Choose one problem from those probem and write more than 2 pages.

ECS 111  Homework Problems                           

1)    1)Choose a region (state, province, part of a country or country) and discuss their carrying capacity relative to Lester Brown’s three factors.  Include the constraint in terms of the current populations and future population trends.

2)   2)Describe the various ways that water is used as an ecosystem service. How do these uses impact ecosystem function?  Provide examples.

3)   3)Discuss examples of soil loss and their causes.  How can these be tied to population transitions in human civilizations?

4)   4)What is meant by population transition? Briefly describe the recent changes in human populations and the driving factors involved. Historically what other transitions have occurred? Is this a constant process or have there been periods with larger changes? What has the role of technology played in different population transitions?

5)   5)If births (b) are influenced by population density (N) such that b = bo – N, and deaths (d) by d = do + N rewrite the equation for population change


dN/dt = (b=d) N


as a logistic equation


dN/dt = r N (1 – N/K).


What are the r and K terms in terms of the  bs and ds?


6) The current turmoil in the Middle East is causing sharp transitions in populations and a great deal of environmental damage. Summarize the recent history of these events and the social economic problems behind them. Include an explicit discussion of demographics of the situation.


7) The western United States is currently experiencing a prolonged drought. Write a short essay focusing in on one aspect of the situation. For example, one might discuss the impact this is having on a particular food such as almonds or a commodity such as cotton. Another topic might be wild fires.


8) We are currently experienced one of the largest El Nino events in history. Write an essay on El Nino and its ecological effects.  Include both its impact on ecosystem function and on the services we extract from our environment. What is occurring now as we expect a La Nina?

9) Write an introduction to the ecology of your home town or some other location that attracts your interest. This is something you can build on by adding other factors such as soil, water, forests….  Begin by documenting the region, its general climate, the population and their demographics.

10) Produce a summary of the issues involved with the water problems in Flint, Michigan.

11) Describe the issues with land ownership that lead to the standoff in the Oregon Wildlife Refuge earlier this year. Document the consequences from as many points of view that you can find.  

12) Start a discussion of the problems posed by the Zika virus. Focus on either a large scope overview or a specific issue involved. This can be expanded later in future homeworks.