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List of Benchmarks for Geography

Standard 14.Understands how human actions modify the physical environment
  Level Pre-K (Grade Pre-K)
   1. Knows how people affect the environment in negative (e.g., litter, pollution) and positive (e.g., recycling, picking up litter) ways
  Level I (Grade K-2)
   1. Knows ways in which people depend on the physical environment (e.g., food, clean air, water, mineral resources)
  Level II (Grade 3-5)
   1. Knows the ways people alter the physical environment (e.g., by creating irrigation projects; clearing the land to make room for houses and shopping centers; planting crops; building roads)  A 
   2. Knows the ways in which the physical environment is stressed by human activities (e.g., changes in climate, air pollution, water pollution, expanding human settlement)
   3. Knows how human activities have increased the ability of the physical environment to support human life in the local community, state, United States, and other countries (e.g., use of irrigation and dry-land farming techniques to improve crop yields, reforestation to prevent erosion, flood-control projects to make land habitable)  A 
  Level III (Grade 6-8)
   1. Understands the environmental consequences of people changing the physical environment (e.g., the effects of ozone depletion, climate change, deforestation, land degradation, soil salinization and acidification, ocean pollution, groundwater-quality decline, using natural wetlands for recreational and housing development)  A 
   2. Understands the ways in which human-induced changes in the physical environment in one place can cause changes in other places (e.g., the effect of a factory's airborne emissions on air quality in communities located downwind and, because of acid rain, on ecosystems located downwind; the effects of pesticides washed into river systems on water quality in communities located downstream; the effects of the construction of dams and levees on river systems in one region on places downstream)
   3. Understands the ways in which technology influences the human capacity to modify the physical environment (e.g., effects of the introduction of fire, steam power, diesel machinery, electricity, work animals, explosives, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, hybridization of crops)
   4. Understands the environmental consequences of both the unintended and intended outcomes of major technological changes in human history (e.g., the effects of automobiles using fossil fuels, nuclear power plants creating the problem of nuclear-waste storage, the use of steel-tipped plows or the expansion of the amount of land brought into agriculture)
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   1. Understands how the concepts of synergy, feedback loops, carrying capacity and thresholds relate to the limitations of the physical environment to absorb the impacts of human activity (e.g., levee construction on a flood plain, logging in an old-growth forest, construction of golf courses in arid areas)
   2. Understands the role of humans in decreasing the diversity of flora and fauna in a region (e.g., the impact of acid rain on rivers and forests in southern Ontario, the effects of toxic dumping on ocean ecosystems, the effects of overfishing along the coast of northeastern North America or the Philippine archipelago)
   3. Understands the global impacts of human changes in the physical environment (e.g., increases in runoff and sediment, tropical soil degradation, habitat destruction, air pollution; alterations in the hydrologic cycle; increases in world temperatures; groundwater reduction)
   4. Knows how people's changing attitudes toward the environment have led to landscape changes (e.g., pressure to replace farmlands with wetlands in flood plain areas, interest in preserving wilderness areas, support for the concept of historic preservation)

 A  = Assessment items available