Environmental Science A Level

Getting Ahead

Environmental Science A Level at Havant Campus

Are you studying Environmental Science A Level at Havant Campus in September? If so, you’re in the right place!

We’ve put together the following Getting Ahead work to help you prep for your course over the summer.

We look forward to you starting College with us soon!

wind turbines

Are you interested in finding out more about the impact of human activity on our planet? Perhaps you are interested in discovering ways in which environmental damage can be halted or even reversed.

Why is it important to care about the Environment?
The ecosystem (all the communities of living organisms found in a specific place, their habitats and their interactions) in which we live provides natural services for humans and all other species that are essential to our health, quality of life and survival. For example, our forests remove carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the air we breathe and also cool our air temperatures, reducing the formation of ground-level ozone, a pollutant that can cause heart and lung problems to worsen. Our wetlands store storm water, filter and make harmless storm water pollutants and recharge our aquifers (where most of us get our drinking water) with these filtered waters. The dune systems on our beaches form natural barriers to storm waves and provide important habitat and travel ways for wildlife.

As a student, you will have the opportunity to gain insights and an understanding of how geographical and biological components are interrelated in terms of the environment. This scientific subject will lead you to both answers and more questions and sits particularly well alongside subjects like Biology, Chemistry, Geography and Geology.

What is Sustainable Development?
Like Easter Island at the time of its first inhabitants, the Earth has limited resources to support human populations and all of their demands. Human existence depends upon the continued availability of the Earth’s natural resources to support life. For over two million years of human existence, human societies have been successful in obtaining food and in extracting natural resources, resulting in growing human populations being sustained but, is that development sustainable? Have modern societies been more successful than the Easter Islanders in living in a way that does not exhaust the available natural resources? Are we falling into the same trap as the Easter Islanders and fatally damaging our life support system?

What is Sustainability?
Sustainability, or sustainable development, is the ability to provide for the needs of the present without affecting the ability of future generations to provide for themselves.

A major aim of sustainable development is preventing environmental degradation. This is a process where natural resources such as plants, animals, water and fuel are consumed more quickly than they are replaced.

In the long term, environmental degradation will result in an ecosystem that cannot support humans or other organisms.

Research Easter Island and explain why the story of Easter Island can be seen as a warning to us all about the need to live in a sustainable way (500 words).

A couple of websites to get you started in your research:

To get started on your understanding you could read Collapse by Jared Diamond.

You can try some of the Level 1 free courses available on the Open University website.

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