Conditions of Use
Overall the book is well written and the topics covered are covered adequately for an introduction environmental science class. However, I would like to see the topics covered in the introductory chapter expanded upon and be individual chapters. ... read more
Overall the book is well written and the topics covered are covered adequately for an introduction environmental science class. However, I would like to see the topics covered in the introductory chapter expanded upon and be individual chapters. For example Economics, environment, and public policy should be its own chapter. Economics and environmental science are deeply connected and the authors should go more in depth on this topic. Additionally, ecosystems and ecosystem services and biodiversity should be covered more in depth in a separate chapter. Finally, there should be chapters on soils, agriculture, environment and human health, and municipal and hazardous waste. Much of the environmental issues we are currently experiencing are related to these topics (i.e global pandemic, soil degradation and food shortages, and plastic pollution)
Overall the book is very accurate. I would like to see an updated version with more recent statistics. Some of the data is from 2015 and a lot has changed since then especially with renewable energy. Also, in the non-renewable energy chapter I would like to see some information on tar sands. Furthermore, for nuclear energy the authors only discuss light water reactors and the environmental issues with nuclear. This leads the reader to feel that there is no place for nuclear power in the worlds energy portfolio. There is a whole new generation of nuclear reactors and a recent surge in start up companies examining nuclear energy as a bridge energy source to help us meet our climate goals (i.e terra power). I think this information is critical for environmental science.
I think updates will be relatively easy and straightforward. However, as mentioned above much of the statistics and data is outdated and the authors need to keep current with new technology such as the next generation of nuclear reactors and advances in renewable energy.
Overall the book is well written and clear and easy to follow.
The book is consistent in terminology and framework.
Overall this is true except for the first chapter. This was called an introduction but many of the topics covered in this chapter could be stand alone chapters. Much of this information lays the critical framework for subsequent chapters in environmental science.
I have examined a myriad of environmental science textbooks and this book is consistent with the structure of an introductory environmental science textbook. Introduction, ecology (Which is included in the introduction and should be expanded as a chapter(s)), human population, energy, and pollution.
I found the text to be free of significant errors. In fact I liked the interface as too many of the environmental science textbooks on the market today are littered with figures, tables, graphs, and side bars that they become distractive.
I only found a few grammatical errors that could easily be corrected.
The book is not culturally insensitive in anyway. In fact I encourage the authors to bring in more cultural examples related to environmental science. For example the hypothesized beginning of Covid-19 in the wet markets of China, high concentration of POPs in the Inuits, and human demography comparisons between developed and developing countries.
I enjoyed reading this textbook and if the authors expanded the subject matter to include additional topics nd the introduction I would consider using it in my introductory environmental science course.
Unfortunately, this book does not cover the more interesting (interdisciplinary, applied) environmental topics (environmental economics, environmental careers, legislation and legal issues, etc.). Another topic that I would like to see included... read more
Unfortunately, this book does not cover the more interesting (interdisciplinary, applied) environmental topics (environmental economics, environmental careers, legislation and legal issues, etc.). Another topic that I would like to see included is The Anthropocene.
Accuracy here is related to how quickly the information becomes outdated in this particular field. The newest edition of my current textbook is up to date (with references to recent executive orders flip-flopping the fate of public lands such as Bears Ears and Escalante, for example), but the open source .pdf does not even contain a positive result for the search term “Paris Agreement” from 2015. I do understand that the business model for open source textbooks does not allow for super frequent updating of the material, but in the subject area of environmental science that can be a deal-breaker. One more example of this: the section on electric vehicles contains a photograph of a prototype electric car from the 1985 World’s Fair. This makes the book look so unprofessional and hopelessly out of date that I would worry about losing my own credibility if I assigned it to my sophisticated Gen Z audience.
See above; the book has become so hopelessly out of date that its accuracy was compromised. One advantage of an open source textbook (particularly the .pdf version) is the ability to link to outside sources of information that may be more current than the textbook (e.g., to the World Population Clock, NASA, NOAA, etc.). These are excellent. On the other hand, some of the links in this book are not very helpful (for example, linking to primitive websites like this one, with the intended video link completely dead, and some of the informational pages copyrighted in 1997: http://geothermaleducation.org).
The writing is fine. It is not better or worse than the writing I have seen in textbooks for purchase. But see above regarding how frequently it would need to be revised to remain useful.
