Biology 115 - Environmental Science Posters

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This collection includes posters completed in the Biology Department's Environmental Science class. Abstracts are generally available to the public, but PDF files are available only to current Kalamazoo College students, faculty, and staff. If you are not a current K College student, faculty, or staff member, email us at to request access to this material.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
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    How Mercury Pollution Affects Organisms Living in the Great Lakes Ecosystem
    (2011) Clerville, Chris; Francisco, Michael; Rietkerk, Melinda; Girdler, Erin Binney, 1969-
    Scientists first took an active interest in mercury levels in the Great Lakes after the Industrial Revolution. Studies have shown that mercury primarily contaminates the lakes through atmospheric deposition after anthropogenic emissions. There was a relative decrease in sedimentary concentration around the 1980s, due to localized efforts to inform people about the harmful effects of mercury on the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem. Mercury contamination bioaccumulates as it travels up the food chain, and proves harmful to humans who consume mercury contaminated fish. However, there are possible solutions in controlling mercury emissions and reducing contamination of the Great Lakes.
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    Detroit’s Dirty Little Secret: Air Pollution
    (2011) Caldwell, Lee; Etheridge, LaShawn; Nguyen, Hong; Girdler, Erin Binney, 1969-
    The average person inhales about 20,000 liters of air every day (Institute of Sacred Knowledge). While 99.9% of air consists of nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor and other gases, it can be polluted by human activities ( These human activities release substances into the atmosphere which can cause adverse health effects on humans such as problems in lung function and long-term cancer. These air pollutants are composed of a mixed blend of gases and particles that remain airborne for long periods of time. Common pollutants include oxides of nitrogen, oxides of sulfur, ozone, carbon monoxide and particulate matter (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). Detroit is the 17th most polluted city in the United States (City Mayors Environment 14). It is recognized as the “Motor City, USA” due to its great contribution to the automotive and manufacturing industry. It is the home of the Big Three- General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford automotive companies. At a very early stage, Detroit has been identified as an industrial hotspot; it became a hotspot for researchers on air pollution. Studies also show that a great deal of pollutants are emitted around the Detroit area are due in part of its geographic location. In this research we examine the sources of air pollutants and its effects on the human population in the metropolitan Detroit area (Figure 1).
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    Environmental Impacts of Solid Waste Disposal
    (2011) Moreno, Camila; Anderson, Molly; Mgaloblishvili, Salome; Nummer, Emily; Girdler, Erin Binney, 1969-
    The formal term for garbage is Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), which includes many different forms of refuse. It includes durable and nondurable goods, yard waste, and food. This category refers to common household waste as well as office and retail wastes, but excludes industrial, hazardous, and construction wastes.
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    Nuclear and Hydroelectric Power in France and Norway, Respectively
    (2011) Linvill, Bret B.; Feuerstein, Nathaniel; Smith, Colin S.; Girdler, Erin Binney, 1969-
    Nuclear power plants in France supply over 75% of the electrical power needs of France, a far higher percentage than that of anywhere else in the world (OECD Factbook 2009.) This energy is generated in nuclear fission plants, which use the heat generated by uranium or plutonium fuel rods to heat water to steam, which is subsequently used to turn turbines. While many nations use nuclear fission to generate electricity, they dispose of the spent fuel rods in cooling tanks or underground storage facilities. France, on the other hand, re-enriches its spent nuclear fuel and reuses it, using the new and recycled fuel in the 59 nuclear power facilities in France (Valenti 1995.) These facilities provide a combined 425 terrawatt hours, 18% of which is exported and sold to other European nations. The French nuclear infrastructure is the most sophisticated in the world and serves as a model for imitation by other nations.
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    How Has Global Warming Affected Canadian Inuit?
    (2011) Lang, Cameron; Hay, Gus; Prepolec, Joseph John; Girdler, Erin Binney, 1969-
    No region has experienced the negative effects of climate change to the extent of the Arctic. For Canadian Inuit, these changes directly disturb the survival practices they have relied upon for generations Specifically Inuit communities’ subsistence hunting is contingent on precise ice conditions that are rapidly changing. A rise in temperature has already altered ice and snow cycles along the Canadian Arctic, exposing its inhabitants to unprecedented environmental conditions. If this trend continues, the challenges anthropogenic climate change imposes upon Arctic inhabitants could force a large proportion of Inuit communities to leave the land they have called home for many centuries.
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