Environment: The Science Behind the Stories, 7th edition

  • Jay H Withgott
  • Matthew Laposata

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For courses in introductory environmental science.
This ISBN is for the Modified Mastering access card. Pearson eText is included.

See the data, connections, and solutions behind environmental issues

Environment: The Science behind the Stories is known for its 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 learners’ eyes to environmental issues, making it easy 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 learners seamless access to the tools and resources they need to succeed. 

Personalize learning with Modified Mastering Environmental Science

By combining trusted author content with digital tools and a flexible platform, Mastering personalizes the learning experience 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.

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Table of contents

1. Science and Sustainability       

Our Island, Earth   

Environmental Science     

The Nature of Science       

Seeking a Sustainable Future       

2. Earth’s Physical Systems 

Matter, Chemistry, and the Environment  

Energy: An Introduction   

Geology: The Physical Basis for Environmental Science       

Geologic and Natural Hazards     

3. Evolution and Population Ecology   

Evolution: The Source of Earth’s Biodiversity    

Ecology and the Organism  

Population Ecology  

Conserving Biodiversity   

4. Species Interactions and Community Ecology  

Species Interactions 

Ecological Communities   

Earth’s Biomes      

5. Environmental Systems and Ecosystem Ecology       

Earth’s Environmental Systems   


Biogeochemical Cycles     

6. Ethics, Economics, and Sustainable Development     

Environmental Ethics       

Economics and the Environment

Sustainable Development 

7. Environmental Policy   

Environmental Policy: An Overview       

U.S. Environmental Law and Policy

International Environmental Policy        

Approaches to Environmental Policy      

8. Human Population        

Our World at Nearly 8 Billion      


Population and Society     

9. The Underpinnings of Agriculture      

Resources and Services for Agriculture  

Soil: A Foundation of Agriculture

Water for Agriculture       

Nutrients for Plants 

Pollination for Farming    

Preserving Genetic Diversity       

Conserving Soil and Land Resources      

10. Making Agriculture Sustainable        

The Race to Feed the World

Raising Animals for Food 

Controlling Pests and Weeds       

Genetically Modified Food  

Organic Agriculture 

Sustainable Food Production       

11. Biodiversity and Its Conservation     

Life’s Diversity on Earth   

Benefits of Biodiversity    

Biodiversity Loss and Extinction 

Conservation Biology: The Search for Solutions

12.Forests, Forest Management, and Protected Areas 

Forest Ecosystems and Forest Resources  

Forest Loss

Forest Management 

Parks and Protected Areas  

13. The Urban Environment        

Our Urbanizing World      


Creating Livable Cities      

Urban Sustainability

14. Environmental Health and Toxicology

Environmental Health      

Toxic Substances and Their Effects on Organisms  

Toxic Substances and Their Effects on Ecosystems

Studying Effects of Hazards

Risk Assessment and Risk Management 

Philosophical and Policy Approaches     

15. Freshwater Systems and Resources 

Freshwater Systems

Human Activities Affect Waterways       

Solutions to Depletion of Fresh Water    

Freshwater Pollution and Its Control      

16. Marine and Coastal Systems and Resources

The Oceans

Marine and Coastal Ecosystems  

Marine Pollution   

Emptying the Oceans        

Marine Conservation

17. The Atmosphere, Air Quality, and Air Pollution Control     

The Atmosphere    

Outdoor Air Quality 

Ozone Depletion and Recovery    

Addressing Acid Deposition 

Indoor Air Quality 

18. Global Climate Change       

Our Dynamic Climate        

Studying Climate Change  

Impacts of Climate Change  

Responding to Climate Change    

19. Fossil Fuels and Energy Efficiency    

Sources of Energy 

Fossil Fuels: Their Formation, Extraction, and Use       

Reaching Further for Fossil Fuels

Addressing Impacts of Fossil Fuel Use    

Energy Efficiency and Conservation       

20. Conventional Energy Alternatives    

Alternatives to Fossil Fuels 

Nuclear Power       


Hydroelectric Power

21. New Renewable Energy Sources       

Shifting to Renewable Energy      

Solar Energy 

Wind Power  

Geothermal Energy  

Ocean Energy Sources      

Energy Storage      

22. Managing Our Waste  

Approaches to Waste Management

Municipal Solid Waste      

Industrial Solid Waste      

Hazardous Waste  

23. Minerals and Mining  

Earth’s Mineral Resources  

Mining Methods and Their Impacts

Toward Sustainable Mineral Use 

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Published by Pearson (May 16th 2020) - Copyright © 2021