“What have they done to the earth?
What have they done to our fair sister?
Ravaged and plundered and ripped her and bit her
Stuck her with knives in the side of the dawn
And tied her with fences and dragged her down” ― Jim Morrison
These lines ring so true if we look at the environment around us today. The Earth which was once a pristine, virgin land for us to live is now crying out for our help. The Earth is dying due to what we have done to it. It is time we reversed the devastation caused by our conspicuous consumption, live more responsibly and save this only place that we have for the future generation.
Environmental Science has become very relevant with the kind of changes that is ravaging the earth. Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary academic field which is an integration of physical, biological information sciences that together study the condition of the Earth's environment. It is a science that studies the environment and how, the flora, fauna and all other organism including humans are affected by the changes that are constantly taking place on the Earth.
The scope of Environmental Science is vast. Study of Earth is complex and involves several disciplines to completely understand how it works. The different fields that are part of Environmental Studies include ecology, biology, physics, chemistry, plant science, zoology, mineralogy, oceanography, limnology, soil science, geology, physical geography, and atmospheric science. All these different subjects are inter-related. There is a need to study each of these aspects in order to understand the changes that are taking place and the reasons behind the changes specifically the ones that have caused major damage to the ecosystem. Environmental Science helps us understand how the natural world works, how we humans interact with the environment and how our interactions affect the environment. As Environmental Science includes study of climate change, earth's natural resources, and study of how we are depleting the natural resource and how to rejuvenate them, energy, pollution and myriads of other environmental aspects. Study of Environmental science is also very important to save our planet from destruction as abusive actions by humans for generations has brought the Earth to such a state where, if immediate measures are not taken will only end in catastrophe. To know more about the environment and how to restore the balance is the challenge human race faces today. Hence studying Environmental Science not just will benefit in terms of career but it will have a greater effect on saving this only place where human race can survive. We have already seen how many species of animals and plants have become extinct. This is not a good sign simply because human beings have lost touch with how the nature works and over the centuries we have completely misbalanced the food chain. It is important to understand how the Food Chain works, what are the important organism that constitute the food chain and how the whole of the ecological balance is maintained. At this time the complete ecology, food chain is in utter misbalance. We have destroyed marine life as well as natural habitat of several animals by either over fishing, destructing rain forest and other animal habitats and random reckless killing of animals for food. These along with unbridled construction by destroying pristine forests and over use of fossil fuels, greenhouse emissions have led to global warming, climate changes like heat waves, droughts, heavy rainfall resulting in flash floods, untimely and heavy snowfall, acidification of the oceans leading to loss of marine life and the leading certain species to extinction.
There is great scope of work for an environmental scientist. So how does one study to be one? One can begin with an undergraduate degree in biology, engineering, physics or chemistry, geology, zoology etc. Core courses in Environmental Science major include biology chemistry, Geology and Mathematics. To advance in this field one has to have a master’s degree.
One can specialize in different branches that relate to Environmental science like Forestry and Wild lands Management, Chemistry Sciences, and Natural Resources Conservation. Environmental Studies, Physical and Environmental Science or Physics. There are other branches like Atmospheric Sciences, Ecology, Environmental Chemistry and Geosciences. There are also programs related to Marine and Environmental sciences. Certain colleges offer both undergraduate and post-graduate degrees on Marine Environmental Sciences.
There are 8 colleges in India that offer courses on Environmental Sciences. They are listed as below;
1. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
2. G.D. Goenka University, Gurugram
3. Sir. J.J College of Architecture, Mumbai
4. School of Planning and Architecture, Telengana
5. School of Planning and Architecture, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies. Dehradun
6. Jindal School of Art and Architecture, Sonepat
7. Institute of Environmental Architecture, Prabhadevi, Mumbai
8. National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula Goa.
Environmental Scientist have to study a variety of subjects that include evaluating the quality of the air, water and soil, finding out the signs of pollution or the extent of pollution and the ways to correct environmental problems. One may specialize in the field of Agriculture, Earth Science, Oceanography etc and work on planning and survey. An environmental Scientist has to work for long hours and they have to brave the elements at times in the process of collecting samples during research or spend long hours pouring over microscope analyzing the collected samples in the laboratory. However, it is a job that is rewarding both if a person is dedicated towards protection of the Earth as well as with regard to the competitive pay. There is a huge demand for environmental Scientist as more and more research and constant endeavor is underway to reverse the damage that has been done to the environment.
To get a better understanding about the courses it will be good to go in for some career counseling either in person or through online. A good counseling will help understand the requirements as well as a good counseling session makes one understand if one has the interest for the subject or not.
Additionally information can be sought at the below links;
By: Madhuchanda Saxena
Posted By - Assistant Editor