Environmental sciences is defined as all (biotic or abiotic) that surround an individual or species , some of which contribute directly to meet their needs ", or as "all natural conditions (physical, chemical, biological) and cultural (sociological) can act on living organisms and human activities ".
The word environmental sciences is polysemic , that is to say. Environmental sciences has several different meanings. With the basic sense of what's around, it may take the direction of life, of neighborhood , of atmosphere, or of context (in language ).
The word environmental sciences is to differentiate the word kind means that the natural elements, biotic and abiotic considered only , while the concept of environmental sciences is interested in nature in terms of human activities and human interactions nature and it should also differentiate the environmental sciences, which is the science aimed relationships of living things with their environment and with other living beings , that is to say, the study of ecosystems.
The concept of environmental sciences now includes the study of natural environments, human impacts on the environment and the actions taken to reduce them.
The person licensed in environmental sciences professionally exercised this discipline related activities called environmentalist or environmental scientist. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the field above the environmental sciences, the exercise of their profession can encompass a broad spectrum of work.
Areas of study in environmental sciences
Environmental sciences is offered in courses of college and universities. Depending on the focus to include the subjects of environmental chemistry , environmental physics , biology (environmental sciences, botany and focus and affiliation of the program to a department or a faculty varies depending on the university. Further scientific studies in environmental sciences are geo-ecology and landscape ecology . In the courses of study environmental sciences barely represented, but also belonging to the environmental sciences are applied environmental engineering , environmental engineering, and so the field of Environmental Systems Research . The latter area is based on a combination of technical engineering sciences , the social sciences and applied social research ( empiricism ) of the seventies and the increasing since the 1980s computer science from mathematics . Environmental sciences research covers insights and trends of the environmental movement, which in many have been incorporated academic and practical disciplines. Emphasis on environmental sciences is done and to rely in particular the University of Kassel / University of Kassel and the University of Bielefeld . Protagonists this time are in the dualism research sociologist and system researcher Niklas Luhmann and the economy, the planner Lucius Burckhardt . Grundvorraussetzend for the initiative understanding the Umweltsystemik, the sciences and the natural sciences is certainly also the German artist Joseph Beuys . Kassel also it is synonymous with the practice-oriented basic research and application on the basis of studies in a tiered diploma model ( Kassel model ). A further degree of environmental sciences is to the universities in Graz, Klagenfurt and OsnabrÃ¼ck offered. since 2000 also exists in the area of distance and continuing education teaching degree Interdisciplinary distance education environmental sciences (in fernum), a cooperation of the University of Hagen and the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT in Oberhausen.
In environmental sciences, we find different approaches. Some are based on the type and study the interaction between a particular species and the environment. Others focus on the distribution of species in dependence on the environment, called biogeography. Others set out a kind but a coherent set of types centrally, a community or ecosystem, and examine how the interactions between them occur. For example, ecologists study the succession of species change their environment, called succession. Finally, there are environmental sciences researchers who look to populations of species, and try to understand how individual organisms maintain within populations or how species evolve in the course of evolution. Here we go a little deeper into some of these approaches.
The concept of environmental sciences, often referred to by the word "environment" has evolved over the centuries and especially in recent decades. The environment is understood as the set of natural components of the Earth , as the air , the water , the atmosphere , the rocks , the plants , the animals , and all the events and interactions that s' are deployed, that is to say, everything that surrounds the man and his work - although this central position of man is precisely a matter of controversy in the field of environmental sciences.
The environmental sciences has gained value common good , and was understood to be as life support necessary for all species other than humans. As Heritage reasonably uses to be able to bequeath to future generations , it is the support of many challenges aesthetic, ecological, economic and socio-cultural and speculative (as carbon sinks , for example) and ethical that explain environmental sciences.
History of the environmental sciences
The history environmental sciences is a sub-division of the story that interests more and more researchers. Its purpose is to study retrospectively the state of the environment at different times and their interactions with human activities.
Environmental sciences before the 19th century: Awareness of the existence of environmental sciences developed by wave and differently at different times, regions and human cultures. Some interpretations animist or religious, as Buddhism , have fostered a respect for life , natural resources and landscapes. This respect was motivated primarily by religious beliefs, rather than by a genuine desire to protect natural areas. Indeed, the urban civic or economic environmental sciences concepts, as we define them today do not seem to have been identified by anthropologists or by historians .
Environmental sciences the 19th century: The 19th century, in the West, romance highlighted the beauty of the wilderness, sometimes in opposition to the landscape and the misery of the world's workers , and industrial . In extolling the beauties of nature, romance raised awareness that the property was valuable and should be preserved. It is worn by the landscape that interests that human societies will begin to take into account the environmental sciences.
