Assignment 1

Posted: February 14, 2011 in Assignments

Personal Information

       Hello! My name is Armine. I am a freshman at the American College of Thessaloniki and my major is business.

      I was born in the capital of Armenia, Yerevan. Armenia is situated in the southern part of the Transcaucasus. It is a mountainous country with several rivers. The forests cover up around 13% of the territory of Armenia.  The highest point in Armenia is the mountain Aragats (4090m). The number of the mountain lakes in Armenia exceeds 100. The most famous and the biggest lake is Sevan. The mountains block the climatic influences of the Black sea and the Mediterranean creating seasonal variations. The summers are usually hot with the temperature exceeding 30°C. Winters, on the other hand, are rather cold with the temperature below 0°C.

Here are some pictures of Armenia


“Sisian region, Spandaryan lake view”.Photo.14 Feb

 “Ararat”.Photo.14 Feb 2011.


As most of the countries in the world, Armenia too, has loads of environmental problems nowadays. The environmental crisis of 1991-1993, caused by the blockade by Azerbaijan, was followed by numerous demonstrations and creation of various environmental protection programs and laws. One of the significant issues is considered the level of the water of the Lake Sevan. During the crisis of 1991-1993, the water of Sevan was much used for lots of purposes one of them being the creation of electric power. As a result, the level of the water was dropped till the critical point. To prevent tragic outcomes, a tunnel was built which allowed the water from the river Arpa to flaw to the Lake Sevan. It made the situation a lot better, however, this didn’t solve the problem entirely and it still exists.

    I believe that the main purpose of my blog is to raise the awareness of environmental issues. Moreover, the blog gives me the opportunity to express my point of view in a public way, at the same time seeing other people’s opinions and ideas concerning numerous issues.  I think that nowadays the majority of people know about the importance of the problems of the surrounding environment as they are much spoken about. However the lack of action doesn’t give space for any progress in this field. Therefore, I hope that this blog will create a possibility of increasing the participation of people in taking a little step forward to the healthy and unpolluted environment.

      It is not a secret that there are various environmental issues nowadays and some of them have a catastrophic potential.  In my opinion the pollution of the environment is one of the extremely important problems. It can have very serious and tragic outcomes and even become a threat to the existence of people. That’s why it is highly necessary that we not only find out the roots of the problems and the problems themselves, but also realize their importance and try to create solutions to them. Therefore, I would like to discuss some solutions to the existing environmental problems.

       Recently, I have heard much about one of the global environmental issues: global warming. The temperature of the Earth is slowly but surely increasing which can affect numerous aspects of our lives and result in the loss of the balance of the nature. There are already noticeable changes that are expected to become even faster. The Arctic and the Antarctic are getting warmer causing the ice in the sea to melt and increase the level of the sea-water. Most of the people and animas living in the North will be directly affected. The sea-level rise will have a negative impact on the freshwater and will create countless problems in most of the countries. Therefore, global warming is one of the most widely-discussed issues nowadays and we must do everything to prevent the undesired effects on the natural environment and human society.

      Thessaloniki is the second largest city of Greece and living here, as in every other part of the world, has its advantages and disadvantages. In my opinion, one of the privileges of living in Thessaloniki is the presence of sea. The sea has a positive impact on the climate making it mild. Besides, it is always a great pleasure to go and swim in summers and enjoy the sea-food. The mild climate creates favourable conditions for agricultural activity. As a result, there is a great variety of fruit and vegetables that cannot be grown in many other countries. The dry and rather warm winters are one of the advantages of living here, especially for me, as I am from a country where the every-year snowfalls in winter are inevitable. At the same time there are three main disadvantages that I encountered for me. First of all I faced the problem of drinking water. I come from a country where there is a sufficient supply of drinkable water that is filtered in a natural way and there is no need to have water filters at home or buy water. Moreover, we have countless tall stones with running water in the streets everywhere in Armenia, and you can go and drink water whenever you want to. Humidity is the second disadvantage of living in Thessaloniki. As every other place situated on the shore of the sea, Thessaloniki also has much humidity which can have many negative effects. Finally, the third disadvantage, which is a problem in most of the cities in the world, is the pollution. Water and air pollution are the major and unavoidable issues of this problem. As a conclusion I would like to say that there is no ideal place to live in this world and we should try to make the place where we are living better and cleaner.

