Multidisciplinary Nature of Environmental Studies

Multidisciplinary Nature of Environmental Studies

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of this session, students will be able to

• Acquire knowledge about Environment, Environmental Science and related terms

• Discuss scope and importance

• Explain the need for public awareness

• Cite the different types of resources

• Discuss Environmental problems


• Multidisciplinary nature of environmental studies

• Scope and importance

• Need for public awareness


Environmental science (or studies)

Interdisciplinary studies in natural sciences, including geology, climatology, hydrology, ecology and their interaction with social sciences such as economics, political science, sociology, anthropology and geography

• Ecology

Study of the interactions between organisms and between organisms and their environment

• Ecosystem

Includes all organisms living in an area and the physical environment with which these organisms interact


Environment is French word “Environner”, which mean to encircle or surround

Abiotic Environment





Biotic Environment




The multidisciplinary nature of environmental science is illustrated in following

Basic and Applied Studies

          Physical Science, (Physics, chemistry, Earth science, Atmospheric Science)

          Life Science (Biology, biochemistry, Microbiology etc)


          Civil, Chemical, Hydraulics, Nano

Management and Awareness

          Economics, Sociology, Law, Education, Management, Mass-communication


          Mathematics, Statistics, Computer science

Importance of Environment Studies

• Environment is not a single subject. It is an integration of several subjects that include both Science and Social Studies

• Thus the scope of environmental studies is extremely wide and covers some aspects of nearly every major discipline

• Daily lives of humans are linked with their surroundings and inevitably affects them

• Environment issues being by explosive increase in pollution, hence

• Need for an alternative solution

• Need to save humanity from extinction

• Need for wise planning of development

Environment studies have become significant for the following reasons:

• Preservation: Every natural resource/ ecosystem must be preserved and protected to maintain a balance in the environment

• Global phenomena: Issues pertaining to the environment are faced by every country in the event of any major development. a new set of problems crop up in the wake of development

• Uncontrolled Increase in pollution: Rapid industrialization and urbanization has led to pollution of various components of the environment

• Sustainable development: There is a need to search for solutions to development with minimal harm to the environment

Major environmental concerns


• Over exploitation of natural resources

– Forest

– Water

– Food

– Energy

– Land

• Environmental Pollution

– Air

– Water

– Land

• Population


• Disease

• Water Shortages

• Water Contamination

• Climate Change

• Biodiversity Loss

• Poverty

• Malnutrition




Soil erosion

Our Greatest Environmental Problem?????

• Diseases

• Overpopulation

• Water Shortages

• Climate Changes

• Poverty

• Malnutrition

Scope of Environmental Studies:

Environmental Studies encompasses large number of areas which mainly include:

    Natural Resource- Conservation and Management

    Ecology and Biodiversity

    Environment Pollution and Control

    Economic development and associate socio-cultural issues

    Human population and environment

    It can also include highly specialized issues like Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering and Environmental Management

Importance of Environment studies:

Environmental studies have become significant for the following reason:

Environment Issues being of International Importance: environmental issues such as global warming, ozone depletion, biodiversity loss, marine pollution etc have a global implication

Problems Cropped in The Wake of Development: rapid development in the selected area leads to Urbanization, Industrial Growth, Transportation Systems, Agriculture and Housing etc which in turn leads to environmental pollution

Rapid increase in Population: rapid growth of human population resulted into   tremendous increase in the demand of resources such as food resources, energy resources ultimately leading to the environmental degradation

Need for An Alternative Solution: recently there is a sense of feeling that current way of economic development is not feasible for long term as resources base is not unlimited giving rise to the concept of sustainable development

Need to Save Humanity from Extinction: There is a grave threat on humanity due to continuous degradation of its resource base which has implication on survival and well-being of human society

Need for Public Awareness

• As the earth’s natural resources are dwindling and our environment is being increasingly degraded by human activities, there is a need for action

• Prevention of environment degradation must become a major goal for all

• Decrease of harm on our environment. It is economically more viable than cleaning up the environment once it is damaged

• Reduction of natural resources wastage.  Government should be informed of sources that lead to pollution and degradation of our environment

• This can only be made possible through mass public awareness

• Growing Population

• Poverty

• Agricultural Growth

• Need to improve Ground water

• Development and Forests


• Current Emphasis (Reactive)

• Sustainability Emphasis (Proactive)

International efforts for environment: The subject of environment come into international focus first with the Stockholm Conference held on 5th 1972, since then we celebrate World Environment Day on 5th June.

Public Awareness for Environment:

Without active people participation government cant force any policy so to make public aware regarding environmental pollution and its conservation. This awareness can be achieved by various mean:

Formal Environmental education: At School level, University and post- graduation level, Higher research

Non-formal education and awareness Program:

National Environment Awareness Campaign (NEAC)- Started in 1986 is a multimedia campaign which uses activities such as seminar, workshops, camps, exhibitions, debate, street theatre, tree plantation to promote awareness about environment

Mass Awareness:

Through media including both print and electronic media. Campaign for banning plastic Product, clean Yamuna campaign. Awareness activities by NGO’s and other institutions on the occasion of Environment days like Earth day

Eco Mark: Eco-labelling of consumer products as Ecomark in 1991. It is an earthen pitcher and awarded to product that is made, used or disposed off in eco-friendly manner


• Environment is French word “Environner”, which mean to encircle or surround

• Study of environmental science is important


Global phenomena

Uncontrolled Increase in pollution

Sustainable development

• Environmental Studies encompasses large number of areas

• As the earth’s natural resources are dwindling and our environment is being increasingly degraded by human activities there is need for awareness and protection of environment

• Stockholm Conference held on 5th 1972, since then we celebrate World Environment Day on 5th June

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