The United States created the status of national park , with President Abraham Lincoln on 30 June 1864 and the Yosemite became the first protected natural site in the world . The Yellowstone National Park in 1872 became the first national park. France, in 1906 , votes its first law on the protection of the landscape . At that time, it is rather the landscape, not the ecosystem that guide the choices of elected for protected sites, as shown for example the classification of loops of the Seine painted by the Impressionists.
In 1896, Arrhenius established origin of the first environmental sciences theory by grinding the consequence of cumulative the quantity of carbon dioxide ( CO 2 ) in the air, in his article the impact of acid carbon in the air on the soil temperature , he cites water vapor and CO 2 as a greenhouse gas, and even uses the term. It offers some calculations highlighting the rise in temperature as a function of elevation in the concentration of CO 2 , it is hypothesized link between changes in concentration over geological ages, explaining the variations corresponding temperatures .
Environmental sciences the 20th century: At the end of the 19th century and during most of the 20th century , global development of environmental sciences is very strong. The industrial revolution and the strong economic growth and promote heavy industry strongly consuming natural resources . The many conflicts are aware of the scarcity of certain resources or locally exhausted.
The first visible technological and environmental disasters (oil spills , pollution of air and waterways) educate the public and some policy makers to protect ecosystems.
The perception of the environmental sciences has also increased significantly with better dissemination of scientific knowledge and understanding of natural phenomena. The new discoveries of environmental sciences promotes exploration of new environmental sciences( Arctic , Antarctic , underwater world) have highlighted the fragility of some ecosystems and how human activities affect .They were respectively including popularized by many authors, including Paul-Emile Victor and Cousteau.
At the same time, the retrospective knowledge of environmental sciences regarding the history of the planet and the species progressed with paleoecology, and updated scientific evidence of major environmental disasters that have successively disappearing species over millions of years. These past scientists have shown the strong ties that bind the sustainability of species to their environment and climate .Many scientific and technical tools have also contributed to a better understanding of the environmental sciences and thus environmental sciences' perception. The main ones in environmental sciences comprise the observation and examination and amalgamation, aerial photography and satellite, and further lately, displaying prospective.
Towards the end of the 20th century , the awareness of the study of environmental sciences need to protect the environment is global, with the first conference of the United Nations Environment in Stockholm in June 1972 . Since the 1990s, attitudes towards the environmental sciences are changing very quickly to get closer to our perception of the environment today.
However, taking into account the environmental sciences in environmental decisions and practices differ greatly from one country to another. In developing countries , where public concerns are very different from those of developed countries, the protection of the environmental sciences is much more marginal place in society.
Sub categories of environmental sciences
In 1910, at the Third International Botanical Congress in Brussels identified three sub categories of environmental sciences:
- Autecology - It is a branch of environmental sciences that studies the interaction of the individual organism or species to the environment ( life cycles and behavior as a way of adapting to the environment).
- Demecology - It is a branch of environmental sciences that studies the interaction between populations of the same species within the population and the environment.
- Synecology - It is a branch of environmental sciences that studies the functioning of communities and their interaction with the biotic and abiotic factors.
Also ecology , etnoecology , social ecology , chemical ecology , radioecology , human ecology , Ant ecology , etc are branches of environmental sciences. Due to the versatility of the subject and the research methods are now some scientists consider the environmental sciences as a complex science that studies the functional relationships between organisms (including humans and human society in general) and their environmental sciences, the cycling of matter and energy flows, making the possibility of life.
Sub regions of environmental sciences:
Depending on the focus, there are many natural and social science disciplines that are involved in the environmental sciences. The following list is not exhaustive but mentions only the main subject areas:
- Soil Science
- Environmental Chemistry
- Environmental Geology
- Environmental Communication
- Environmental Medicine
- Environmental Law
- Environmental Physics
- Environmental Psychology
- Environmental Sociology
In addition to these fields, involved both active and passive, there are a number of auxiliary sciences, be supportive, as in all disciplines, from environmental sciences itself, however, not be detected searchingly. These include statistics (mathematics), social sciences, psychology and computer science. Especially the subject computer science belonging to environmental sciences has a high priority because without his help would not be possible to capture complex systems. The Central Library of the branches of environmental sciences in Germany is the ZB MED at its location in Bonn.
The pioneers in environmental sciences
The pioneer names in environmental sciences are Rachel Carson, Dame Jane Morris Goodall , Dr. James Hansen , etc.
