Environmental Science

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INTRODUCTION

Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary field of science that combines everything from biology and chemistry to engineering to develop new technologies or re-purpose ancient ideas to tackle the current problems faced by our environment due to unsustainable development.

YOUTUBE CHANNELS

UN Environment Programme: The United Nations Environment Programme focuses on caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and its people to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

Grist: A YouTube channel that dissects all news and research related the environment because as they say- ” we want a planet that doesn’t burn and a future that doesn’t suck.”

Happen Films: Covering everything from sustainability, tiny houses to permaculture and natural building, Happen Films creates powerful videos that reimagine sustainable living.

Exploring Alternatives: Whether it is living in tiny houses, vans, RVs, and boats; this channel focuses on all possible alternatives to traditional lifestyles. They also share their personal experiences with , zero waste and off-grid living, and how it has changed their lives.

Our Changing Climate: A video essay channel that discusses the true environmental impact of all of humanity’s actions.

National Resource Defence Council: The NRDC is dedicated to protecting public health and the environment — to solving environmental and economic challenges like moving America beyond oil, solving global warming, protecting our families from toxic chemicals, reviving the world’s oceans, and saving wild places.

Sierra Club: This America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization with more than 3.8 million members and supporters nationwide. The channel notably has content to politically inform and engage viewers.

World Wildlife Foundation: With over 6 million global supporters, WWF has been expanding gradually. The channel’s content focusses on biodiversity conservation.

National Audubon Society: Audubon’s mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity. Its videos are an engaging mix of informative modules on specific species and DIY projects to engage with conservation at an individual level.

Conservation International: CI “empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the well-being of humanity.” With case-studies, thought experiments, and relevant news, its videos do not disappoint.

Terra Matter: Terra Mater is a channel where you can discover and explore the beauty and value of nature through jaw-dropping pictures. Here you can explore the secrets of our planet in revealing stories, filmed with cutting-edge technology that unveils “insights never shown before.”

Books

Silent spring by Rachel Carson

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural history by Elizabeth Kolbert

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate by Naomi Klein

The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions by Peter Brannen

Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change by George Marshall

How to avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates

Competitions

World of 7 Billion Competitionthis featured challenge in the ICS environmental competitions database helps students take the first steps into global change-making by researching challenges associated with global population change, and creating a video describing their solution to the problem. 

Future City Competition: Middle school students imagine, research, design, and build sustainable cities of the future. From solving problems such as storm water management, urban agriculture, and green energy. The competition is for middle school students.

Shell Eco-Marathon: A unique competition that challenges college and high-school students around the world to design, build and drive the most energy-efficient car. With three annual events in Asia, Americas and Europe, student teams take to the track to see who goes further on the least amount of fuel.

A series of Hackathons held in the USA that work to solve environmental problems.

Green Olympiad: GREEN Olympiad is an annual written examination on environment initiated by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in 1999. The examination is conducted by Environment Education & Awareness Area (EEA) of TERI and attracts participation from school students across India and abroad.

Programs

Headwaters Science Institute: The organisations runs several programs for students and schools with an emphasis on research. Notably, some opportunities offer mentorship from instructors in the process of writing an original research paper.

Animal Science: Sustainable Animal Husbandry at Cornell University: Whether you’re considering an education and career in farming or veterinary medicine — or if you just really like animals — Cornell’s Animal Science pre-college summer program in animal husbandry is sure to be a valuable way to spend three weeks.

Environmental Science Summer Program at Duke: ESSP selects talented rising sophomores and juniors, from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, to participate in an intensive environmental science program at Duke University. Students selected for our program have the opportunity to:

  • Work with outstanding interdisciplinary faculty
  • Explore local environmental issues
  • Collect data in the field
  • Interact with experts in a range of environmental fields
  • Receive training with the Nicholas School’s own first-rate Career Services professionals

Environmental Studies Summer Youth Institute: The Environmental Studies Summer Youth Institute (ESSYI) is a two-week, college-level interdisciplinary summer program for talented high-school students entering their junior and senior years, or soon to be graduates. ESSYI introduces students to environmental issues and interdisciplinary techniques for addressing environmental problems. Students make new intellectual and emotional connections as they explore current environmental challenges through scientific, social, economic, philosophical, ethical, and political perspectives. This program is a one credit (4 semester hours) course that serves as an introduction to environmental studies.

Pioneer Academics Research Program: In their well-structured, credit-based remote research program, the organisation connects high-school students with highly-accomplished professors in US Colleges and Universities. They generally have an environmental studies/science concentration available.

Horizon Academics: The organisation offers the Horizon Seminar Program, one of whose areas of research to choose from is Environmental Problems in Human Society: Lessons from the Past, Engineering Future Solutions. It consists of small group classes and individualized research projects taught by Professors and Lecturers from prestigious colleges and universities.

Zooniverse: Climate Change– A variety of online research projects that allows you to analyse data for different climate change projects, from your computer. Signing up for this will not only allow provide you with an understanding of climate change and its impact, but you can contribute to the research.

Online Courses

Our Energy future (UCSD): This course is designed to introduce students to the issues of energy in the 21st century – including food and fuels – which are inseparably linked – and will discuss energy production and utilization from the biology, engineering, economics, climate science, and social science perspectives. It covers the current production and utilization of energy, as well as the consequences of this use, examining finite fossil energy reserves, how food and energy are linked, impacts on the environment and climate, and the social and economic impacts of our present energy and food production and use.

The Age of Sustainable Development (Columbia University): This course, available on Coursera, gives students an understanding of the key challenges and pathways to sustainable development – that is, economic development that is also socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable.

Ecology: Ecosystem Dynamics and Conservation: This course is an introduction to ecology and ecosystem dynamics using a systems thinking lens. Through a case study on Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, learners will explore how scientists study ecosystems, and investigate the complex array of factors that inform management efforts. At the end of the course, learners will be able to grapple with real-world conservation questions, such as whether an ecosystem can recover from anthropogenic disruption and what role humans can, and should, play in that recovery.

Energy Within Environmental Constraints: Available on edX, this course by Harvard University is truly interdisciplinary, with main learning points being:

  • The basic engineering, environmental science, and economics of our energy system.
  • A working understanding of energy technologies.
  • Environmental impacts of the energy system, focusing on air pollution, climate change, and land use.
  • Techniques for estimating monetary costs and carbon impacts.

Environmental Protection and Sustainability: Another course that approached environmental issues holistically, it covers:

  • Basic principles of environmental protection
  • Biodiversity conservation practices
  • Solutions for water and air pollution challenges
  • Major opportunities for sustainability
  • How human development can be sustainable