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VCE Environmental Science 20132016

Written examination
Examination specifications
Overall conditions
The end-of-year examination will be sat at a time and date to be set annually by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. There will be 15 minutes reading time and 2 hours writing time. VCAA examination rules will apply. The examination will be marked by assessors appointed by the VCAA. Details of these rules are published annually in the VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook. The examination will contribute 50 per cent to the Study Score.

Content
The VCE Environmental Science Study Design 20132016 is the document used for the development of the examination. Questions will be based on the key knowledge and key skills that underpin the outcomes in Units 3 and 4. Students will be required to apply the knowledge and skills outlined in Units 3 and 4, with the following exceptions. specific details related to a selected threatened animal (Unit 3 Outcome 2) specific details related to a selected pollutant (Unit 4 Outcome 1) specific details related to an environmental science project (Unit 4 Outcome 2) Although the specific details related to the three case studies above will not be assessed in the end-of-year examination, they will be assessed by School-assessed Coursework. The application of the following underlying principles related to threatened animals, pollutants and environmental science projects in provided contexts will be assessed in the end-of-year examination. threatening processes on biodiversity characteristics and management of pollutants in general general principles of ecologically sustainable development environmental management strategies The student-selected fossil fuel and non-fossil fuel energy resources are examinable in both School-assessed Coursework and in the end-of-year examination.

Format
The examination will consist of two sections. Section A will consist of 30 multiple-choice questions worth 1 mark each. Section B will consist of short answer questions and will be worth 90 marks. The examination will be worth 120 marks in total. There will be a balance of content across the four areas of study in Units 3 and 4 to reflect the weighting in the School-assessed Coursework. Questions in the examination will not be organised according to areas of study and may cover individual areas of study content in more than one area of study from Unit 3 and Unit 4. The examination will be presented in a question and answer book. Students will be required to provide answers to Section B within the spaces allocated in the question and answer book. The number of lines provided after each question, together with the number of marks allocated, will indicate the appropriate length of the response.
VICTORIAN CURRICULUM AND ASSESSMENT AUTHORITY 2012 October 2012

Approved materials and equipment


Students are permitted to bring into the examination room: pens, pencils, highlighters, erasers, rulers and one scientific calculator.

Further advice
During the 20132016 accreditation period for the VCE Environmental Science Study Design, examinations will be prepared according to the examination specifications above. The examination will assess a representative sample of the key knowledge and key skills from Unit 3 and Unit 4. The examinable outcomes are listed on page27 of the VCE Environmental Science Study Design. The following sample examination questions are intended to demonstrate the format and the types of questions that teachers and students can expect on the new end-of-year VCE Environmental Science examination. The VCAA provides answers to multiple-choice questions. The VCAA does not provide answers for other sections. The following documents should be referred to in relation to the VCE Environmental Science examination. VCE Environmental Science Study Design 20132016 VCAA Bulletin VCE, VCAL and VET

VCE Env Science (Specifications and sample) October 2012

Victorian Certificate of Education Year


STUDENT NUMBER Figures Words

SUPERVISOR TO ATTACH PROCESSING LABEL HERE

Letter

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
Written examination
Day Date
Reading time: **.** ** to **.** ** (15 minutes) Writing time: **.** ** to **.** ** (2 hours)

QUESTION AND ANSWER BOOK


Section

A B

Students are permitted to bring into the examination room: pens, pencils, highlighters, erasers, sharpeners, rulers and one scientific calculator. Students are NOT permitted to bring into the examination room: blank sheets of paper and/or white out liquid/tape. Materials supplied Question and answer book of 32 pages. Answer sheet for multiple-choice questions. Instructions Write your student number in the space provided above on this page. Check that your name and student number as printed on your answer sheet for multiple-choice questions are correct, and sign your name in the space provided to verify this. All written responses must be in English. At the end of the examination Place the answer sheet for multiple-choice questions inside the front cover of this book. Students are NOT permitted to bring mobile phones and/or any other unauthorised electronic devices into the examination room.
VICTORIAN CURRICULUM AND ASSESSMENT AUTHORITY 2012 October 2012

