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 26, 2015

Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest has an astonishing value in the natural world in terms of the Oxygen that it provides, the Carbon Dioxide that it consumes and the splendid array of exquisite plant- and animal species to which it is home. In fact, it is home to the most diverse and numerous arrays of species in the world. The fauna and flora of the Amazon are, by far, the most endearing traits of this beautiful attraction. There are approximately: 40000 plant species, 1300 bird species, 430 amphibian species, 3000 fish species, and 380 reptile species. Some of the most exciting species to spot the jaguar, Black Caiman, cougar, anaconda, wild piranha, vampire bat and the enormous hairy spiders that are fascinating, but rather intimidating. Here I provide a link to actually hear, a jaguar howl, (https://rainforestrescue.sky.com/assets/assets/audio/2010/02/jag_male.mp3)
Jaguar resting on branch (c) Y.-J. Rey-Millet WWF-Canon

Friday, April 24, 2015


Wangari was a smart women that help people in kenya to plant tree to help their environment to become bette. And she writer book about her past. She was a good leaderfor Kenya and people love her so much because she support thame.she die of age of 71.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Leo Smith - Rachel Carson Presentation

Rachel Louise Carson was a marine biologist, a writer, a conservationist, and a naturalist. Carson was born in Springdale, Pennsylvania on May 27, 1907. Carson was the daughter and youngest child of Maria Frazier and Robert Warden Carson. Carson's interest in nature originated from her interactions with her mother as a child. Carson also had a long of writing. Her first literary work was published when she was just ten years old. Carson attended the Pennsylvania College of Women, which is now Chatham University. In 1928, a year before graduating, Carson switched majors. She went from being an English major to a Zoology major. She graduated with he MA in Zoology from John Hopkins University in 1932. Carson attempted to get her doctorate however her father died and she had to take care of her family. She acquired a job following her completion of her bachelors at the University of Maryland as a teacher. After graduating from John Hopkins University, Carson got a job at the United States Bureau of Fisheries. Her job was to write the scripts for the bureau's radio broadcast and also to write pamphlets regarding the effects of chemicals in the environment. Carson worked at the bureau for over 15 years. She is most notably known for her book, Silent Spring. Silent Spring was published in 1956 by Houghton Mifflin. Silent Spring covered the effects of pesticides in the environment . Carson has been acknowledged for her works even following her death. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter awarded Rachel Carson with the Posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom. Rachel Carson died at the age of 56 due to breast cancer. Rachel Carson had a lasting effect on the world, bring to light the importance of taking care of not only the human race, but other organisms and most importantly our planet.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

El Yunque National Forest

        El Yunque National Forest is the most popular and enjoyable forest in Puerto Rico. It is located in Northeaster Puerto Rico and has an area of 44.5 km. El Yunque is the only tropical rain forest protected by the United States National Forest System. Also people like it because its really safe, there are not animals that are dangerous to the people. The word Yunque comes from the work ‘Yu-ke”  which means white lands and refers to the mountain tops usually covered by clouds. All of this come from the Taino Indians that lived before us. Some history is after the Spanish American war, the U.S. took over Puerto Rico and the forest became part of the U.S. forest services. The Spanish had control over the forest before the U.S. did. At El Yunque there are 50 species of birds, 8 species of lizards, 13 species of tree frog, 26 native tree species 50 species of air plants. It rains all year around and the average temperature all year is between 80 and 70 degrees. You can hike, there are multiple waterfalls and rivers that you can enjoy and restaurants.Personally I invite you to visit this forest because its a lot of fun and you will enjoy the nature so much, I'm saying this because I already experienced it. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Timothy Young x David Suzuki

It takes a lot out of a person to become an activist, especially for something as important as the environment.Trying to persuade someone to change their old habits is an extremely difficult process to go through. David Suzuki is a man willing to take that risk for the better of his community. David Suzuki is an environmentalist, scientist, and broadcaster who has won numerous awards for his works on nature and his contribution to society as a whole. David Suzuki was born March 24, 1936 in Vancouver, British Colombia. Suzuki is also the co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation, a non-profit environmental organization. His main goals are to inform people all over about the importance of preserving the environment. He teaches about how we are interconnected and interdependent with the environment. David Suzuki has made a major impact on the lives of millions of people, whether it was through his radio station or his 30 books. The 79 year old environmentalist is showing no sings of slowing down until his mission and goals are complete. If you would like to learn more on David Suzuki and his progress, please visit http://davidsuzuki.org/#.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