Some of the headings are missing, which affects the searchability index. For example, not all of the Chapter “Learning Objectives” are labeled as such. Only four of the eight chapters show up in a search of “Learning Objectives.” Some others are labeled as “learning outcomes” in a different style font (as if overlooked in editing; e.g., chapter 2) and some are not labeled either way (e.g., chapter 3). I have a love/hate relationship with .pdf books, and the one thing I find they (should) always do better than a hard copy is respond instantly and accurately to a word search.
In summary, my current textbook covers 25 chapters and this one contains 8. There is some consolidation going on there, but the open source book is missing quite a lot of topics, in addition to the fact that consolidated chapters are more difficult to navigate.
See above (regarding the low number of chapters and also some of the inconsistencies in format)
I do like some of the learning objectives (for the existing chapters), which are in some cases similar to those I have intentionally added to my current course because they were not emphasized in the textbook I am using (e.g., precautionary principle).
Since introductory textbooks are never “readable” enough for my taste (and they tend to cover similar content), I tend to judge books by the quality of the figures. That is ultimately one of the major reasons I chose my current textbook, and I one of the reasons I am not ready to switch away from it at this time. It is also one of my biggest complaints about the open source book that I currently use in another course. Not only are the images inferior in their design, but they also have technical limitations that are quite severe (i.e., when you try to export them to a presentation, exam, or learning management system, the image and especially the accompanying text become distorted or even unreadable). I noticed that this textbook is available as a Word document, and it looks like the images and text can be modified more effectively in that format, which is good (but time consuming). I also noticed a strange difference between the Word and .pdf versions of the book. The Word version has a very readable font (although of course that could be altered in the document). The .pdf version is stuck with a less readable font, which is unfortunate since it can’t be changed by the user.
I did not notice grammatical errors (but see format issues above).
I did not notice instances of insensitivity, but the book is notably lacking in some of the most important key concepts that I emphasize in my class, such as environmental refugees, environmental justice, and environmental racism.
The exercise of reviewing this book has made me come to understand why environmental science textbooks are difficult to find in the open source format. This topic seems to be too time sensitive to lend itself to effective treatment by part-time authors who are not being paid to keep the book up to date. It has made me think differently about possibly trying to compile resources myself (instead of using any textbook at all) in the event that I was motivated enough to make the leap to a low or zero cost lecture section.
The text provides many definitions, but they are not compiled in a glossary. read more
The text provides many definitions, but they are not compiled in a glossary.
Missing some aspects of standard Demographic Transition theory.
A fairly easy read.
Very little analysis in the book; this made internal consistency relatively easy because definitions do not contradict.
Nice images; a bit cumbersome to scroll (few links).
Not insensitive, but not particularly inclusive either.
I reviewed this book with an eye to using it to make a course in Population, Environment, and Society stronger on the "Environment" component. I am sure that my students could benefit from some of the good descriptions of natural science facts and principles, but like some of the other reviewers, I found it heavy on the natural science side, and weak on social and economic issues. For instance, Chapter 4 on Energy did not connect back to stages of the Demographic Transition presented in chapter 3: there is no physical science reason for making such connections, but plenty of social science reasons. Chapter 5 on Alternative Energy was probably the best for population and environment courses: it covered upsides and downsides of various alternatives in ways that would help my students understand that while innovation has allowed population to grow far larger than previous generations thought possible, innovation also brings new challenges. I liked being able to appreciate some of the basic science behind conclusions like "biomass energy can and cannot be carbon neutral." A key tradeoff that the text made clear was biomass for fuel v. biomass for food.
A previous review said that the book handles human demography well, but because there was no attention to variation in the lag between the onset of mortality decline and fertility decline, I found the treatment wanting.
While, this book covers common topics suitable for environmental instruction of Introduction to Environmental Sciences, the comprehensiveness of the book would increase by adding chapters on: Agriculture, Economics, Biogeochemistry, as well as... read more
While, this book covers common topics suitable for environmental instruction of Introduction to Environmental Sciences, the comprehensiveness of the book would increase by adding chapters on: Agriculture, Economics, Biogeochemistry, as well as separate chapters for Oceans and Freshwater.
One major problematic departure from our coursework is on economics in environmental science and its strong associations with human energy usage. Excepting an occasional passing mention on cost often without the defining basis, it otherwise wholly ignores micro- or macroeconomics as a holistic lense to view energy and environmental decision-making.
For agriculture, the topic is mostly ignored, with the interest chiefly in the sector as a pollutant culminating in one page given to its major role in N2O emissions as the majority of their reference to perhaps the most intensive human efforts applying scientific ingenuity to managing the environment. Even agriculture’s notable pollution contribution to eutrophication is missed in this book’s cursory examination.
