Sample First Test for Environmental Science
May Weekender 2002

 Here are some sample multiple choice questions.  Don't be surpised by a few definitions or an essay.

1:      Which of the following best describes environmental science?
A:      ecology.
B:      the study of population, pollution, resources and society.
C:      the study of the living world.
D:      the study of pollution.

2:      Which of the following is NOT characteristic of a sustainable society?
A:      relies heavily on fossil fuels
B:      uses wood and other renewable resources whenever possible
C:      practices conservation
D:      recycles whenever posible

3:      A(n)  _________________  is a tentative explanation of scientific observations that can be tested by experiments.
A:      hypothesis
B:      paradigm
C:      theory
D:      inductive reasoning
E:      none of the above

4:      In a scientific test of the effects of pollutants on animals, the group that is treated is called the ____________ group.
A:      experimental
B:      control
C:      hypothetical
D:      inductive
E:      none of the above.

5:      The goal(s) of the field of environmental science is (are) to
A:      learn how to manipulate the environment to solely serve mankind.
B:      find solutions to environmental problems already created by man.
C:      determine how humans affect other species and the physical environment.
D:      identify ways to avoid upsetting the delicate balance of global biological systems.
E:      All but one of the answers above.

6:      Which of the following is NOT a cause of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere?
A:      burning of fossil fuels
B:      clearing and burning of forests.
C:      acid rain.
D:      release of radioactive gases from nuclear reactors.
E:      c) and d)

7:      All of the following are consequences of global warming except . . . 
A:      changes in rainfall patterns.
B:      melting of ice sheets.
C:      rise in sea level.
D:      the hole in the ozone layer.
E:      all of the above are consequences of global warming.

8:      Why can more people be supported by eating vegetables and grains from a field than by eating meat from beef grazed on the same land?
A:      because the lower an organism feeds on a food chain the greater the available biomass
B:      this statement is ridiculous, it's the other way around
C:      because beef biomass is not converted into human flesh as efficiently as plant biomass
D:      all of the above
E:      none of the above

9:      Omnivores are 
A:      also called herbivores.
B:      green colored.
C:      abiotic components.
D:      autotrophs.
E:      unspecialized feeders.

10:     A biological population consists of
A:      a group of organisms of the same species.
B:      any group of organisms in the same habitat.
C:      all of the organisms in a single community.
D:      all of the organisms of the same kind.

11:     Choose either the carbon, nitrogen, or phosphorous cycle to show how human interference often leads to environmental problems. (20 pts.)

12:     A lump of coal and a starch molecule have what in common?
A:      they both contain work
B:      neither has the capacity to do work
C:      they are inorganic molecules
D:      they are both forms of potential energy

13:     The conversion of atmospheric nitrogen into inorganic nitrogen (which can be used by plants)
A:      occurs in the roots of all plants.
B:      is called nitrogen fixation.
C:      occurs in nitrogen nodules in legumes, such as peas.
D:      both B and C.
E:      all of the above.

14:     Which of the following is most likely to become a limiting factor in many ecosystems?
A:      oxygen
B:      carbon
C:      sulfur
D:      phosphorus
E:      silicon

15:     About ___ % of the energy available at one level of a food chain gets transferred and stored in usable form in the bodies of organisms at the next level.
A:      10
B:      50
C:      75
D:      90
E:      100

16:     The distribution of desert, grassland, and forest biomes is determined principally by
A:      temperature.
B:      precipitation.
C:      latitude.
D:      sunlight.
E:      soil.

17:     Zooplankton eats phytoplankton, a minnow eats the zooplankton, and a turtle eats the minnow.  From this we can conclude that
A:      phytoplankton are primary consumers.
B:      zooplankton are primary producers.
C:      zooplankton are carnivores.
D:      the turtle is a carnivore.
E:      the turtle is a decomposer.

18:     The general area which an animal might use on a regular basis for activities such as gathering food, sleeping, etc., is known as its
A:      niche.
B:      habitat.
C:      microhabitat.
D:      territory.
E:      home range.