wei zhang

Of all the notable mountains in China, Mount Huangshan, to be found in the south of Anhui province, is probably the most famous. Originally known as Mt. Yishan it was renamed Mt. Huangshan in 747 AD in recognition of the legendary Huang Di, who was the reputed ancestor of the Chinese people and who made magic pills for immortality here.
  Wu yue is the collective name given to China's most important mountains, namely Mt. Taishan in Shandong Province, Mt. Huashan in Shaanxi Province, Mt. Hengshan in Shanxi Province, Mt. Songshan in Henan Province and Mt. Hengshan in Hunan Province. It is said that you won't want to visit any other mountains after seeing wu yue but you won't wish to see even wu yue after returning from Mt. Huangshan. This saying may give you some idea of the beauty and uniqueness of Mt. Huangshan. Together with the Yellow River, the Yangtze River and the Great Wall, Mt. Huangshan has become one of the great symbols of China.

  Mt. Huangshan can boast not only of its magnificence but also its abundant resources and great variety of zoological species, for which it has been listed as a World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

NJIT Zero Energy House: (Leo and Timothy)

We chose the NJIT Zero energy house for our interdisciplinary project. The purpose of our project was to inform attendees of the importance of being more energy efficient and ecologically knowledgeable. We thoroughly prepared a list of ten simple ways to save: -Light bulbs -Turn off lights when leaving the room -Motion sensor lights -Take shorter showers -Tank-less water heater -Wash clothes in cold water when possible -Seal and insulate house - Do not wash or dry clothes without a full load -Programmable thermostat -Paint house light colors. This was a very effective way of learning. It forced us to learn the information so that we could successfully present our projects. We believe that the integration of more projects like this into the curriculum will be a major improvement.

AT Binder

The project that we were assigned to do was a binder about the Appalachian Trail and the Gren Anderson shelter. Our goal was to inform people about the AT and help people get a better understanding about the environment of temperate forests. For example, different types of trees, edible plants, and ticks that can give you Lyme disease. We had to do a lot of research in order to know what we were talking about at the event. To Alfred and me, we thought that this was a very good method of learning to use because while doing a project, everyday you will learn something new so this method was good and I will most likely use it in the future.

Small Steps To An Eco-Friendly Life

The overall goal of our project was to to fix the occurring problems around the earth. The earth has a huge problem on its hands due to air pollution and the overuse of fossil fuels. After researching these problems we came up with several solutions to help make people understand how to make the environment better than what it is. For example the problem realting with the overuse of fossil fuels, one solution is to take public transportation more often than not. We also tried to engage our audience by using the poster container as either a speaker, or a lamp using LED lights.
We felt that this method of learning was indeed effective. It was difficult at first because we had no idea on what our project was about. As any other student, we often get lazy to do the actual research. However, after researching and learning about our project, it was fun and it taught us much more understanding ways to help keep the environment clean. The part that benefitted us the most was the way were able to focus on just one specific subject. Not only did it help our knowledge, but also in our public speaking skills.
By Kevin Calva And Jose Estrella

Monday, April 13, 2015

Paper purchase project

Our project was about informing New Jersey high schools on the importance of buying recycled paper for their students and faculty members. Using a Power point presentation we were able to inform viewers about the statistics, about the resources it takes to produce paper, and about the positive repercussions purchasing recycled paper and reusing paper will have on the environment. We also showed out viewers artwork that could be made from paper. But most importantly we showed our viewers the steps they must take in making their high schools into a sustainable Jersey school.

We believe that this method of learning was very effective in teaching us the importance of buying reused paper and recycling paper. Due to the amount of research we did and the preparations for presenting helped us understand exactly what we were talking about.

National Wildlife Project

This year for our Interdisciplinary Project, we helped the environment out. First, we had to certify our school and make sure we could certify safety, food resources, shelter and a place to raise the young. Luckily, we didn't have to buy anything since everything was hidden in our property. We went on a scavenger hunt for bird houses, nuts, and even some insects. In class we made the bird houses a lot cleaner, glued the birdbath since it was cracked, and converted one of the two birdbaths into a butterfly puddler. This helps the environment because birds could now feel safe in our school since they have safety in our property. We all learned a lot. One of the main things was to look around and not ignore the littlest things because those help the most! For example, grass helps animals hide, a small piece of wood could rebuild a birdhouse and glue keeps a birdbath together. We felt like this hands on method helped a lot because we had fun while learning. For example, looking for equipment led to us rebuilding a birdhouse.

Cleaning Audit

Have you ever had that weird itch in the back of your throat while you were cleaning your house? It's probably because of those chemicals in your cleaning products affecting your body. Luckily here at 
St.Benedict's, most of the two dozen cleaning products we use are Eco-Friendly. However three major products, glass cleaner, wiwax, and pesticide can cause serious harm not just to the people, but also the environment. Thankfully, there's a way to replace all of those chemicals with simple household ingredients: vinegar,water,alcohol,borax,and dish washing detergent. All of these items do little to no harm to the environment nor the user, but most importantly you wallets. The ingredients cost no more than ten dollars depending on the quantity. While in the other hand the chemicals cost one-hundred and twenty dollars, and they both work just as well. Its time to change our ways and reverse the damage that we have done to the environment.
The interdisciplinary project was a method of learning that was really effective for me to learn something. Through this method I was really able to grasp all the information I needed to know. Having been given a topic, and then researching it to make a project to present to other was a good way for me to really learn about a certain topic, and present to others so they too are as we'll informed as I was.

School community asset mapping

Our project was mainly about all the important resources outside of our school and how the school community could benefit from the resources around it. This is important because it helps the students to be more active. The school community gets to pursue their careers and have stronger control of their life. It opens the school community to more resources than provided in school. Important resources that the school community can take advantage of are resources such as the police department to keep kids safe while going home and also the museum for extra curricular studies.

I think the method of presenting something to people, will make you have an ungercy of knowing what you are talking about. If you know and learn what it is about, it will be easy to present. The way of presenting was more effective for us than the traditional away of learning with books.

Sam King/Rodney Flores - SBP Paper Recycling

First, we collected data from all classrooms and offices to see how many recycled. Then, we ordered recycling bins for the classrooms and/or offices that didn't recycle. For the presentation, we got a board to display the benefits of recycling and what we did to increase recycling at the school. We also will attend a faculty meeting to explain how to properly use the bins. This method was effective for us because we learn better by getting information by ourselves and experimenting rather than receiving notes and studying them.

     Invasive species are ones that cause destruction and imbalance in a foreign environment. These species are introduced either by accident or trade of goods. The invasive species tend to effect all the other surrounding organisms. The effect in most cases is negative.
Few invasive species that I presented are Asian carp , Japanese barberry, Asian Long horned beetle. As these names suggest, these species are not originally from around here. They were introduced to the U.S. long ago through trade of firewood.

Asian long horned beetle: effect trees and cause death of the infested tree in most cases.
Asian Carp : A type of invasive fish that depletes all the plankton in the area and starves the other organisms to death.
Japanese barberry : a very attractive bush but extremely detrimental to the surrounding vegetation. This bush alters the soil pH level, nitrogen levels.
Emerald ash borer : originally from eastern Russia. Similar to the long horned beetle feeds on trees and causes death of the infested tree.

       In our opinion, this method was a very comprehensive and interactive way to learn. I absolutely loved it. I wish all my other classes could be so innovative and fun. I thoroughly enjoyed the practical approach instead of the traditional text book reading.

                                                                                                               Auro and Connor

New Jersey Superfund

Then New Jersey superfund was created to help dispose of toxic chemicals and waste from large companies correctly. New Jersey has the most superfund sites out of any state in the country. Newark alone has 11 sites. New Jersey as a whole has 126 sites which is a lot for a state. The reason why NJ has so many sites is because, back when the superfund was being created New Jersey was such an industrial hotbed. That is the main reason why NJ has so many sites.

 I feel this method of learning is most effective because if you are giving a presentation, it is important to be very knowledgeable about the subject so it is very important that you are prepared and you are confident. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Love Canal

The Love Canal was an environemntal disaster that occured in Niagara Falls, N.Y. A man named William T. Love, had an idea for a community that he wanted to create, a modern utopia. His idea was to make a canal between the upper and lower Niagara Rivers, so that power could be less expensive. At that time the economy was not at a stable time, and so he lost the monatery aid from people. The Hooker chemical company, then bought the canal area and used it to dump many chemicals. After some time they decided to sell the area to the board of education for one dollar. One day, the people living in the Love Canal community, noticed substances in their yards and strange odors. That was a result of the chemicals coming out from the clay that the city put to cover those substances. From the chemicals being released into the air, many women had miscarriages and babies were born with defects.    

Monday, March 23, 2015

9/11 was happened on September 11, 2001.19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist al -Qaeda hijacked four airlines and carried out suicide attack against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the towers of the Word Trade center in the York city,a third hit the pentagon just out the Washington D.C,and the forth plane crashed in the field in Pennsylvania.Over 3000 people were killed during the attacks in New York City and Washington D.C including more than 100 police officer and fire fighter more than 6000 were injured.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tyrell Gumbs-Frater Lac-Megantic Railroad Disaster

The Lac-Megantic railroad disaster was a very serious event that occurred in Quebec Canada at about 1:15 in the morning.It started as a technical difficulties with the breaks of the train. When the train caught fire the fire fighter distinguished the train and shut off its locomotives causing the breaks to be two weak to support the train. The train then rolled in to the city causing it to escalate to a much more serious situation. Six million liters of crude oil was released immediately into the town of Lac-Megantic. This event cause 47 people to die and also caused as much as 2000 people to be forced out of their homes due to crude oil contamination. There were many lawsuits for the families of those effected in this situation. However hopefully knowledge was gained from this situation and their will be no more incidents like it in the future.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier national park is one of the most beautiful national parks in all of the United States. Mount Rainier national park is located in the west coast, in the state of Washington. Mount Rainier became a national park on March 2nd, 1899. Mount Rainier was only the fifth park to become a national park in United States history. The interesting part of Mount Rainier is the fact that it was the first national park to be created from a complete forest. Mount Rainier is also a mountain that is famous and well known. Mount Rainier stands at 14,111 feet and is a stratovolcano. What's great about Mount Rainier is that many hikers use amount Rainier as a training ground for when they go and hike Mount Everest. Mount Rainier is only half the size of Mount Everest. Mount Rainier is also considered to be one of the most dangerous mountains in the world because of the amount of glacier ice there is on top of the mountain. If the glacier ice melts, it can come to be water and flood rivers, trails, and roads that are located near. Mount Rainier national park is also known for having various plants and animals. After doing my presentation and research on Mount Rainier National Park, it made me want to one day visit and see the beautiful park with my own eyes.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Banff National Park

    Banff National is the most famous park in Canada. Canada has many natural resources and you can get a sample of all of our natural resources in one stop. Banff became a national park in 1833, it was discovered by 3 railroad workers.This park is special because the Canadian part of the Rocky Mountains runs through the park. Banff is also special because it has many glacier fed lakes meaning that the water is fresh water. The weather in the mountains is generally cold in the summer months it ranges from 22 degrees Celsius to -2 degrees Celsius. In the fall months it ranges from 8 degrees to -22 degrees. In the winter the weather can be from -5 degrees to -55 degrees. Other than the cold weather, the parks beauty is one of a kind and i would personally would like to visit Canada's first National park.

Image result for banff national park         

Cuyahoga River Fire Disaster

Imagine waking up on a regular hot summer morning for your routine jogging exercise and smelling burnt diesel fuel mixed with smoke as the stench pollutes your home. You exit your house and see the most frightening and jaw-dropping sights that would give war veterans recurring episodes of Post Traumatic Stress. Your city’s river is on fire!! Not only that, there is bellowing smoke that’s reaching over 350 feet in the air and spreading it’s toxic fumes everywhere within a 5 block radius of the river! The event looked very similar to the 1941 Pearl Harbor Attack and even more so like the Battle of Blackwater episode in Game of Thrones when Lord Stannis’ fleet is destroyed by the green flamed “Wildfire”.

That is what most people had to experience the morning of June 22, 1969 in Cleveland, OH. The reasons why the river was set ablaze dates back to the Industrial Revolution. Since the 1870’s the Cuyahoga River has been a waste dumping ground for industrial factories. Many hazardous waste and chemicals have accumulated in the river which severely dropped the biodiversity in the river. The river was set on fire by sparks from a nearby train as it applied its brakes. The blaze lasted 3 hours and caused 1.1 million dollars in property damage. However, the ‘69 fire wasn’t the first time the river was set ablaze. Before hand, since the 1870’s there has been 13 fires on the Cuyahoga River but the 1969 fire received nationwide attention thanks to Time magazine.

