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AP* Environmental Science, 9e: A Global Concern, 9/e

Bill Cunningham, University of Minnesota
Mary Ann Cunningham, Vassar College
Barbara Woodworth Saigo, St. Cloud State University

ISBN: 0073258377
Copyright year: 2007

Book Preface


Our world is changing rapidly. Our physical environment is being degraded by global climate change, species extinctions, habitat loss, pollution, and other human-caused disruptions. Our social or cultural environment is stressed by unsustainable population growth, increasing gaps between the rich and poor, and sudden social, political, and economic shifts. Pollution drifts between continents. Diseases spread rapidly between countries. The coal burned in China, the nuclear waste dumped in the ocean by the former USSR, or the pesticides used on farms in Central America affect us all. Increasingly, we compete with people in far-away places for the same scarce energy, food, and water resources.

At the same time, we are seeing unparalleled innovations in environmental management and ecological design. Many cities and industries are developing ingenious strategies for ecological efficiency and sustainability. Rapid information exchange allows unprecedented opportunities for creating sustainable economies. To understand these changes, we all need to learn about our global environment—both natural and cultural—in order to find ways to live sustainably in this transformed world.

Our purpose in writing this book is to introduce a global concern into the field of environmental science, as well as to link the science of our environmental change to the human dimensions of problem solving and decision making. Globalizing economies require attention to the environmental problems and opportunities we all share. Ecology, evolution, biogeography, and other natural sciences form a core in the study of our environment, but we need to understand the human dimensions of environmental problems as well, if we hope to find lasting solutions to the dilemmas we face. To accomplish this goal, we have expanded the field of environmental science to include a discussion of ethics and philosophy, health, economics, policy and planning, urban studies, law, and political science. We hope this interdisciplinary approach will give students a broad base for examining an array of important issues.


Although several environmental science books already exist in the market, a variety of features make this text different from the rest.

Global perspective

We provide a global perspective. We live in an interconnected world and, increasingly, colleges and universities promote international studies. To remain competitive in a global economy, it is critical that we understand foreign countries and cultures. We hope that this international perspective will contribute to that educational initiative. Our case studies and examples show the integration between environmental, social, and economic conditions in the United States and abroad. At the same time, we provide familiar examples that demonstrate here at home the urgency of the issues we discuss.

Emphasis on science

Science helps us understand environmental change. The underlying principles and methods of science help us understand the processes of environmental change. The examples and explanations found in the text will help students appreciate why scientific inquiry is such an important and exciting approach for modern society. Our "Exploring Science" essays give examples of how scientists work, how we observe and understand the practical details of science.

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is a central theme. Environmental science is a complex field, one in which special interests, contradictory data, and conflicting interpretations battle for our attention. How can we decide what to believe when different experts hold contradictory opinions on controversial topics? Perhaps the most valuable skill any student can gain from the study of environmental science is the ability to think purposively, analytically, and clearly about evidence. In brief "Think About It" boxes and in longer "What Do You Think?" essays, we encourage students to reflect on readings and to practice open-mindedness, skepticism, independence, and an ability to empathize with others. We discuss all these skills in the unique introductory chapter of this book titled, "Learning to Learn," and then model their application throughout the text and questions at the end of each chapter.

Balanced presentation

A balanced, optimistic view keeps students engaged. We encourage students to form their own opinions. Environmental science has many dilemmas, and we present multiple views on complex debates. While acknowledging dilemmas, we also are careful to describe good news, progress toward solutions, and the many ways individuals can make positive contributions toward environmental protection. We also recognize that there are multiple ways to interpret data, and we attempt to find a balance between competing views.


The ninth edition of Environmental Science: A Global Concern is the result of extensive analysis of the text and evaluation of input from instructors who constructively reviewed chapters during various stages of this revision. Listed first are general changes that have been made to the entire text, followed by more specific changes to various chapters. Visit to access a detailed list of changes for each chapter.

