Exploring the Science and Beauty of Nature: Ecosystem Chronicles

Exploring the Science and Beauty of Nature: Ecosystem Chronicles

by Ron S Nolan
Exploring the Science and Beauty of Nature: Ecosystem Chronicles

Exploring the Science and Beauty of Nature: Ecosystem Chronicles

by Ron S Nolan


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Dr. Nolan is the author of the Exploring the Science and Beauty of Nature series which is addressing climate change in a unique approach which combines scientific analysis with photographic journeys to scenic, colorful and diverse ecosystems.

Note from the Author

"Understanding ecosystem science is becoming critically important around the globe and we all need to do everything possible to protect Planet Earth. Not only because it is the only nearby speck of dust that meets the stringent requirements for biological life, or that there is the risk of a catastrophic asteroid impact or uncontrollable sea level inundation, but there is awesome beauty here in nature.

Most people think of an ecosystem as the natural environment, or an area inhabited by certain types of plants or animals, or as a particular place or region--for example a lake in Northern California or a rain forest in South America. However, you may be surprised to learn that biologists think of them quite differently! It is the flow of energy and movement of chemicals within and between ecosystems that is the primary focus of ecosystem ecologists.

Ecosystem ecologists investigate the amounts, rates and the processes by which energy and materials flow through an ecosystem and which link the biotic to the abiotic components. In addition to traditional, descriptive field studies, ecosystem ecologists employ computer simulations to test and predict how nature may respond in hypothetical and actual circumstances. There are three main sections to the book.

(Section 1) Patterns of Energy Flow

Energy enters the ecosystem in the form of photons and electromagnetic radiation that is received from the sun. This energy is transformed by plants through photosynthesis into high energy compounds. The compounds are transferred through the food chain by herbivores feeding upon plants and carnivores feeding upon herbivores and other carnivores. Ultimately all of the solar energy input into an ecosystem will be converted into heat energy and exported out of the ecosystem.

The incoming solar energy, reflected shortwave and emitted longwave energy are the three components of the Earth's radiation budget. By analyzing long-term measurements of these radiation budget components, scientists can determine climate trends for our planet to model ecosystems and conduct experiments in order to determine interrelationships

(Section 2) Global Chemical Cycles

Plants and animals require specific chemical compounds for cellular metabolism, growth and reproduction. These chemicals are called "nutrients" on a local scale and "biogeochemicals" on a global scale. Nutrients are transferred along the food chain when herbivores feed upon plants and carnivores feed upon animals.

(Section 3) Journeys Exploring Ecosystems

In Section 3 we visit locations around the world which illustrate the fundamental princiles of ecosystem science combined with the beauty of the natural world. The Journeys take us from the depths of the Challenger Deep to the summits in the mountains of Idaho, and onwards to the sands and cacti of the deserts in Baja and then to the monk seals and reef fishes in the Hawaiian Islands...and amazing ecosystem discoveries like, ...

"Even though beginning at a depth of 200 meters there is little sunlight, enormous pressure and near freezing temperature, it is likely that marine animal populations numbers closely match or exceed the number of land animals." Source: Monterey Bay Aquarium website.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9798987826867
Publisher: Planetropolis Publishing
Publication date: 12/01/2023
Series: Exploring the Science and Beauty of Nature
Pages: 326
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

I was accepted into the graduate program at the UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography where I specialized in coral reef ecology building artificial study reefs in the lagoon of Enewetak Atoll in Micronesia. (Enewetak is one of the primary locations in the Telepathic Dolphin Experiment.) My original mission to Enewetak was to survey of fish populations inhabiting nuclear test craters where I camped out on Runit Island with fellow graduate students. Later on the Atomic Energy Commission found chunks of raw plutonium at our campsite and thought better about sending unprotected adventurers to the Runit Island where the Cactus Crater nuclear test crater is now covered by a massive concrete dome and rumored to be leaking radiation into the marine environment.After completing my degree at Scripps, I founded an environmental consulting firm on the Big Island of Hawaii and an advanced technology marine shrimp hatchery and farm on Molokai which led to the formation of the Island Shrimp Shop in Encinitas, California and the North Shore Seafood Company in Ketchum, Idaho where my wife at the time and I shared great rapport with our own cast of world famous celebrities, actors and musicians. From there I became a Research Associate in Computer Engineering at UC Santa Cruz and worked with Dr. Patrick Mantey to develop some of the earliest interactive, multimedia CD-ROM titles. It was not until we had worked together for over a year that we discovered that he was also from Sharon Springs and as a kid had even worked as a grocery bagger in my father's market-small world!
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