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Introduction to Environmental Science Definitions of environmental science by

various authors:
The Science that studies the environment is
not a stand-alone field.  Environmental A person’s environment is the sum total of
science studies the phenomena in the the stimulation which he receives from his
surroundings to include the sources, conception until his death. It comprises
reactions, transport, cause and effect, and various types of forces such as physical,
the impact of human activities to the biotic intellectual, economic, political, cultural,
and abiotic elements in it.  social, moral and emotional.
What is an environment? Douglas and Holland

 From the French word “environ” It describes all external forces, influences
which means to encircle or and conditions, which affect the life, nature,
surround; it can be defined as  behavior and growth, development and
maturity of living organisms.
     (1) the circumstances and conditions that
surround an organism or a group of Jayanta Kumar Biswas (2018)
organisms, or 
It is the total set of surrounding; the
     (2) the social and cultural conditions that ecological complex of physical, chemical
affect an individual or a community. and biological factors that can act upon an
organism, population or an ecological
 It encompasses all that surrounds an
community and ultimately determine its
organism – technological, physical,
form, function, and survival.
biological, social, and cultural --
circumstances and conditions. Scope of Environment

Singh (2006) defined environment as...

As the surrounding external conditions

influencing the development of growth of
people, animals, plants, and other living
Three Questions:
1. What is surrounded?
2. By what surrounded?
3. Where surrounded?
Elements/Components of Environment (i) An ecologist observing the territorial
behavior of bluebirds.
(ii) A geologist examining the distribution of
fossils in an Outcrop.
Set II
(i) An astrophysicist photographing distant
(ii) A climatologist sifting data from weather
What is common in the sets of examples?
Set I both scientists are making observation
in order to find patterns in natural settings,
What is science? and both are doing it in rash manner.
 From the Latin word “scientia” Set II both scientist are making observation
which means knowledge; it can be in order to find patterns in natural settings,
defined as  but in a more careful discreet manner.
(1) the body of knowledge collected and From the analysis above, therefore...
tested to be correct using methods or
processes such as making observations, Science can be defined as a process of
doing experiments, testing and re-testing producing empirical knowledge about the
hypothesis.  natural world through methodical and
logical studies of nature.
 (2) the intellectual and practical activity
encompassing the systematic study of the Science depends on precise observation of
structure and behavior of the physical and natural phenomena.
natural world through observation and The civilization of man depends on science
experiment. and technology by doing the following:
(3) a concerted effort of man to  (i) science tries to understand the world;
understand or to understand better the while
natural world (its history) and how it works
with observable evidence as basis of that (ii) technology applies the scientific
understanding. knowledge.

Analyze these examples: Applications of Science

Set I Some important applications of science:

1. Design learning environments that
form future generations of
producers and consumers of which examines and analyze data to offer
scientific and technological solutions to our environment.
In the end, we can say the environmental
2. Policy decisions and management science is the study of:
practices for sustainability.
How elements in the global world or local
3. Finding cure for diseases and other environment interact; and
medical problems.
How humans affect the environment, and
4. Shaping human civilization. vice-versa.
5. Developing technology.
We should understand that global
What is environmental science? conditions is rapidly changing, we should
also learn to quickly adapt and access
 Studies of our environment, either
information to increase our ability to handle
globally or locally, and its biotic and
environmental issues and problems?
abiotic components.
 It is inclusive, holistic, and mission-
 It implies that we (human beings)
have the responsibility to get
involved and try to do something
about the problems we created.
As an Interdisciplinary Field
It is a composite entity incorporating the
different fields of science such as:
= includes Biology, Chemistry, Earth
Science, Physics and Medicine
Which examines the natural world. We say that environmental science studies
a lot to include climate change,
B. SOCIAL SCIENCES conservation, biodiversity, water quality,
= includes Economics, Political Science, groundwater contamination, soil
Sociology, History, Philosophy and Ethics contamination, use of natural resources,
which examines values and human waste management, sustainable
behavior. development, disaster reduction, air
pollution, noise pollution, and many more.
        = includes Mathematics, Statistics,
Technology, Business and Management
Since, most of these are results of human
activities, we should include in our studies
economics, law, and social sciences.
Let me show the interrelatedness of
sciences in solving a particular
environmental problem.
When studying climate change, physicists
create computer model of atmospheric
circulation and infrared radiation
transmission; chemists examine the
inventory of atmospheric chemicals and
their reactions, biologists analyze the plant
and animal contributions to carbon dioxide
changes, and finally, meteorologists and
oceanographers add breadth in the
understanding of atmospheric dynamics.
Why do we need to study environmental
1. Give you the idea on how to make a
consensus relationship with your
surroundings that can benefit you
and other living organisms.
2. Our planet is the only place we have,
we better know how to confront the
issues and be part of the solution
instead of creating another problem.
3. Knowledgeable of your surroundings
will help make a better decision.