Features and Benefits

Environment: The Science behind the Stories is known for its student-friendly narrative style, its integration of real stories and case studies, and its presentation of the latest science and research. With the 7th Edition, engaging new features open students’ eyes to environmental issues, making it easy for them to see the data with new infographic-style illustrations, see the connections between the case studies and their own lives with new local connections activities, and see potential solutions with new success stories features. The new edition provides new levels of integration between the text, Mastering, and Pearson eText with digital components built into every hallmark feature, giving students seamless access to the tools and resources they need to succeed.

Engage students with real people, real places, and real data

  • NEW - Success Stories highlight forward-thinking solutions with one solution featured per chapter. The Success Stories present successful efforts to address environmental problems and are complemented by new data-analysis Mastering Environmental Science activities.
  • NEW - Central Case Study: Connect and Continue features bring Central Case Studies full circle by revisiting the Case Study from the start of the chapter at the end of every chapter. This new feature will encourage students to think critically about the issue laid out within the chapter. While the opening case study draws students into the chapter, the conclusion entices them to read through the chapter and learn the conclusion at the end. The end of chapter also features a local connection activity instructors can use to connect the case study to environmental issues in their local area. New Mastering coaching activities make data behind the case studies assignable.
  • UPDATED - Integrated Central Case Studiesbegin and are woven throughout the chapter, drawing students into learning about the real people, real places, and real data behind environmental issues. Updated with current stories, the Central Case Studies provide a contextual framework to make science memorable and engaging. New topics include:
    • Chapter 4: Leaping Fish, Backwards River: Asian Carp Threaten the Great Lakes
    • Chapter 7: Young Americans Take on Climate Change in the Courts
    • Chapter 9: Bees to the Rescue: By Helping Pollinators, Farmers Help Themselves
    • Chapter 10: Sustainable Food and Dining at the University of Michigan
    • Chapter 12: Saving the World’s Greatest Rainforest
    • Chapter 15: Reaching the Tipping Point: Fracking and Fresh Water in West Texas
    • Chapter 16: A Sea of Plastic in the Middle of Ocean
  • UPDATED - Campus Sustainability coverage has been moved from a concluding chapter and integrated directly into relevant chapters to show how students are helping to forge sustainable solutions on campuses across North America.

Get students hands-on with data

  • NEW - DataGraphics are Infographic-style illustrations that enable students to see the data behind complex issues and understand how to tie it all together. Topics include:
    • Can We Save the World's Biodiversity?
    • How Can We Stop Global Warming?
    • Will Ocean Plastic Pollution Get Worse?
  • NEW - Interactive Data Analysis Activities give students a different way to interact with data and graphs while deepening their understanding of environmental science. Interactive activities are embedded in Pearson eText for seamless access and assignable in Mastering Environmental Science.
  • Data Qs are data analysis questions paired with figures in each chapter that help students develop their scientific literacy skills. With this edition, Data Qs are now assignable in Mastering.

Develop students' scientific literacy skills

  • Weighing the Issues questions encourage students to develop critical-thinking skills, grapple with ethical questions, and apply what they have learned as they go through each chapter.
  • Calculating Ecological Footprint activities at the end of every chapter allow students to quantify the environmental impact of their own actions, then scale these impacts up to the societal level. New to this edition: sample answers to these activities are available in the Instructor Guide.
  • FAQs examine common misconceptions students often hold about environmental issues.
  • UPDATED - Chapter 1 strengthens the emphasis on the process of science by introducing concepts covered in the Science Behind the Stories feature throughout the book.
  • UPDATED - Science Behind the Story essays provide a current and fascinating selection of examples of real research that delves into environmental issues. Each essay highlights how scientists develop hypotheses, test predictions, and analyze and interpret data. These fascinating profiles of current research help students understand "how we know what we know" about environmental issues. New topics include:
  • Chapter 2: Are yeast the answer to cleaning up nuclear waste?
  • Chapter 4: How Do Asian Carp Affect Aquatic Communities
  • Chapter 5: Are Fertilizers from Midwestern Farms Causing a "Dead Zone" in the Gulf of Mexico?
  • Chapter 9: If We Help Pollinators, Will This Boost Crop Production?
  • Chapter 11: Are Insects Vanishing?
  • Chapter 14: Are Endocrine Disruptors Lurking in Your Fast Food?
  • Chapter 14: What Role Do Pesticides Play in the Collapse of Bee Colonies?
  • Chapter 15: What’s Killing Smallmouth Bass in the Potomac River Watershed?
  • Chapter 16: Inventorying the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
  • Chapter 18: Why and How does Global Warming Lead to Extreme Weather Events?
  • Chapter 21: How Well Do Wind and Solar Complement One Another in Texas?
  • Chapter 22: Can Campus Research Help Reduce Waste?
  • Chapter 23: Mapping Mountaintop Mining’s "Footprint" in Appalachia

