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Environmental Science

Environmental Science

Author: Jensen Morgan

This lesson defines environmental science and related disciplines.

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Source: Earth PD Swamp Forest CC Satellite CC

Video Transcription

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Hi, I'm Jensen Morgan. We're going to talk about some great concepts in environmental science. Today's topic is environmental science. So let's get started.

We're going to talk about environmental science, which is our key term for today. Environmental science is the study of the relationship between humans and the rest of the natural world. When I say the rest of the natural world, I mean both biotic and abiotic environments. Biotic, or living, environments include microorganisms, plants, fungi, algae, and animals. Abiotic, or non-living, environments include temperature, rainfall, air, water, rocks, soil, and human built elements.

For example, the image of this forest swamp here has both abiotic and biotic elements. The water, rocks in the water, the amount of sunlight, the humidity, are all abiotic elements. Any fish swimming in the water, algae growing, those trees and grasses, are all biotic factors.

Environmental science is very interdisciplinary in nature. There are hundreds of different fields that intersect with it, such as natural sciences like ecology, oceanography, geology, biology, chemistry, atmospheric science, and physics. Social sciences that intersect with environmental science are history, sociology, anthropology, archaeology, psychology, political science, and economics. These are just a few. There are many others as well.

An example of a topic in environmental science, which involves many other disciplines, is human population growth. Human population growth exacerbates global climate change, which is an environmental science and ecology issue. Human population growth is determined by economics, because it can be expensive to have many children. It can also be determined by sociology and culture, because in certain countries having many children is encouraged for religious or retirement reasons. It is a demographic issue, because the rate of growth in certain historical time periods determines the size of each age cohort.

Technology plays an important role in environmental science in the world today. Almost every subject within environmental science is dependent on various technology and instruments for measurement and other uses. Examples of such technologies include satellites which can measure global temperatures, GPS mapping of terrain, devices for measuring water quality, and computer models which can project future scenarios of climate change.

Now, let's have a recap. We talked about environmental science, how interdisciplinary it is, and how important technology is to environmental science today. Don't forget, our key term is in fact environmental science, the study of the relationship between humans and the rest of the natural world. Well, that's all for this tutorial. I look forward to next time. Bye.

Terms to Know
Environmental science

The study of the relationship between humans and the rest of the natural world.