The book handles Population (i.e., growth rates) and Human demography well.
Regarding Environmental policy, relevant policies are mentioned throughout; however ,there is no formal approach to how environmental policies are formulated. Occasionally the authors do offer guidance on policy but appear to be derivatives of their personal ethical perspectives, rather than argued conclusions on compared equities.
Core topics appear to be well related. As mentioned in the Comprehensiveness section, there are relevant discussion areas that should be covered, and some interjections, as mentioned for policy, that may be biased guidance.
Due to the prospective nature of addressing climate change, graphs often are predictive for a near future and in danger of inaccuracies. Similarly references on energy-use will become dated.
There are references to websites for additional resources, a Youtube link for a coal powerplant description, and an Excel spreadsheet for a list of terms that may be subject to third party accessibility.
Most of the basic science and theories are pretty definitive.
Chapters begin with Learning objectives and chapter contents. The book is written with an accessible prose and examples on elk, cacti, and US energy-use are most familiar to a North American audience.
Unfortunately some terms, such as “natural selection” are used but not defined.
While more distracting than confusing, many times labelled terms are used prior to being defined (e.g., cells, sustainability, etc.). Or in the case of “competition”, made bold but never defined.
The first chapter does not follow the formatting or numbered headings of the succeeding chapters and could use subheadings.
The end-of-chapter prompts vary in formatting and title, e.g., “Study Questions”, “Practice Problems”, “Questions”. The end-of-chapter term lists vary in formatting, and in one chapter relegated to an Excel spreadsheet.
The differing formats hints that these chapters were separately written, which may be why they seem modular enough to address in any order.
Subheadings are present in most chapters aside from the first. Chapter contents are also given. There is a case when “Coal” is used as a heading twice, rather than for example, “Coal formation” and “Coal consumption for energy”.
The first chapter suffered from explaining biological molecules within cells, before defining cells. Understandably challenging because the flow was apparently to explain relevant science from physics to biology, then groupings in biology from cells to populations and ecosystems, but surprising to find the definition so late. Following the descriptions of the environment then the scientific method, the chapter then delves into sustainability, and other lenses to view environmental science without good transitions.
Most pictures and graphs are helpful.
One graph of survivorship curves includes presumably data from the 20th century mixed with curves to the 22nd century. Mixing data with predictions is confusing and may age poorly.
There are not many grammatical errors.
It does not seem culturally insensitive, but the section on human demographics could have included racial, ethnic, or even regional breakdowns for greater relevance.
I would like to commend the authors for putting time and efforts towards developing this textbook and making it available for all.
Environmental Science is the study of human interaction with the natural world, and therefore incorporates knowledge from both the natural and the social sciences. But this text takes a narrower definition. They first say that “environment... read more
Environmental Science is the study of human interaction with the natural world, and therefore incorporates knowledge from both the natural and the social sciences. But this text takes a narrower definition. They first say that “environment describes living and nonliving surroundings relevant to organisms” and then state that
“Environmental science studies all aspects of the environment in an interdisciplinary way. This means that it requires the knowledge of various other subjects including biology, chemistry, physics, statistics, microbiology, biochemistry, geology, economics, law, sociology, etc.”
While they do mention some aspect of social science in this definition, the book clearly focuses on the natural science aspects of environmental science. This is unfortunate, but it is not uncommon, and environmental science faculty are accustomed to having to bring additional social science readings into their classes.
The text includes a very high-level table of contents. There are more detailed outlines within all but one chapter, adding one or two more levels of structure, and the inconsistency between chapters in this regard is quite obvious. The chapters are
ii. Population Ecology
iii. Human Demography
iv. Non-Renewable Energy
v. Alternative Energy
vi. Air Pollution
vii. Climate Change
While all of the subjects included are relevant to environmental science, they represent only a subset of what would normally be considered in an environmental science textbook. Notably absent are chapters on topics such as waste, ozone depletion, risk assessment, agriculture, biodiversity, and oceans and the marine environment.
There is no index, which is a real short-coming.
I found no obvious errors or evidence of bias other than the rather unavoidable one that favors environmental protection over some aspects of industrial society.
The topics that are covered are still completely relevant, as are the examples used to illustrate them. Some of the figures and tables are somewhat dated and should be replaced with more current ones. For example, the most recent stratospheric ozone data shown are for 2012. Not showing more current values misses the opportunity to illustrate the positive benefit that accrues from international cooperation on science-based solutions to environmental challenges. Missing are zone-depletion area data between 2012 and 2020 which show very compelling evidence that the problem has stopped growing, likely due to this cooperative response.
