas generators give the family a chance to be fully self sufficient and makes their lifestyle sustainable for years to come. When comparing my diagram to figure 1.5 in the Marten reading I see some similarities and also some differences. In both diagrams we chose children and human population as social systems and all of the ecosystems i picked were also in the Marten reading. Where our diagrams differ is my choice to put ‘women’ in my diagram. I feel as though the women in these villages are a very important social system that needs to be taken into account. We have similarities because i thin k there is no way around certain systems such as the biogas generators and human populations. We have differences because the diagram is subject to the eyes of the creator, some systems might be perceived as more important than others by certain people. I think, from the comparison of my diagram to the one in figure 1.5 of the Marten reading, we can lean more about the women’s role in the villages and also their roles  in making the villages more sustainable and self sufficient.

Justin Tenerowicz – Biogas Diagram System


The purpose of this diagram was to demonstrate the coupled Human-Environment system in India that was discussed in the video using biogas for fuel. In order to understand this, a systems perspective is being utilized, having the ecosystem and the social system as two different entities that are able to interact with each other. In my diagram, I decided to started with Cow and animal wastes as this is where the biogas technology starts. From here I moved toward the social systems and how the biogas generators are able to snowball into almost every social aspect in the communities.The environment is allowed to thrive as less trees are used as well as cleaner air since methane burns more efficiently.

Comparing my diagram to Figure 1.5 in “What is Human Ecology?”, there are some similarities. One thing that was both included was that animal dung was the main source of fuel for the biogas generators, and that some of the byproducts could be used for farming as fertilizer. Some differences in my diagram is that I did not include trees and shrubs on hills, as well as cutting wood. I opted to focus on the biogas technology and its benefits rather than the fuel used from wood. There are similiarties and differences because both cover the new technology and its overall effect in different parts of the community. It can be learned that this new technology in India may not always be avialable adn that deforestation still occurs because of this.

Module 2 – Gilberto Aponte-Prats

The diagram here shows some of the interconnectedness that the biogas generator created within the societal system and the ecosystem. It can influence it in quite a lot of different varied ways. It really has become an essential aspect to many rural Indian communities, as it has helped their economy, health, and ecosystem thrive in conjunction. The use of a fast producing natural resource using cows which are very readily available. This has provided them a means to avoid cooking with wood, giving citizens better health and the ecosystem a cleaner air and less deforestation. Through compost it has created jobs and also helped the crops flourish much more than before.

Comparing this to the Figure 1.5 it is the same in that it generally divides into two categories of things affected and how one can have an influence over the other. I find it to be different in that mine has several “bridges” in how the technology has developed certain things that are both helpful for the society and the ecosystem. I feel that it is hard to really separate it having similarities, considering they both cover roughly the same topics, now I think the differences are present to show how several parts of it string from common sources, while the figure in the reading was fairly direct.

Rachel Denny M02 Biogas Diagram

The core idea behind my diagram is to show how the installation of the Biogas system creates a more sustainable lifestyle for those who use it. You will notice that all of the products in my chart stem from the installation of Biogas. The actual structure of the machine and how it works helps to create a more sustainable lifestyle and the fact that there is a decrease in the need for firewood also helps create a sustainable lifestyle. Compared to the diagram in the Marten reading, mine is different in the fact that I don’t really separate it into social and ecosystem components. It is the same in the fact that the ideas are the same. Human activities impact the ecosystem in many ways and the ecosystem affects the social system. You can see this in the diagram as natural things, such as cow dung, have helped humans create and maintain businesses. There are similarities because the overall concept of the impact of the social system on the ecosystem, and vice versa, is the same between each diagram. There are differences because there is a lot of information in the video and many things you can focus on. Fig 1.5 focuses more the details of really connecting things to each other, whereas I focus more on the big picture, how Biogas creates a more sustainable lifestyle. In connection the the Module, the Biogas system is one step in the right direction of creating a more stable system in India. I’m hoping that this new technology will aid in restoring the wood that they have been using all this time.rxd5160

