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ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

date:Mar 22,2013 source:互联网 editorial staff:linan clicks:

Environmental science is often referred to as an ‘interdisciplinary’ subject. This basically means that it uses skills and knowledge from a variety of different specializations.
For example, environmental scientists may find themselves dipping into biology, chemistry, physics, ecology, geography, geology, marine science and social sciences. The idea is to use as many perspectives and disciplines as necessary, to build up a fuller understanding of both natural and human environments.
As this suggests, environmental science is a huge subject, and one of immediate relevance to many of modern society’s most pressing challenges.
Fieldwork is an important part of most environmental sciences degrees, which often include trips to a variety of different countries and world regions, to give students experience of different habitats, climates, land formations and societies.
You can also expect to spend a fair amount of time in the lab, learning how to carry out different types of test.

In such a diverse and interconnected subject, the list of possible specializations is huge. When choosing, it may be useful is to think about the kind of scale you want to work at.
For example, do you want to focus on understanding specific life forms and ecosystems, or are you more interested in systems and changes at whole-planet level?
Soil ecology: This is an example of a subject at the ‘up close’ end of the spectrum. People may smile when you tell them you’re studying soil, but in fact this often overlooked subject is of relevance to everyone. Soil ecology involves an understanding of issues such as soil nutrition levels, the spread of pathogens (viruses, bacteria and so on), the impact of pesticides and other chemicals, and soil porosity (spaces between grains).
Habitat management and conservation: Budding conservationists will learn about different types of habitat, develop an in-depth understanding of the challenges and changes facing different regions around the world, and explore a range of approaches to habitat management.
Earth and atmospheric systems: This is the ‘big picture’ end of the spectrum, looking at large scale changes in the earth and its atmosphere. Subjects you might cover include geomorphology (understanding land formations and predicting future changes), weather systems, climate change and oceanic systems.

Environmental scientists are needed in a wide range of sectors, including:
• Climate change research
• Natural disaster preparation and response
• Waste disposal
• Water supply
• Conservation and habitat management
• Natural resource management
• Environmental policy development
• Air quality assessment
• Agriculture

Among the useful transferable skills you should gain from an environmental sciences degree are:
• Numeracy and data analysis
• General IT skills
• General research skills, including use of scientific literature
• Lab and fieldwork skills
• Ability to present findings clearly and persuasively
• Awareness of a range of environmental issues
• Ability to approach issues from multiple perspectives
• Team work
• Self-management, including planning and meeting deadlines

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