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What was the Green Revolution?

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What was the Green Revolution?

Happened in the 50s and 60s where agricultural research stations addressed the issues of hunger in developing countries, figured out how to grow food more efficiently

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Chronic under nutrition or hunger

People who cannot grow or buy enough food to meet their basic energy needs, which threaten their ability to live healthy and productive lives

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Nutritional imbalance caused by a lack of specific dietary components or an inability to absorb or utilize essential nutrient

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Carbs, fibers, fats, proteins

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Key vitamins and other minerals

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Vitamin and mineral defiencies

2 billion people suffer from mineral or vitamin deficiencies: vitamin A, zinc, iron, iodine

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What is famine and what leads to it

Large scale food shortages accompanied by widespread starvation and even death, can occur after large scale natural disasters, unstable governments, or conflict in the region

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Food desert

Geographic area that lack nutritious food, no grocery stores nearby

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Food swamp

Geographic areas that have an overabundance of unhealthy food, sell lots of processes and unhealthy food, lots of fast food

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Organizations addressing issues of food deserts

North side of Binghamton - Greater Good Grocery opened in 2020, non-profit grocery store that sells a variety of food at discounted rates

VINES (Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments) - Helps with growing and showing people how to grow their own food and gives them access to healthy foods

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What are three major crops grown in the US

Wheat, rice, corn

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What are some trends we see with food production and diet? How do different countries rank in production/consumption of products we went over in class?

Trend in meat production and consumption: China produces a lot of meat, specifically pork US produces mainly beef and poultry

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What are CAFOs? What are the problems associated with them?

CAFOs - Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

Total global consumption of meat has doubled since the 1970s

Major emitter of one particular greenhouse gas - Methane, higher potency of carbon dioxide

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Farming fish

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Concentration of wild aquatic species suitable for commercial harvesting in a given ocean or inland body of water

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Unwanted fish collected

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Problem with commercial fishing

Habitats can be destroyed especially with trawling on the ocean floor, fish too much and fisheries depleting rapidly

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Dragging a large net along seafloor

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Purse-seine fishing

Catch surface dwelling species

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Lines with baited hooks - swordfish, tuna, sharks, halibut, cod

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Farm subsides

Government payments or other types of support intended to help farmers stay in business

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Concerns with subsides

Concentration with payments

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Soil conservation program

Conservation reserve program

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Complex mixture of rock pieces, mineral nutrients, decaying organic matter, water, air, and living organisms that support plant and animal life

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Particle sizes

Categorized by sand, salt, silt, clay

Sand is the largest silt is the middle and clay is the smallest

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Well-suited for plant growth because it allows water to pass through 40-40-20 (sand,silt, clay)

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Soil profile

The sequence of horizontal layers in soil

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Organic layer

Partly decomposed plant material (leaves, twigs, mosses)

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Mineral soil from the plant material and some organic

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Inorganic matter, broken down rock, more clay

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Parent material

Weathered rock (sand, windblown silt, bedrock, other mineral material on which the soil is built)

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Carbon cycle

Photosynthesis - Done by plants that take in atmospheric carbon and produce oxygen

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Nitrogen cycle

Nitrogen gas - Makes up 78% of the volume in the atmosphere

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How are plants able to capture nitrogen

Lightning strikes, bacteria in the soil (nitrogen fixing bacteria)

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Phosphorus cycle

Phosphate rocks contain phosphate ions Water runs over rocks

Phosphates - Important nutrient for plant growth

Usually a limiting factor in soil

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Excessive richness of nutrients in a body of water, frequently due to runoff from the land, which causes a dense growth of plant life and death of animal life from lack of oxygen

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The movement of soil components by water or wind

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The dust bowl

1930, severe drought

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Effects of dust storms

Mass migration, of mice and men, the grapes of wrath

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Dust bowl led to

Establishment of soil erosion service, prairie states forestry project, 220 million trees planted

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Soil sanitization

Accumulation of salts in the upper soil layers

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Accumulation of water underground, raising the water table

