Pearson eText Essential Environment The Science Behind the Stories -- Access Card

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  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2018-06-29
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Engage students in science through current environmental issues.

Essential Environment: The Science Behind the Stories, 6th Edition by Jay Withgott and Matt Laposata, is the #1 book in the introductory environmental science market and known for its student-friendly narrative style, integration of real stories and case studies, and presentation of the latest science and research. The 6th edition features new opportunities to help students see connections between integrated case studies and the science in each chapter, and highlights sustainable solutions that have successfully helped address environmental problems.


Coverage of topical issues upholds the text’s hard-won reputation for currency, using the most recent data available and focusing on emerging issues. Updates include new features such as Success Stories that demonstrate positive solutions to address local, national, and global environmental problems. New Case Study Video Tours take students on a virtual tour of the locations featured in each chapter’s Central Case Study and can be assigned in Mastering Environmental Science.


The succinct and affordable 6th Edition is streamlined with updated coverage and carefully crafted to make the text readable, informative, and engaging.


For courses in introductory environmental science.

Pearson eText allows educators to easily share their own notes with students so they see the connection between their reading and what they learn in class — motivating them to keep reading, and keep learning. Portable access lets students study on the go, even offline. And, student usage analytics offer insight into how students use the eText, helping educators tailor their instruction.

NOTE: This ISBN is for the Pearson eText access card. For students purchasing this product from an online retailer, Pearson eText is a fully digital delivery of Pearson content and should only be purchased when required by your instructor.  In addition to your purchase, you will need a course invite link, provided by your instructor, to register for and use Pearson eText. 

Author Biography

Jay Withgott has authored Essential Environment as well as Environment: The Science behind the Stories since their inception. In dedicating himself to these books, he works to keep abreast of a diverse and rapidly changing field and continually seeks to develop new and better ways to help today’s students learn environmental science.


As a researcher, Jay has published scientific papers in ecology, evolution, animal behavior, and conservation biology in journals ranging from Evolution to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. As an instructor, he has taught university lab courses in ecology and other disciplines. As a science writer, he has authored articles for numerous journals and magazines including Science, New Scientist, BioScience, Smithsonian, and Natural History. By combining his scientific training with prior experience as a newspaper reporter and editor, he strives to make science accessible and engaging for general audiences. Jay holds degrees from Yale University, the University of Arkansas, and the University of Arizona.


Jay lives with his wife, biologist Susan Masta, in Portland, Oregon.


Matthew Laposata is a professor of environmental science at Kennesaw State University (KSU). He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in biology from Bowling Green State University, and a doctorate in ecology from The Pennsylvania State University.

Matt is the coordinator of KSU’s two-semester general education science sequence titled Science, Society, and the Environment, which enrolls over 5000 students per year. He focuses exclusively on introductory environmental science courses and has enjoyed teaching and interacting with thousands of nonscience majors during his career. He is an active scholar in environmental science education and has received grants from state, federal, and private sources to develop and evaluate innovative curricular materials. His scholarly work has received numerous awards, including the Georgia Board of Regents’ highest award for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Matt resides in suburban Atlanta with his wife, Lisa, and children, Lauren, Cameron, and Saffron.

Table of Contents

1. Science and Sustainability: An Introduction to Environmental Science

Our Island, Earth                                

The Nature of Environmental Science          

The Science Behind the Story: What Are the Lessons of Easter Island?                  

The Nature of Science                       

Environmental Ethics                         

Sustainability and Our Future           


2. Environmental Systems: Matter, Energy, and Ecosystems


The Vanishing Oysters of the Chesapeake Bay                     

Earth’s Environmental Systems        

Matter, Chemistry, and the Environment                 

Energy Fundamentals                        


The Science Behind the Story: “Turning the Tide” for Native Oysters in Chesapeake Bay              

Biogeochemical Cycles                      


3. Evolution, Biodiversity, and Population Ecology


Saving Hawaii’s Native Forest Birds             

Evolution: The Source of Earth’s Biodiversity           

Ecology and the Organism                

Population Ecology                            

The Science Behind the Story: Monitoring Bird Populations at Hakalau Forest  

Conserving Biodiversity         


4. Species Interactions and Community Ecology


Black and White, and Spread All Over: Zebra Mussels Invade the Great Lakes     

Species Interactions                          

Ecological Communities                    

The Science Behind the Story: Determining Zebra Mussels’ Impacts on Fish Communities

Earth’s Biomes                                  


5. Economics, Policy, and Sustainable Development


Costa Rica Values Its Ecosystem Services   

Economics and the Environment       

Environmental Policy: An Overview

The Science Behind the Story: Do Payments Help Preserve Forest?            

