Problems/Case Studies

Watch Your Step: Understanding the Impact of Your Personal Consumption on the Environment, Philip Camill, Carleton College. State University of New York at Buffalo’s National Center for Case Study Teaching
This case makes use of the concept of the "ecological footprint," developed by Wackernagel and colleagues to quantify the amount of land area required to sustain the lifestyle of a population of any size. Students calculate their consumption of energy and materials to determine their personal ecological footprint and in the process learn about concepts of sustainability, ecological efficiency, and energy flow up food chains as well as the moral and ethical dimensions of how our lifestyles impact the Earth. The case includes an Excel spreadsheet for students to track their personal consumption of resources. Developed for an introductory biology course, the case could also be used in upper level courses such as ecology, conservation biology, evolution, diversity, and the biology of social issues, or in a non-majors biology course.


"The People Bomb" CNN Video. 1992. This video focuses on the population explosion all over the world and its impact on the environment and the economy. It consists of 15 segments focusing on the problem, what is causing it, and what is happening because of it. The following is a list of the segments and when they begin on the tape.

"Those 'Rascally' Rabbits:  A biological control decision case".  Bouda, F., Walker, J., Simmons, S.  (1996).  J. Nat. Resour. Life Sci. Educ. 25:  137-143. 
The case study considers implementing myxomatosis as pest management to control a population of rabbits.  The use of the article includes society’s expectations, ecological roles, population biology, and aspects of agricultural society. 

"The tragedy of the commons." Hardin, G.   Science, 162, 1968, 1243-1248.
The classic article describes the human problem of population growth as one with no technical solution

The CitiStates Report: An independent analysis of issues that will shape the Lowcountry's future. -Located in PBL resource cabinet in SCIC outside of room 207
This report discusses the implications of a growing population with regards to economics and the environment in the Charleston area.

Articles in "Taking Sides"

Do We Face a "Population Problem? Easton, Thomas. Taking Sides: Science, Technology, and Society, sixth edition.
Issue Summary:
Is Limiting Population Growth a Key Factor in Protecting the Global Environment?  Easton, Thomas. Taking Sides: Environmental Issues, eleventh edition.
Issue Summary:
Do falling birth rates pose a threat to human welfare?  Easton, TA.  Taking Sides:  Clashing views on environmental issues, twelfth edition.  2007 McGraw-Hill, p.234-247.
Issue Summary:

Is genetic engineering the answer to hunger?  Easton, TA.  Taking Sides:  Clashing views on environmental issues, twelfth edition.  2007 McGraw-Hill, p.248-259.
Issue Summary: