Overarching (Key) Questions

 Prior to Viewing:

What is an ecosystem?


What is the difference between a biotic and abiotic component of an ecosystem? How do they interact?


What factors influence an ecosystem?


Chapter I

What happens to a community when they overuse their resources?


How is it that the problem of deforestation was actually too many resources rather than too few as described in the film?


What is the difference between a renewable and non renewable resource?  How do management practices differ for each?


How do human activities influence ecosystems?


Describe the nation’s attitude toward conservation in the years before Pinchot and the years after Pinchot.


How do we balance the needs of a population with the needs of the planet?  How does population growth impact your answer?


Similarly, how do we balance then needs of the environment with the needs of the economy?  Is one more important than the other or are they equally important?


Explain how the danger of overuse really came from an overabundance of resources rather than the scarcity of them?    (Describe the concept of inexhaustibility)


Chapter II

Discuss the various philosophies of man’s relationship with nature.  How do they conflict?  Have they changed with time?  Where do you fit? Are you a “conqueror” or a “steward”?  Are you a conservationist or a preservationist?  Should the land be used, protected or both?


Chapter III

Define the phrase “Application of common sense to common problems for the common good”


Describe the unique partnership between TR and Pinchot.  Explain how such a partnership provided the necessary foundation of government intervention in conservation.


Does the government have a right or a responsibility to govern land use?  Should/can the government constitutionally legislate conservation or preservation?


How did the Gilded Age ironically bring about the Progressive Era both in terms of people and attitude?


Chapter IV

Which is the “better” approach – conservation, preservation, or private enterprise?  Is there even a “better”?


Compare and contrast the terms “preservation” and “conservation”.  Is one more feasible or necessary than the other?


Chapter V

Should what humans have done through industrialization be considered “progress” or “adaptation” or something else?  Explain


Has the definition of “practical conservation” changed?  If so, how?  How does practical conservation fit within the context of the phrase “The greatest good for the greatest number in the long run”?


What are the major ecosystem types in your region?


What are the major ecological factors that influence local ecosystems in your region?


Chapter VI

How did the attitudes of conservationists contrast with the attitudes of railroad and mine owners and other special interests of the time?   How different or similar are these attitudes and interests in today’s conversations?


How do forests protect watersheds and why is it important to protect watersheds?


What happens when you force an ecosystem to do something other than what it was intended by nature?


Why are healthy ecosystems important for society?


Cumulative Questions

How do we maintain sustainability in a world of materialism and consumption?


Will we be able to live within our limits and safeguard the natural world in the decades ahead? Do human beings even have the ability to think bigger than themselves?


Are humans part of, or separate from, ecosystems?

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