U.S. Environmental Law and Policy               

International Environmental Policy               

Approaches to Environmental Policy         

Sustainable Development                         


6. Human Population


China’s One-Child Policy: Is It a Population “Time Bomb”?             

Our World at Seven Billion                


Population and Society                      

The Science Behind the Story: Did Soap Operas Reduce Fertilityin Brazil?             


7. Soil, Agriculture, and the Future of Food


Farm to Table–And Back Again: The Commons at Kennesaw State University     

The Race to Feed the World             

The Changing Face of Agriculture  


Maintaining Healthy Soils                 

Watering and Fertilizing Crops         

Controlling Pests, Preserving Pollinators                  

Raising Animals for Food                  

Genetically Modified Food                

The Growth of Sustainable Agriculture

The Science Behind the Story: How Productive Is Organic Farming?          


8. Biodiversity and Conservation Biology


Farm to Table–And Back Again: The Commons at Kennesaw State University     

The Race to Feed the World             

The Changing Face of Agriculture  


Maintaining Healthy Soils                 

Watering and Fertilizing Crops         

Controlling Pests, Preserving Pollinators                  

Raising Animals for Food                  

Genetically Modified Food                

The Growth of Sustainable Agriculture

The Science Behind the Story: How Productive Is Organic Farming?          


9. Forests, Forest Management, and Protected Areas


Certified Sustainable Paper in Your Textbook           

Forest Ecosystems and Forest Resources                 

Forest Loss                                         

Forest Management                          

Parks and Protected Areas                

The Science Behind the Story: Forest Fragmentation in the Amazon


10. Environmental Health and Toxicology


Bisphenol A Is Everywhere–But Is It Safe?

Environmental Health                        

Toxic Substances and Their Effects on Organisms 

The Science Behind the Story: Testing the Safety of Bisphenol A               

Toxic Substances and Their Effects on Ecosystems              

Studying Effects of Hazards              

Risk Assessment and Risk Management                  


11. Geology, Minerals, and Mining


Mining for … Cell Phones?                             

Geology: The Physical Basis for Environmental Science      

Geologic and Natural Hazards          

Earth’s Mineral Resources                

Mining Methods and Their Impacts  

The Science Behind the Story: Can Acid Mine Drainage Reduce Fracking’s Environmental Impact?         

Toward Sustainable Mineral Use        


12. Fresh Water, Oceans, and Coasts


Starving the Louisiana Coast                         

Freshwater Systems                          

The Oceans                                        

Marine and Coastal Systems             

Effects of Human Activities on Waterways              

Solutions to Depletion of Fresh Water         

Water Pollution and Its Control         

The Science Behind the Story: Predicting the Oceans’ “Garbage Patches”             

Emptying the Oceans                        


13. Atmospheric Science, Air Quality, and Pollution Control


Clearing the Air in L.A. and  in Mexico City   

The Atmosphere                                

Outdoor Air Quality                           

The Science Behind the Story: Measuring the Health Impacts of Mexico City’s Air Pollution   

Ozone Depletion                                

Addressing Acid Deposition               

Indoor Air Quality      


14. Global Climate Change


Rising Seas May Flood the Maldives            

Our Dynamic Climate                        

Studying Climate Change                  

The Science Behind the Story: How Do Climate Models Work?                   

Current and Future Trends and Impacts

Responding to Climate Change           


15. Nonrenewable Energy Sources, Their Impacts, and Energy Conservation


Hydrofracking the Marcellus Shale               

Sources of Energy                              

Fossil Fuels: Their Formation, Extraction, and Use              

Reaching Further for Fossil Fuels … and Coping with the Impacts   

The Science Behind the Story: Discovering Impacts of the Gulf Oil Spill                 

Energy Efficiency and Conservation

Nuclear Power


16. Renewable Energy Alternatives


Germany Goes Solar                                     

Renewable Energy Sources               

The Science Behind the Story: Comparing Energy Sources              

Solar Energy                                       

Wind Power                                       

Geothermal Energy                           

Ocean Energy Sources                       

Hydroelectric Power                          


Hydrogen and Fuel Cells        


17. Managing Our Waste


A Mania for Recycling on Campus                

Approaches to Waste Management

Municipal Solid Waste                      

The Science Behind the Story: Tracking Trash          

Industrial Solid Waste                       

Hazardous Waste


18. The Urban Environment: Creating Sustainable Cities


Managing Growth in Portland, Oregon         

Our Urbanizing World                       


Creating Livable Cities                       

Urban Sustainability                          

The Science Behind the Story: Baltimore and Phoenix Showcase Urban Ecology


Epilogue: Sustainable Solutions

Appendix A: Answers to Data Analysis Questions

Appendix B: How to Interpret Graphs

Appendix C: Metric System

Appendix D: Periodic Table of the Elements

Appendix E: Geologic Time Scale Glossary Credits Index

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