The text is generally clear and explains terms used, though the depth and quality of these explanations vary from chapter to chapter. There is also variability in the level of science (such as chemistry) included in discussions of the issues.
There is fairly good consistency of terminology, but the framework varies considerably from chapter to chapter. The book suffers from a lack of integration editing. There is a notable inconsistency in the use of chapter outlines at the beginning of chapters. One chapter (Climate Change) has none, while the others have either one or two levels of depth. The latter also use inconsistent numbering schemes for their subdivisions.
In some chapters there are several pages that go by without any subheadings, making navigation challenging and creating daunting quantities of unbroken text apt to keep students from reading thoroughly. This makes the user interface to the text awkward at best, and is prone to presenting a barrier to students already intimidated by the subject matter, such as students taking the course out of a general education requirement rather than genuine interest in the subject.
It is quite clear that the text was created by assembling chapters written by different authors without much effort put into integration or flow. Beyond the writing style differing in each chapter, one detects a difference in approach, and I have rarely found an example of one chapter referring to something discussed in a previous chapter.
Strangely, the chapters each maintain their own page numbers, which is probably why the table of contents includes no page numbers. But the page numbers shown don’t include the chapter number, so a student looking at a “page 17” cannot easily be sure which chapter that is in. This will also make it awkward for faculty to refer students to particular sections easily. This could be eased by page numbers that include the chapter number, and/or by having chapter numbers and names at the top of each page.
In at least one chapter (Climate Change) the order seems awkward – climate change is discussed fairly extensively before the science behind it is introduced, thus assuming the students bring some knowledge of the science to the discussion before the chapter addresses it.
No obvious errors were found in the placement of and reference to figures and tables. But in many chapters, there are large stretches of text without much relief either from illustrations or examples problems. For example, though the introductory chapter provides a cursory review of fundamental chemistry, these are not generally recalled in subsequent chapters to illustrate points made. Such illustrations would serve to break up the intensive reading and also to reinforce the science behind the claims made in the chapters.
There is also a missed opportunity to provide hypertext links within the textbook. These would allow students confused by a term (for example) to link to a portion of the text in which that term is defined and illustrated. Similarly, when viewing the text in Adobe Reader I was not able to find a navigation approach other than previous or next pages or the use of the scroll bar. The only hyperlinks are from the table of contents, and there is no convenient way to go “back” to the TOC.
I have not found any outright grammatical errors, but there are occasions of questionable sentence structure and punctuation.
No inappropriate language or claims that might offend a diverse readership were found. Some photographs include people from various cultures, though I have found no references to cultural differences as they might impact the environmental issues discussed. And there is no discussion whatsoever of the role of culture in environmental impacts and action. A crucial part of environmental science is the social context. While there are occasional oblique references to some social context issues, it is not addressed explicitly by this text.
This book would be substantially improved by
1. Addition of missing topics (issues, natural sciences, and social sciences)
2. Extensive editing to achieve consistency of structure and integration of content
3. Formatting to include global page numbers, a multilevel table of contents, an index, more subheadings, and hyperlinks between sections both within and between chapters
I view this as an introduction to the introduction of environmental science. It provides some of the bare basics, but overall is lacking. Little attention is paid to land-use change, biodiversity of the environment, oceans, and many more. The... read more
I view this as an introduction to the introduction of environmental science. It provides some of the bare basics, but overall is lacking. Little attention is paid to land-use change, biodiversity of the environment, oceans, and many more. The topics that are covered still feel lackluster in what they actually delve in to. There was also little to no regard to policy, economy, or cultural aspects of the environment.
Content was accurate for the time it was published but could do with an overall update to stay relevant. Some links and sites provided are no longer in service, leading readers to a dead-end.
A cross to bear with any environmental studies textbook is that new information is constantly being produced. Some information is outdated, such as the age structure diagrams and the total carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels graphic. I do think that an update to this text is warranted. The section on the sustainability, the United Nations, and on the IPCC should also be updated.
For an introductory text, important technical terms are bolded and defined. However, it would be useful to have a glossary at the end of the book for quick reference by students
This textbook is lacking on consistency. Chapters are not structured the same way, such as with the chapter outlines. Page numbers are not kept consistent, with each chapter having its own set of page numbers. This would make it confusing to assign readings or ask questions, since there are- for example- several page 18s. Additionally, not all chapters have a terms list at the end, and some list resources, while some list bibliography at the end.