Biogas Fuel Technology


In the diagram I have created, I have included the villages social system elements and they ecosystem elements. From the video I decided that child labor, education, health issues, and women run businesses were all elements which are shown on the left-hand side and cooking gas, deforestation, and smoke were all elements that I thought were in their ecosystem. The first main idea from my diagram is that child labor effected deforestation and the more that children worked and got fire wood then their would be more deforestation which also led these same children to be less educated by missing school to do their work and destroy the forest. Another big idea is that women were able to run a business because of the cooking gas however the cooking gas is a partial problem causing health issues. Directly these health issues come from the smoke that the cooking gas ends up relieving.

In comparison to Figure 1.5 from the Marten reading, I have set up my diagram in the same way by setting social system as one side and ecosystem as the other. On the other hand, we do not posses the same elements. Some of them are similar in ways, for example, “trees, shrubs, and hills” are similar to my deforestation bubble. These differences occurred because in my mind I did not picture the words “biogas fuel technology” anywhere on the diagram except as a title in other words, we can learn from these similarities and differences because not everybody thinks in the same way.

Biogas in India

Biogas technology changed human-environment interactions in India. Before its introduction, the rate of collection of firewood for cooking fuel was not sustainable. Biogas technology reduced the demand for firewood, thus creating a more sustainable situation. But biogas technology had other effects besides cutting down on smoke, reducing firewood depletion, and increasing children’s time for school. The by-product, slurry, also improved the lives of the people via the trade and use of compost produced from the slurry. To start comparing my diagram to Marten’s, both include reasons for introduction of biogas generators, and effects beyond better cooking fuel. One difference, however, is that the diagram in Marten includes the positive-feedback effect that demand for cooking fuel had prior to introduction of biogas generators. My diagram doesn’t include that because that aspect wasn’t mentioned in the video. Also, I included the compost business as that aspect was not discussed in the Marten text. Obviously, there are similarities between the two diagrams because they are about the same subject. There are differences because they address slightly different aspects of it. One thing we can say from comparing the two diagrams is that things can have greater consequences than we might initially anticipate. When we draw a diagram, we can choose to emphasize different aspects of a topic.


Dorish Nguyen Systems Diagram

Save Bengaluru

My dad used to be a landscaper. He was paid to plant, lay stone, and add fountains wherever his customer wanted in order to make his or her yard pretty. But that isn’t all that landscaping encompassed, landscaping is the coexistence of the environment and humans. As a landscaper, my dad knew what kind of plants went with what kind of soil or was fit to certain seasons and temperatures. Though this is only one example of a landscape, it is an example of how landscape’s can be understood based on systems within them. A system diagram allows for the coexistence of the environment and humans and their impact and relationship to be visually seen. My systems diagram shows the negative effect of the use of firewood for cooking and how it called for a biogas generator, which impacts the ecosystem and social system positively. The biogas generator eliminates the negative effects of firewood, and turns them into a better ecosystem and social system, which both also impact each other. When the ecosystem is improved, so is society, seen through how each positive aspect of the ecosystem corresponding to a positive aspect in society. The core idea of my system diagram is to show the system within Bengaluru, India and the landscape of how humans and the environment can coexist, such as cow manure, a natural process, being recycled into compost, which aids humans and the environment through yielding produce and creating jobs. Since biogas generators created methane to be used as fuel, there is no need for firewood, which is shown to cause negative effects to the people of Bengaluru. Therefore, by using biogas instead of firewood, children no longer need to search for wood instead of attending school, there is less deforestation due to the decreased demand for wood, and the compost made from cow dung increases produce yield and thus improves the economy of Bengaluru. My diagram relates to the “What is Human Ecology?” because it also connects the social system and the ecosystem and talks about how human activities can influence both the ecosystem and social system. In the same way human activities influence, my diagram shows how use of firewood by humans has influenced the use of biogas, which impacts the ecosystem and social system. However, in Marten’s diagram, there is a clear cycle occurring, which nearly everything connects to everything, whereas my diagram shows a connection between aspects rather than a full reoccurring cycle. Marten’s diagram connects each subcategory within the ecosystem or social system to all other subcategories while mine only connects a subcategory of the ecosystem with another from the social system. This cycle versus direct connection causes these differences, but the importance of how the ecosystem and social system create similarities within our diagrams due to their relationship within every human action. If this similarity within the two diagrams were not present, it might not be prominent that the correlation between the ecosystem and society is crucial within systems.