M A
Number of questions

Structure of book
30 6

30 6

Number of questions to be answered

E L
30 90 Total 120

Number of marks

ENVSC EXAM (SAMPLE)

October 2012

SECTION A Multiple-choice questions Instructions for Section A


Answer all questions in pencil on the answer sheet provided for multiple-choice questions. Choose the response that is correct or that best answers the question. A correct answer scores 1, an incorrect answer scores 0. Marks will not be deducted for incorrect answers. No marks will be given if more than one answer is completed for any question.

Question 1 A fossil fuel is best described as A. a flammable solid or gas. B. a fuel that contains carbon. C. fossilised rock that will burn in a power station. D. a flammable substance formed from ancient biological material. Question 2 An example of a non-renewable, non-fossil energy resource is A. oil. B. coal. C. tidal. D. uranium. Question 3 Which of the following is not a renewable energy source? A. wind B. solar C. biomass D. natural gas Question 4 The term exothermic refers to a chemical reaction A. in which heat is absorbed. B. in which heat is given out. C. that proceeds very rapidly. D. that requires high temperatures to begin the reaction.

SECTION A continued

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ENVSC EXAM (SAMPLE)

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Use the following information to answer Questions 5 and 6. An engineer is planning the electricity supply for an isolated city. She wants to make the system as energy efficient and environmentally friendly as possible, but her options are limited. The two options she is considering are as follows. Option 1: coal-burning power station on a coal field approximately 300 km from the city, with high-voltage transmission lines between them Option 2: diesel power station in the city, generating power at the desired voltage (250 V AC) In Option 1, the efficiency of the various stages in the process is as follows. efficiency of the generating plant (coal to electricity) 60% efficiency of the long-distance, high-voltage transmission lines 90% efficiency of the transformers to convert high voltage to 250 V in the city 90% In Option 2, the diesel power station is approximately 60% efficient (oil fuel to electricity, ready to use). Question 5 What percentage of the coals energy reaches the city? A. approximately 30% B. approximately 50% C. approximately 60% D. approximately 90% Question 6 One kilogram of diesel-oil fuel used contains 8000 kJ of energy. How much of the energy contained in the diesel-oil fuel is not converted to electricity when burnt in the power station? A. 4800 kJ B. 3200 kJ C. 2400 kJ D. 1200 kJ Question 7 Mercury is particularly hazardous to human health because A. it bioaccumulates high up the food chain. B. as a heavy metal, it can cause serious impact injury. C. it is light and volatile, and so is widely dispersed through the environment by wind. D. as a pure metal it is very soluble in water, hence easily absorbed through drinking water. Question 8 Which of the following is the best description of sulfur dioxide? A. a gas less dense than air B. a gas more dense than air C. a gas insoluble in water D. an acidic liquid at ordinary room temperature

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Question 10 The toxicity of mercury is best described as A. how mercury enters the environment. B. a measure of the harm mercury does to a person. C. the persistence of mercury in the environment. D. how much mercury a person experiences in a given time. Question 11 In some regions, the combination of acid rain and smog causes damage to forests that is worse than the impact of either acid rain or smog on its own. This is an example of A. specificity. B. acute toxicity. C. chronic toxicity. D. synergistic action. Question 12 Which one of the following best accounts for mercurys significant harm to the environment? A. persistence B. degradability C. specificity D. synergism

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Question 9 The dosage of sulfur dioxide is best described as A. a measure of the harm sulfur dioxide does to a person. B. the amount of sulfur dioxide a person experiences in a given time. C. the amount of sulfur dioxide absorbed by a person in a given time. D. the amount of sulfur dioxide entering the environment in a given time.