Research and discoveries in environmental sciences
Due to the cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary interlocking work of environmental sciences, there are many specialists in research, teaching and practice, which are mostly active in the following areas:
- Waste Management
- Contaminated Sites
- Species and habitat protection
- Soil Science
- Pollution Control
- Circular economy
- Landscape Planning
Environmental sciences will focus on investigating the influence of human natural systems, but also describe the regularities of a largely unaffected by man-made environment. So it looks as the view from geologists with the anthropogenic load of the groundwater , biologists with the impact of pollutants on living organisms, physicists and physicians with the effects of radioactivity on living organisms, chemist with the behavior of pollutants. Cultural studies work with the environmental sciences with the societal perception of environmental issues ( Environmental Sociology ) or with the history of environmental protection and awareness of environmental sciences ( environmental history ) employ. Also humanities deal with the environmental sciences, e.g. by the formulation of an own environmental ethics . In the law and economics the areas of environmental law and environmental management systems are becoming increasingly important. At the connection of natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, the eventful geography with the human-environment association. Professional scientists of different castigations and interdisciplinary qualified environmental scientists (see courses) then deal from the aforementioned angles with the following questions:
- Current environmental changes such as global warming
- Social impact of environmental changes
- Pollution and environmental damage
- Environmental Impact Assessment
- Reconstruction of past environments
Environmental sciences, biology is considered because the research involved in, as belonging to biology largely. In biology, there is a hierarchy various its object handle. ( nucleic acid deal including a) a molecule molecular biology , cell to target cell biology of interest, the biological body (in the sense of an individual or organization itself), population research to target, crowd of research, ecosystem and biosphere , and the like research for member. (Or four) last three hits in the range of nearly ecology.
In ecology, focusing on the relationship of mutual between environmental sciences and surrounding organisms, it will attempt to explain bird's-eye view for biological. Therefore, geology, biochemistry, geography, soil science, physics, meteorology and has a deep relationship with discipline of others, such as, (= not a Sogoteki reductionism is a basis) to be environmental sciences.
Other researches and progresses of environmental sciences
Observation (monitoring) of the Environmental sciences: Environmental sciences have grown considerably over the last century. Scientific knowledge has made great progress, especially in the field of environment. Some disciplines especially dedicated to the environment, which did not exist hitherto even appeared recently, such as environmental sciences.
The development of new technical means and instruments of measurement and observation has significantly advanced the knowledge we had of the environmental sciences, whether in the functioning of living organisms and interactions with their environment, of ecosystems . Advances in physics and chemistry have enabled us to understand how plants and more generally the living body. The advance of science has led to greater measurability of human impacts on the environmental sciences, which also brought a greater awareness.
The issues of Environmental sciences increased local issues such as the protection of a species to global problems (the hole in the ozone layer , global warming, for example). The need for global data thus appeared, resulting in the need to share data. By necessity, the monitoring (monitoring program) is currently developing environmental planetary scale, aided by technological advances, political and ideological. The United Nations has an international framework: UNEP , as well as international conferences and summits, such as the Rio , allowing researchers from different backgrounds to gather knowledge. The issues of environmental sciences being recently become global, it is essential to understand the scientific research globally, not locally.
Many countries or groups of countries also have communities of stakeholders, indicators and specialized researchers in environmental sciences with programs for sharing and exchange of knowledge.
Agencies or environmental observatories were set up in many countries. They note, measure, and follow environmental indicators and produce statistics , possibly aggregated at local, regional, national, European level (e.g. Eurobarometer ) and global (under the aegis of the UN and UNEP . These are tools support the decision with regard to environmental sciences.
Human impacts on the environmental sciences: The idea of environmental degradation in environmental sciences of the Earth in which humans live, the effect of pollution has become a large majority at the end of the 20th century, this effect takes the form of an ecological crisis overall. More than an idea, the facts demonstrate that the evolution of the environmental sciences is representative of a degradation of habitat due to human activity.
To measure this degradation can be used several indicators: The pollution visible, that is to say, traces of compounds synthesized by humans in the natural environment: soil, air and water. These indicators are more commonly referred to by other names, such as water quality for the presence of water pollution, and air quality for the presence of pollutants in the air.
The depletion of natural, renewable resources or not: Loss of biodiversity , which is even considered a key indicator of the state of the environment.
A report by the OECD has the status of environmental sciences issues and has an associated "level of concern." Environmental sciences study shows that human impacts on the environment are many and varied. Almost all the elements constituting the environment are affected by human activities.
