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2024 Current Issue

Hello 2024 Envirothon students!

Below you will find resources to help you study and prepare for the 2024 Alberta Envirothon:

  • All information with the blue background has been made by professionals throughout Alberta to help prepare you for the Current Issue exam

  • Information with the green background is from the NCF-Envirothon (the international competition). This includes key topics that will be tested in the exams and through your scenario presentation.

  • Information with the red background is additional study materials to help you prepare.

Hope you enjoy!

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Key Points from NCF:

Key Study Materials from Alberta Envirothon

Video 1: Potential Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Strategies for Solar and Wind Energy Systems

Amalesh Dhar works on the Resilient Reclaimed Land and Water Systems theme within the Future Energy Systems program at the University of Alberta, Edmonton. He obtained his PhD degree from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria and has research experience in various fields of natural resources management at the University of British Columbia, University of Northern British Columbia and Bulkley Valley Research Centre. His areas of expertise are land reclamation and restoration ecology, environmental impact assessment, landscape disturbances, ecosystem health and biodiversity, climate change and forest ecology and management.

It is time to explore the impacts of energy systems on the environment, especially the impact of renewable energy systems. Learn more in - Potential Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Strategies For Solar and Wind Energy Systems.


Watch the video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dajjbk2-aa0 

Video 2: Stirling’s Journey to Net Zero – It makes cents

Watch the video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/02_2zJ3JNpI?si=XizuntmIIt8OK-Pj&t=60 *Watch from 1:00 - 23:50

Video 4: Changing for Climate

Meet Lydia (Lida) Fialka BSc. (She/Her), Community Programs Coordinator of the Energy Transition Programs (Environment & Climate Resilience | Planning & Environmental Services), City of Edmonton. Here, she introduces the Changing for Climate Video Series.


Climate change affects everyone. Luckily, there are 1 million of us in Edmonton who can make a change. Meet the everyday Edmontonians, businesses and organizations who are actively Changing for Climate. Every action counts, and gets us closer to our goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.


Watch the series here:
http://edmonton.ca/changingforclimateseries https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwhxldqt5kXlumkzgAJQZ0_BrNY1RjfQ2. 

Video 3: Exploring Urban Heat Islands | Energy Landscapes

Watch the video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/DJ9-0y2eng4?si=HQ2ihyBJz6qJJWjj 

Video 5: Energy Transition and the Subsurface Space

Learn more about the energy transition and how the surface space plays a role from Dr. Juliana Leung, Professor, Faculty of Engineering - Civil and Environmental Engineering Dept.

 

Dr. Juliana Leung (she/her) is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta. She is currently leading a group of over 10 graduate students and postdocs, conducting research on topics related to numerical simulation and data analytics of subsurface energy and flow processes. 


Watch the video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/y0Fu0FEZEmo 

Video 6: Welcome to Blatchford: Building Communities: For People and The Planet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s time to learn about designing for the future.


Blatchford is building a more resilient future with renewables and energy efficiency, low-impact development and an emphasis on community infrastructure. The community being built is guided by a vision approved in 2010 by City Council: “Blatchford will be home to up to 30,000 Edmontonians living, working and learning in a sustainable community that uses 100 percent renewable energy, is carbon neutral, significantly reduces its ecological footprint, and empowers residents to pursue a range of sustainable lifestyle choices.” Learn more in Blatchford Renewable Energy: District Energy Sharing System. 


Watch the video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/kwGnxLFf-OA

Video 7: Blatchford Renewable Energy: District Energy Sharing System

Watch the video on YouTube: Blatchford Renewable Energy: District Energy Sharing System - YouTube

Video 8: Can We Use Solar Farms For More Than Just Generating Electricity? | Ask An Energy Expert

Have a burning question about energy? Our past, present or energy future? This week, our question was submitted by grade 10-12 students: Can We Use Solar Farms For More Than Just Generating Electricity? Check out the response of Dr. Carol Frost, Assistant Professor in the Department of Renewable Resources.

Watch the video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/fCg4zF6uL6g

Link: Electricity Human Resources Canada

Alongside their members and partners, EHRC focuses on four priority areas to build a Canadian electricity workforce that’s diverse, safety-focused, and highly-skilled.

Link: Electricity Human Resources Canada | Améliorer notre industrie, ensemble (ehrc.ca)

Video 9: Local Action and Energy Equity

Video 6a: Welcome to Blatchford: Q&A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch as the team responds to the questions you submitted after watching Video 6: Welcome to Blatchford.


