Environment: The Science behind the Stories, Global Edition

Jay H. Withgott / Matthew Laposata  
Total pages
January 2015
Related Titles

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Environment: The Science behind the Stories, Global Edition
91.80 approx. 7-9 days

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Environment: The Science behind the Stories continues to revolutionize the environmental science course with integrated central case studies and real-life stories that provide students with a concrete and engaging framework for understanding and applying the scientific process to environmental concerns. The newly revised Fifth Edition offers a highly effective integration between text and media and an emphasis on scientific literacy and data analysis skills to encourage students to critically evaluate information about environmental issues.


  • Integrated Central Case Studies begin and are woven throughout each chapter, highlighting the real people, real places, and real data behind environmental issues. The Central Case Studies draw students in, and provide a contextual framework to make science memorable and engaging.
  • Science behind the Story boxes highlight how scientists develop hypotheses, test predictions, and analyze and interpret data. These fascinating profiles of current research help students understand “how we know what we know” about environmental issues.
  • Weighing the Issues questions encourage students to develop critical-thinking skills, grapple with ethical questions, and apply what they have learned as they go through each chapter.
  • Calculating Ecological Footprint activities at the end of every chapter allow students to quantify the environmental impacts of their own actions, and then scale these impacts up to the societal level.
  • Campus Sustainability coverage in the final chapter shows how students are helping to forge sustainable solutions on campuses across North America.
  • Video Field Trips give students fascinating behind-the-scenes tours of real environmental issues and the strategies and solutions employed to cope with them. These popular short videos are included on the Instructor Resource DVD for classroom presentations and within MasteringEnvironmentalScience for automatically graded student assignments. These exclusive videos explore:
      • Coal-Fired Power Plant
      • Waste Water Treatment Facility
      • Sustainable Agriculture
      • Landfill and Recycling Center
      • Water Utility Facility
      • Wind Power
      • Campus Sustainability
      • Invasive Species: Lionfish
      • Solar Energy
      • Electronic Waste
      • Carbon Neutrality on Campus
      • Prescribed Fires
  • New to this Edition

    • NEW! FAQs feature common misperceptions students often hold about environmental issues. Each FAQ captures a moment to correct these widely held student misperceptions are integrated throughout each chapter. Examples include: “But isn’t positive feedback “good” and negative feedback “bad?” (ch 5); “How big is a billion?” (ch. 8); and “Is it safe to eat genetically modified foods?” (ch. 10).
    • NEW! Data Q’s are data analysis questions paired with figures in each chapter to help students develop their scientific literacy skillsWith 2–3 Data Q’s per chapter, students can check their own understanding as they read the chapter, or complete a similar activity in MasteringEnvironmentalScience for credit.
    • NEW! Revised Central Case Studies offer a wealth of fresh stories. 30% of the Case Studies are new to this edition and feature topics like the Tohoku Earthquake in Japan, Hawaii’s Native Forest Birds, Hydrofracking in the United States, and Transgenic Maize in Southern Mexico.
    • NEW! Revised Science behind the Storyfeatures give you a more current and exciting selection of scientific studies to highlight. New topics include Tracking Fukushima’s nuclear legacy, Did Soap Operas Reduce Fertility in Brazil?, and Does Fracking Contaminate Drinking Water?
    • UPDATED! Current Events articles from the New York Times are updated twice yearly with almost 50 new articles.
    • UPDATED! The popular Video Field Trips now include Campus Sustainability; Invasive Species: Lionfish; and Wind Power–for the Fifth Edition
    • NEW! Misconception Test bank items help to assess whether students have effectively grasped a concept. These questions target content areas where students commonly have the most misperceptions about what they do and don’t know.

    Table of Contents


    1. Science and Sustainability: An Introduction to Environmental Science

    2. Earth’s Physical Systems: Matter, Energy, and Geology

    3. Evolution, Biodiversity, and Population Ecology

    4. Species Interactions and Community Ecology

    5. Environmental Systems and Ecosystem Ecology

    6. Ethics, Economics, and Sustainable Development

    7. Environmental Policy: Making Decisions and Solving Problems



    8. Human Population

    9. Soil and Agriculture

    10. Agriculture, Biotechnology, and the Future of Food

    11. Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

    12. Forests, Forest Management, and Protected Areas

    13. The Urban Environment: Creating Sustainable Cities

    14. Environmental Health and Toxicology

    15. Freshwater Systems and Resources

    16. Marine and Coastal Systems and Resources

    17. Atmospheric Science, Air Quality, and Pollution Control

    18. Global Climate Change

    19. Fossil Fuels, Their Impacts, and Energy Conservation

    20. Conventional Energy Alternatives

    21. New Renewable Energy Alternatives

    22. Managing Our Waste

    23. Minerals and Mining

    24. Sustainable Solutions