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Human Impact
Deforestation, restoration, agriculture, and urbanization are among the many ways we effect our environment. Some processes are beneficial to both the environment and humans, most lead to destruction of the natural ecosystems.


The management of land and water to cultivate soil, produce crops and raise livestock for food and other natural products. Agriculture has many anthropogenic benefits, although several factors foster environmental degradation and pollution.

  • Agriculture

Archaeological artifacts

Anthropogenic objects left over from ancient civilizations illustrate and define their cultural significance. Rediscovered handmade tools, weapons, pottery, and jewelry, offer us a window into ancestral civilizations.

  • Archaeological artifacts

Development, Urbanization

Metals, plants, concrete, and machinery reshape our natural environment to increase productivity, comfort, and fitness. Domestication of land offers many benefits but more challenges to manage a sustainable balance of this ecosystem.

  • Development, Urbanization

Domestic Animals

Many species have adapted or been bred to comfortably coexist with humans. Livestock, labor, and companionship define the most common benefits for our unique inter species symbiosis with animals that were once wild.

  • Domestic Animals


Energy is a fundamental unit of nature that can be transferred and stored, and then used to perform work later. Humans capture energy from the environment in a variety of ways.

  • Energy


Where there is fire, there are often humans, as the cause, as a victim, or as a manager - controlling or battling the blaze, and determining the results on the environment.

  • Fire

Forest Industry

Images like these help in determining which forest industry practices are best suited to a landscape, from tree thinning and clear-cutting, to reforestation.

  • Forest Industry

Hunting & Fishing

Food, sport, and trade are a few reasons why wild animals are pursued to be killed or captured. Local industry and culture, as well as laws that regulate hunting, affect the methods and the species we choose to hunt and fish.

Indigenous Populations

Humans and nature are intertwined, especially those populations that have lived in one area the longest and who often depend more directly on nature for their survival.

Introduced Species

Humans have introduced thousands of plants and animal species into new habitats worldwide, bringing in new crops and ornamental plants, but also pests and problems. This folder only includes images of introduced species at locations outside of their native or normal cultivated ranges.

Local Resource Use

Many plants and animals provide or produce resources that are utilized or marketed by local communities. Examples include honey, reeds and thatch, milk, leather, and more.


By definition, pollution is the contamination of the environment by man-made wastes, whether solid, liquid, or air-borne. These images illustrate instances of pollution and its impact.


Restoring land includes many different aspects, from just initiating recovery and then leaving the land alone, to more physical efforts, such as revegetation or the removal of invasive species.

Tourism & Recreation

This folder includes images of recreation involving nature – whether designed to be minimally invasive or not. See also the Hunting & Fishing folder.