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Kill insects

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Kill plants

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Kill fungi

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Kill rodents

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Types of pesticides

Organophosphate, chlorinated hydrocarbons, neonicotinoids

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General components of the food system

Generally goes from production to processing to distribution to marketing to purchasing to consumption to nutrient cycling

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Environmental pressures in farmer decision making

Climate (timing and extent of temperature changes, precipitation changes, and natural disasters)

● Soil Nutrients and types and their associated deficiencies/ limitation and loss potential

● Plants and animals pests

● Plant disease

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Financial realities of farmer decision making

● Cost of seed

● Regulation costs

● Loss from environmental pressures

● Harvesting costs

● Transportation costs and processing opportunities

● Market value

● Agreements with companies

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Social dynamics of farmer decision making

Demand for the product

● Origin or DNA modifications

● Nutritional profile

● Quality/ appearance


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Be able to give a general overview of the history of domestication of tomatoes including how chromosomes, DNA, genes, proteins, traits and mutations play into the process of domestication

1. Extract DNA or RNA from organism

2. Copy the one gene of interest

3. Modify the gene for plant expression

4. Transform plant cells

5. Propagate plant from cell

6. Breed the transgenic plant with other plants

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Cross breeding

Combining 2 sexually compatible species

Plant breeder selects 2 different parents

With crossbreeding, there is not always a perfect outcome, rather takes a long time to narrow down what genotype and then what phenotype comes through

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Involves adding new genes to a genome

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Gene editing

Editing within the genome you are working with, using laboratory techniques to get desirable traits

Same number of chromosomes and genes as starting plant

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How do public perceptions and policy (including labeling) relate to the different genetic modification techniques?

Public Perceptions

● Safety

● Cultural Factors

● Environmental

● Trust in who makes or regulates these technologies

● Transparency


● Regulation

● Labeling

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What are trends we see related to small farms referencing the figure we discussed in class?

500 million family farms produced 80% of food consumed worldwide

89% of farms in this country are small scale farms

Large scale farms are producing nearly 50% of food

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Organic material in the soil which helps support microorganisms and Nutrients in soil

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Turning sloped land into terraces to catch soil and water from flowing downhill

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Contour Planting

Planting crops perpendicular or along contour lines to create mini dams which allow plants to catch and capture sediments and nutrients

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Strip-cropping with cover crop

Planting in rows or planting green in order to trap soil and prevent wind erosion, holds carbon

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Alley cropping/agroforestry

Planting trees along with crop, prevents erosion due to complex root structures of trees, adds nutrients to soil when trees fall, helps support biodiversity

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Organic fertilizer

Fertilizers that are naturally produced (animal manure, green manure, compost)

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Crop rotation

Farmers can plant their crops for a year and instead of continuing to keep planting that crop each year, they can alternate by planting row crop one year and a nitrogen crop the next year, gives time for land to recover and helps in preventing erosion, helps in preventing pests

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Alternatives to synthetic pesticides

Biological controls: natural predators, parasites, disease causing bacteria and viruses

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Problems with biological controls

If you introduce an insect to keep away pests, that insect could end up becoming a pest if too many are added

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Integrated pest management

Crops and pests are evaluated as parts of an ecosystem

This includes:

● Biological controls

● Cultivation controls (altering planting times)

● Possibly applying small amounts of pesticides

Taking into account chemical, biological, physical-mechanical, and cultural factors into consideration

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Growing plants with no soil, but instead exposing them to different types of nutrient rich water solution

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Aquaponics systems

Growing fish and plants together

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Organic agriculture

production system that is managed to respond to site specific conditions integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity (USDA)

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Types of practices employed in organic ag

No hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetic modification

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Ways to support sustainable ag

Buying local

Help local economy

Reduction of greenhouse gasses

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Ecological diversity

Complexity in the environment and all different communities which support different species

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Why should we care about biodiversity

World species provide vital ecosystem and economic services

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Existence value

relating to the importance we place on certain species just knowing that they exist