These environmental impacts are related to several factors, those mentioned most often is that the demographic and economic development . Indeed, the link between population and pollution is obvious: local human impacts are proportional to the number of inhabitants of a region, and it is the same for the number of people on Earth. But demography is not the only factor in this equation. The level of economic development, lifestyle, climate and a multitude of factors play a very important role in the environmental impacts, which leads many scholars to relativize the role of demography and overcrowding in environmental problems.
Water treatment: Water purification and treatment, Control and treatment of emissions and control air quality, Management of radioactive waste, Design and management of compost plants, Implementation of pollution control systems, Control and treatment of contaminated soils, Environmental Law (European, national and regional).Preparation of Environmental Impact Assessment EIA ,Management of Protected Natural Areas ,Environmental Inventories and catalogs. Design Hunting Technical Plans.
Systems Implementation Corporate Social Responsibility ,Soundproofing installations ,Improved agricultural practices .Mapping of risks and hazards .Environmental Audits .Design of Integrated Management Systems ( ISO 14001 , ISO 9001 , Occupational Health and Safety , etc..) , Environmental educator ,Waste Management ,Bioremediation.
These tasks related to environmental sciences can also be performed by specialists in various fields, while the environmentalist is characterized by a person trained and educated to deal with them together, while taking into account different viewpoints. The environmentalist must have a vision of the planet ecocentrista (Gaia), enabling it to play a dominant role in all matters related to sustainable development policies, integrating as far as possible the activities in the natural environment.
Environmental sciences have grown considerably over the last century. Scientific knowledge has made great progress, especially in the field of environment. Some disciplines especially dedicated to the environment, which did not exist hitherto even appeared recently, such as environmental sciences.
The development of new technical means and instruments of measurement and observation has significantly advanced the knowledge we had of the environmental sciences , whether in the functioning of living organisms and interactions with their environment, of ecosystems . Advances in physics and chemistry have enabled us to understand how plants and more generally the living body. The advance of environmental sciences has led to greater measurability of human impacts on the environment, which also creates a greater awareness.
Environmental issues increased local issues such as the protection of a species to global problems ( the hole in the ozone layer , global warming, for example). The need for global data thus appeared, resulting in the need to share data. By necessity, the monitoring (monitoring program) is currently developing environmental planetary scale, aided by technological advances, political and ideological. The United Nations has an international framework: UNEP , as well as international conferences and summits, such as the Rio , allowing researchers from different backgrounds to gather knowledge. Environmental issues being recently become global, it is essential to understand the scientific research globally, not locally.
Many countries or groups of countries also have communities of stakeholders, indicators and specialized researchers in environmental issues, with programs for sharing and exchange of knowledge.
It reminds UN in the GEO-4 report that degradation "undermines development and threatens future progress in development" and "also threatens all aspects of human well-being.
It same report states that the environmental sciences provides most of the natural resources vital for each (water, air, soil, food, fiber, medicines, etc.) and Economy, "Almost half of the world's jobs depend on fishing, forestry, and agriculture. The unsustainable use of natural possessions, counting land, water, forests and fisheries, can portend discrete livings and native financial prudence, national and international. Environmental sciences can greatly contribute to development and human well-being, but can as well increase human vulnerability, generating insecurity and human migration during storms, droughts, or management ecological deficient. Environmental sciences constraints promote cooperation, but they also contribute to the creation of tension and conflict".
Contemporary classical environmental sciences:
Modern environmental sciences are a complex, extensive science. Charles Elton has used the concept of trophic (food chain), population pyramids, and population dynamics.
It is believed that the contribution to the theoretical foundations of modern environmental sciences introduced B. Commoner , who formulated the basic law of environmental sciences :
Everything is connected to everything
Nothing disappears into nowhere
Nature knows best - the law has a double meaning - at the same time appeal to get close to nature and the call is very careful in the management of natural systems.
Nothing is for nothing (loose translation - in the original something like "there is no free lunch").
The second and fourth laws are essentially a rehash of the basic law of physics - the conservation of matter and energy. The first and third laws are really basic laws of environmental sciences, which should be based on the paradigm of the science. The basic law is the first one that can be considered as the basis of environmental philosophy. In particular, this philosophy is the basis for the concept of "deep environmental sciences" in his book "The Web of Life" Fritj of Capra .
Objectives of environmental sciences
Environmental sciences meet the scientific evaluation of the potential, limitations and sensitivities of the environment, with the development of solutions to problems of environmental quality deterioration. Environmental sciences are a response to the requirements of balance development with the preservation of the quality of renewable resources and the conservation of environmental quality. The career objective of environmental sciences is to train professionals to:
- Characterize, holistically, the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of natural resources.
- Identify stressors (pollution, deterioration factors, anthropogenic disturbances of different nature, global changes, etc.) Operating on ecosystems and characterize their effects on the structure and functioning of ecosystems.
