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Why Should You Conserve Water?, October 2017, Ithaca College, Office of Energy Management and Sustainability 2017 Ithaca College

Why Should You Conserve Water?, October 2017, Ithaca College, Office Of Energy Management And Sustainability

Eco Rep Installment

The theme of this issue is Water.

Human Energy Capstone, 2017 Kennesaw State University

Human Energy Capstone


Movement is very important for humans. From our earliest days, we seem eager to get up and move around. The most celebrated moments of a child’s life seem to be geared around the ability to move: the first crawl, the first walk, the first bike ride, and (every parent’s nightmare) the first driver’s license. The ability to get around is one of the most cherished abilities and freedoms. For many Americans, our ability to get around when and how we want is almost considered a sacred right. Physics textbooks, which have many chapters devoted to motion, build ...

Efficiency, 2017 Kennesaw State University



The previous two activities in this module have shown us the importance of conservation laws. These laws provide extra “tools” that allow us to analyze certain aspects of physical systems and to be able to predict the motion of objects in the systems without using more complicated analysis. Even in situations wherein we cannot exactly solve the motion, these laws are incredibly useful. For instance, if someone shows us an incredibly complicated device that can seemingly produce electricity with no energy input whatsoever, we know not to invest money in this device, as it must be a sham since it ...

First Law Of Thermodynamics, 2017 Kennesaw State University

First Law Of Thermodynamics


In last week’s activity, we calculated the motion of objects by studying the forces on them. Using Newton’s Second Law of Motion, we were able to relate the forces on an object to the acceleration it experienced. The presence of constant forces led to constant accelerations, which corresponded to linearly-increasing velocities with respect to time. Comparisons made between the velocities we measured and those calculated from a study of the forces on the objects allowed us to validate Newton’s equation F = ma. In this week’s activity, we are going to investigate almost the same experimental setup ...

Newton's Second Law, 2017 Kennesaw State University

Newton's Second Law


There are two ways to study the dynamics of a system in which there is motion. One of these is to study the kinematics of the system to see if there is any acceleration. If there is an acceleration, then this implies that there is a net force on some part of the system. If there is no acceleration, then this means that either there are no forces on the system, or that the forces within the system are all balanced. The other way to study the system is from an energy standpoint. Energy can flow from potential to kinetic ...

Population Growth, 2017 Kennesaw State University

Population Growth


When George Washington started the first Presidency of the United States of America, he was governing less than 4 million people who occupied an area of 2,300,000 square kilometers. It was an agrarian society, with 95% of the population living on farms and only 5% in cities or towns of more than 2,500. There was plenty of land, and a vast array of natural resources, just waiting to be tapped. Today, we live in a country of over 294 million people. While we are one of the major food producers in the world, it is no longer ...

Age Structures, 2017 Kennesaw State University

Age Structures


One of the tools that demographers use to understand population is the age structure diagram (it is sometimes called a population pyramid, but it is not always pyramidal in shape). This diagram shows the distribution by ages of females and males within a certain population in graphic form. Figure 1 shows a diagram in which the ages and sexes for the United States population are arranged so that ages are grouped together such as 0 – 4 years, 5 – 9 years, and so on. The population of each is group is represented as a bar extending from a central vertical line ...

Population Statistics, 2017 Kennesaw State University

Population Statistics


For all of its futuristic stylings, the television show Star Trek was, like most science fiction, a commentary on the state of society at the time it was written (late 1960’s). One of the more famous episodes of that series was the one entitled The Mark of Gideon, which dealt with a planet that was so overpopulated that people did not have anywhere to sit down. At the time of the show, the Earth’s population was at about 3.5 billion, and was increasing at an incredible rate. The effects of such a large population on the environment ...

Toxic Chemicals, 2017 Kennesaw State University

Toxic Chemicals


Humans have used chemicals for a long time. The ancient Egyptians used chemicals for dyeing, soldering and coloring metal, and making jewelry. The Industrial Revolution, which began in the middle of the 18th century, spawned the development of many new chemicals and chemical processes. Since World War II, the global chemical industry has boomed. Global production of chemicals was 1 million tons in 1930 and is now over 400 million tons. Environmental scientists study chemicals to determine if they are harmful to human health and the environment. Pretty much every chemical can harm you if you ingest too much of ...

Home Chemicals, 2017 Kennesaw State University

Home Chemicals


Chemicals are everywhere, in the air you breathe, in the food you eat, and in the chair you’re sitting on. Moreover, you’re mostly chemicals. Ninety nine percent of the human body is composed of just 6 chemical elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. After you die, you’ll decompose into hydrogen, nitrogen, water, ammonia, carbon dioxide, phosphoric acid, and sulfuric acid. So, from chemicals we come and to chemicals we go. Chemical elements are substances that contain one kind of atom and cannot be separated into simpler substances. There are 116 known chemical elements, of which ...

