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Environmental Science

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Do you have a passion for the environment and want to deepen your understanding of the science that affects it? Maybe environmental science has connotations of climate change in your mind, however, the environmental science course is about much more than just that. The course is a holistic subject and is about gaining an understanding of the interrelationship between geography and biology, as well as looking at how different processes can have a knock-on effect on other processes.

This course may leave you with more questions than answers. However, at StudySmarter, we have extensive notes created especially for people like you – who want to gain knowledge and insight into a subject that is at the forefront of our futures.

Whether you are an aspiring Environmental specialist, geologist, or someone who is leaving their options open – we have you covered.

Deep dive: Environmental science is an interdisciplinary subject that includes:

  • Ecology

  • Biology

  • Oceanography

  • Zoology

  • Atmospheric science

  • Soil science

  • Geology

Among many more. It is the study of how natural and artificial processes interact and affect each other. It is really important in our society today, given the challenges our world is facing. Humans are now realising the impacts of their actions, and it is up to the coming generations to find solutions. This is why there are currently 63 universities offering 237 courses relating to environmental science.

Environmental Science topics and learning objectives

At StudySmarter, we have followed the specifications for your course to create high quality and relevant content. The 6 dynamic and relevant topics that you could cover if you choose to start your StudySmarter journey are:

  • The living environment

  • The physical environment

  • Energy resources

  • Pollution

  • Biological resources

  • Sustainability

  • Research methods

Below, we will cover these topics in more detail.

Environmental Science: Living Environment

For thousands of years, humans have had a curiosity about living things and how they relate to each other. Ecosystems are all of the living things together with the non-living environment. There are millions of organisms inhabiting the earth right now. Some are more similar to each other than others. For example, plants and animals both gain energy in different ways. Plants get energy directly from photosynthesis, while animals gain energy from energy-rich foods. Biologists use hierarchies to classify organisms based on these similarities and differences in their structure and behaviour. This chapter topic explores basic knowledge about how living things function and how they relate. The section focuses on three major subjects:

  • Conditions for life on earth

  • Conservation of biodiversity

  • Life processes in the biosphere and conservation planning.

Environmental Science: The physical environment

This topic is all about the relationship between human (anthropogenic) activities and physical processes. We look at how we can maintain, extend and develop new renewable resources as well as at climate change, ozone depletion and biogeochemical cycles. At first glance, the topics covered in this section may seem complex and overwhelming, but we’ve aimed to simplify them in order to help you learn them without wasting time!

Environmental Science: Energy resources

In this section, we will analyse the importance of energy resources for past and future societal developments. There will be an emphasis on how technologies are developing and revolutionising the way we source energy, as well as looking at the sustainability of current energy sources. Quantitative data will be used to compare and evaluate these technologies.

Environmental Science: Pollution

Most people know that pollution is bad, but many don’t understand why. Pollution occurs when contaminants are introduced into the natural environment and cause adverse change. Pollutants come in many forms and include toxins, carcinogens and even noise. Understanding the risk from artificial compounds is vital in ensuring their sustainable use and protecting people and the environment. This section looks at the properties of pollutants as well as strategies to control them.

Environmental Science: Biological resources

The world's population is growing exponentially and therefore, so is the need to provide food and resources for everyone through agriculture, aquatic food production systems and forests. Agriculture involves ensuring that photosynthetic energy is converted into food. This is done through controlling food webs, as well as abiotic (non-living) and biotic (living) factors. Aquatic species are very much renewable resources however, as fishing is a large scale hunting activity, these are often exploited. Likewise, trees are also a renewable resource often exploited. Therefore, it is important to learn about how these vital resources can be used sustainably.

Environmental Science: Sustainability

Sustainability, both at a global and national scale is really important for all of the above topics. We will learn about dynamic equilibria, and its role in natural and human systems, as well as gain an understanding of how future energy will be affected by our changing availability. Additionally, you will learn about mineral resources and the principles of a circular economy.

Environmental Science: Research methods

Research methods are the final topic in the specification and include the methods used to investigate the environmental issues you will be studying. These include the following.

  • Scientific methodologies

  • Sampling techniques

  • Specialist techniques

  • Fieldwork and laboratory activities

  • Standard environmental techniques

How can StudySmarter support me in studying Environmental Science?

StudySmarter is here to help you achieve better grades with all the tools you need in one place.

Environmental Science Revision Guide

Our intelligent guide is here to introduce everything you need to know to revise your Environmental science course and exams successfully. Here is what you can discover on StudySmarter:

Environmental Science explanations

Our free, expertly curated StudySets are created with you at the forefront of our minds. We have made our originals so that you have everything you need to succeed in your exams.

Environmental Science flashcards

StudySmarter provides both flashcards produced by our experts as well as intelligent features for you to create your own resources and really personalise your resources.

Rewards for learning Environmental Science

StudySmarter is here to help, encourage and motivate. You can set your own weekly goals and through reaching these goals you can earn trophies. The more you learn, the more trophies you get to celebrate your hard work. What better motivation to study hard and study smart!

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