Headers are present, though not consistent chapter to chapter, with little references to itself. There is little indication of what chapter you are in, again made difficult by lack of consistent page numbering.
It would be nice to read chapters “Population Ecology” and “Human Demography” as the last chapters. That works more as a narrative: here are important basic earth systems (semi represented), types of energy, and then how humans interact with (good and bad interactions) the environment. To delve into questions of population and demography without introducing water and climate change gives an incomplete picture.
Some of the hyperlinks are dead or lead to error codes. Images and graphics, while outdated, are clear and concise.
This text contains no grammatical errors
This textbook could do with a chapter on traditional ecological knowledge, to highlight different culture’s interactions with the environment. It would also be nice to highlight environmental scientists from diverse backgrounds to allow students to ‘see themselves’ within the text.
Only a limited number of the subjects that are part of environmental science are covered. The chapters focus mostly on energy production and resulting effect on the climate. Missing are for example agriculture, environmental toxicology, waste... read more
Only a limited number of the subjects that are part of environmental science are covered. The chapters focus mostly on energy production and resulting effect on the climate. Missing are for example agriculture, environmental toxicology, waste management, biodiversity, and conservation. Also, the chapter on Human Demography could have more focus on the relationship between societal development and consumption, carrying capacity (including cultural carrying capacity due to consumption), and population growth.
The table of contents is hyperlinked, but this is not obvious. Each chapter re-starts on page 1 and it would help to have a table of content there that either lists the page number or hyperlinks to the sub-section. A glossary would also be helpful. I find it a bit difficult to navigate without scanning up and down all the pages to find what I am looking for.
I did not find any problems with accuracy or bias.
It is inherent in the subject matter that contents will not age well. Environmental charts and statistics change annually. Many facts in this book will age well, but charts that show trends are not all as up-to-date as one would expect from a 2018 edition. In the last chapter on water for example the charts stop in 2005 or 2010. The message still comes across though. It would be mostly these trend charts and the accompanying text that would need regular maintenance.
The text is written in a clear language and the terminology is introduced (highlighted in bold) and explained well.
Most chapters start out with an outline. However, there are no hyperlinks to sub-sections and only three chapters have page numbers included in the outline. The outline is missing in Chapters1 and 7. These two chapters seem less well organized than the others. Having a consistent table of contents, maybe even hyperlinked on the first page of each chapter would be helpful. It would represent the outline and a guide to the proper page.
There are many sub-headers that split the text into smaller portions, maybe even too many to tie the topics together and allow the message to flow. A table of content with either page numbers or hyperlinks would help with navigation.
Within a chapter the order of sub-topics makes sense.
There is no aid to navigation other than hyperlinks back to the Table of Contents for the whole book and this link is only on the first page of each chapter. Images often have text that is significantly smaller than the main text of the book. They also appear to look "fuzzy", even when one zooms in.
I did not find any errors.
This book reports mostly dry scientific facts and does not go into cultural issues. Social injustice is not touched on, but again, this book covers only some topics in environmental science.
For a free introductory environmental science source, it works well in combination with other sources and I found that commercial books are often no more up-to-date than this book. If students do not have to pay for their books I do not feel bad about selecting only some chapters from one source and then switching to another. So the fact that this book does not cover environmental science comprehensively is not as big of an issue as it would be if students had to buy it. I selected some chapters from this book for a part of my course but found other alternate sources to cover other topics.
The book covers a large section of environmental science, which is helpful for an introductory course. However, the topics are not covered in-depth enough to convey the information. There is no glossary, although key words are provided in bold in... read more
The book covers a large section of environmental science, which is helpful for an introductory course. However, the topics are not covered in-depth enough to convey the information. There is no glossary, although key words are provided in bold in the text. Key words are provided at the end of each chapter without definitions. I found many of the diagrams to be much more informative than the actual text, which was helpful.
The book's information is accurate, although it uses a superficial approach to a large number of topics.
Much of the data is already several years old.
The book was clear, but overly basic for a college-level course. Most of the defined terms were too basic.
The book is consistent in how it presents the material, the keywords, and the use of photos, diagrams, and charts.
For a basic overview of various issues, the book is modular enough to assign sections of chapters. However, the lack of page numbering makes it difficult, unless the instructor cuts the sections or explains to use the pdf numbering.
The book adequately covered the breadth of the very basics of environmental science in a coherent manner.
