Explore on agriculture and local businesses. Other

Explore the basics of environmental studies and the unique interdisciplinary methods used to address the most challenging environmental issues.

This segment will give you a brief overview of types of problems and the solutions examined within environmental studies.

Our Authors Write a Custom Essay
For Only $13.90/page!


order now

Definition of Environmental Studies

As residents on Earth, our actions can impact the planet and the rest of its inhabitants. Just as major environmental catastrophes, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, can affect us, our actions can have major impacts on the environment. Human activities, such as pollution released into the environment, cutting down forests, and damning rivers, have all created significant impacts for environmental health and society. Environmental studies is the field that examines this relationship between people and the environment.Environmental studies is an interdisciplinary subject examining the interplay between the social, legal, management, and scientific aspects of environmental issues.

Interdisciplinary means that issues are examined from multiple perspectives. Unlike environmental science, which focuses mainly on the scientific component of these environmental issues, environmental studies investigates the scientific and the humanitarian aspects. Students of environmental studies learn the causes, effects, and possible solutions to address important environmental problems.

Environmental Issues

Environmental studies majors must first investigate the broad range of issues that our society is facing now and in the future. Broad issues to be addressed include population and consumption concerns, energy use, biodiversity, and global climate change. Each issue requires consideration of the political, social, and economic concerns, in addition to a scientific understanding.Let’s consider the 2014 drought in California. From a scientific perspective, we know that the entire state is facing drought conditions due to low amounts of rain and snowfall over the past few years. In addition, growing populations and agriculture businesses have further strained the decreasing water supply. Economically, this drought is creating large stresses to the extensive agricultural communities in California, who rely on water to irrigate their crops.

From a social viewpoint, several communities have faced dwindling water supplies, which have prompted government officials to place restrictions on water use and develop relief efforts to supply water to those in need.This example of the drought in California shows the importance of an interdisciplinary approach in understanding and resolving environmental issues. The drought is caused by a combination of natural (low rainfall), social (growing population), and economic (farming) causes.Some issues may only affect a local community, such as regional water use policies and their effects on agriculture and local businesses.

Other environmental issues have global implications, such as growing industry causing carbon dioxide levels to rise in the atmosphere.

Environmental Management

To help resolve some of the environmental issues, policy makers, scientists, and government planners are looking for the most efficient ways to use our natural resources with the least negative impact possible. Environmental management strives to oversee man’s impact on the environment through several management techniques. Management techniques include the development of new technologies, environmental policies, and sustainability measures.Environmental management is where the interdisciplinary nature of environmental studies truly shines, because you must consider the scientific, economic, and social aspects of the area to be managed.

Environmental managers identify the potential impact an area is facing, the goal of the management plan, and methods to achieve their goal.Sustainability is an environmental management practice that has been gaining popularity in recent years. Sustainability addresses ways that we can use natural resources now without compromising the economic and social development of future generations. In other words, how should we behave now to ensure that our grandchildren have the clean water, air, and basic resources that they will need?

Environmental Policy

A major portion of environmental management is the creation of environmental policies to ensure industrial activities do not negatively impact the environment.

Environmental policies are rules and regulations created by the government to set standards that cannot be exceeded. These standards include maximum allowable pollutant levels in water, air, and soils, which are determined through scientific research. Policy makers often include industry and community leaders in the process of developing new regulations.In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created in 1970 to establish and enforce environmental regulations. These regulations cover a wide range of concerns, including air quality, water quality, disposal of hazardous materials, and handling of waste. The policies set national pollution standards that cannot be exceeded.

Environmental policies are also created and enforced on the local and state levels.

Careers and Future of Environmental Studies

Due to its interdisciplinary nature, environmental studies can lead to a large variety of careers. Students who pursue this path are well suited to enter into government as policy makers, land use planners, environmental managers, and compliance officials. The growing green business sector will continue to provide opportunities in environmental planning, sustainability advising, and consulting.

Additionally, there are non-profits that cover the same topics that students master while completing environmental science degrees.Preserving our natural resources will become even more important due to growing populations and increasing industrialization. Without access to basic resources, like clean water, our economy will falter and civilization will be in danger. Thus, we must keep developing new ideas to creatively address land use and management issues.

Lesson Summary

Environmental studies is an interdisciplinary subject examining the interplay between the social, legal, management, and scientific aspects of environmental issues.

Interdisciplinary means that issues are examined from multiple perspectives. Unlike environmental science, which focuses mainly on the scientific component of these environmental issues, environmental studies investigates the scientific and the humanitarian aspects. Students of environmental studies learn the causes, effects, and possible solutions to address important environmental problems.Environmental management strives to oversee man’s impact on the environment through several management techniques. Management techniques include the development of new technologies, environmental policies, and sustainability measures. Sustainability addresses ways that we can use natural resources now without compromising the economic and social development of future generations.Environmental policies are rules and regulations created by the government to set standards that cannot be exceeded.

These standards include maximum allowable pollutant levels in water, air, and soils, which are determined through scientific research. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created in 1970 to establish and enforce environmental regulations. These regulations cover a wide range of concerns, including air quality, water quality, disposal of hazardous materials, and handling of waste.

Review Points

Environmental studies defintion
  • Environmental studies examines the relationship between humans and the environment
  • Environmental studies is interdisciplinary and includes the social, legal, management, and scientific aspects of environmental issues
  • Topics included in environmental studies can include environmental issues, management, and policy

Learning Outcomes

When you are finished, you should be able to:

  • Describe environmental studies
  • Discuss the topics focused on in environmental studies
  • List some of the career options available to students in environmental studies
x

Hi!
I'm Sigvald

Do you need a custom essay? How about ordering an essay here?

Check it out