You should know about it
Few topics are as significant to today’s world as the inter-relationship of organisms and their environments – the subject scientists call ecology. In recent times, as we become aware that humans are also organisms living on the environmental home we call the Earth, the study of ecology has leapt into the political realm as well. Now we know that the depletion of the ozone layer – which was first documented in a yearly cycle above Antarctica – threatens us all. Nearly all responsible scientists accept global warming as more than a theory, but a fact – a catastrophe waiting to happen, which could flood millions people out of their coastal cities.
What is ecology and how is it of any help in tackling the effects of humanity on the planet with delicate balance of its environments endangered?
Ecology is the scientific study of the distribution and abundance of living organisms and how the distribution and abundance are affected by interactions between the organisms and their environment. The environment of an organism includes both physical properties, which can be described as the sum of local abiotic factors such as insolation (sunlight), climate, and geology, as well as the other organisms that share its habitat.
The term oekologie was coined in 1866 by the German biologist Ernst Haeckel the word is derived from the Greek (oikos, “household”) and (logos, “study”); therefore “ecology” means the “study of the household [of nature]”.
Ecology is usually considered a branch of biology, the general science that studies living organisms. Organisms can be studied at many different levels, from proteins and nucleic acids (in biochemistry and molecular biology), to cells (in cellular biology), to individuals (in botany, zoology, and other similar disciplines), and finally at the level of populations, communities, and ecosystems, to the biosphere as a whole; these latter strata are the primary subjects of ecological inquiries. Ecology is a multi-disciplinary science. Because of its focus on the higher levels of the organization of life on earth and on the interrelations between organisms and their environment, ecology draws heavily on many other branches of science, especially geology and geography, meteorology, pedology, genetics, chemistry, and physics. Thus, ecology is considered by some to be a holistic science, one that over-arches older disciplines such as biology which in this view become
sub-disciplines contributing to ecological knowledge.
As a scientific discipline, ecology does not dictate what is “right” or “wrong”. Ecology provides information about the benefits of ecosystems and how we can use Earth’s resources in ways that leave the environment healthy for future generations.
Ecologists study these relationships among organisms and habitats of many different sizes, ranging from the study of microscopic bacteria growing in a fish tank, to the complex interactions between the thousands of plant, animal, and other communities found in a desert. Ecologists also study many kinds of environments. For example, ecologists may study oceans, deserts, forests, cities, grasslands, rivers, and every other corner of the world. More and more, ecologists are teaming with physical scientists, social scientists, policy makers, and computer programmers to understand better how organisms interact with each other and with the environment in which they live. Ecologists can be educators, technicians, field scientists, administrators, consultants, and writers.
The main traits all ecologists share are curiosity, creativity, a passion for observation and scientific inquiry, and, judging by these profiles, boundless enthusiasm for asking and answering hard questions.
If you are an ecologist many job opportunities await you from a variety of fields including: Agronomy, Aquatic Ecology, Biology, Botany, Climatology, Ecosystem Studies, Entomology, Environmental Resource Management, Fisheries Biology, Forest Ecology, Geography, Geology, Oceanography, Population Biology, Soil Science, Wildlife Biology, to Zoology, and more.
If you do not seach out to find your future job as ecologists the following “green tips” show how you can save the environment and save money at the same time. Being ecologists is not a job. Try your best to follow the advice listed below and encourage your friends and family to do the same. If everyone plays their part, we can all join together to save the environment and look forward to a happier, healthier and cleaner future.
Plant A Tree
Plant a tree or grow a garden. Plants turn carbon dioxide into the oxygen we need to breathe. Trees also help keep the soil from eroding away, and they give animals like birds and squirrels a place to live. You can grow plants inside, too. Try growing some salad greens or herbs, that you can eat, on your windowsill.
Ride Your Bike
When you don’t have far to go, try riding your bike or walking instead of getting a ride in a car. You’ll help save energy, lessen the amount of air pollution, and you’ll keep healthy and fit, too!
Turn off the lights when you leave the room, and turn off the radio and TV when you’re not using them.
Did you know that you can save an average of 9 gallons of water if you turn the faucet off while you’re brushing your teeth!
Keep The Earth Beautiful
Help keep the Earth beautiful by helping to keep your neighborhood clean. Why not help organize a Litter Clean-Up Day at your school or in your neighborhood…
Recycle cans, bottles and newspapers. This reduces the amount of trash that ends up in our landfills. Most communities recycle. Does yours?
Improve your vocabulary!
significant – znaczący
environment – środowisko
recent – niedawny, ostatni
aware – świadomy
leapt – skakać, wzbijać się
realm – królestwo
depletion – opróżnienie
threaten – zagrażać, grozić
flood – zatapiać
endanger – zagarażać
distribution – rozdział
abundance – obfitość
abiotic – abiotyczny
factor – czynnik
habitat – środowisko
inquiry – zapytanie, wywiad
boundless – nieograniczony
windowsill – parapet
faucet – kran