Mineral Identification, 2017 Kennesaw State University

Mineral Identification


For this activity, we are going to try to identify ten different minerals from their properties. There is an attached listing of the major properties of the most commonly found minerals. Use it and any other resources you might have to identify the ten minerals, and list your findings on the sheet below. In order to help you by giving you a little practice with mineral identification, we suggest the following virtual identifier: Your instructor will provide you with up to 10 different mineral samples for identification. To test for ...

Plate Mechanics, 2017 Kennesaw State University

Plate Mechanics


Imagine a swimming pool that is totally covered with air rafts, with the air rafts neatly lined up end to end and side by side. Then imagine someone running up and doing a cannonball jump into the pool. Logically, the rafts will be thrust about with some of them jamming into each other, others pulling apart, and still others sliding past one another—and so it is with the tectonic plates of Earth: some of the plates are colliding, others are pulling apart, and still others are sliding past one another; therefore, understandably, where there are boundaries between the tectonic ...

Plate Speed, 2017 Kennesaw State University

Plate Speed


We are truly in motion no matter where we stand on the planet. The tectonic plates that compose the crust of the Earth are in motion at a measurable rate. Everything on the crust of the Earth changes its location in relation to the planet. Yes, the plates are moving over the mantle, and we can measure this motion to determine the rate of plate movement by figuring the distances and times involved. For example, if we know the past location of a certain island, then we can measure the distance between the present location of the island and its ...

Earthquake Epicenter, 2017 Kennesaw State University

Earthquake Epicenter


In this week’s activity, we are going to try to locate the epicenter of an earthquake using readings from three different seismograph stations. This will be done by measuring the difference in time between the arrival of the P and S-waves. The difference it time of their arrivals is due to the difference in speeds for both waves. In particular, the difference in time is given by (distance to epicenter)/(Vp – Vs). Thus, we can find out how far away a particular seismograph is from an earthquake by solving this equation for distance. Since there are three stations, we ...

Climate Change, 2017 Kennesaw State University

Climate Change


Global warming is a huge issue, not just because of the potential impact of the warming on the earth’s ecosystems, but also because the principal activity responsible for the bulk of emissions, fossil fuel combustion, literally fuels the engines of industrialized, urbanized societies. The stakes are huge -- international, political, financial, and environmental. In this exercise, you’ll learn about how to assess information sources, a critical skill in forming your own opinions and actions.

Ozone Depletion, 2017 Kennesaw State University

Ozone Depletion


While we often talk about the “Ozone Hole” over the Antarctic, we rarely talk about what ozone levels are like above our own heads. While the thinning of the ozone layer over the South Pole points to potential problems that we might experience here one day, it would be nice to know what our current situation is. In this week’s activity, we will do just this with the aid of data from 4 different satellites that have been monitoring ozone levels around the world for the last several decades. The Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) Program was started in ...

Acid Rain, 2017 Kennesaw State University

Acid Rain


Acidity is measured on the pH scale ranges from 0 to 14 with 0 being acid, 7 as neutral, and 14 as alkaline. The pH scale measures the concentration of hydrogen ions in solution, which indicates acidity. The pH scale is also logarithmic, so that a change in one unit represents a tenfold change in acidity, thus a solution of pH 4 is 10 times as acidic as one with pH 5 and 100 times as acidic as pH 6. "Natural" or unpolluted rainfall is slightly acidic and has a pH of between 5.6 and 5.8. When fossil ...

Air Pollution, 2017 Kennesaw State University

Air Pollution


The following exercise is designed to acquaint you with point sources of pollution in your neighborhood. The exercise utilizes the EPA’s Envirofacts website. Envirofacts allows users to search and find out information about pollution sources anywhere in the United States. You can also identify point sources of pollution in your neighborhood, learn about specific facilities, and create maps. To begin with, go to and enter your zip code. What will be displayed is a list of facilities in your zip code that have been issued an environmental permit. Scroll over to the ...

Atmosphere, 2017 Kennesaw State University



The objective of this exercise is to have you observe atmospheric conditions as well as develop your understanding of major atmospheric concepts. For this exercise, you are asked to observe and record weather conditions for four days. In addition, you are asked to answer questions about your observations, as well as respond to a series of questions on general atmospheric characteristics. In the second part of the exercise, you are asked to perform a number of calculations relating to atmospheric conditions and characteristics.

Water Capstone, 2017 Kennesaw State University

Water Capstone


This activity is still under development. Please check back later for an update or e-mail John Pratte at for more information.

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