Here are some of the pictures of Thessaloniki








“Thessaloniki-sunset”.Photo.14 Feb 2011.

“White tower of Thessaloniki”.Photo.14 Feb 2011.–greece.html



The differences between an ecologist, environmental scientist and environmentalist

    According to the textbook the purpose of the environmental scientists is to figure out the way the natural systems operate and understand what impact they have on human society and vice versa. Finding solutions to the environmental issues might also be considered one of the characteristics of environmental scientists. At the same time ecologist is more focused on the interaction between the living things and the environment.  The environmentalism is a social movement that is dedicated to the protection of our surrounding environment. It is not necessary to have specific knowledge about the environment to be an environmentalist. A person with a profession from another field might be an environmentalist due to his concerns about the nature. Being an environmentalist doesn’t require studying the environmental issues. Simply caring about them is enough. Studying them is mostly the job of the environmental scientists. I would describe environmentalism as more subjective than environmental science and ecology as objectivity is required for the scientists.  Although I find environmental science and ecology to be very attractive, environmentalism is the closest of all to me. It is very important to realize the importance of the environment and its impact on human society. I hope that people all around the world will realize the danger and risk that we have put the nature into. I myself would like to participate in any organized activities for the environmental protection. In my opinion much depends on our choice. And the outcomes in the following decades and centuries may vary depending on the choice we make.



If I was a plant ecologist and while making my observations I would come up with a particular area in central Greece where there is an absence of trees, first of all I would try to make a hypothesis which might answer the questions that had arisen. After making the hypothesis that periodic fires may prevent tree seedlings from becoming established in grassland I would start making particular predictions about what will happen after I start testing my hypothesis. I would definitely apply to the scientific method to test my hypothesis. I might make a research about whether there has been fire in that particular area or not. The negative answer suggests the falseness of my hypothesis. If the answer is positive I will continue further with my investigation. I might do some experimental observations or travel to a place where there have been recent fires and compare the outcomes. However, in my opinion, the hypothesis seems to be incomplete. I think periodical fires might be one of the reasons of the absence of trees. At the same time there may be other factors that contributed to the following result and I don’t consider and observe them. I think that it is almost impossible for a single cause to create the result in ecology. Therefore, I will also consider other possible causes that might have had their impact on the absence of trees in that particular area.

  1. Zani says:

    Hi Armine! It’s Zani. Your blog post was extremely interesting to read. First, I really enjoyed learning your homeland of Armenia. I do not know much about Armenia and it was interesting to learn about the geography of your country as well as the weather. From your pictures, it looks quite beautiful. It was also fascinating to learn about the environmental crisis that you discussed, which has to do with the problem of the water level of Lake Sevan.

    I agree with your comments that the issues of pollution and global warming are very big problems that have been talked about extensively in recent years. I believe that we must do what we can to help protect the environment and find solutions to these problems.

    I also come from a country where the tap water is, for the most part, safe to drink, and so even though I love living in Thessaloniki, I definitely see the fact that I have to buy water here a disadvantage.

    In addition, I agree with your discussion of the differences between the terms environmental science, environmentalism and ecology. My answer to this question was similar, and I also most closely relate to environmentalism as I believe that it is very important to try to protect the environment and find solutions to environmental problems.

  2. rona4 says:

    Hi Armine! I really enjoyed reading your blog. I never knew Armenia was so beautiful and from what I saw in the pictures it makes me want to visit it someday. What really struk me was the blockade of 1991-1993, I had never heard about that before and it’s something I would like to have some knowledge on.

    I also have to say I strongly agree with your comments on global warming, I also pointed that out as I believe it is something we should all be aware of.
    Another thing I would like to add is the tap water issue in Thessaloniki that you brought up, I personally still have problems adjusting to it as water in Kosovo is also drinkable and I’m used to that.

    I really like your blog and I feel what we said on the differences and similarities between the terms environmental scientist, ecologist and environmentalist are somewhat similar.

    I really look forward to your other posts on environmental issues.


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