Multidisciplinary Nature of Environmental Studies

Multidisciplinary means interaction of various subjects or disciplines. Environmental studies deal with all the aspects of biotic and abiotic components of the environment. Also, Environment and environmental issues are complex in nature. Therefore, expertise from different subjects or disciplines is required to understand different aspects of the environment. We may require expertise from different disciplines to resolve various environmental issues.

Multidisciplinary Nature of Environmental Studies may be understood by a small case study. Suppose a developmental activity (Dam, Mining, Highway etc.) is proposed within a given region. Before starting such projects, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is conducted to assess and mitigate the possible degradation to the environment and population living within the region. To effectively conduct the EIA, expertise from the following disciplines will be required:

Life Sciences (Zoology and Botany): to assess the biodiversity richness and endemism of the given region and possible reversible or irreversible changes in the biological diversity of the region by the anthropogenic activities. An expert from life sciences will also assess the ecosystem goods and services being provided by the nature in the specific region.

Earth Sciences (Geology, Geography, Geochemistry etc.): Earth Sciences will study about the details of geological and geographical terrain, soil/rock profile, tectonic and seismic activity in the region etc.

Chemical Sciences: it will be helpful in understanding various chemical processes and reactions taking place in different matrices of the environment. It is also important to understand the fate and effect of pollutants on air, water, and soil.

Anthropology, History and Archaeology: to assess the historical or archaeological importance of the monuments, tribal population, traditions or practices in a region or at the site of the construction.

Social Sciences, Sociology and Economics: to assess the socio-economic stature of the population and possible changes the same with on-going developmental projects.

Law and Legal Aspects: expertise from legal background is also required to satisfy different legal aspects during a developmental project activity (like land acquisition, relocation and rehabilitation etc.).

Mathematics, Computer Modelling and Statistics: we need different statistical tools and models to statistically validate the obtained data from the study. Also, we are using numerous mathematical and computational models in day-to-day activities like meteorological predictions.

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