Global changes

  • A new lively and colorful design presents information that will capture and hold student attention.
  • Current, global case studies with accompanying graphs, maps, and photos now introduce each chapter. The concepts presented are then expanded throughout the chapter to help students appreciate and understand how environmental issues impact our lives on a daily basis. Forty-five additional case studies can also be found on the textbook's website (
  • Two hundred twenty-five figures and photos are new or revised, providing students with more realistic images that reflect current data and illustrate changing topics.
  • New "Think About It" boxes provide several opportunities in each chapter for students to review material, practice critical thinking, or apply principles they have just read.
  • Twelve new or updated "Exploring Science" boxed readings throughout the text allow students to focus on the underlying principles and methods of science.
  • Each chapter has an updated "Further Readings" list.
  • A NEW Subject and Internet Index allows the reader to quickly scan the subject Index to identify correlating content located on the website ( Supporting Web content for Environmental Science: A Global Concern features a NEW Index for quick and efficient search capabilities.

Specific changes

  • Chapter 1—new opening case study on climate change in the Arctic (and effect on Inuit people) that correlates to the image on the cover; new "What Do You Think?" box on ecological footprints; new graphs of ecological footprints by world region.
  • Chapter 2—revised to emphasize science and systems approaches.
  • Chapter 4—includes greatly enhanced coverage of evolution and speciation.
  • Chapter 5—maintains and builds coverage of marine ecosystems as well as adding climate graphs to biome discussions.
  • Chapter 7—updated data on global population trends and family planning policies.
  • Chapter 9—new opening case study on rapid expansion of farming in Brazil; added discussions on CAFOs, desertification, and China's efforts to stop spread of deserts.
  • Chapter 10—rewritten section on pesticide history.
  • Chapter 11—new section on molecular taxonomy.
  • Chapter 12—new material on the Monteverde cloud forest, Brazil's Atlantic rainforest, and the Malpai borderlands; added extensive section on new methods of fire management.
  • Chapter 14—new opening case study on the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami; new section and table on worst natural disasters; new discussion on earthquakes and tsunamis.
  • Chapter 15—new material of ice core research and volcanoes; major revision of evidence for climate change; major revision of section on Kyoto and carbon trading.
  • Chapter 16—new opening case study on mercury pollution; new section on new source review and the 2005 Clean Air Interstate Rule.
  • Chapter 18—new opening case study on the Gulf of Mexico dead zone.
  • Chapter 19—revised discussions of the history of energy use and modern energy use; added material on oil exploration and directional drilling; revised section on natural gas supplies and use.
  • Chapter 21—expanded coverage of commercial-scale recycling programs.
  • Chapter 22—new opening case study on the BedZED sustainable living project in London; expanded discussion of sustainable cities.
  • Chapter 23—new opening case study on market mechanisms (cap-and-trade system) for controlling carbon emissions.
  • Chapter 25—new section on stewardship and environmental science; increased emphasis on shared interests of minority groups, businesses, and others in environmental quality.

The professional team involved in producing this text has vested many hours in making it the best environmental science text possible. The authors wish to express special thanks to McGraw-Hill for editorial support through Marge Kemp and Joan Weber; the marketing expertise of Tami Petsche; the production team led by April Southwood, Michelle Whitaker, Lori Hancock, Melissa Leick, and Sandy Ludovissy; and the media team of Dan Wallace and Jodi Banowetz.

We thank Dr. Kim Chapman, who wrote four case studies for this edition and offered other helpful advice. His depth of experience in the field of ecological restoration and ecosystem management is a welcome addition to the book. We're indebted to all the students and teachers who have sent helpful suggestions, corrections, and recommendations for improving this book. We hope that those who read this edition will offer their advice and insights as well. Little of the vast range of material in this book represents our own personal research. All of us owe a great debt to the many scholars whose work forms the basis of our understanding of environmental science. We stand on the shoulders of giants. If errors persist in spite of our best efforts to root them out, we accept responsibility and ask for your indulgence.