Not all of the pages are numbered. There isn't a link from the table of contents to each subsection, which would help since the page numbering is inconsistent.
No grammatical issues.
I didn't find any issues of cultural relevance, although it focused on environmental issues in the United States more than international issues or contributions to environmental pollution. However, there were international issues and photos used for some examples.
I have used sections of this book to give an overview of certain topics. However, I wouldn't rely on it as the sole textbook at a college level, even an introductory course.
Too compact with content. does not cover various important environment related issues. Content should compatible to other text book in the market place. one of major element soil was completely ignored. Scientific steps could elaborate to peer... read more
Too compact with content. does not cover various important environment related issues. Content should compatible to other text book in the market place. one of major element soil was completely ignored. Scientific steps could elaborate to peer reviewing process. In population dynamics impacts were not properly reflected. Biodiversity is not covered at all. Water is an important issue, and authors may consider breaking up in two sections: waster resources and Water pollution.
In general accuracy of data and information OK. However, some data's are decade old needs updating of those.
Content is more or less up to date. However, several part of the content needs immediate up-gradation with current status. Environment is dynamic science and issues are being updated on regular basis.
Narratives are often complicated on different issues. Such as in energy section figure 5.4: may confuse students on solar energy. For freshman level class the content should presented in lucid form and easily understandable.
Its consistent within framework of the text book.
The inter-related connection of content should be maintained with lesser numbers of subheading. Realigned with piece meal sub units.
Population dynamics and it impact may be listed at the end of table of content.
As mentioned before some images are confusing and do not illustrate relevancy. For example, IPAT equation after sustainability looks misplaced.
Did not notice any errors.
Without presenting environmental justice, it could be an issue.
I am not quite if this text book provides comprehensive information in major aspects of environmental issues. Lot of issues are not covered in this text book as opposed to other books in market place. This would a disservice to students who use OER sources for not having complete knowledge,
The textbook did not provide any glossary or index. It however, provided a list of key terms at the end of every chapter that were often defined in the chapters themselves. A good introductory environmental textbook should address environmental... read more
The textbook did not provide any glossary or index. It however, provided a list of key terms at the end of every chapter that were often defined in the chapters themselves. A good introductory environmental textbook should address environmental science from the biological, social and economic dimensions. This textbook mostly focuses on the biological and physical dimensions of environmental science and inadequately addresses the social and economic dimensions. Some of the areas that were left out include: history of environmental science, saltwater resources, forestry and land management, waste management and conservation.
In general, the materials presented are accurate but a number of graphs, tables and figures, were not properly referenced. Some of the materials are a little dated so there is room for improvement here. In addition, at least one of the links provided for further reference at the end of Chapter 8, was not working.
What is covered in the book is relevant to an introductory course in environmental science. In the earlier chapters the book focuses on fundamental concepts in physical science and later it addresses the fundamental concepts of air pollution and climate change. However, the book fell short of what I often call “closing the loop.” That is, linking the science with the economics and social issues of environmental science. Notwithstanding, by focusing on a fundamental concepts approach, the book should be able to provide useful information to its general readers for a long time.
The technical language used in the book is clear and appropriate for an introductory course in environmental science. Notwithstanding, a glossary of key technical terms could assist in making the book more user friendly.
There were significant inconsistencies throughout the textbook. While I understand, that the numbering system of each chapter increases the modularity of the textbook, this system was often confusing since there was no header or footer on individual pages to let you know which chapter you were reading at any particular time. Also, chapters were also structured differently. There were inconsistencies with the list of objectives and acknowledgements for example, from chapter to chapter.
The book is broken down into sections that would easily allow for additions and updates to the information covered. The page numbering is restarted in every chapter. Notwithstanding, it could be helpful if a header or footer is placed on each page indicating the name of the chapter. This will allow the reader to be more aware of his location in the textbook at any one time.
The textbook is sufficiently organized for the various topics it covers. However, a more comprehensive textbook will also cover the major resources of the world after the section on climate change. Also, renewable and non-renewable resources should probably be placed after the climate change section.
Navigating through the book is not particularly difficult except that a header or footer making chapters could help with ease of navigation since all chapters restart with a new numbering system. There was no distortion of images or charts in this book.
No grammatical errors were found in the book and the technical language used was appropriate for a book at this level.
Because of the books focus on the biological and physiological aspects of environmental science the diversity of cultural examples is limited. Including the cultural, and economic aspects of environmental science would have allowed for a greater diversity of examples from around the world and the incorporation of different disciplines.
