Environmental science or Ecology is a new science of modern era. It is a synthetic
branch of science & technology and has developed with an advancement made in other
branches & hence it incorporates the knowledge drawn form different fields of science
In simple terms, Environment is defined as “matters surrounding us in nature ” Or in
other words, more elaborately, it is said as, “Interrelationships existing between living
and nonliving matters in universe”.
It is dealt with in detail in Ecology (as Environmental science). The word ecology is
derived from a greek word Oikologie., which consists of- Oikos=Home and
Logos=Study. Literally it means “Study at home/house.” This term was coined by a
German scientist in 1866 to study animal behaviour and its lifecycle in its place. Later
on scientists from different disciplines, like-Botany, zoology, anthropology, geography,
geology, microbiology, chemistry, physics, nuclear science, social sciences &
engineering etc got interested into study of relationships between man, animals, plants,
climatic facotrs, soil, water etc. and thus this science has emerged as Environmental
Science & Environmental Engineering. After UN global summit on human environment
held at Stockholm in 1972, it gained its importance. Ecology as a modern science
traces only from Darwin’s publication of Origin of Species and Haeckel’s subsequent
naming of the science needed to study Darwin’s theory. Awareness of humankind’s
effect on its environment has been traced to Gilbert White in 18th-century Selborne,
England. Awareness of nature and its interactions can be traced back even farther
in time. Ecology before Darwin, however, is analogous to medicine prior to
Pasteur’s discovery of the infectious nature of disease. The history is there, but it is
only partly relevant.
The history of this science is descrobed in following section.