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ENVSC EXAM (SAMPLE)

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coastline sewerage plant ocean

outlet

current

Engineers often use scale models to study proposed environmental projects. This project is modelled below.

tank (10 litres)

A 20 L/s valve (V) B

downstream

The model consists of a 10 litre supply tank, A, which delivers the water through a pipe, B, into a stream of water flowing along a channel, to model the ocean current. The water flows through the channel at 20 litres per second. To simulate the pollutant, 100 grams of a chemical is thoroughly mixed into the supply tank with the valve (V) closed. Question 13 Which one of the following best gives the concentration of the chemical in the supply tank A? A. 0.10 g/L B. 1.0 g/L C. 10 g/L D. 100 g/L

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Use the following information to answer Questions 1319. A large outlet is being planned to release treated water from a sewerage treatment plant into the ocean. The treated water is not toxic, but has an unpleasant smell and so can be considered a pollutant. The outlet feeds the treated water into deep ocean, with a strong current, which spreads this treated water.

October 2012

ENVSC EXAM (SAMPLE)

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Question 14 With the water flowing in the channel, the valve (V) is now opened and the supply tank empties in 20 seconds. Which one of the following best gives the concentration of the chemical in the stream flow downstream of pipe B? A. 0.10 g/L B. 0.25 g/L C. 1.0 g/L D. 25 g/L Question 15 As part of the planning for the sewerage outlet project, an Environmental Risk Assessment is to be carried out. Which one of the following is the main aim of an Environmental Risk Assessment? A. to determine the least expensive way to protect the environment B. to reduce the number of people who are concerned about the project C. to ensure that there are no adverse effects on the environment from the project D. to evaluate the balance of positive benefits against possible harmful effects Question 16 The planning also needs to take into account regulatory frameworks. Which one of the following best describes a regulatory framework? A. a set of standards agreed by all scientists B. government legislation to ensure that projects meet acceptable standards C. a set of guidelines agreed by the local community concerning the project D. agreed guidelines to take responsibility for ecological sustainability away from the planners, constructors and operators Question 17 A scientist states that the sewerage outlet project must be ecologically sustainable. This means that the project must A. meet the needs of the current population without compromising the needs of future generations. B. not affect the ecology of the nearby ocean area in any way. C. take into account the particular ecology of the nearby area. D. maintain the biodiversity of the nearby ocean area.

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Before operating Species W Species X Species Y Species Z 5000 3000 2000 4000

One year 4000 4000 3500 2800

Two years 6000 3000 3000 4200

Three years 4000 4000 4000 3000

Question 18 The percentage change in the total number of fish in the sampled area from before the opening of the sewerage outlet project until the end of the three years is best given by (+ indicates increase; indicates decrease) A. 7% B. + 7% C. + 70% D. + 107% Question 19 The scientist reports that because the numbers of fish of species W and Z have decreased over the three years, the plant has had a negative impact on the ecosystem. Which one of the following statements is the best comment on this report? A. The scientist is correct. B. There is insufficient data to draw any conclusion. C. The variation is due to loss of biodiversity, as species Y is beginning to dominate the numbers. D. The scientist is incorrect, since variation in numbers is more likely to be due to random variation and sampling effects.

SECTION A continued

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As part of monitoring the sewerage outlet project, a scientist randomly sampled the number of individuals from four different fish species in an area of one square kilometre around the outlet. The measurements were taken before the outlet was constructed and one, two and three years after it began operating. The amount of treated water from the sewerage plant was the same throughout the three-year period. The data is shown below.

October 2012

ENVSC EXAM (SAMPLE)

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Question 20 A group of scientists has monitored a population of the Southern Bent-wing Bat in a small cave system over a seven-year period. The number of bats estimated for each year is given in the table below. Year Number 2002 110 2003 110 2004 115 2005 122 2006 110 2007 110 2008 114

