A Guide to Understanding Fundamental Principles of Environmental Management: It Ain't Magic: Everything Goes Somewhere


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Publication Date: 15/02/2021

Pages: 220

ISBN13: 9781789060980

eISBN: 9781789060997

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In this human-dominated “Anthropocene Epoch,” how does one protect and manage scarce environmental resources?

This book uses plain language to introduce the non-expert to the fundamentals of environmental management, without requiring them to have a solid grounding in the basic sciences. The authors build upon the reader’s natural understanding of scientific principles to learn how to follow the consequences of change through natural systems and to ask better questions about one’s environment. Case studies are provided, drawn from temperate ecosystems and human-altered landscapes. Two sets of stories are crafted to explain scientific concepts and introduce analytical approaches, identifying where and how to obtain relevant information. The first covers water and where it goes and what factors affect its fate, and the second how key building blocks of life (carbon and the nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus) change chemical forms and cycles through the environment. The role of soils in the nexus of environmental media is explained. Finally, the authors describe, and also lead the reader to identify, how humans have altered core processes and to judge the significance of these changes. The reader will learn how to fix environmental dysfunction in both private and public lives.



About the Authors


Part I: The Basics or How Stuff Happens

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Chapter 2 – The water cycle (hydrology)

Chapter 3 – Conservation of mass or everything goes somewhere

Chapter 4 – Soils, or how dirt plays a part in the precarious balancing act of cycles

Part II: Stuff Happens and for Every Action There is a Reaction

Chapter 5 – Natural and human-induced change

Chapter 6 – Impacts of human-caused changes to water flow and to the balancing of the carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles

Chapter 7 – Putting it all together: case studies

Chapter 8 – The answer to what is next, summary, and conclusions

Appendix A: Acidity

Appendix B: Chemical elements of life

Appendix C: Building blocks of life

Appendix D: Ecosystem Services

Recommended Resources


Literature Cited

Andrew Manale

Skip Hyberg

“An enlightening journey through the first principles of science which determine the nature and condition of the environmental systems we are all seeking to understand and protect.”

Robert Wolcott, Board Chair of the Environmental Protection Network, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Policy (former) at the United States Environmental Protection Agency

“This book provides a refreshing view of looking at factors influencing the environment we all live in, what we unwittingly and intentionally do to damage it, and how we can protect our precious resources that will benefit us all, our children and future generations. Examples are given that highlight principles and processes in a way that those without an agricultural background, can understand, and herein lies the strength and value of this book for a broader, yet critically important audience. I recommend this book as an excellent, clear, and concise overview of complex environmental sciences, their management, and the role all of us have in protecting them for the benefit of future generations.”

Dr. Andrew Sharpley, Distinguished Professor, Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences, Division of Agriculture, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

“Environmental awareness is lacking, especially when it comes to understanding how we are stewards of the environment and how our actions influence us but the generations to come. This book offers a look at the environmental dynamics from the perspective of making the reader ask questions and determine the potential outcomes from observations of everyday phenomenon. The authors are to be commended for bringing complex topics into everyday experiences and observations to help us all become more skilled at asking the question, what can we do to improve our environment?”

Dr. Jerry Hatfield, Affiliate Professor, Iowa State University, Director (retired), Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, and Past-President of the American Society of Agronomy

“Andrew Manale and Skip Hyberg provide an excellent introduction to today’s enduring and existential environmental problems, as well as the key scientific principles underlying them.”

Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science, SENR

“provides a framework for identifying what can work towards achieving the goal of an environment in balance and how to measure progress. It should be read broadly.”

Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science, SENR

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