The Nature journal defines Environmental Science as the “multidisciplinary study of all aspects of the Earth’s physical and biological environments”. It contains some of the following topics “environmental chemistry, soil science, ecology, marine and freshwater systems as well as environmental remediation (removal of pollution/contaminants from the environmental media) or preservation and land use”.
Environmental catastrophes such as the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill in the United States have trigger the general public. The need to understand natural earth processes as well as limit the human impact on the environment by analysing complex problems are key for environmental scientists. Such examples are natural resource management, climate change and pollution control. Recent published articles in the field include world views of pesticides, innovative technologies for water purification and the effects of rising CO2 on plant communities.
More specific examples of covered fields include:
- Ecology: a branch of biology dealing with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings. Imagine that a chemical factory has been built next to a river, the released air and water pollution could negatively impact the biodiversity (life diversity in a particular environment) and ecosystem (biological community of interacting organisms and their habitat). Research fields would include how this pollution specifically affects the different organisms ie killing some while allowing others to emerge.
- Environmental Chemistry: refers to the study of chemical modifications in the environment particularly in the water, air, earth. Both the naturally occurring chemicals such as the dead biomass within the soil (organic debris) and synthetic chemicals (pesticides, toxins) are of equal interest. This is of growing importance in our modern society where the ozone layer (Earth’s upper atmosphere that protects life from the Sun’s UV radiation) is “pierced” and environments are contaminated.
Environmental studies differ from Environmental Sciences which focuses more on the human relationship with the environment as well as all the social and political dimensions. This is important to guide international policy making particularly the climate-change protocols.
The CPD accredited courses are carefully crafted to help you gain in-depth knowledge on a topic of your interest.
With the predicted ten billion people inhabiting our planet in 2050, do you want to address topics such as the depletion of natural resources and pollution soar? Do you wish to take on a natural and social scientist perspective by proposing sustainable solutions to these environmental problems? You should consider enrolling in a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences to help shape the policies of tomorrow!