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Figure 5 Early industrial development led to environmental pollution.

Ecological Industrial Developments

Figure 5 Early industrial development led to environmental pollution.

Figure 6 Recycling and using nonpolluting types of energy, such as solar energy, are two of the ways Americans are becoming more environmentally conscious.

Need for Conservation

When Europeans began to settle throughout America, it seemed that their way of life would completely replace Native American conservation practices. Many farming techniques used by the new settlers eroded fertile topsoil. Some of the wildlife, which had been treasured and respected by the native peoples, was driven to either extinction or near extinction.

New technology greatly affected the environment. The steam and diesel engines, commercial oil drilling, burning of coal, and industrial development led to waste and pollution.

In recent years, Americans have become more aware of the need for conservation. In 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency was created with the goal of safeguarding the environment. Paper, plastic, glass, and metal are widely recycled. Many items that were once considered waste are now being reused. Although pollution is still a problem, Americans are returning to practices that are more like traditional Native American ways.

Science

The practice of modifying human behavior to preserve Earth is known as conservation. Conservation involves managing the use of natural resources found in many different environments. In this book, you will learn about how all species on Earth are connected and how they can affect their environments.

History of Science

History is a record of people's achievements and their mistakes. Science history teaches that scientific ideas are not limited to scientists. Many people of different ethnic backgrounds, professions, and ages—male and female—have contributed to today's conservation movement. Studying the history of science reminds people that even though accepted views may change, humans constantly gain a better understanding of nature.

Figure 6 Recycling and using nonpolluting types of energy, such as solar energy, are two of the ways Americans are becoming more environmentally conscious.

Connections

Throughout their history, Native Americans have understood the importance of living in harmony with nature. They practiced conservation as a way of life, not just a passing fad. The people of the northwest understood that fishing for more salmon than they needed would endanger the next year's supply. Today, people are learning this same lesson as some traditional fishing grounds are closed because of overharvesting.

Recall the Mayan belief about how unnecessarily cutting down a tree shortened one's life. It is now known that plants provide oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air. Scientists warn that cutting down rain forest trees might lead to a buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This could add to the trend in rising, global average temperatures known as global warming.

Native Americans on the Plains realized the importance of using every part of the bison, learning to live with their minimum needs, and limiting their use of natural resources. This model is being followed today, in some ways, through the effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

As new knowledge replaces old, it's tempting to think that only new ideas are worthwhile. Native American traditions of conservation show that this is not always true. These traditions once were disregarded but the value of their conservation is now known.

Figure 7 Many items that you use every day are made of recycled material. These packing beads are made from a wheat product.

Rain Forests

Figure 8 The amount of land covered by rain forests is decreasing daily.

Forests originally covered about 25 percent of Earth's land areas. Today, only about 13 percent of Earth's land areas are covered with forests. Research to find out the history of this change. Explain how following Native American conservation practices might have avoided the problems that face forests today.

Figure 8 The amount of land covered by rain forests is decreasing daily.

5?ff Cooper/The Salina Journal/Associated Press, (b)FIetcher & Baylus/Photo Researchers chaprer chaprer

Fruit Fly Virtual Lab

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1 Living Earth

2 Populations

3 Interactions Within Communities

Lab Feeding Habits of Planaria Lab Population Growth in Fruit Flies

Virtual Lab How is energy transferred through a community of organisms?

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1 Living Earth

2 Populations

3 Interactions Within Communities

Lab Feeding Habits of Planaria Lab Population Growth in Fruit Flies

Virtual Lab How is energy transferred through a community of organisms?

Are these birds in danger?

The birds are a help to the rhinoceros. They feed on ticks and other parasites plucked from the rhino's hide. When the birds sense danger, they fly off, giving the rhino an early warning. Earth's living organisms supply one another with food, shelter, and other requirements for life.

Science Journal Describe how a familiar bird, insect, or other animal depends on other organisms.

Joe McDonald/Visuals Unlimited

Joe McDonald/Visuals Unlimited

Start-Up Activities

How do lawn organisms survive?

You probably have taken thousands of footsteps on grassy lawns or playing fields. If you look closely at the grass, you'll see that each blade is attached to roots in the soil. How do grass plants obtain everything they need to live and grow? What other kinds of organisms live in the grass? The following lab will give you a chance to take a closer look at the life in a lawn.

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