My most significant issue with this textbook is its lack of comprehensiveness. When I teach my introductory course in environmental science, I remind my students that environmental science/environmental management is much about how people use scarce resources. Unfortunately, this textbook hardly touches on many of the resource challenges of the world. Even if I were to use this book, I will also have to use a supplementary textbook that covers some of the key dimensions of environmental science that are not in this book.
The book touched on many of the topics in Environmental Science, but some of them were very superficial. For example, there is little on the topic of environmental health and toxicity, other than a quick discussion of the Precautionary Principle.... read more
The book touched on many of the topics in Environmental Science, but some of them were very superficial. For example, there is little on the topic of environmental health and toxicity, other than a quick discussion of the Precautionary Principle. There is little on the environmental aspects of modern agriculture. This seems to cover some of the environmental science topics, but shallowly and incompletely.
What is in there is accurate from information a decade or more ago. Many of the graphs and figures and data are from more than ten years ago, and in a quickly progressing area of study, this seems like an easy update that has not been made. For example, there are pictures of glacial melt from the McCall Glacier from 1958 to 2003 - why not an update within the last 16 years?
What is there is good - but probably needs to be updated and improved upon. Many of the images/data are not up to date - even with the most recent IPCC report, so it seems like an easy update to get the data more relevant.
It is clear - but boring. Compared with other texts that help the non-major reader engage with the environmental science and help connect the issues to their lives, this book is dry. More case studies and stories that students can relate to to help understand the material would be helpful.
It is consistent - but a bit unremarkable. Why are there new page numbers for each chapter? It is very dry and clinical in the reporting of information, but is not engaging to want the reader to keep exploring these issues.
There are a lack of graphs and data and images to help the reader connect with the fairly lengthy, dry reading sections. The topic of Environmental Science easily leads to connections between the reader and the subject, regardless of their chosen interests - but this text does not encourage engagement.
It is organized. It is based heavily on chemistry and the molecular makeup of the environment right from the beginning, which can cause readers to be turned-off to the material before they have a chance to engage with the topics.
Other than starting each chapter with new page number counts, it is fine.
The grammar was fine. Again, it was dry and clinical, but grammatically correct.
It was politically-correctly written. There were examples from around the world - but primarily centered around the US/Global North. More examples and case studies from other regions of the world would help on many levels - global perspective, interest, etc.
I love the idea of Open Resource texts - however, this is not up to par with an introductory Environmental Science college level course, unless it is HIGHLY supplemented with outside material. Keep improving and more will use it!
The book has many standard topics in Environmental Science, but is missing or gives cursory attention to agriculture, biodiversity, and conservation. Also, the book includes only cursory discussion of human livelihoods across the word, which are... read more
The book has many standard topics in Environmental Science, but is missing or gives cursory attention to agriculture, biodiversity, and conservation. Also, the book includes only cursory discussion of human livelihoods across the word, which are inexorably tied to environmental change.
The book doesn't do justice to the 'big debates' in environmental science and presents many topics superficially.
The book takes a neural, unbiased tone and is largely accurate.
This book could have been written 20 years ago, and does not include the latest science and thinking on these topics. Many figures are a little old - for example figure 7.12 shows data from 2007. Updates would be fairly easy.
The text is accessible but incredibly dry and overly laden with terminology.
Yes, it is consistent. Consistently mediocre.
The book is overly modular. The authors lose opportunities to connect to concepts presented earlier in the text. For example, why doesn't the population chapter tie back to I = P A T? Environmental science is integrated - you can't just have chapters that are designed to stand entirely alone.
There is no particular logic or flow to the topics. Each chapter pretty much stands alone.
Some of the figures are low quality -- especially the human population chapter.
The grammar is fine but again the text is incredibly dry.
The book has very few examples at all, so there is little possibility for offense. I rated this poorly because the should discuss culture and how it intersects with the environment.
1. The book is too short and superficial for a college level course.
2. Except for a cursory description of the scientific method, the book does not convey what do scientists do, how do they operate.
3. The book misses the opportunity to present environmental issues in a compelling, relevant way to students. It begins with the narrowest, driest material (Chemical & Biological Foundations of life). Relevance for sustainability/conservation is only superficially presented.
4. There are few fully developed case studies or real-world applications.
5. Problem solving & understanding complex problems not part of this book. From what I can tell, the book's approach is to define a bunch of concepts.
