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!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

 The Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, established in 1916, is a United States National Park located in Hawaii. It encompasses two active volcanoes: Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, the world's most massive shield volcano. Although the park is located on an island it occupies an area of 505 square miles (1,308 square km) and includes two active volcanoes—Mauna Loa and Kilauea—25 miles apart. The park began getting recognition when Missionaries William Ellis and Asa Thurston visited Kīlauea's boiling lake of lava in 1823.  In 1906, Thurston began a campaign to make this amazing area into a public park. Together with Dr. Thomas A. Jaggar they wrote editorials, and promoted the idea of making the volcanoes into a national park in what was then the territory of Hawaiʻi. On August 1, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the country's 13th national park into existence. The park itself is important because the park delivers scientists insight into the birth of the Hawaiian Islands and ongoing studies into the processes of volcanism. For visitors, the park offers dramatic volcanic landscapes as well as glimpses of rare flora and fauna. People who visit the park can enjoy activities such as hiking, camping, atv tours, and volcano expedition. Despite being on a volcano filled with lava, the park is very beautiful.

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Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sequoia National Park

The Sequoia National Park is located in California's southern Sierra Nevada mountains. This is California's first national park,which was first established on September 25, 1890. This park is famous for the activities that can be done and the history behind the park, which is pretty fascinating. Before the park was established, Mono native Americans would settle in the park seasonally. They would leave by pictographs. To make visitors have the full experience, they carved a roadway into a large tree called tunnel log. The activities require you to take extra precaution. The weather varies widely at different elevations, so that means that storms can happen at any time of the year. You can do things such as day hiking, exploring giant sequoia groves, overnight wilderness trips, ranger led programs, and more. 300 kinds of wildlife live in the Sequoia. Black bears are usually high profile. There are also more than 1,500 plant species that can be found. How do these trees live so long anyways?They live so long because nothing kills them. Fires, diseases, and critters don't make much of a debt. Men weren't even able to use them. They tried years ago but these trees are so massive that when they would crash to the ground, they would splinter into a million pieces, which could be used as toothpicks.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Denali National Park

Denali National Park is a six million acre park located in Alaska. It's temperatures can reach as low to -40 degrees in the winter to as high as 75 degrees in the summer. It is home to the historic Denali Mountain which has the highest mountain peak in North America. Prior to 1917, hunting in this region began to increase and the number of animals, specifically sheep, began to decrease. A man named Charles Sheldon realized the fall in sheep population and helped the establishment of Denali National Park on February 26, 1917. The wildlife in Denali is very diverse with 39 species of mammals, 169 species of birds, and 14 species of fish. The park includes 12,200 lakes and ponds, 18,700 miles of steams 1,500 species of plants. Over 40,000 people visit a year to experience the wonders of this beautiful park.

Isaiah Whitaker

Monday, March 27, 2017

Zion National Park

The Zion National Park is a 229 square miles, located in the Southwestern of Utah, close to the frontier between the states of Utah and Arizona. The park is made by a huge canyons that have a large variety of height. The desert climate dominates the whole park and makes the ecosystems that exist in the park.Because of the varying heights there are more species of reptiles, mammals, and fishes. Every year the park receives a lot of tourists and it's a very lucrative business for US because with a fee of $12 payed by more than 4 million tourists is equal a profit of more than $52 million beside the money that is made by the extra activities as hiking, camping, canyoning, and etc, what is so popular in the Zion National Park. All these facts make the Zion National Park have a huge importance to the United States.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Donora Smog of 1948 - Donora, Pennsylvania

The Donora Smog of 1948 was an environmental disaster that--through its devastating consequences--brought about a much needed awareness for air pollution. On October 27, 1948, the residents of Donora awoke to a thick smog in the air. This in itself was not a surprise to them. The local factories(Zinc Works and Steel--both of which contributed to a lot of air pollution), and the town's location within a river valley made smogs common. However, there was one chilling difference. Previous smogs usually went away within hours; they never lasted more than a day. But this smog remained for 5 continuous days. Scientists assert that this was because of the conditions under which Donora was at the time. The air was stagnant, and there was an air inversion. These two things combined did not allow for any of the smog to escape. So the smog only thickened as the days continued. On October 31, a wind current combined with rain saved Donora. The wind current allowed for the Stagnant air to move, and the rain eased away all the harmful pollutants on surfaces of buildings, cars, streets, etc. Unfortunately, The Killer Smog had already claimed the lives of 20 and sickened 6,000. In the months that followed, people who had been sickened continued to die. (So, the death toll was sadly much larger). This air pollution disaster, arguably one of the worst, taught America a valuable lesson--the consequence of ignorance. After the disaster, many people began to pay attention to air pollution, which they had never done before. In 1955, the Clean Air Act was passed. This new Act would help fund research that dealt with air pollution and how to do with it, so that another disaster like this would never occur again.
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This image shows a woman walking down the streets
of Donora with a mask to protect her from the toxic chemicals in the air.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson was a marine biologist, environmentalist, and an author of many books such as the " Silent spring, The Edge of the Sea, Under the Sea Wind, and The Sea around us. She also was known to alert the world of  to the environmental impact of pesticides. Carson grew up on a farm where she first started learning about nature and wildlife. As she grew up, she went to all women'c college called Chatham college and then continued her studies at John Hopkins University. This is where she had gotten a Master's degree in zoology. She then started teaching at the University of Maryland for five years then worked at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service. There she would make programs that educated people on marine biology. She then became a Marine Biologist herself. During World War II, people started using pesticides. Such pesticides are DDT which was target to kill mosquitoes. Although DDT was targeted to kill mosquitoes, DDT also harmed the environment and made a lot of people sick. She wrote a book called " The Silent Spring", which rejected the use of pesticides. This book helped shape growing environmental consciousness. She died on April 16, 1964 of breast cancer.
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Monday, March 20, 2017

The Glacier National Park that is admired all over the country as well as the continent as it is frequently titled as "The Crown of the Continent". This park is a beautiful place as it attracts many tourrists every year that walk its 734 mile long ntrail. It is also home to many species such as the grey wolf, and the grizzly bears. As portrayed in its name there a number of laciers at the park 25 to be exact. Although that may seem as a lot of glaciers for a park, its only a fraction of what it used to be. According to data gatheredby scientists, in 1868 there were 150 glaciers in the park. This is clear evidence of the climate getting warmer and of the existence of global warmung which is not only destroying many glaciers its also destroying many species. Yet this park still contains its natural beauty as seen in these images here and is a great place which I hope to visit one day.