People and the Environment

Mary Young, Rolla Junior High School, MO
School Library Journal
November 2003

[Review of Ecology Series] This series provides an excellent introduction to ecology. "The Biosphere" introduces ecology, biotic and abiotic factors, and describes the major types of biomes. "Ecosystem Dynamics" defines environment, describes its components, and reviews abiotic and biotic factors. Changes in the environment are illustrated and defined, and the concept of biodiversity and its importance to the environment is discussed. "Natural Cycles" deals with rhythms and cycles, and explains and provides examples for Circadian, annual, and migratory rhythms. This segment also illustrates the water, carbon, and nitrogen cycles. "People and the Environment" describes how humans impact the environment. The differences between renewable and nonrenewable resources is discussed as well as their importance to our lives. Also examined are the causes and effects of water and air pollution. Each video ends with a summary and a ten-question quiz. All important terms are presented graphically onscreen with an oral definition. The female narrator is easily understood. The photography throughout the series is vibrant, diverse, and very well done. Accompanying each video is an excellent 30-page teacher's guide which includes the script of the video, worksheets, and pre- and post-video assessments. This series would be very well suited as an introduction to or review of a unit on ecology, making it an outstanding choice for any middle-level or secondary school. Video of the Week.