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Tools of Environmental Science

Chapter 2 Notes from the HOLT Environmental Science Book Part 2
by

Tonya Hughes

on 9 December 2014

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Transcript of Tools of Environmental Science

Models
Patterns, plans, representations, or descriptions designed to show the structure or workings of an object, system, or concept.
Scientists use several different types of models to help them learn about our environment.

Models
Not always right.

People are the ones who interpret the data and create the model.

Therefore, if the data is wrong or human error occurs, the model will not be realistic or provide correct information.

Models are only as good as the data that went into building them.

Scientists use models to create amazing, as well as useful images.


Mathematical Models
One or more equations that represent the way system or process works.

Especially useful in cases with many variables, such as the many things that affect the weather.

How scientists use statistics
Statistics is the collection and classification of data in the form of numbers.
Statistics are used to:
summarize
characterize
analyze
compare data
Branch of mathematics that provides scientists with important tools for analyzing and understanding their data.

Graphical Model
Maps and charts are the most common examples.
Scientists use graphical models to show things such as the position of the stars, the amount of forest cover in a given area, and the depth of the water in a river or along a coast.

Tools of Environmental Science
In the News
Contains statistics everyday

A reporter on WSAV or WTOC might say, “A study shows that forest fires increased air pollution in the city last year.”

They ma then show a graph of pollution levels for last 20 years, and this year's could seem unusually high.

Paying attention to statistics will make you a better consumer of information
Physical Model
Three-dimensional models you can touch.

Closely resemble the object or system they represent, although they may be larger or smaller.




Conceptual Model
Conceptual models are verbal or graphical explanations for how a system works or is organized.

A flow-chart diagram is an example of a conceptual model.

A flow-chart uses boxes linked by arrows to illustrate what a system contains, how those contents are organized, and how they affect one another.


Topic: Statistics and Models
EQ: What types of models are used by scientists?
Full transcript