Welcome to our class!

We are an environmental science course at St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, NJ, taught by Mrs. T. We'll be blogging about environmental issues all term, so please stay tuned!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Physics Project

For my Physics project, I will be drawing three pieces. I believe art does not need to be colorful but needs to be understood. Art has a hidden meaning behind every drawing, and it is up to the viewer on how they interpret it. The world as we know it is under a lot of pressure to create a vaccine to cure the Coronavirus. And with all of this pressure, the world needs a lot of help in order to survive. So for the first piece I wanted to draw something that showed how desperate the world is for help.
Over the break, my dad showed me a photo of a box of medical masks for 150$. I was shocked that people had the audacity to profit off of the pandemic that is upon us. Watching the news, I was pressured to wear masks where ever I had to go. My father was working during this pandemic, and in order to save money, I went with him. My mask became my insurance, and the 12oz bottle of hand sanitizer; which is retailed of about 100 dollars on eBay became my best friend. I was constantly told to keep my mask on, so I thought if it was so important, I should draw one. So for my next piece, I decided to draw a mask.

 For my last piece, I wanted to do something big. Every day I would go on the news and see the infection count grow higher than the day before. And with more infections came more death. The bravest among us who are battling the virus are dying. My passion to become a doctor only grew when I saw that so many brave men and women are willing to risk their lives for the good of others. When I get older I hope I can be just as brave as those men and women who are fighting for the sake of others. For the last piece, I wanted to show how much doctors are suffering in order to cure the world

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Everglades National Park

The National Park is a 1.5 million acre park in Miami, Florida. The park is home to many wildlife including the Florida Panther, West Indian Manatee, and the endangered leather back turtle. It costs between eight to fifteenth dollars for a single person and twenty five dollars for a motor vehicle for entry to the park. The Everglades is in the southern portion of Florida and is a wetlands of the tropical variety.

The Everglades ecosystem is only found in the National and no where else on the planet. Efforts to have to the Everglades land converted into a National Park were initiated by Ernest Coe in 1928 and finally his plans passed legislation in 1934. Due to the parks size it has three entrances and is spread over three cities.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Agricultural pollution

Pesticides and Water Pollution — Safe Drinking Water Foundation

Agricultural pollution refers to biotic and abiotic byproducts of farming practices that result in contamination or degradation of the environment and surrounding ecosystems, and/or cause injury to humans and their economic interests. The main causes of Agricultural pollution are Pesticides and Fertilizers, Contaminated water, Soil erosion, Livestock, and Pests and Weeds. Pesticides, ammonia, heavy metals, fertilizers, and oils from farms and farm machinery destroy and kill animals, aquatic life, and health problems when they enter drinking water.

Pesticides and Fertilizers have to deal with local pests and invasive species causing them to be contaminated with chemicals that are not found in nature. Once they are sprayed, it does not disappear completely.

Contaminated water is used for irrigation and most of the water we use comes from groundwater reservoirs. While plenty of it is clean, other sources are polluted with organic compounds and heavy metals due to the disposal of industrial agricultural waste.

Soil erosion is also a major factor of agricultural pollution because of its topmost layer which holds all the chemicals erodes into rivers, lakes, and streams.

Livestock is grown in poor cramped conditions where it's fed very unusual diets and sent to slaughterhouses on a regular basis. Slaughterhouses create emissions into the air which accounts for a large contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.

        Pests and weeds are exotically grown crops which decrease natural species. With the arrival of new crops, native species have to deal with new diseases, pests, and weeds. Invasive species then destroy local vegetation, altering the ecosystem permanently. 

Friday, March 20, 2020

Galapagos' Giant Tortoise

Christian Bermeo

Galapagos' giant tortoise has been extinct for over 100 years. A giant tortoise was found on the island of Fernandina, Ecuador. The tortoise was rushed quickly to a breeding center in Santa Cruz Island, Ecuador. The female tortoise was found by a group of biologists. She was around 112 years old.

A giant tortoise average size is five-feet long with a nine-inch neck. The average weight of these tortoises can be around 550 pounds, depending on its gender. The tortoise spends 16 hours resting and the remaining hours eating or drinking. They rest for a long period because they can last one year without food or water. Mating season usually tends to be from January to May. The female tortoise would move to a nesting area to lay her eggs. A female can lay 2 through 16 tennis size eggs. The one female they recently found had stored sperm for many years. The reason why she did not give birth is that she was lost the islands and there was no male guardian for their family.