The average population size living in the cave system over the seven-year period is best calculated as A. 110. B. 111. C. 112. D. 113. Question 21 The probability (calculated risk) of extinction of this Southern Bent-wing Bat population over the next 15 years is estimated to be 0.70. A larger population in a second separate cave system has a probability of extinction estimated to be 0.20 over the same period. Which of the following best gives the probability of extinction of both populations in the next 15 years? A. 0.14 B. 0.27 C. 0.50 D. 0.97 Question 22 The Southern Bent-wing Bat roosts and breeds only in caves and mine shafts in southeastern South Australia and southwestern Victoria. This means that the species A. has a wide variety of habitats. B. is at risk of genetic swamping. C. is endemic to this region of Australia. D. needs demographic variation to occur to maintain its population size. Question 23 The total population of the Southern Bent-wing Bat has declined consistently from approximately 125 000 in 1964 to about 40 000 in 2004. It is likely that a decline of such numbers would have resulted in the conservation category of the species being reclassified from A. critical to vulnerable. B. critical to endangered. C. endangered to critical. D. endangered to vulnerable. SECTION A continued

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Use the following information to answer Questions 2024. The Southern Bent-wing Bat is a medium-sized bat that stays in caves during the day and hunts for insects in forests and wetlands at night.

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Question 24 A number of reasons are suggested for the declining numbers of the Southern Bent-wing Bat. The reasons include clearing of forest habitats disturbance of breeding sites by tourists decrease in the insects the bats feed on due to pesticide use. However, scientists lack data to identify the specific cause. In response to this lack of data, the precautionary principle would most strongly suggest that A. a captive breeding program should be established to rebuild species diversity. B. authorities should still develop and implement strategies to address each of the possible causes. C. there is little that can be done to deal with the decreasing population, since the cause is unknown. D. the scientists should undertake further investigation to identify the main threat and write a risk assessment report. Question 25 Genetic swamping is likely to happen when a A. small population of species A takes over the habitat of a larger population of a different species B. B. large population of species A takes over the habitat of a smaller population of a different species B. C. large population of species A moves into a habitat occupied by a smaller genetically similar population of A. D. large population of species A moves into a habitat occupied by a smaller genetically different population of A.

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Question 26 In releasing the water into the river, which one of the following environmental consequences will most likely need to be avoided? A. erosion B. evaporation C. dryland salinity D. increased salinity in the river Question 27 The main purpose of the Environmental Risk Assessment is to A. ensure maximum local employment on the project. B. eliminate any disruption to the environment during repair. C. minimise the number of people likely to object to the project. D. balance any environmental damage against the benefit of the repair. Question 28 Which one of the following factors best indicates that the dam repair is ecologically sustainable? A. disruption to local wildlife is temporary B. employment is created during the repair project C. the habitat of endemic threatened populations has been disturbed D. previously submerged heritage buildings can be investigated Question 29 After the dam is repaired, it is found that soil sediments in the flood plain of the river contain significant levels of phosphorus that were not present before the water release. A scientist suggests that this can be corrected by planting a particular type of vegetation that absorbs and bioaccumulates phosphorus from the soil. This is an example of A. recycling. B. soil bioremediation. C. water conservation. D. waste minimisation.

SECTION A continued

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Use the following information to answer Questions 2630. An old water storage dam is to have its dam wall repaired. To access the dam wall for repairs, a large amount of water stored in the dam needs to be released into a river. An Environmental Risk Assessment is required before the project is approved.

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Question 30 After completion of the work, a scientist conducts an evaluation of the effectiveness of the Environmental Management Plan for the project. Which one of the following would be evidence for the success of the Environmental Management Plan? A. The dam no longer leaked. B. The work came in under budget. C. No native animals were disturbed during the work. D. Two years later, the ecology of the area downstream of the dam is similar to the ecology before the work was done.

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SECTION B Instructions for Section B


Answer all questions in the spaces provided. Write using black or blue pen. Question 1 (14 marks) A large, industrial, port city is located on the coast. Nearby is a high mountain range, which receives heavy rainfall due to the strong, moist onshore wind (blowing from sea to land) that blows about half of the time. The city is wellserved by both sea and rail transport, so coal can be easily obtained. There is the possibility of a natural gas field about 50 km off the coast. Public transport is provided by an extensive electric tram system. One of the main industries in the city is an aluminium smelter, which operates 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, continually, and it is a large consumer of electricity. The city council is doing long-term planning to provide for the future electricity supply needs of the city. Name a fossil fuel energy source and a non-fossil fuel energy source that you have studied. fossil non-fossil a. Describe how you would use these sources, either singly or in combination, to meet the needs of this city in an adequate way and with emphasis on sustainability. You should refer to any subsidiary infrastructure that would be needed.

