Multidisciplinary nature of environmental science
The word environment is derived from the French verb ‘environner’ which means to ‘encircle or surround’. Thus our environment can be defined as the physical, chemical and biological world that surround us as well as the complex of social and cultural conditions affecting an individual or community. This broad definition includes the natural world and the technological environment as well as the cultural and social contexts that shape human lives. It includes all factors living and nonliving that affect an individual organism or population at any point in the life cycle; set of circumstances surrounding a particular occurrence and all the things that surrounds us.
There are three reasons for studying the state of the environment.
- Need for information that clarifies modern environmental concepts like equitable use of natural resources, more sustainable life styles etc.
- Need to change the way in which we view our own environment, using practical approach based on observation and self learning.
- Need to create a concern for our environment that will trigger pro-environmental action, including simple activities we can do in our daily life to protect it.
Environmental science is essentially the application of scientific methods and principles to the study of environmental issues.
Scope of environmental studies
Since the environment is complex and actually made up of many different environments, including natural, constructed and cultural environments, environmental studies is the inter disciplinary examination of how biology, geology, politics policy studies, law, geology, religion engineering, chemistry and economics combine to inform the consideration of humanity’s effects on the natural world. This subject educates the
students to appreciate the complexity of environmental issues and citizens and experts in many fields. By studying environmental science, students may develop a breadth of the interdisciplinary and methodological knowledge in the environmental fields that enables them to facilitate the definition and solution of environmental problems.
The scope of environmental studies is that, the current trend of environmental degradation can be reversed if people of educated communities are organized and empowered; experts are involved in sustainable development.
Environmental factors greatly influence every organism and their activities. The major areas in which the role of environmental scientists are of vital importance are natural resources, ecosystems, biodiversity and its conservation, environmental pollution, social issues and environment human population and environment.
It is essentially a multidisciplinary approach and its components include Biology, Geology, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, Sociology, Health Sciences, Anthropology, Economics, Statistics and Philosophy It is essentially a multidisciplinary approach. An Understanding of the working of the environment requires the knowledge from wide ranging fields.