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.
Lord Kelvin (1824–1907), a founder of modern physics, contended ‘when you can measure what you are speaking about and express it in numbers, you know something about it, but when you cannot express it in numbers your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind’. Finding out in science has been much associated with measurement but is not so easy for the environment: it was necessary to observe and classify, to organize and then to measure shapes before later moving on to measure processes, dynamics and change. Although collecting, whether it be plants, butterflies, fossils or rocks, was one response of the earliest environmental scientists, this had to give way to serious classification systems of plant and animal taxonomy, with more data eventually needed ...