This put severe stress on Cleveland’s mayor, Carl Stokes, who asked his brother, Louis a US Representative,  to help pass the Clean Water Act of 1972 and the Great Lakes Quality Agreement Act which both helped maintain the preservation of all bodies of water in the Great Lakes area. Since then the Cuyahoga River is now crystal clear, drinkable and home to more than 60 different species of fish.  

Friday, February 27, 2015


Superfund is the name given to the environmental program established to address abandoned hazardous waste sites by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA). This law was enacted in the wake of the discovery of toxic waste dumps such as Love Canal, Niagara Falls and Times Beach. Super works to conduct removal actions where immediate actions need to be taken, enforce against potentially responsible parties, ensure community involvement, involve states, and ensure long term protectiveness. The Superfund program follow the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan as a regulation applicable to all federal agencies involved in responding to hazardous substance releases. Superfund also works to raise awareness of vulnerabilities and applying climate change science as a standard business practice on site cleanup projects. There are 1,322 Superfund sites in the United States and 112 Superfund sites in New Jersey.

Tropical Monsoon Climate and Vegetation

Tropical climates range from 80 degrees and up. In the tropics there are usually a lot of sun showers and on and off rain. Usually areas around the equator are targets for monsoons and a lot of trees and vegetation. Monsoons is when rain tends to fall in an abundance and tends to cause a lot of flooding and is good for the vegetation. Examples of places where there is tropical climate and monsoons are places like Brazil, India and Myanmar (Burma).



Thursday, February 26, 2015

Monsoon Forest

     Monsoon forests are located in South Asia, Southern China, Northern Australia, and Southeast Asia.

     Interesting facts
  • Monsoon forests are especially well developed in Southeast Asia and are typified by tall teak trees and thickets of bamboo.
  • Monsoon forest, also called dry forest or tropical deciduous forest, open woodland in tropical areas that have a long dry season followed by a season of heavy rainfall.
  • The Monsoon forests extend over the Sahyadris through the peninsular, Ganga Plains till the foothills of the Himalayas.
  • One bird that thrives in the monsoon forest is the Orange-footed Scrubfowl that has evolved to bury its eggs in the monsoon forests piles of dead leaves and soft soil.     

wei zhang

temperate grassland
 gentilis,Canis lupus

Grasses are the  vegetation. dry climate or semi-arid climate

Eurasian Steppes and North American Prairie

-This unfortunate disaster took place in Chernobyl, Ukraine on April 26th, 1986. A major mishap took place in the Unit 4 of the the Nuclear Power Plant due to a power surge that occurred during a testing procedure. The glitch caused the reactor to lose power very quickly and the emergency shut down system completely failed. Thus, the core overheated and led to a reaction between the graphite control rods and the hydrogen(being highly flammable) caused a massive explosion. This explosion released 50 tons of radioactive material into the environment. The surrounding area was contaminated with radiation.

Nuclear power plants harness the heat produced by splitting of Uranium atoms through a process called Nuclear Fission. The heat produced is then transferred to the running water which in turn produces steam and spins the turbines to generate electricity.

The Chernobyl Disaster did not cause many casualties as the testing was done secretly. The people living near the area were evacuated. However, about 60,000 people were affected by radiation and very quarantined in the hospitals to prevent the spread.

Arid Desert Biome by Arnaldo Toro and Tyrell Gumbs-Frater

Facts About the desert:                                                                     
-No mass bodies of water.
-Covered with lots of sand.
-No subsurface water
-Desert covers 1/5 of earth land areas
-annually 1-5 cm of rain water 
-Soil of this land is very shallow and rocky. (Dry)
-Biggest arid desert in the world.(Sahara desert) 
-Highest avg. temperature 120F
-Lowest avg. temperature -18F at night 
Fun fact is that the biggest desert in the world is Antarctica, it doesn't have to be hot to be a desert.
Animals:(Most common)
-Camels, Scorpions, Lizards, Rattle Snake
Plants:(Most Common)
-Cactus, Barrel cactus, Palm trees, Elephant trees

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Alpine Biome by Daniel Cummings and Kamar McKnight

Image result for Arctic Biome

     The alpine biome is an interesting biome because has over 200 species of plants and a wide variety of animals. the animals of this biome are unique because they have high adaptibility.  Since there is very little oxygen in the air they need to have a higher oxygen capacity in their blood to survive . 16 percent of the earths surface is covered in Arctic biomes. Arctic biomes are also responsible for over 39 percent of the earths fresh water.

Image result for Arctic Biome