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How do you define environmental science? Essay

Environmental science is an interdisciplinary field that combines information from many disciplines, such as biology, geography, chemistry, geology, physics, economics, sociology (particularly demography, the study of populations), cultural anthropology, natural resource management, agriculture, engineering, law, politics, and ethics.

Ecology, the discipline of biology that studies the interrelationships between organisms and their environment, is a basic tool of environmental science. Atmospheric science is a branch of environmental science that includes the study of weather and climate, greenhouse gases, and other airborne pollutants. Environmental chemistry examines chemicals in the environment, including soil and water pollution. Geosciences—for example, environmental geology and physical geography—study a wide range of environmental topics, such as soil erosion, groundwater use, ocean pollution, and climate. Scientists in these sub-disciplines not only evaluate environmental quality but they also develop ways to restore damaged environments.

Environmental science is an interdisciplinary academic field that integrates physical and biological sciences, (including but not limited to Ecology, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Soil Science, Geology, Atmospheric Science and Geography) to the study of the environment, and the solution of environmental problems. Environmental science provides an integrated, quantitative, and interdisciplinary approach to the study of environmental systems.[1] Related areas of study include environmental studies and environmental engineering. Environmental studies incorporates more of the social sciences for understanding human relationships, perceptions and policies towards the environment. Environmental engineering focuses on design and technology for improving environmental quality.

Environmental scientists work on 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 science came alive as a substantive, active field of scientific investigation in the 1960s and 1970s driven by (a) the need for a multi-disciplinary approach to analyze complex environmental problems, (b) the arrival of substantive environmental laws requiring specific environmental protocols of investigation and (c) the growing public awareness of a need for action in addressing environmental problems. Events that spurred this development included the publication of Rachael Carson’s landmark environmental book Silent Spring[2] along with major environmental issues becoming very public, such as the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, and the Cuyahoga River of Cleveland, Ohio, “catching fire” (also in 1969), and helped increase the visibility of environmental issues and create this new field of study.

* How does the relationship between science and technology affect  environmental problems and solutions in today’s society?

It usually goes like this: Someone uses the power of SCIENCE to make a Really Cool Thing™ that causes unintended environmental problems (e.g. the car). If enough people care about the problems, then someone, again using the power of SCIENCE, makes something to fix or reduce the problem (e.g. the catalytic converter, hybrid car, etc.). If not enough people care about the problem, then they continue using the Really Cool Thing™ until the problem becomes such that it cannot be ignored (e.g. air pollution in California), whereupon people are compelled to make or enact something in an effort to fix or reduce the problem.

Read more:

How does the relationship between science and technology affect environmental problems and solutions in today’s society? | Answerbag http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/2679770#ixzz2HM50PYt6

* Why is the concept of environmental sustainability important, and why should it be studied? What are the historical patterns surrounding sustainable and unsustainable human interactions with the environment?

* In general, how do human values affect sustainability given current challenges facing society?

* After reviewing the research on the environment, how do environmental hazards affect human health? Provide at least two examples.


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