As a book that introduces Environment Science to readers that have little prior knowledge in this subject, this book has successfully covered most important areas of Environment Science, including some core concepts and definitions in this... read more
As a book that introduces Environment Science to readers that have little prior knowledge in this subject, this book has successfully covered most important areas of Environment Science, including some core concepts and definitions in this subject, population ecology, human demography, non-renewable energy, alternative energy, air pollution, climate change, and water. The selected topics in this book are able to provide a rough idea of what Environmental Science is mainly about. However, some important areas have not been mentioned or comprehensively discussed. For example, this book has discussed air and water pollution, but soil pollution has not been mentioned. Also, sustainability is a very critical area of Environmental Science. This book has briefly discussed this topic in the Introduction chapter but did extend relevant discussion. I suggest that the authors add a chapter focusing on sustainability, including its social, economic and environment aspects. In addition to comprehensiveness, this book is also weak in its overall depth of discussion. Most of the contents are not really thought-provoking, which is good as a pop science reading material whose readers who are simply interested in Environmental Science. However, this book may need more in-depth contents to meet probably most teachers' expectation as a university-level textbook. What I like about this book is that each chapter has clearly stated out its objectives at its beginning, as well as the questions at the end of each chapter (except Chapter viii. Water). But again, the questions can be a little more challenging for university students.
Overall speaking, the chapters in this book have been well written. It is not easy to write introductory texts that are rigorous and technically sound yet accessible to general readers. The book is accurate overall, but some paragraphs and concepts would benefit from a more rigorous and technical coverage in addition to the general introduction of the concepts provided. Only a few chapters have acknowledged their references, but most chapters did not do so. For example, appropriate citations are missing throughout Chapter i. Introduction. However, even in those chapters that have provided a list of references, the references are not linked to the contents in this book.
The contents that are presented in this book are closely relevant to the subject of Environmental Science. Because most of the contents are fundamental sciences, the book should be able to provide useful information to its general readers unless there are significant game-changing breakthroughs in the covered areas. However, some chapters that should have up-to-date information have not use the most recent references. For example, Chapter v. Alternative Energy should have shown more modern technologies for renewable energy. As a book that is written in 2018, such contents will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time.
The book has clearly explained jargons / technological terminologies using accessible yet technical languages. I believe that any high school students can easily learn something about Environment Science with this book. However, the downside is that this book has not provided in-depth information to allow its readers to fully understand some complex concepts.
The style of writing was not consistent throughout the book. Each chapter has its own page numbers. Structures in different chapters are also different sometimes. For example, some chapters have a list of objectives while some others do not; some chapters have acknowledge the references while some others do not; some chapters use "resources" for the list of references while some others use "bibliographies" for the same. With these inconsistencies, this book seems like a collection of review articles from different authors. To solve this problem, this book need professional editing to improve its consistency.
Overall, the text is easily and readily divided into small reading sections with clear titles. But it seems like the Introduction section is broken down into too many small sections that have ambiguous inherent links.
The overall organization is good but can be improved. The places of some sections can be rearranged. For example, Chapter viii. can be placed right after Chapter vi. because both air and water are essential aspects of the environment. Climate Change (Chapter vii) can be placed after the two chapters about energy, because the use fossil energy is one main reason for climate change.
The interface is pleasant and professional, except that the resolution of some images can be improved.
No major grammatical/stylistic errors were found, although minor mistakes may exist.
This book is not culturally sensitive or offensive.
Conclusively, this book can serve as a good introductory reading material for self-teaching readers, but many aspects of this book must be improved before it can be used as an Environmental Science textbook in universities and colleges.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Introduction
- Chapter 2: Population Ecology
- Chapter 3: Human Demography
- Chapter 4: Non-Renewable Energy
- Chapter 5: Alternative Energy
- Chapter 6: Air Pollution
- Chapter 7: Climate Change
- Chapter 8: Water
About the Book
This course uses the basic principles of biology and earth science as a context for understanding environmental policies and resource management practices. Our planet is facing unprecedented environmental challenges, from oil spills to global climate change. In ENSC 1000, you will learn about the science behind these problems; preparing you to make an informed, invaluable contribution to Earth's future. I hope that each of you is engaged by the material presented and participates fully in the search for, acquisition of, and sharing of information within our class.
About the Contributors
Caralyn Zehnder, Georgia College and State University
Kalina Manoylov, Georgia College and State University
Samuel Mutiti, Georgia College and State University
Christine Mutiti, Georgia College and State University
Allison VandeVoort, Georgia College and State University
Donna Bennett, Georgia College and State University