Watch the video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/96sd4Oi68Dc

International Envirothon Resources:

Visit the NCF-Envirothon's website for the Current Issue's key topics, learning objectives and learning resources.  

Key Topics:

Key Topic #1: Introduction to Energy and Traditional Energy Infrastructure 

1. Define energy and explain how energy is relevant in our everyday lives. 

2. Describe the different levels at which energy decisions are made, and what factors affect energy decision-making. 

3. Explain the setup and design of traditional energy infrastructure and distribution systems. 

4. Explain how traditional non-renewable energy sources such as petroleum, coal, and natural gas are extracted and utilized to create energy. 

5. Identify the environmental, social, and economic advantages and disadvantages of these traditional non-renewable energy sources, and evaluate their suitability for meeting the world's energy needs in the future. 

6. Identify threats to the energy system for both traditional and renewable sources.

 

Key Topic #2: Renewable Energy and Infrastructure 

7. Describe the criteria for an energy source to be renewable, and identify examples. 

8. Explain how Solar, Wind, and Hydroelectric systems generate electricity, and identify the technological advancements that have made this possible. 

9. Identify the environmental, social, and economic advantages and disadvantages of Solar, Wind, and Hydroelectric power, and evaluate their suitability for meeting the world's energy needs in the future. (See also Key Topic #3) 

10. Explain the setup and design of renewable energy infrastructure and distribution systems. 

11. Describe how renewable energy can contribute to energy security.

 

Key Topic #3: Renewable Energy and Natural Resources 

12. Describe the impact renewable energy projects have on natural resources and the environment on both local and global scales. 

13. Identify actions or innovative approaches to address negative impacts from renewable energy on natural resources and the environment. 

14. Explain the benefits and limitations of concurrent use of renewable energy projects on agricultural lands.

 

Key Topic #4: Global Perspectives on Renewable Energy 

15. Describe the landscape of renewable energy across various regions of the world, including strengths and challenges. 

16. Explain the barriers to transitioning to renewable energy and identify solutions to these barriers. 

17. Evaluate the effectiveness of different approaches to renewable energy given varying environmental, social, and economic conditions. 

18. Explain the roles of economic and political policy, public perception, community advocacy, and scientific advancements in a successful transition to renewable energy.

 

Key Topic #5: Local Action and Energy Equity 

19. Identify actions that can be taken on the individual and local level to support renewable energy. 

20. Define Energy Justice, and describe its connection to environmental justice and climate justice. 

21. Explain the components of Energy Justice and how these interact with the transition to renewable energy.

 

In our modern world, energy touches almost every aspect of our lives. It lights our homes, transports our food, cleans our water, and fuels our cars, powers life-saving medical equipment, and so much more. The production and use of energy are deeply entwined with the economy, social and political issues, and the environment. The environmental, economic, and social outcomes of the choices being made about energy now will shape the future of our planet. Governmental policies, industry, and public opinion are shifting to embrace a sustainable future that includes renewable energy.

Today, power generation from renewable energy sources accounts for approximately one third of the total global output 1 . Signatories to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change agreed to work towards the goal of nearly 80% of the global power demand to be met by renewable sources by 2050 1. New York State is working to build a vibrant renewable energy industry covering all facets of the process from manufacturing to installation, and including technologies for solar, wind, biomass, and hydroelectric energy. New York State also has some of the most progressive energy and climate goals in the United States, including: the adoption of the Clean Energy Standard, the passage of a mandate for 70% of electricity in the state to be from renewable sources by 2030, the goal of achieving a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (using 1990 levels as the baseline), and saving 185 trillion British Thermal units (Btus) in end-use energy by 2030 through greater efficiency (New York State Legislation: Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act).

Decisions about sustainable energy are not just made by politicians and corporations. Individuals can choose what energy practices to support and can advocate for the transition to renewables. New energy innovations are constantly transforming this emerging field, with technological developments in energy sources, production methods, and flexible delivery.

Students will learn about the different sources of renewable energy; the challenges facing the transition from traditional fossil fuels to renewables; the environmental, economic, and social impacts of energy consumption; and how individuals can affect change in their communities.
1 Source IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) World Energy Transitions Outlook 2022

Part A

Note that Part A of the Study Resources is 204 pages and over 91 MB so may take several minutes to download!

Key Study Materials from NCF-Envirothon

 ALL ABOUT AIRSHEDS (Alberta Airsheds Council - Alberta Airsheds Council):

Additional Study Materials

Video: Climate Mitigation vs Adaptation

Join Breanne Aylward, MSc, BSc (she/her), a PhD Student in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, as she explores climate mitigation and adaptation strategies.
Check out these resources to learn more: 

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