Biogas Concept Map- India


The provided system diagram that I’ve made is relatively simple to what other students might have and also from Marten’s diagram. What I’d like to show in the diagram were mainly how the biogas technology impacts both the ecosystem and the social system of the part in India which applies the biogas system. This invention produced two major products; methane gas and slurry. Both of these outputs brought various effect to fore-mostly the ecosystem, then affecting the social system as well. The production of methane gas leads to less environmental pollution and also reducing deforestation due to the people having an alternative energy choice for cooking. This in return will benefit the people health-wise and allow the children to go to school instead of gathering fuel. The slurry, on the other hand will help local farmers to fertilize their soil and grow healthier crops. At the same time, the slurry provides a certain group of the population (mainly women) with job opportunity by processing them into fertilizers to sell to farmers. Both the farmers and the women will gain economic profit from this.

For the most part, this diagram is much simpler and straightforward than that of Marten’s. It is similar in a way that both charts are divided into two major divisions- social system and ecosystem. Also, this diagram shows the effect that all outcome from the ecosystem side eventually leads to a healthier ecosystem, which isn’t shown in Marten’s diagram. Comparing the two diagrams, I think we could all learn more from the more complex relationships appearing on Marten’s illustration because he listed along the products and processes that goes along in the exchange of points such as cooking fuel, cut wood or put in biogas generators.

Shanda Snyder:BioGas System

My diagram focuses on the overall relationship between the environment and the society within it. The environment can influence society in several ways, both positively and negatively, and the same applies to society. The positives trickle down in a series of ways which ultimately end up job creation, particularly amongst women as a result of the biogas generator. The diagram also shows how the use of alternative natural resources (Cow Dung versus Wood Burning) has a positive affect on overall health of society. Additional benefits include crop growth and more time to be focused on something else other than wood burning and other rigorous labor. Furthermore, I show how wood burning and other practices harm the environment, making it a huge negative effect. Other human actions such as using the bio slurry to gain household income is in fact both positive for both society and the environment.

When comparing my diagram to the one in the “What is Ecology” reading, I see a lot of similarities. The most obvious similarity would be how we both compare the ecosystem and the social system. There is also an emphasis on the act of wood burning in both of the diagrams as well. As far as differences go, I think that my diagram is more small scale than Marten’s. The other diagram emphasizes more issues and ultimately connects a larger picture than the one that I have designed. While both of our diagrams show just how everything we do truly influences the environment, my display is used to represent the societal and environmental practices within India.


System Diagram

Untitled document-2

The core ideas behind my system diagram is that everything in the ecosystem help the people live their daily lives. Something in the ecosystem either benefits or hinders the people. For example, children must collect firewood for their mothers so sometimes the children miss eating meals, doing their homework, or miss school. Cow dung is something that would benefit the people because it is better for the air and their health rather than them using firewood which causes smoke and can hurt their health. Firewood and cooking in my system diagram is the use of a positive feed back loop. My example is the children collecting the firewood. They must collect and keep collecting the firewood for their mothers so they can cook. It’s a continuous loop of collecting firewood and then cooking with it. If they want to continue to cook, they must continue to collect firewood.

Comparing my graph with Gerry Marten’s graph in “What is Human Ecology?” is that they both include the same categories, social system and ecosystem. They are the same because they are both showing ways that the ecosystem impacts the social system around it. They are different because of the wording used in each category. We do not have the same topics in each square. Some similarities are we have similar ecosystem categories. For example, we both have how animal dung is used for cooking fuel. Differences are the categories themselves. He has ones that I did not include in my diagram. Something that can be learned by the comparison between the two diagrams that we might not have otherwise learned is how similar the diagrams can be when dealing with the same topic. Everyone has their own twist on their diagram, but for the most part the same point gets across.

