Skip to main content
Engineering LibreTexts

1: Introduction to Environmental Sciences

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    • 1.1: The Chemical Foundations of Life
      Elements in various combinations comprise all matter on Earth, including living things. Some of the most abundant elements in living organisms include carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and phosphorus. These form the nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids that are the fundamental components of living matter.
    • 1.2: Biological Molecules
      Life on Earth is primarily made up of four major classes of biological molecules, or biomolecules. These include carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids.
    • 1.3: Biological Organization
      All living things are made of cells; the cell itself is the smallest fundamental unit of structure and function in living organisms. In most organisms, these cells contain organelles, which provide specific functions for the cell. Living organisms have the following properties: all are highly organized, all require energy for maintenance and growth, and all grow over time and respond to their environment.
    • 1.4: Environment and environmental science
      The word environment describes living and nonliving surroundings relevant to organisms. It incorporates physical, chemical and biological factors and processes that determine the growth and survival of organisms, populations, and communities. All these components fit within the ecosystem concept as a way to organize all of the factors and processes that make up the environment. The ecosystem includes organisms and their environment within a specific area.
    • 1.5: Sustainability and Sustainable Development
      Its main and often quoted definition refers to sustainable development as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The report uses the terms ‘sustainable development’, ‘sustainable’, and ‘sustainability’ interchangeably, emphasizing the connections among social equity, economic productivity, and environmental quality
    • 1.6: Appendix

    Thumbnail: The power of the sea manifested as waves (Unsplash License; Matt Paul Catalano via Unsplash)

    This page titled 1: Introduction to Environmental Sciences is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Caralyn Zehnder, Kalina Manoylov, Samuel Mutiti, Christine Mutiti, Allison VandeVoort, & Donna Bennett (GALILEO Open Learning Materials) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.