What is Environmental Science?
Environmental science refers to the combined scientific fields covering specific aspects of biology, physics, ecology, chemistry, geography, geology, and soil science, among many others. It also encompasses an interdisciplinary field with a main focus on the environment, particularly the issues it is dealing with and the possible solutions.
This field of study comes with two active branches namely:
- Environmental studies that involve understanding human society and how it approaches the environment
- Environmental engineering, which revolves around the development of technologies and techniques designed to solve environmental problems both in the present and future
Another relevant topic covered in environmental science is how the environment’s biological, chemical, and physical components interact and their relationships and potential effects on the organisms within the environment.
Environmental Science as an Interdisciplinary Field
One reason why environmental science is considered an interdisciplinary field is that it integrates ideas and information from various disciplines. When thinking about this field, you will most likely link it to the areas of natural science. However, take note that environmental science is a broad and complex field – the reason why it is such is that it also covers fields from humanities and social sciences.
Among the social sciences integrated into environmental science are economics, political science, and geography. As for those that are part of humanities, you can look into ethics and philosophy. The combination of all these aspects makes it possible for environmental science to cover a lot of concepts and assess the topics and issues from various perspectives.
What Makes Environmental Science Important?
Environmental science is relevant to society for a wide range of reasons – among which are:
- Raises awareness that environmental issues are global – These issues include global warming, climate change, acid rains, ozone layer depletion, and negative marine life and biodiversity impact. The fact that these are global issues means that everyone should work hand-in-hand to find solutions.
- Offers information on sustainable ways of living – Environmental science also focuses on finding ways for people to have a more sustainable living. Some of the most effective are recycling, drinking from the tap, conserving energy and household water, growing own crops and food, and lessening the use of a car.
- Provides more information on contemporary concepts – One of these is how can one conserve biodiversity. With the present biodiversity at a loss, environmental science begins focusing on teaching people ways to reverse such a trend.
Probably the most important function of environmental science is raising awareness of the present problems affecting the planet. With such knowledge, it is possible for most, if not all, people to take part in saving the environment.