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Tutor profile: Veronica B.

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Veronica B.
Recent Graduate Student with an M.S. in Sustainability
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Questions

Subject: Environmental Science

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Question:

How is climate change affecting coastline areas?

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Veronica B.
Answer:

Over the past years, climate change has been a growing concern and has put many areas at high risk. One of these geographic locations at considerable risk is coastline areas. Climate change has many negative impacts on the planet and humans, including warming of our planet, sea-level rise, decrease in biodiversity, adverse health effects, increase in natural disasters, risks to infrastructure, and so on. The greatest concern for coastline areas is sea-level rise, which is caused by the warming and melting of land ice. Sea-level rise causes coastlines to push further inland through flooding and erosion. This is of the highest risk and concern to island nations because they are more vulnerable and susceptible to sea-level rise. Additionally, urban areas along the coast are at great risk as infrastructures such as roads, bridges, subways, water supplies, oil and gas wells, and landfills could be significantly damaged. Not only is sea level rise harming the human world, but also the natural world. There is a high loss of coastal ecosystem habitats and soil contamination due to an increase in salt. Additionally, areas that used to protect inland from hurricanes are now in danger of disappearing, such as wetlands, which could decrease biodiversity. All of these impacts put coastline areas at great risk, whether it involves the human world or the natural world.

Subject: Urban Studies

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Question:

What are the benefits and downfalls to Urbanization?

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Veronica B.
Answer:

Urbanization is the process of people moving from rural areas to urban areas, for example, a farmer moving to the city. Urban areas emerged during early civilizations such as Mesopotamia, and since then, urban areas have developed all over the world. Urban areas have many benefits, such as more job opportunities, better access to healthcare, convenient means of transportation, better sanitary services, and greater social interaction. While urban areas are known for sparking innovation and growth, they also come with some downfalls. Urban areas come with an increase in crime rate, cost of living, natural disasters, poverty, and pollution. The greatest downfall to urban areas is the intake in resources causing pollution. Urban areas have such a high density that they require large amounts of resources to fuel all the growth. Cities are considered to be living organisms that take in resources and produce waste; this is referred to as Urban Metabolism. Most cities are known to have a Linear Metabolism, which is when a city takes in resources and produces waste from it. However, if a city wants to improve its use of waste, they would recycle their resources which would create a Circular Metabolism. While urban areas do have some benefits, it's essential to also consider the downfalls and try to improve them.

Subject: Sociology

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Question:

How does the Ecological Footprint relate to sustainability?

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Veronica B.
Answer:

The Ecological Footprint calculates the impact a person or community has on our environment by measuring the amount of nature we need to sustain our use of natural resources. When measuring the "amount of nature," that means biologically productive land (gha). The Ecological Footprint takes into account our daily activities such as your means of transportation, how much waste you produce, what your electricity usage is, your consumption habits, and so on. Essentially, the Ecological Footprint is comparing our human consumption patterns of natural resources to the Earth’s ecological ability to regenerate those resources. Virtually, each of us is leaving behind a footprint and the Ecological Footprint measures how big that footprint is. In order for our planet to be sustainable, it must meet the needs of the present generation without comprising the needs of future generations. If our Ecological Footprint is too large, then we are taking resources from future generations and prohibiting them from meeting their own needs.

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