Ninth Edition Reviewers
Sharon Ashworth, University of Kansas
Thomas W. H. Backman, University of Portland
Roger Balm, Rutgers University
Jay L. Banner, University of Texas—Austin
Morgan E. Barrows, Saddleback College
Hans T. Beck, Northern Illinois University
Gary A. Beluzo, Holyoke Community College
Len Bernstein, Temple University
William B. N. Berry, University of California—Berkeley
Anne Todd Bockarie, Philadelphia University
Allen J. Bornstein, Southeast Missouri State University
Geoffrey L. Buckley, Ohio University
Kelly S. Cartwright, College of Lake County
William R. Chaney, Purdue University
Lynnette Danzl-Tauer, Rock Valley College
Paul Decelles, Johnson County Community College
Mike Dixon, Angelo State University
Michael L. Draney, University of Wisconsin—Green Bay
Li'anne Drysdale, Ozarks Technical Community College
Dee Eggers, University of North Carolina—Asheville
Cory Etchberger, Johnson County Community College
Catherine M. Etter, Cape Cod Community College
Dawn Ford, University of Tennessee—Chattanooga
Chris Fox, Community College of Baltimore County
Debra Howell, Chabot Community College
Barbara Hunnicutt, Seminole Community College
Jodee Hunt, Grand Valley State University
Charles Ide, Western Michigan University
Tari L. Johnson, Normandale Community College
Daniel D. Jones, University of Alabama—Birmingham
Henry Knizeski, Mercy College
Steven A. Kolmes, University of Portland
Ernesto Lasso de la Vega, Edison Community College
Tammy J. Liles, Lexington Community College
Jeanne H. Linsdell, San Jose State University
Joseph Luczkovich, East Carolina University
Blase Maffia, University of Miami
Ken R. Marion, University of Alabama—Birmingham
Matthew H. McConeghy, Johnson & Wales University
Madhumi Mitra, University of Maryland—Eastern Shore
Pamela A. Morgan, University of New England
Carol Newcomb-Jones, Florida Gulf Coast University
Joe Peters, Grand Valley State University
Chris E. Peterson, College of DuPage
F. X. Phillips, McNeese State University
Julie Phillips, De Anza College
Mike Phillips, Illinois Valley Community College
John R. Pichtel, Ball State University
Mark D. Plunkett, Bellevue Community College
David Polcyn, California State University—San Bernardino
Bob Remedi, College of Lake County
Barbara C. Reynolds, University of North Carolina—Asheville
Robin Richardson, Winona State University
Carlton L. Rockett, Bowling Green State University
Irene M. Rossell, University of North Carolina—Asheville
Shamili Ajgaonkar Sandiford, College of DuPage
Kathleen Sullivan Sealey, University of Miami
Christian V. Shorey, University of Iowa
Dan Sivek, University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point
Roy Sofield, Chattanooga State Technical Community College
Ed Standora, State University of New York—Buffalo
James C. St. John, Georgia Institute of Technology
Robert S. Stelzer, University of Wisconsin—Oshkosh
Brad Thompson, Philadelphia University
John Tiefenbacher, Texas State University—San Marcos
Rebecca L. Vidra, University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill
M. Cheena Wade, College of Lake County
Phillip L. Watson, Ferris State University
John J. Wielichowski, Milwaukee Area Technical College
Ray E. Williams, Rio Hondo College
Lorne Wolfe, Georgia Southern University