Charles Darwin believed tortoises' neck is proof of evolution. Some tortoise has longer necks than others, and the reason why is because food resources can be mostly found from hanging tree branches. Most grass on the island is damaged because the island has active volcanos.

Santa Cruz breeding center produced 1,000 giant tortoises in three months. Species are considered endangered when they have 2,500 or fewer individuals. The tortoises are working their way out of being endangered, and I believe they will achieve their goal in a year.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park is an American national park in the Navajo and Apache counties along the northeastern area of Arizona. The name comes from the parks feature of one of the world’s largest and most colorful concentrations of petrified wood, and the chargeable area of the park covers about 230 square miles. The Petrified Forest is known for its fossils, especially its fallen trees that lived in the Late Triassic Epoch, which was about 225 million years ago. The remains containing the fossil logs are part of the widespread and colorful Chinle Formation, from which the Desert gets its name. 
Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified wood is a fossil, and it forms when plant material is buried by remains and protected from decay due to oxygen and organisms. Some specimens of petrified wood are such accurate preservations that people do not realize they are fossils until they pick them up and are shocked by their weight. These specimens with near-perfect preservation are unusual, and rare. However, specimens that exhibit clearly recognizable bark and woody structures are very common. In August 1916, the National Park Service was created by the Organic Act, it was approved by Congress and later signed by President Woodrow Wilson. This federal bureau within the Department of the Interior was now responsible for protecting the 40 national parks and monuments then in existence and those yet to be established. The purpose of the service was to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations. Animal life at Petrified Forest includes amphibians, birds, insects, spiders, mammals, and reptiles. Birds, lizards and rabbits are seen most frequently, though seasons and weather play a large role in determining what animals are active. Many animals in the park are nocturnal, which is an adaptation not only to avoid high summer daytime temperatures, but also to avoid certain predators.
The Painted Desert
Furthermore, the top attraction of the forest is called the Painted Desert.
It is a U.S. desert in the badlands which is apart Four Corners area running from near the east end of Grand Canyon National Park into Petrified Forest National Park. It is most easily accessed in the north portion of Petrified Forest National Park. The Painted Desert is known for its brilliant and varied colors, that not only include the more common red rock, but also shades of lavender.

-Jonathan Oniyama

Monday, March 16, 2020


Image result for 9/11

On September 11, 2001, the Twin Towers were attacked by two airplanes and collapsed. The death poll was about 3,000 people dead. When the towers collapsed, the were effects pretty harsh. The effects were that the dust clouds affected people's health like it affected the sizes of newborn babies and people were diagnosed with cancer later in their years. Studies show that pregnant women who were at the beginning of their pregnancy and who were around the collapse of 9/11, had a higher probability of premature delivery. Another concern was asbestos. Asbestos was used in the construction materials to make them stronger and heat resistant. But it also causes cancer and respiratory diseases. Reports show that an estimated 410,000 to 525,000 people were exposed to the toxic dust. 

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Donora Smog 1948

Donora Smog 1948
Image result for Donora smog 1948

        On October 27th 1948 the town of Donora woke up in a thick yellow fog. Considered as one of the worst air pollution in the US history, in 5 days half of the population was effected by the gases in the fog and 5 people died. But how did this happen?
        Donora was known as one of the biggest cities with Steel Zinc Works and American Steel and Wire plant industries. These companies produced emissions of poisonous gases and fine matter that with a temperature inversion produced this terrible smog. After the rainstorm, that brought away the fog, the United States Public Health Service launch an investigation. In the end the industries were not completely blamed because of their economic power, but they also put the blame on the temperature inversion and other sources of pollution. The outcomes from this disaster were both negative and positive. The negative’s were: 5 people died in the 5 days, half of the population was sick and in the following years the number of deaths for cardiovascular diseases and cancer increased significantly. The positive’s were: after the disaster the government started to take air pollution more seriously and they started to create new laws like the Clean air act in 1963.
       In conclusion the Donora smog was a terrible disaster that killed thousands of people and effected the life of the Donora’s citizens in the fllowing years. Fortunately, from this disaster the government started to take air pollution more seriously and new laws were made to put the situation under control.