This unique addition to reference literature provides an introduction to the major concepts and contemporary issues that are essential for students of environmental science and environmental studies to know. With over 200 entries authored by world-class names like Anthony Brazel, John Day and Edward Keller, this text is divided into six sections: Environmental Science, Environments, Paradigms & Concepts, Processes & Dynamics, Scales & Techniques, and Environmental Issues.  

Systems: Theory, Approach, and Analysis

Systems: Theory, approach, and analysis

Systems have been defined in a number of ways. A system is a set of components that function together to act as a whole. According to Hall and Day in 1977 any phenomenon, either structural or functional, having at least two separable components and some interaction between these components may be considered a system. Another more general definition is any object whose behaviour is of interest. Depending on ones point of view, systems may be the actual building blocks of nature or an effort by humans to impose order on a seemingly chaotic natural world. Systems analysis is the formalized study of systems and of the general properties of systems. Holism is the approach to studying the ...

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