Eighth Edition Reviewers
C. Marjorie Aelion, University of South Carolina
James R. Albanese, State University of New York—Oneonta
M. Lizabeth Allyn, Penn State—York
Robb A. Bajema, Aquinas College
Jerry Beilby, Northwestern College
Brian L. Bingham, Western Washington University
Anne Todd Bockarie, Philadelphia University
Richard J. Bryant, Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Dan Buresh, Sitting Bull College
Ray D. Burkett, Southwest Tennessee Community College
Lawrence D. Cahoon, University of North Carolina—Wilmington
William A. Calder, University of Arizona
Winifred Caponigri, Holy Cross College
Raymond A. Catalano, California University of Pennsylvania
Mingteh Chang, Stephen F. Austin State University
David T. Corey, Midlands Technical College
Anne M. Cummings, Pikes Peak Community College
Randi Darling, Westfield State College
James N. DeVries, Lancaster Bible College
Ronald E. D'Orazio, Ellsworth Community College
Leslie E. Dorworth, Illinois—Indiana Sea Grant College
L. Donald Duke, University of California—Los Angeles
David S. Duncan, University of South Florida
David J. Eisenhour, Morehead State University
David L. Evans, Pennsylvania State University
Kathy McCann Evans, Reading Area Community College
Edwin M. Everham III, Florida Gulf Coast University
Anne M. Falke, Worcester State College
Qinguo Fan, University of Massachusetts—Dartmouth
Christine Baumann Feurt, University of New England
David G. Fisher, Maharishi University of Management
Malcolm FitzPatrick, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Catherine Folio, Brookdale Community College
Carl F. Friese, University of Dayton
Allan A. Gahr, Gordon College
Lesley Garner, University of West Alabama
Susan Brydon Golz, Rockland Community College
Rodney G. Handy, Western Kentucky University
Amy B. Chan Hilton, Florida A & M University
Gregory S. Holden, Colorado School of Mines
Robert E. Holtz, Concordia University
Frank Huang, New Mexico Tech
John C. Inman, Presbyterian College
Dan F. Ippolito, Anderson University
Marlo G. Johansen, Gavilan College
Kristen A. Keteles, University of Central Arkansas
Vishnu R. Khade, Eastern Connecticut State University
Carol A. Kimmons, University of Tennessee—Chattanooga
Eric C. Kindahl, Hood College
Mark E. Knauss, Shorter College
Ned J. Knight, Linfield College
Mark Kozubowski, Bethany College
Steve LaDochy, California State University—Los Angeles
Robert W. Ling Jr., Kankakee Community College
Chris Lobban, University of Guam
Peter Lortz, North Seattle Community College
Judy Ann Lowman, Chaffey College
Dorothy May, Park University
Emmanuel K. Mbobi, Kent State University—Stark Campus
Alan McIntosh, University of Vermont
Michael J. McLeod, Belmont Abbey College
Sheila G. Miracle, Southeast Community College
Dusan Miskovic, Northwood University
Thomas E. Murray, Elizabethtown College
James L. Nation, University of Florida
Victor I. Okereke, State University of New York—Morrisville
Carl S. Oplinger, Muhlenberg College
Mark A. Ouimette, Hardin-Simmons University
Jon K. Piper, Bethel College
Richard Puetz, Illinois Valley Community College
Kathleen L. Purvis, The Claremont Colleges
Jodie Ramsay, Northern State University
Lakshmi N. Reddi, Kansas State University
Samuel K. Riffell, Michigan State University—East Lansing
Lawrence F. Roberge, Lesley University
Lynette Rushton, South Puget Sound Community College
May Linda Samuel, Benedict College
Bradley A. Sarchet, Colby-Sawyer College
Rick Schmude, College of Lake County
R. P. Sinha, Elizabeth City State University
Jerry M. Skinner, Keystone College
Edwin J. Skoch, John Carroll University
William A. Smith, Charleston Southern University
Patricia L. Smith, Valencia Community College—Orlando
Ravi Srinivas, University of St. Thomas—Houston
Richard T. Stevens, Cleveland State Community College
Thomas M. Tharp, Purdue University
Teresa A. Thomas, Southwestern College—Chula Vista
John C. Tucker, University of Tennessee—Chattanooga
Robert F. Volp, Murray State University
Carl Waltz, Gwynedd Mercy College
Thomas Waring, Montana Tech
Phillip L. Watson, Ferris State University
Harold J. Webster, Penn State—DuBois
Glenn R. Wehner, Truman State University
Richard Wilke, University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point
Danielle M. Wirth, Des Moines Area Community College
David R. Yesner, University of Alaska—Anchorage
Environemental Science Cover

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