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Threats to biodiversity

Habitat destruction: Deforestation specifically in agricultural land

● Fishing trollers destroying ocean bottom environments

● Oil and gas drilling

● Building of dams

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Invasive species

Nonnative species that outcompete populations of many native species for food, disrupt ecosystem services, transmit diseases, and lead to economic losses

Ex: Zebra Mussels, Round Goby, Emerald Ash Borer, Spotted Lanternfly, Autumn Olive

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What can be done about biodiversity

Endangered Species Act (1973)

● Endangered - About to be extinct

● Threatened - Keep an eye on numbers they are likely to be endangered

● Vulnerable - Animals that are naturally rare or depleted and can be a candidate for future


U.S Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service keep track of all of this

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How can we support biodiversity

Research Funding

● Surveys

● Increasing inspection of imported goods

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Seed banks

Storage environments to preserve genetic information

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How do zoos and aquariums promote biodiversity

Captive Breeding

Challenges with reintroduction? Make sure they can live on their own Make sure habitat can support them

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What is the case study about western U.S. forests related to drought, fires, and bark beetles?

American West Forest Threats

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What changes do we see in forested land globally

There has been a decline in amount of forests, but North America has been making reforestation efforts

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Why do we need forests


● Fuel

● Pulp to make paper

● Recreation

● Reduce soil erosion

● Help with water retention

● Stores atmospheric carbon

● Provide habitat

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Loss of tropical rainforests due to

Palm oil production

● Soybean plantations

● Cattle Grazing

● Logging

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Ways to reduce deforestation

Cut down on illegal logging

● Subsidize sustainable forest practices

● Third party certifications promoting sustainable forestry practices

● Rainforest Alliance

● Sustainability Forestry Initiative

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Surface fire

Burn undergrowth and leaf litter. They have ecological benefits in that help prevent more destructive fires, release seeds from cones of trees

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Crown fires

Take place In the crown of trees. These are much more destructive and fast moving. Can kill wildlife, destroy most vegetation, increase topsoil erosion.

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How does wind land-urban interface relate to fire

More susceptible to risks from fire

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Problem facing grasslands

Overgrazing - Allowing livestock to eat so much forage that the ecosystem degrades by soil being too packed down that there are no spaces for water to soak into the soil

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Solution to problems with grasslands

Rotational Grazing - Move animals around so they are not trampling the ground as much

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What are the different U.S. land classifications, what practices in general are allowed in each, and what agency oversees each land classification?

National Forest System - managed by the U.S. Forest Service – can use for logging, livestock grazing, farming, oil/gas extraction, recreation, conservation

Bureau of Land Management - manages a variety of large tracts of land for mining, oil/gas extraction and livestock grazing

National Wildlife Refuge - managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife service – meant to conserve fish, wildlife, and plants. Minimal recreation activities allowed – birding, photography, fishing, hunting

National Park System - managed by the National Park Service – can camp, hike, fish, boat

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History of national park system

U.S National Park service established in 2016

Stephen Mather - 1st director

Wanted to make them attractive and comfortable for tourists Lots of hotels, roads build

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How can communities be involved in land protection

Guanacaste National Park in Costa Rica where the local community has been involved in protection and restoration efforts of the land.

local farmers were paid to remove nonnative species and plant trees, students and citizen groups studied the park’s ecology, and were cited for ecotourism which helped promote the local economy.

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What did wangari maathai do related to forests

promoted tree planting in Kenya – what became known as the “Green Belt Movement”

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What are coral reefs?

World's oldest, most diverse, and most productive ecosystems that form in clear, warm coastal waters in tropical areas.

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What is happening to coral reefs?

Climate change increasing ocean temperature, increasing ocean acidity, destructive fishing practices

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How are coral reefs being restored?

Harvesting coral fragments and growing them in underwater nurseries, growing coral in conditions we expect to see in future, "Assisted evolution"

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 You employ chemical, physical, or biological methods to remove pollution, methods relatively mild and non-destructive

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Bio Remediation

 Using bacteria or fungi to help clean up a site and restore ecosystem

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