Directions Environmental Problems Midterm Exam Essays

I’m studying for my Biology class and need an explanation.



  • The midterm exam consists of 5 essay questions worth 20 points each, and you must answer these questions entirely in your own words, citing information from our lecture materials.
  • You are only allowed two upload submission attempts (I gave you the second one in case the first has a problem).
  • You type your responses to the 5 essay questions into a single document and then upload the single document to Canvas.
  • Document file must end in one of these: .pdf, .doc, .docx, or .txt
  • Your essay responses will be run through the Turnitin plagiarism checker, and if they match known sources or other student work by more than 20%, you will receive 0 points.
  • Again, you are only allowed two upload submission attempts, so do not copy other student’s work!
  • Check out this page on how to use the Turnitin checker in Canvas (Links to an external site.).
  • Please message your professor with any questions.


  • Do not copy other student’s responses, or you will both receive 0 points on this exam.
  • Please type in complete sentences.
  • Grammar and spelling count, so please use a free checker such as Grammarly (Links to an external site.) for the Chrome browser if this is an issue for you.
  • Your answers should include specific biological details, including important names of molecules, processes, and functions.
  • Remember, the goal of this test is to allow you to show what you’ve learned so far, so please think of it as an opportunity to do so.
  • Good luck! I look forward to reading your responses!

Essay Questions (number your essay responses 1-5)

  1. Consider the statement: “Environmental problems affect everyone equally.” Think of any one of the issues we’ve discussed in class thus far, and explain how you agree and disagree with this statement. Cite specific details, as well as use and define the term “environmental justice” in your response. Be sure to include two ways you agreeand two ways you disagree (number them please).
  2. Consider the statement: “For the most part, aquaculture (specifically shrimp farming) negatively impacts biodiversity.” What is one way you agree with this statement? What is one way you disagree with this statement? In your response, be sure to define what biodiversity is, and then discuss at least two specific impacts of shrimp farming on biodiversity in your response.
  3. You and a friend are driving over the San Mateo Bridge towards Hayward and passing over the water of the San Francisco Bay. Your friend tells you her family recently released their freshwater goldfish into the middle region of the Bay (near Hayward) and wonders how the fish are doing in their new home. Please discuss the following in your response:
    • Using your understanding of the San Francisco Bay and the term estuary, discuss how you think the goldfish are doing.
    • What if your friend and her family dumped the goldfish in the Sacramento River? Would the fish be doing any differently?
    • Lastly, how can you convince your friend that the Bay is worth taking care of? Using an anthropocentric approach, discuss at least three ecosystem services the Bay provides to people living in the Bay Area.
  4. Several years ago, you replaced all your incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs – good for you! A few weeks ago, one burned out, and now you’re wondering what to do with it. Please discuss the following in your response:
    • Given that compact fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury, where should you dispose of it? Be specific in your response.
    • If the bulb is put in the landfill and the mercury contained in the bulb leached into groundwater under the landfill and entered the waters of the Pacific Ocean or any waterway, what would likely happen to the mercury? Discuss specific processes we discussed in class involving mercury and its movement through the food web.
    • Why exactly is mercury dangerous to living things? Discuss a health problem mercury causes.
    • What California event led to significant mercury deposition into the Bay?
  5. Consider the statement: “Ocean biodiversity is very much linked to ocean health.” How do you agree or disagree with this statement? Cite at least two pieces of specific scientific evidence from the lecture, and be sure to tell me how the evidence supports your response. Next, list and describe one type of fishing practice that is considered to be more sustainable for ocean health. Why is it supposed to be a good alternative?

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