ENVIR SCI 1B03 January 9, 2013
What is Environmental Science?
• Humans and Nature
o The impacts of human activity on the natural world may produce
unpredictable consequences, beyond our control
o We cannot control nature
o Rachel Carson – author of Silent Spring
Influential in changing views towards the environment – we
are part of the natural world
o DDT – WWII, sprayed large doses to kill mosquitoes
Resulted in death of birds and other organisms
That which we do to the environment and our relationship
with it could result in consequences
• What is the environment?
o Interactions are fueled by energy from the sun
o That which occurs in one, results in consequences in the other
• How to study environmental problems through Science?
o Field research: monitor to determine spatial and temporal variability
Events occur by themselves – nature is doing the
Experimental research (Field or Lab): changing parameters
• Not natural, more complex
• Look at relationship between variables (variable: a
quantity or condition that may vary)