Do you care about the environment? Do you throw your trash in the trash can or recycle bin? Do you care about car emissions and the air that we breathe? As residents on Earth, our actions can impact the planet and the rest of its inhabitants. Just as major environmental catastrophes, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions can affect us, our actions can have major impacts on the environment. Human activities, such as pollution released into the environment, cutting down forests, and damming rivers, have all created significant impacts for environmental health and society. Environmental studies is the field that examines this relationship between people and the environment.
More specifically, environmental studies are the scientific study of the environmental system and the status of its inherent or induced changes on organisms. Organisms are any living thing from plants, insects, fungi, to lions and bears. It includes not only the study of physical and biological characteristics of the environment but also the social and cultural factors and the impact of humans on the environment.
Environmental science is an interdisciplinary academic field that integrates physical, biological and information sciences including ecology, biology, physics, chemistry, plant science, zoology, mineralogy, oceanography, limnology, soil science, geology and physical geography to the study of the environment, and the solution of environmental problems.
Environmental scientists study subjects like the understanding of earth processes, evaluating alternative energy systems, pollution control and mitigation, natural resource management, and the effects of global climate change. Environmental issues almost always include an interaction of physical, chemical, and biological processes. Environmental scientists bring a systems approach to the analysis of environmental problems. Key elements of an effective environmental scientist include the ability to relate space, and time relationships as well as quantitative analysis.
Environmental scientists have rewarding, challenging, and well-paying careers that offer excellent opportunities for growth and advancement. With the resources provided by EnvironmentalScience.org, you can begin your journey towards earning a degree in Environmental Science and following the career of your dreams.
Natural Environment and Wildlife
From tiny viruses and bacteria to blue whales weighing 200 tons, and fungi that spread for hundreds of hectares underground, the diversity and extent of life on Earth is dazzling. In its life and reproduction, every organism is shaped by, and in turn shapes, its environment. Ecological scientists study organism-environment interactions across ecosystems of all sizes, ranging from microbial communities to the Earth as a whole. It is an exciting field with so much to study and learn.
Ecological scientists who study this complex web of life take diverse approaches. The aim of some studies is to illuminate general principles that explain how ecosystems work. For example, such research might investigate whether greater biodiversity tends to make ecosystems more or less susceptible to invasion by exotic species. In other cases, research focuses on specific issues that offer insights useful for ecosystem management. For instance, such studies might examine whether new agricultural cropping strategies will expand habitat for wildlife.