Chapter 1 begins by taking a systems approach to look at our planet. It looks at the inputs, outputs of matter and energy and the feedback mechanisms that regulate the Earth and help maintain its balance. The concept of both short-term and long-term human-induced disturbance is introduced. It breaks the Earth down into a number of subsystems and explores how these subsystems interact and affect each other. The focus narrows from that of the biosphere, the portion of the Earth system that supports life, through biomes and ecosystems. This product uses the interactive capabilities of a computer. The chapter has embedded an end of chapter quiz, uses graphics, animations or user interactivity on almost all pages. This product is designed to provide bite-sized pieces of information in an effort to enhance the scientific literacy of our next generation, not to overwhelm them with sheer quantity of information. Chapter 1 sections: A Systems Approach to Look at the Earth • The Earth as a System • System Interactions • Checking Your Understanding. This product works both on a Macintosh or PC computer.