Module 2 – Ranee Perricone – System Diagram

The diagram shows the results of the two different cooking options with regard to the three main points the video made along with two points I felt should be included. The video said the cooking gas system was beneficial because it does not produce smoke in unventilated areas, it leads to an income for the women who use it, and it reduces child labor. I strongly disagree with the latter. I do not think that the children would not have to help gather the manure for the system or help process the leftover manure for selling. I also think that the lack of families gathering the fallen wood would cover the ground with dried wood which is known to lead to forest fires. On the other hand, manure production is greater than tree growth which means greater sustainability

The child labor that would lead to income would be much preferable to labor that would not. The increase in income would allow for better education whether it be giving the family an opportunity to spend money on something that is normally time consuming or simply allow a child to stay in school longer rather than have to leave to get a job. The increased income and increased education is a positive feedback loop.

My diagram points out how things work together. The diagram I created uses less variables. There is less interactions between individual parts of the two divisions of the diagram. My diagram is extremely focused when compared to the figure provided in the reading. The figure in the reading is focused on the interactions of the ecosystem as a whole as opposed to the specific diagram about how the introduction of this system can affect the environment in this area.

diagram mod 2




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.

Biogas System Diagram (Module 2) – Bernstein

Biogas_tmb5906_jpg.The core ideas behind my diagram are to take a better look at the landscape in the sense of how the social and eco aspects of the Biogas (Tanks) are intertwined and to serve as an examination of their fluidity. To help simplify, I colored the Biogas (Tanks) box in yellow for a starting point; the ecosystem related boxes are green and the social ones are blue. All in all, I believe my system diagram done a decent job in demonstrating the human-environment interactions. My diagram in comparison to Gerald Marten’s is very different but with a few similarities. They are similar in that they both include (in one manner or another) fertilizer, crops, and the cutting of wood. They are different in that Marten’s diagram took the number of children in consideration and that they listed that the fuel was to be used for cooking – my diagram just has it listed as “New Fuel”. I believe one of the main reasons that our diagrams differ so much is the perspective we took. My perspective is more of a “big picture” and focuses on a little of everything, while Marten’s seems to favor the social/human side of the equation (albeit it in more detail). Having a second diagram to compare to allows me to view different interactions I overlooked when making mine: the gathering things to be buried, for example. Personally I believe that the more complete picture can be found using both the diagrams.

Biogas Concept Map-Christianna Woodling

Concept Map

For my diagram I really wanted to emphasize the human-environment relationship in this situation. I color coded each block to show whether it is an element from the environment and plays a part in our ecosystem, or whether it is human related and affecting the social system. I designed my concept map to be as easy to read as possible. It begins with the starting element of cow and human waste, is directed with an arrow to show its put into the biogas generator and the arrows show the two products that come out of the generator ( methane and slurry). I then used the arrows to show the effects of each product and how it ultimately all leads to a better quality of life for these people. This technology is great. As you can see in the map there are a few feedback mechanisms that are effected. For example, by using the methane fuel a negative feedback is creating because now less and less trees will be need to cut down. All in all the biogas generator is a positive impact on the people of India by creating an effective and stable system.

My diagram and Gerry Marten’s diagram are similar in the sense that they both generally illustrate the relationships between different elements in each system. However they do differ a lot. Marten’s diagram is much more complex in its webbing and uses a ton of arrows to show how many elements are connected. His diagram also uses more general terms where as mine is very specific to the situation in India. They most likely are similar because we are creating a map of similar topics (ecosystem and social system relations). They differ because his map is more of a general concept illustrating human ecology where as my map is illustrating one specific human-environment system so it is much more specific. We can learn from Marten’s map that generally all things in a system effect each other and we can take this into consideration when thinking about the specific biogas generator system and see that it follows this same idea.

