Environmental Studies term papers

What is Environmental Studies?

Environmental studies is multifaceted and interdisciplinary study of how human beings interact with their environment.  Environmental studies covers a very broad range of disciplines, ranging from law and politics to environmental sociology and pollution control.  The main principles of this field, however, are ecology and environmental science.

The Definition of Environment

The term 'environment' has many definitions, depending in which context it is used.  Biophysical environment, for example, is defined as the abiotic and biotic surroundings of an organism, including factors which influence its survival and development, while a built environment refers to a man-made setting where human activity takes place (such as buildings, cities and parks). A natural environment, on the other hand, is one which incorporates all living and non living things on or near Earth.

History of Environmental Studies

The study of the environment on a formal academic level only kicked off in the middle of the 1960s when the Middlebury College, the private liberal arts college in Vermont, became the first institute of higher education to offer their students the opportunity to major in Environmental Studies in 1965.

It was only in 1993 that Canada launched its Environmental Studies Association of Canada, while the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (ESSA) was formed in the United States in 2008, becoming the first interdisciplinary field of environmental studies in the US.

What does the Environmental Studies University Major Incorporate?

While programs differ slightly from school to school, it is safe to say that most Environmental Studies majors incorporate the study of environmental related issues, using tools such as science, human approaches or a combination of several.  Students who have an interest in environment will be able to evaluate many aspects of the environment (scientifically, economically, socially, etc.) through a major in Environmental Studies.  A proficiency in math and the sciences is a basic requirement.

Courses which an environmental studies major typically incorporates include atmospheric sciences, soil sciences, climate change, geology courses, energy resources, biology courses, geography courses, computer programming and simulation, mathematics and environmental measurements.

Career Prospects with an Environmental Studies Degree

Once a student majors in environmental studies, there are many different career choices available.  Firstly, a degree in environmental science could set the student on the path of becoming a teacher in this field. Another option is to become an environmental specialist or scientist, where research is conducted or investigation is performed to identify or eliminate sources of pollution.  Environmental scientists can also work in the health and medical fields, where there is often a need for their services and their input into debates, research and decisions.

Recently published Environmental Studies essays