NEW and UPDATED! Instructor support and active learning resources:

  • NEW - Connect and Continue section provides in-text active learning opportunities including local connection activities.
  • NEW - Sample answers to Calculating Ecological Footprint activities are available in the Instructor Guide.
  • NEW - Ready-to-Go Teaching Modules help instructors to make use of teaching tools before, during, and after class, including new ideas for in-class activities. The modules incorporate the best that the text, Mastering Environmental Science, and Learning Catalytics have to offer and can be accessed through the Instructor Resources area of Mastering Environmental Science.
  • REVISED - End-of-Chapter material focuses on active learning suggestions.

Mastering Environmental Science

Mastering® is the teaching and learning platform that empowers you to reach every student. By combining trusted author content with digital tools developed to engage students and emulate the office-hour experience, Mastering personalizes learning and improves results for each student. Mastering Environmental Science extends learning and provides students with a platform to practice, learn, and apply knowledge outside of the classroom. Learn more about Mastering Environmental Science.

Teach your course your way: Your course is unique. So whether you’d like to build your own auto-graded assignments, foster student engagement during class, or give students anytime, anywhere access, Mastering gives you the flexibility to easily create your course to fit your needs.

  • Dynamic Study Modules are assignable modules that pose a series of question sets about a course topic. The questions adapt to each student’s performance and offer personalized, targeted feedback to help them master key concepts. As a result, students build the confidence they need to deepen their understanding, participate meaningfully, and perform better — in and out of class. Students can use their computer or the MyLab and Mastering app to access Dynamic Study Modules. Available for select titles.
  • With Learning Catalytics, you’ll hear from every student when it matters most. You pose a variety of questions that help students recall ideas, apply concepts, and develop critical-thinking skills. Your students respond using their own smartphones, tablets, or laptops. You can monitor responses with real-time analytics and find out what your students do — and don’t — understand. Then, you can adjust your teaching accordingly, and even facilitate peer-to-peer learning, helping students stay motivated and engaged.
  • NEW - Ready-to-Go Teaching Modules make use of teaching tools for before, during, and after class, including new ideas for in-class activities. The modules incorporate the best that the text, Mastering Environmental Science, and Learning Catalytics have to offer and can be accessed through the Instructor Resources area of Mastering Environmental Science.

Empower each learner: Each student learns at a different pace. Personalized learning, including adaptive tools and wrong-answer feedback, pinpoints the precise areas where each student needs practice and gives all students the support they need — when and where they need it — to be successful.

  • NEW - Pearson eText is a simple-to-use, mobile-optimized, personalized reading experience available within Mastering. It allows students to easily highlight, take notes, and review key vocabulary all in one place—even when offline. Seamlessly integrated videos and other rich media engage students and give them access to the help they need, when they need it.
  • NEW - Success Story Coaching activities pair with the new in-text Success Story feature and give students the opportunity to explore the data behind each sustainable solution.
  • Case Study Video Tours use Google Earthand striking images delivered in highly engaging videos to bring each chapter-opening Case Study to life.The video tours are embedded in the Pearson eText to encourage students to immerse themselves in the theme of each chapter. They are also available in Mastering Environmental Science, allowing instructors to assign the experience.
  • Video Field Trip activities give students fascinating behind-the-scenes tours of real environmental concerns and the strategies and solutions employed to address them. These popular, short videos engage students as they explore a coal-fired power plant, a wastewater treatment facility, a wind farm, and more. New video field trip activities discuss bee colony collapse and take students on a tour of a water desalination plant.
  • 10 GraphIt! Coaching activities help students read, interpret, and create graphs that explore real environmental issues using real data.All ten activities explore current topics such as the carbon footprint of food, fresh water availability, and ocean acidification in an entirely new mobile experience with accessible design.
  • Interpreting Graphs and Data activities help students develop basic data analysis skills and practice applying these skills by interpreting data about environmental issues. Each of these questions is paired with the in-text Data Qs.

Deliver trusted content: We partner with highly respected authors to develop interactive content and course-specific resources that keep students on track and engaged. 

  • EXPANDED - DataQ questions have been moved from the text and are now 100% assignable in Mastering Environmental Science.
  • Process of Science coaching activities help students think critically about environmental research presented in the in-text Science Behind the Stories. There are fifteen Process of Science activities created by coauthor Matt Laposata that will help students think like a scientist and understand basic experimental design skills.
  • Everyday Environmental Science video activities connect environmental science course topics with current stories in the news. Produced by the BBC, these high-quality videos can be assigned for pre- and post-lecture homework, or can be shown in class to engage students in the topic at hand.