In today’s globalized society, the stakes are higher than ever because our environmental impacts are global. If we cannot forge sustainable solutions to our problems, then the resulting societal collapse will be global. Fortunately, environmental science holds keys to building a better world. By studying environmental science, you will learn to evaluate the whirlwind of changes taking place around us and to think critically and creatively about ways to respond.
Environmental scientists aim to comprehend how Earth’s natural systems function, how these systems affect people, and how we influence those systems. Many environmental scientists are motivated by a desire to develop solutions to environmental problems. These solutions (such as new technologies, policy decisions, or resource management strategies) are applications of environmental science. The study of such applications and their consequences is also part of environmental science. Studying our interactions with our environment is a complex endeavor that requires expertise from many academic disciplines, including ecology, earth science, chemistry, biology, geography, economics, political science, demography, ethics, and others.
Environmental science is interdisciplinary, bringing techniques, perspectives, and research results from multiple disciplines together into a broad synthesis. Traditional established disciplines are valuable because their scholars delve deeply into topics, developing expertise in particular areas and uncovering new knowledge.
In contrast, interdisciplinary fields are valuable because their practitioners consolidate and synthesize the specialized knowledge from many disciplines and make sense of it in a broad context to better serve the multifaceted interests of society.