3 marks

SECTION B Question 1 continued

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ENVSC EXAM (SAMPLE)

b.

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Outline the advantages of using your nominated fossil fuel energy source in the system described in part a.

3 marks

c.

Outline the disadvantages of the system you have suggested in part a. of your nominated fossil fuel energy source.

2 marks

SECTION B Question 1 continued TURN OVER

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d.

Comment on the economic, social and environmental implications of your choices.

3 marks

e.

A reporter makes the following statement. Non-fossil fuels are preferred because all non-fossil fuels are renewable, while all fossil fuels are non-renewable. Explain why this statement is inaccurate and include an example or examples to support your explanation.

3 marks

SECTION B continued

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ENVSC EXAM (SAMPLE)

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SECTION B continued TURN OVER

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5 marks

SECTION B Question 2 continued

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Question 2 (15 marks) a. The temperature of Earths atmosphere is determined by the greenhouse effect. Explain the mechanism of Earths greenhouse effect, including the role of ultraviolet, visible and infrared radiation. Your answer should include reference to types of incoming solar radiation atmospheric absorption types of re-emitted radiation. You should include a clearly labelled diagram.

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ENVSC EXAM (SAMPLE)

b.

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Explain the difference between the natural and enhanced greenhouse effects, including the implications of each for human life.

4 marks

c.

Describe two strategies for reducing the enhanced greenhouse effect.

2 marks

d.

Discuss the impact of one fossil fuel and one non-fossil fuel energy source on global warming, including the mechanism by which each affects the warming. fossil fuel energy source

4 marks

non-fossil fuel energy source

SECTION B continued TURN OVER

ENVSC EXAM (SAMPLE)

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October 2012

hilltop

hilltop

A B

river flow

Results of the analyses are presented in the table below (g is 0.000001 g or 106). Total mercury concentration (g/g) Sample number 1 2 3 4 5 a. Site A 1120 1850 2090 1200 1540 Site B 727 652 78 41 244 Site C 4.8 9.2 2.9 5.0 6.7 Site D 0.8 1.2 0.6 1.0 0.7 Site E 12.6 15.0 19.5 8.7 14.4 Site F 8.6 4.4 10.8 7.8 2.2 2 marks

Why did the researchers take a number of measurements of mercury concentrations in soil samples at each site rather than relying on one sample at each location?

SECTION B Question 3 continued

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Question 3 (20 marks) The Black Butte Mine in Oregon, USA, mined, crushed and heated mercury sulfide to produce the element mercury from 1882 until 1969. The process involves heating mercuric sulfide to remove the sulfur, which comes off as sulfur dioxide. The mine is no longer in use and it is intended to reuse the site for recreational purposes. As part of an environmental assessment, researchers took numerous soil samples and analysed the amount of mercury present in each sample. The map shows the location of the mine and the sampling sites. Site A is the location of an old processing plant at the mine (established in 1882). Site B is the location of a newer processing plant at the mine (established in 1950). Site C is on the slope of a hill facing the mine site. Site D is on a slope on the far side of a hill. Sites E and F are near a river flowing through the mine site. Site E is closer to the mine than site F. Results of the analyses are presented in the table below (g is 0.000001 g or 106 g).

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ENVSC EXAM (SAMPLE)

b.

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Referring to the relevant properties of mercury and sulfur dioxide, explain whether you would expect to find one, the other or both at the site many years after the mine has ceased production.

3 marks

c.

Explain why mercury in the environment is hazardous and list some of its impacts.

4 marks

d.

By examining the data in the table, describe the most likely transport mechanisms for mercury pollution in the vicinity of the mine (at C, D, E and F) and in the area affected by the mine. Explain why the data given indicates these mechanisms.

