CURRENT TOPIC: Population Unit Info

“Overpopulation is the single most damaging cause of all other environmental issues.” 

(and some human rights issues too)

What have you learned about population growth, for humans and other species?  How do economics, gender, education and geography play a role in population growth?  What are the negative effects of a too-large population?  What can be done about it?  What is the role that YOU play in the 7 billion?  Do humans have a carrying capacity?



NOTE: You must be able to prove you have done the activity or watched the video (notes, images, details...some kind of evidence is required)


Population Curve Videos

Bozeman Science Exponential Growth (10:09)   Details about exponential growth and calculations

Bozeman Science Logistic Growth (10:55)  Details about population growth with limiting factors

"Scienceclassisgreat"  Exponential Growth (8:19)

"Scienceclassisgreat"  Logistic Growth (3:20)   *watched in class

Population Ecology (Discusses both graphs using rabbits as an example) (6:54)

Australian News Rabbit Problem (2:10)  *watched in class

Australian Cane Toad ("flashy" Animal Planet Video) (2:11)

Australian Cane Toad (Newscast) (6:30)

The math behind the logistic (S-shaped) curve  (interactive site, uses cartoon goldfish)  Logistic curves – the S-Shaped curve  Go to this site and go through the interactive animations.

A visual of the demographic transition*  (2:33) (very good visual)  7 Billion: How Did We Get So Big So Fast? (NPR)

World Census Information - POPClock   How many people are there on the planet and in the country?​

Below are five FOUR options for supplemental credit.  All options are due Monday.  You may do up to two options.  This may be the last opportunity for extra credit this year. 

Option 1: "My Personal Footprint"   (This is the optional part of the assignment; must have proof of completion and answer the questions below)

Go to this site

1) Complete the footprint survey.  Print a copy or the results screen or somehow document that you finished the survey.    Then answer these questions/complete the tasks below. 

a) What is an ecological footprint?

b) What is your personal ecological footprint (how many planets)?

c) What are three things you do that negatively impact the Earth?

d) Now go back through and take the survey with different answers or with a different starting country.  Record your results. 

e) Write down three changes you could (and would) make to your daily life that could make a difference and reduce your ecological footprint.

Option 2:  "The Story of Stuff"

In class we started watching the video "The Story of Stuff."  Here are two links to the video.  (They are the same video, but in case one doesn't work a backup is provided.)

1) Watch the entire video then complete all of the following:

a) List 5 very specific ways that you or your lifestyle is connected to the video.  (Be specific)

b) Write a half page reflective summary overall on the video OR draw a visual interpretation of what you learned on a piece of computer paper.


Option 3:  "Footprint Collage"

Directions can be found at this link:

Option 4:  "Social Issues Associated with Population"

There are many issues related to the large size of a human population.  We discussed some in class.  Many issues are ecological, but many are also social.  For this option, research a social issue related to population.  Write a 1-2 page paper discussing the issue.  Be sure to use at least 2 very good resources and indicate what they are.  Below is a list of questions to choose from.


  • How is population a women's rights issue?
  • What does population ahve to do with Civil war/violence/famine?
  • What is environmental justice and what does it have to do with population?
  • What does population have to do with human health?

Option 5:  "Impress me"

Is there another topic or aspect of population that you learned or want to learn about and want to share with me?  Do it!  It is June, by now you should know the types of things that can be used to demonstrate learning.  This option is open, but I do not recommend it for every student - there are four other options to choose from.  Caution: If the product you turn in does not meet standard expectations (or impress me), you are not guaranteed points. 


Below are a list of websites that may help you with any of the above tasks.  You do not have to visit all (or any) of them.  See which seem interesting to you.  


Ecological Foot Print Quiz (Two sites to choose from, most students may prefer the second site)

*The second site looks and sounds like a video game and has more options for simple/detailed answers.

The Earth is not going to get any bigger.  If the human population gets bigger, we will experience more and more issues due to limiting factors.  Take this quiz to find out how many Earths it would take to support humans if everyone lived like you do.  Then find out how to reduce your footprint.


Where to all the Earth’s people live?  (Graphic Representation of Human Distribution Over Time)

Click on “Launch Interactive”


Why is the population so big, and what is going to happen in the future?

Click on “Launch Video” in the box beneath the words, “How will the world population change in the future.  The box to the right should have the words “The World Population” in pink text.

Watch the entire video and listen to the audio.  Learn about the demographic transition, the UN predictions and more.


What do you know about population in different countries? ("quiz")


What factors contribute to how many children a person has? (interactive website)


What are consequences of a large human population?  (student contest videos)


The math behind the logistic (S-shaped) curve

Logistic curves – the S-Shaped curve

Go to this site and go through the interactive animations.


Comparing the United States to undeveloped/third world countries

University of Michigan Site: Discuss the graphs. For example, how are the demographics different in the population pyramids?  How are the roles of women different?  The child mortality rate? …?


What are Issues with overpopulation and why and how can I help?

Choose one or more and find out more about them.

  • Protecting the Planet
  • Defending Women’s Rights
  • Ensuring Social Justice


Why population matters

This site is very dense.  However, much of the information is cited.  Pay attention to the fray box on the right ("Impacts Index"); it has specific topics to click on to find out more information..


HowMany?.org  Effects of Overpopulation

This site also may have a bias, but the topics are an accurate list.  The right hand column also has other links to specific subtopics.


Abstract of a scientific Journal Article describing real research on human population's effects on biodiversity

This is a way scientists communicate results from their research.  I have included this so you can see that there is scientific investigation into these problems; it is not just somebody's opinion or idea, but is based on data.


Everything Connnects: Effects of Human Overpopulation

This site is pretty accessible to students. 


Environmental Effects of Human Populations

Like the others, this has embedded links to access more detailed information. 


An economist from 175 years ago predicted this!  Seriously?

Find out more about what Malthus believed about population, and how he connected it to economics.

Thomas Malthus, an 18th century economist with a population prediction for the present (either video)

British Narrator

Crash Course


World Population Clock LIVE - and a lot more

Here is a live action count of humans, births, deaths, undernourished, money spent and much more.  Scroll the whole site to see the data.


World Census Information - POPClock




Did you find another useful site?  Email it to me.  You may earn extra credit!   

 Don't forget to use your class notes too!