- Design, implement and manage hazard mitigation plans, restoration and / or environmental remediation.
- Identify, characterize and assess the goods and services provided by ecosystems. Design, implement, evaluate and / or monitor environmental management plans in companies, public and private institutions.
- Design, develop and implement environmental certification programs for different types of activities (production, trade, and zoning).
- Execute and evaluate environmental impact studies.
- Plan, execute and evaluate management plans for the development, conservation and protection of natural resources.
- Participate in the definition of sustainable productive activities and development plans from the perspective of environmental, economic and social.
- Participate in interdisciplinary teams that address, with a systemic approach, the solution of environmental problems.
- Carry out teaching activities of environmental sciences at the primary, secondary, tertiary and university.
- Contribute to building legal frameworks, regulations and policies for the management and preservation of natural resources and natural heritage.
- Participate, both coordinating, evaluating, designing, supervising and / or performing, land use plans at different levels, municipal, provincial, national or regional.
- Generate knowledge and skills through scientific activities of environmental sciences.
- Implement and execute plans for education of environmental sciences.
Addressing environmental problems in environmental sciences
Environmental problems, along with human health or agricultural production, are a set of applied topics that share one characteristic: dealing with biological systems are affected and in turn affect humans in various dimensions. In all cases to address these issues should be analyzed more than one level of biological organization (genes, organs, individuals, and populations in medicine, genes, organisms, populations, communities, ecosystems, environmental issues). However, one of these levels is central (the individual or ecosystem respectively). The environment, human and animal health, agricultural production and fishing are some examples of the major issues dealing with environmental sciences. To understand these issues we combine "dose" than the accumulated knowledge and techniques generated by the basic disciplines. This combination will vary according to the subject matter. So are environmental sciences that combination of disciplines and approaches that allow us to understand and operate on issues such as conservation and management of natural resources and pollution. In addressing environmental problems is therefore essential biological disciplines contest, physico-chemical, social, economic and technological.
Human ecology (relationship between human and environmental sciences)
Human ecology is Chicago in vegetation succession begins in the 1920s through the study of change, was established as a research field of one in the 1970s. "Human to widespread on the earth is also a major ecological factor is (ecological factor)," focused on the recognition that the human ecology. (In particular the development of habitat urban planning), intensive fishing or agriculture - industrial humanity is because adding a big hand to the environment through the activities.
The human ecology, anthropology person, architecture house, biology person, demographic who, ecologist, ergonomics researchers, ethnology person, urban planning began as a field researcher researchers, and physicians to participate.
Human ecology is a tributary of the ecology, human is performed, the organizational activities, research on the environment surrounding the human. This human ecology and ecological anthropology I say equal.
And academic research environmental sciences values environmental conservation basis exists in thought / religion / world view and interaction in the process of, by Ezoterikku Ha new religious, relationship between man and nature are deeply affected environmental conservation ideology that assumed (environmentalism) is beginning to attract attention in the general discussion in recent years. This faction of the Western especially cultural anthropologist has been criticized by, but as the reason, Buddhists is originally nature conservation is a school, Christianity aimed at world domination simply Monoteizumu simple theory Freshly said such a But it is in like would divert the discussion to the theme "value" from "environment", can cause conflict nationalistic is because are included. When the values of religion basis for recommendations of environmentalism is to influence the relationship between man and nature temporarily, should be effective in environmental protection target the natural world is a Japan-specific "Shinto," but the reality is different. "Environmental conservation ideology paradigm there is a flow of a number of factions has been called "the (environmentalist paradigm), is a Western man and nationalist and environmental conservation basis Asia parkinsonism, and socialization in Europe and the United States social environment in, there is also a complex human face and claim the "anti-Western typical values", (Berkes 2001, Ingold 1993, Kalland 2003, 2005, Pedersen 1995) a new field called environmentalism research attention has been paid. Knowledge in environmental sciences is not limited to a "mind-sided" above; it was also developed to connection to various external individual and collective. Among them, for example policy has been studied since the 1920s (political ecology) political ecology to try to apply to urban management and, there are implications that also includes social and economic in this case is "political". In addition, the school system to interpret theory of small cross-functional impact seen in the relationship between humans and ecosystems, including the Roy Rappaport (1984) and (Cybernetics) is also present. The latter began to develop as a combination of cultural studies and natural science, ecological interpretation mechanic has also become a target of criticism.
World's Best Universities of Environmental sciences:
- Stanford University
- University California Berkeley
- Harvard University
- Massachusetts institute technology
- Eth Zurich Swiss federal institute technology