4 marks

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October 2012

e.

mercury

sulfur dioxide

In each of the following questions, part f. and part g., you should make explicit reference to the scenario and information on page 20. f. The local government requires an Environmental Impact Assessment of the project to be carried out. Outline the necessary steps in this process and describe what should be included in the final report.

2 marks

g.

Outline three key stakeholder groups that should be consulted and describe a suitable process for consultation.

3 marks

SECTION B continued

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When the new processing plant for the mine was operating (19501969), would you have considered it a point or diffuse source for mercury and sulfur dioxide? Explain your answers.

2 marks

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Question 4 (15 marks) The cassowary is a very large, flightless bird found in north Queensland. There are believed to be some small populations of unknown numbers in southern New Guinea, although most of these may now be extinct due to hunting and collection of eggs for human food. Males are very territorial, with a territory that can be up to 7 square kilometres in extent. The males are solitary there are no groups of adults (although some groups may have developed in areas of urban growth due to human feeding). Females move through different territories and mate with males, then move on. The males hatch the eggs and nurture the chicks for up to a year. The young male birds must then move on and find their own territory. Birds have a life span of about 30 years, with up to 50 years in captivity. There are three main populations of the cassowary in Queensland, two in the far north on Cape York the Northern Cape York population and Southern Cape York population. The third is further south, in the area south of Cairns and around Townsville the wet tropics population. All these areas are cyclone prone, with significant cyclones in many years. The total number of cassowaries in Australia has decreased over the last 30 years, although accurate counting is extremely difficult. One source quotes that in 1988 there were an estimated 4000 adults; in 2001 about 2000; and perhaps 12001500 currently. Hence, they are classified as endangered under the relevant legislation. The birds eat mainly fruit, often swallowing large fruit whole. Their droppings carry these seeds over much of their territory. The main threats to the cassowary are believed to be collisions with vehicles (approximately 60%75% of deaths in the wet tropics population) loss of habitat and habitat fragmentation predating by dogs (perhaps 15% of deaths) cyclones (20% of adults and virtually all dependent chicks were killed when Cyclone Larry hit north Queensland in 2006). a. In terms of the behaviour patterns of the cassowary, explain why accurate estimates of the populations may be difficult.

2 marks

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October 2012

4 marks

For this plan, Alan, a ranger, suggests taking 20 adult males and 15 adult females from the wet tropics population, as it has the largest number of birds of the three Australian populations. Regina, another ranger, wants to take some birds from each population, although the other populations are much smaller. c. Give your opinion, with reasons, as to which is the best option all from the wet tropics population or some from each population.

3 marks

d.

Give a reason why the survival of the cassowary may be important for overall biodiversity.

2 marks

SECTION B Question 4 continued

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A biologist suggests relocating some of the cassowaries to another area. A suggested region is midway between the wet tropics population and southern Cape York population. b. Evaluate arguments for and against this plan.

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ENVSC EXAM (SAMPLE)

e.

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From the data above, suggest some actions that could be taken in the management plan to ensure the survival of the cassowary. Relate your suggestions to information in the description above.

4 marks

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S=

sum of difference of each species from the mean (absolute/positive value) number of species

A lower value of S indicates a greater species diversity. In studying a particular habitat, X, the following data was found. 1995 Number Species 1 Species 2 Species 3 Species 4 Species 5 Species 6 Total number Mean Susans index = a. 80 40 70 80 30 60 360 60 20 + 20 + 10 + 20 + 30 + 0 6 Difference from mean 20 20 10 20 30 0 Number 60 30 40 160 30 40 360 60 0 + 30 + 20 + 100 + 30 + 20 = 6 = 200/6 = 33.3 2000 Difference from mean 0 30 20 100 30 20

= 100/6 = 16.7

Susan argues that the index indicates that the species diversity of the habitat has decreased significantly over the five-year period. Bob argues that the total number of individuals is the same (360), the number of species is the same (6) and that the species diversity has not decreased. Is Susan or Bob correct? Explain your reason, including clearly differentiating between species richness and species diversity in the evaluation of biodiversity.

