Five Major Fields of Environmental Science 

Environmental science concerns the knowledge of biological, chemical, and physical mechanisms running on earth. Also, This branch of science studies the impacts of culture, society, and politics on our planet. 

Fields of environmental science

Environmental science has five major fields;

  • Environmental chemistry
  • Atmospheric science, 
  • Social science
  • Geoscience
  • Ecology    

1- Environmental chemistry

It is the field of environmental science that deals with and studies different chemical reactions occurring in our environment. Therefore Environmental chemistry explains the chemical activities occurring in soil, air, water, living and terrestrial environments. So it usually deals with soil and water pollution. Environmental chemistry has a big role in soil and water contamination. Because the different chemical processes and chemicals have a role in causing pollution, this branch of environmental science talks about the impacts of chemicals on plants, transportation of chemicals in surroundings, and chemical degradation.

Further topics of its branches are given below. These topics contain a large scale of details that explains the impacts of chemicals all over the earth

  • Atmospheric chemistry
  • Geochemistry
  • Marine Chemistry
  • Astrochemistry
  • Environmental modelling
  • Pollution remediation

2- Atmospheric science

Atmospheric science deals with the chemistry and dynamics of gas layers around the moon, earth, and other planets. In addition, it deals with the interaction of different parts of the atmosphere with each other. Also, this field of science deals with the interaction of freshwater and ocean systems, biosphere, and impacts of man’s activities. 

All the activities occurring in the atmosphere have a great effect on our environment. So many different branches of science are related to atmospheric science, such as meteorology, airborne contaminants, phenomena of sound propagation, and greenhouse gas. So, we should learn this field separately due to its great importance for our earth.

3- Social science

Social science deals with the relation between nature and mankind. So this field of environmental sciences defines the societies, the humans living in them, and their interaction with that societies. It also, explains how humans behave and impacts that behavior on their surroundings. Therefore, social science is very important and plays a role to understand different social issues happening in societies. 

Social science is further divided into:

  • Anthropology,
  • Geography,
  • Sociology,

Social science further includes economics, law, political science, social policies, psychology, human geography, and media science.

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4- Geoscience

This field of science is also popular with the name of earth science. Geoscience deals with the scientific process that our earth performs naturally. So this scientific process includes the formation of the earth’s crust and layers, the formation of a volcano, and soil science. 

It is considered part of planetary science because it has a direct connection with the physical and chemical properties of the earth. So Geoscience links with four sub-branches that explain the structure of the earth. These are;

  • Biosphere
  • Atmosphere
  • Hydrosphere
  • Lithosphere

5- Ecology

Ecology is an important field of environmental sciences. So, it has a great role in the study of the environment. So this branch of environmental studies explains how living things living in this universe link with each other. The living things include plants, animals, humans, and the surroundings where they live. Ecologists always work to understand the relation of living things with their habitat.

Ecology explains several kinds of lives and their relation with the surrounding. For example, the relation of moss with rock on which it grows and a population of deer living in Yellowstone National Park. Ecology is a modern trend that arose in 19 century. The term ecology started to get popular around 1960. It was the time when environmental issues were raised by many organizations and governments.

This interdisciplinary approach combines other fields like

  • Biology
  • Geology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics

So, Environmental science is a wide branch of science that combines the major field explained above. Therefore all of its major fields have a great contribution to study our surroundings and get useful knowledge. Students choose these fields in their bachelor’s degree and study them in more detail. These fields have an important role in their respective disciplines that explains environmental science. 

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