What are Environmental Science and Technology?

Felicia Dye
Felicia Dye
Scientist with beakers
Scientist with beakers

Environmental science and technology may be considered separate disciplines but they are often closely related. Environmental science is generally concerned with the study of the Earth, things that interact with the Earth, and the consequences and changes that the Earth undergoes as a result. Environmental technology is generally concerned with developing solutions and preventive measures for discoveries that are often uncovered by environmental science.

Many people believe the world is changing. In some cases, these changes have been observed and proven. In other cases, people speculate about what will occur if certain behaviors are not modified or solutions are not developed. Environmental science and technology typically coincide where the problems meet the demand for alternatives.

A person who studies or works in the field of environmental science may find herself dealing with issues such as Earth’s chemical changes, soil erosion, and global warming. Although some people may specialize in a single area, such as nuclear waste disposal, environmental science often forces people to encompass a variety of issues. It is generally important to not only evaluate a single phenomenon but to determine if and how it relates to other phenomena.

Environmental technology is often referred to as green technology because this field tends to focus on sustainable solutions. To be considered sustainable, a concept typically has to involve preservation or conservation. Environmental technology generally focuses on how to meet peoples’ needs while treating the environment respectfully so it will be in good condition in the future. Someone working or studying in this field may focus on issues such as curbing pollution, conserving water, or searching for renewable energy sources.

Environmental science and technology are both broad disciplines. These fields combine various sciences and technologies in a way that often makes it difficult draw definitive lines or establish concrete definitions for the work that is done. These fields tend to have shared goals, however, of benefiting the Earth and the creatures living on it.

Analyzing the focuses of environmental science and technology can reveal why the two fields are so closely related. To have one without the other can be compared to having medical tests without treatments or vice versa. It could be devastating to inform people of looming problems without giving them hope that there may be solutions. It is also likely there would be minimal interest in implementing solutions if no problems have been identified.

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      Scientist with beakers