4 marks

SECTION B Question 5 continued

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Question 5 (14 marks) Often, simple indices are used to assess the species diversity of a habitat. Susan develops a simple index to determine whether species diversity is increasing or decreasing in particular habitats. This index (S) combines both the number of species and their relative abundance. It is given by

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To assess the change in species diversity of a different habitat, Y, Susan counts the number of individuals of each species in the habitat three years apart. The data is shown below. 2001 Species A Species B Species C Species D Species E b. 10 20 30 30 10 2004 5 10 70 10 5 2 marks

Calculate the mean (average) number of individuals per species for the years 2001 and 2004. 2001

2004

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c.

Calculate Susans index for each year. Show your working clearly. 2001 Number Species A Species B Species C Species D Species E Total number Mean Difference from mean Number 2004 Difference from mean

4 marks

Susans index =

Susans index =

2001 d.

2004

Evaluate the usefulness of Susans index for comparing species diversity change in habitats. In your answer, you should use the sets of data provided in both case studies (pages 26 and 27).

4 marks

SECTION B continued

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wetlands

land option A causeway option B tunnel river

land

ocean

The total cost of the railway without the river crossings is approximately $20 million. Option A is costed at approximately $4 million. Option B is costed at approximately $50 million. Jenny argues for the tunnel. The causeway would lead to great change in the flow of the river. The tide would no longer flush the wetlands and, hence, it may become stagnant. At times of low flow the wetlands could become very salty, affecting the wildlife in them. The causeway would spoil the view of the ocean from the inland side of the railway. Richard argues as follows. The railway is essential to provide an environmentally sustainable transport mode. If cars were the only available means of transport, the pollution would affect animal, bird and aquatic life in the area. The tunnel is too expensive an option and, if the causeway was not allowed, the railway is unlikely to be constructed, which would have environmental consequences. While agreeing with Jenny that the wetland area would be changed by the causeway, the wildlife (especially the migratory water birds) would quickly adjust. It is necessary to balance conflicting environmental issues and the causeway is much better environmentally than the tunnel. In parts a., b. and c., you should consider making reference to i) economic, ii) social and ii) environmental factors not necessarily all three in each sub question. SECTION B Question 6 continued

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Question 6 (12 marks) A new residential development with the potential to house approximately 100 000 people is being developed on a coastal strip of land approximately 10 kilometres from the edge of a major city. To provide transport to this new development, engineers are planning a rail link. The planned route for this link is relatively simple, except for a wide river mouth (estuary) about midway along the route. This river mouth is about half a kilometre wide. Upstream from the proposed river crossing is a large wetland area, with a significant water bird habitat. The engineers consider two possibilities for crossing this estuary. Option A a half-kilometre-long causeway or built-up embankment, with a number of openings to allow the river to flow through Option B a one-kilometre-long tunnel to allow the railway to pass under the river The two potential crossings are shown below.

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a.

Outline the key arguments for option A.

3 marks

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b.

Outline the key arguments for option B.

3 marks

c.

Give your own evaluation and, hence, recommendation for the decision-making council.

2 marks

SECTION B Question 6 continued TURN OVER

ENVSC EXAM (SAMPLE)

32

October 2012

d.

2 marks

e.

Name an international convention that would be relevant to the decision. Explain why it is relevant.

2 marks

END OF QUESTION AND ANSWER BOOK

N O W R IT ING ALLOWED IN T HIS AREA

One of the groups consulted says that whichever option is chosen, it must be shown to be ecologically sustainable. Explain the meaning of the term ecologically sustainable with particular reference to how it applies to this decision.

October 2012

33

ENVSC EXAM (SAMPLE)

Answers to multiple-choice questions

N O W R IT ING ALLOWED IN T HIS AREA

Question 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Answer D D D B B B A B C B D A C B D

Question 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Answer B B B D D A C C B D A D A B D