What is Environmental science: Definition and 16 Discussions

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, and atmospheric science) to the study of the environment, and the solution of environmental problems. Environmental science emerged from the fields of natural history and medicine during the Enlightenment. Today it provides an integrated, quantitative, and interdisciplinary approach to the study of environmental systems.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 in every aspect.
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 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 Rachel Carson's landmark environmental book Silent Spring 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.

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  1. G

    Studying Self-Studying Scientific Computing for future graduate study

    I like to start a graduate program in scientific computing within the next 4-5 years, once my kids are a little older, my wife finishes her degree, and I have more money saved. In the meantime, I’m not going to waste time. Using the MIT challenge completed by Scott Young as inspiration, I’ve...
  2. Graham Chivers

    Exploring the Intersection of Mechatronics and RFID Technology

    25 years experience of machine design and manufacturing, not research.
  3. M

    Environmental Science: Exploring Our Impact on Marine Life

    I'm interested in studying the Earth. Its our human impact that is effecting the species, and ourselves. The way things are heading, its more extinction of animal species and ourselves. My goal is, whichever job it may be; I want my career (Masters degree) to focus on researching & protecting...
  4. K

    What Can Environmental Science Students Expect in Their First Physics Course?

    Hey guys. I just joined the forum. I'm an environmental science major, sophomore year, and I'm taking physics for the first time this semester. Wish me luck! haha
  5. S

    Environmental Science (and Information Technology?)

    I have an AS degree in Computer Science. I'm in the process of transferring to a 4-year university to pursue a BS in Envionrmental Science. I've always been heavily interested in computers, including running my own web & email server, database administration, hardware, and networking. I have run...
  6. C

    Physics/Maths/CompSci student -> career in environmental science?

    Physics/Maths/CompSci student --> career in environmental science? Hi there I am 29 years old and after completing a tertiary foundation certificate to gain University entrance, I am about to embark on a 4.5 year long conjoint degree as follows: BSc component: majoring in Physics BA...
  7. T

    Should I add Geology or Environmental Science to my AstroPhysics Degree?

    Do you think it would be beneficial for me to add Geology to my Astrophysics B.S? I know it's going to be a bit tough for you to answer this questions without me knowing exactly what career I want to pursue (which I don't) but I have a general idea. I'm really interested in studying the...
  8. W

    Earth and Environmental science jobs

    I am 15 years old and are taking Earth and Environmental science as an elective in school. I was hoping to study in advanced science at university and major in geology.What jobs would be available to me after university.
  9. S

    Applications of optical devices in environmental science.

    Are there any applications of optical devices in environmental science? What technologies, companies and research groups are involved?
  10. J

    Need info about environmental science education

    i want to know about environmental science education, what is this education exactly deals with can a student with a bachelor degree in mathematics can take this course.
  11. N

    What Are the Pros and Cons of Genetically Modified Crops?

    Can someone please list and if possible explain some positive and negative effects of genetic modified crops?
  12. M

    Environmental Science too broad?

    For a long time, I have only wanted to work in a science field. I know I don't have to explain the reasoning because most of you probably share the same passion. My problem is settling on a major. After working as a lab tech at a soil lab for the past year and a half, I am fairly sure that I...
  13. L

    AP Environmental Science Free Response

    on a free response question, i need to know how to plot crude birth and death rates. is it as easy as just plotting numbers? what should be the x and y axes? help!
  14. A

    If AP Environmental Science is looked down upon, should I take it?

    I'm planning on taking 3 of the following science courses next year: Chemistry Honors (Highest Chem course at our school) AP Biology AP Enivronmental Science This year, I'm taking AP Physics B and I have A's for both semesters. I also have some other choices- AP Stats, AP Music Theory...
  15. N

    What Are the Correct Answers to These Environmental Science Questions?

    Environmental Science...help! Hi, Anyone knows the answer to this questions? 1) Solutions are always comprised of: a)water and salts b)solvents and solute c)compounds and ions d)liquids and solids 2)Plants get the nitrogen they need to build additional cells from: a)directly from the...
  16. Mk

    Earth and Environmental Science Resources