1. Do you think the Earth is a living organism? Why or why not?
2. Why are people in Haiti so vulnerable to major natural hazards?
3. Why did you take this environmental geology course?
4. Would an exponential negative growth of human population be a solution to many environmental problems?
5. Are there any conflicts between global environmental unity principle and regional economic development?
6. a. Look around your house or apartment and make a list of five different materials that relate to geology. For example, do you have a granite countertop? Slate floor or pool table? Salt in your kitchen? Drywall (made from gypsum)? Metal Objects? Plastic items (made from petroleum)?
b. Indicate those items that can be recycled.
c. If you currently do not recycle, describe what would cause you
7. Assume the Pangaea never broke up, how might today’s environments be different?
8. What are the major differences in plate tectonic settings between the U.S. eastern and western coasts?
9. Will the tectonic cycle ever stop? Why or why not?
10. Why is most seismic and volcanic energy released along the Pacific rim?
11. Does plate tectonics play a role in shaping your local environment?
12. Extremophile bacteria can live and thrive under extreme conditions. Why are they important to the search for extraterrestrial life?
13. Discuss different ways that rocks and minerals are used to benefit or to harm the environment
14. What rock property and rock structure factors should you consider for a major engineering site selection?
15. Suppose you are the superintendent of schools, what steps would you take to determine if there was an asbestos hazard, and how would you communicate with parents?
16. What factors contributed to the failure of the St. Francis Dam?
17. A town is located in the foothills of a mountain range. The rock types in the city limits and just beyond include basalt, shale, and limestone. As the town grows and expands, what advice could you give planners as to potential geologic problems related to the rocks to be aware of as new buildings and roads are sited? What additional geologic information would be necessary?
18. The rock cycle indicates how rocks can be transformed from one type to another. In other words, older rocks are recycled into new rocks. How can an older sedimentary rock be transformed into a new sedimentary rock without first becoming a metamorphic rock?
19. An ecosystem consists of both living community and its nonliving environment. Is one of two components more important?
20. Based upon the linkage between ecology and geology, what is the importance of interdisciplinary collaborations in ecological restoration?