Biogas- Alex Fernandez

For my diagram, I thought of the negative effects of collecting firewood and dung had, then the positive changes biogas generators would bring to those rural areas. This topic strongly correlates with the coupled human – environment systems topic we learned in the module. With the use of biogas, there are several positive outcomes. Using firewood for cooking fuel has several downfalls: deforestation of the environment, and added pollution and greenhouse gases in the air. Using biogas generators allows for waste to be used as fuel, saving time for children to go to school and do schoolwork. In addition, the women in the community reported increased income with business opportunities. The connection between the social system and the ecosystem is undeniable, because all of the changes brought about with the biogas generator directly affect the way the ecosystem’s state. The main difference between my diagram and Marten’s diagram is that Marten’s has several more correlations between components. I leave my diagram as it is for the sake of simplicity, because the more you look at the involved components the more connections one can make between them all.

Biogas diagram

Natalie Hall biogas diagram _ MO2

Human-environmental system is the core concept shown in the diagram. It shows the interaction between a collection of different components, in this case the society’s need for fuel (firewood) was damaging to both the humans and the environment. The feedback loop in this system was the biogas, which allowed for cleaner and air and slowed deforestation, along with creating a safer, cleaner cooking system, and a business opportunity with the organic compost. Therefore, the added component (biogas) positively affected both the social system and the economy. Figure 1.5 by Gerry Marten is similar to mine because of both of their vertical 2-part set up. I felt this allows the viewer to get a good sense of time and change. They are different because Marten’s diagram is simpler and shows more of the need for the technology. Mine focuses more on the negative to positive transformation the biogas had on both the society and ecosystem. There are similarities and differences because there are different ways to perceive and interpret the ways the two systems interact. I learned that there are lots of components in a human-environment system and how one change can have such a big impact. The comparison between the two diagrams allowed me to see a different perspective on the same system.Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 8.54.08 PM

Biogas System

Biogas Diagram hjk5078

Throughout my diagram and this assignment in general, an important point is the systems perspective; in this case, it represents a more human-environment system. Depending on what the humans use, the effect on the environment will vary. Biogas is environmentally friendlier than burning wood because of the lack of resources and harmful gases. An additional advantage is the better quality and quantity of crops improved by the organic compost produced by the women in India. This was beneficial for women and farmers alike since profits increased, fulfilling needs like education and independence.

The Marten diagram agrees because it connects the ecosystem and social impacts of a biogas generator. Like mine, there is no clear distinction between the two categories; because of certain environmental effects, there were certain social effects too, and vice versa. Both diagrams notice the availability of fertilizer for the farmers and the importance of animal dung as a source of fuel. A key difference is that Marten analyzes the economic perspective by realizing that demographics affects demand, which initiates a development. Although Marten includes number of children and my diagram includes children through education, health, and safety, both note that biogas generators affect the children and the children’s conditions affect the technology. Another difference I missed was the connection between food (crops) and the human population. I realized that using biogas is safer and cleaner, and that better crops meant profit and business, but I did not look at the crops as a source of food.

Biogas Concept Map


My system diagram depicts the important detail of everything that is happening because of the biogas generators. In my diagram, I explain the problem: the people are living in poverty or low income. The cheapest way for them to be able to make food, is by the women and children gathering up firewood by means of cutting trees down. This leads to smoke filled homes which causes infections and irritations to people, but also pollution to the environment. The biogas system solves all the problems and adds more compost which grows more crops which will feed more livestock and give people some jobs. My diagram is similar to Marten’s Diagram in the way that the social system and ecosystem are cause and effect to one another. As the social system grows, the ecosystem must produce more. The farms feed the population and the livestock. Biogras generators gives the population another means of cooking fuel which is better to population and the environment. Our diagrams are different in the way, that mine shows a problem and presents the solution and what happens, compared to Marten’s which is almost a never ending cycle. There are similarities and differences between the two because one is from my point of view and the other is from Marten’s. By comparing these two diagrams, we have learned that biogras generators are a good solution to help people make food instead of using firewood, and it has multiple benefits that will never change.