Environmental science

From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary



The branch of science that studies physical, chemical, and biological components influencing the environmental systems


Environmental science is a branch of science that studies the various factors or components affecting the environmental systems. Environmental science and ecology are sometimes used interchangeably. However, the former is a more encompassing field and the latter is only a sub-field to it. Environmental science includes not only the biological factors in an environment. It also includes physical and chemical factors affecting the environment. Thus, it encompasses other fields such as physics, chemistry, oceanology, limnology, soil science, atmospheric science, geology, etc. It aims to provide an interdisciplinary approach in studying environmental systems. Research focuses at studying earth processes, global climate change, pollution control, alternative energy systems, etc. It employs biological, chemical, and physical approach to find solutions in environmental issues. It also attempts to understand the interaction between the population of organisms and their environment. Individuals conducting studies primarily in environmental science are called environmental scientists.

Environmental science should not be confused with environmental studies. The latter is an academic field that mainly studies human interaction with the environment through sociological and economic approach. Nevertheless, environmental studies are relevant as well in environmental science research.

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