What is the difference between environmental science and technology?

Chemistry is an important principle of science.

The main difference between environmental science and technology is that environmental science is primarily involved in theoretical research to discover the underlying causes of environmental change, although this research can also sometimes be applied to seek solutions to future problems. Environmental technologists, on the other hand, are focused on offering practical solutions to the environmental pollution or degradation that exists at present, and they have only a secondary interest in what the underlying causes are. Both environmental science and technology work hand in hand to find solutions to environmental problems caused by past or current human activities, and both sciences and technologies depend on each other to develop a better understanding of the complex cycles of cause and effect that occur in nature.

Technology makes it possible to complete many civil engineering projects in a more environmentally friendly way than in the past.

The field of environmental science and technology often creates an atmosphere in which research scientists and technology engineers work for the same company. This can be found in a wide variety of industrial arenas, from crop research to oil exploration and drilling and alternative energy development, such as in solar cell manufacturing. Together, scientists and engineers are often grouped under the heading of research and development, where scientists use experimental or empirical data along with prior field knowledge to suggest potentially better processes or systems. Engineering teams then take that knowledge and apply it by building new machines, systems or biological controls to test in the real world.

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An environmental scientist may be consulted to identify environmental risk factors at a construction site.

Science is generally divided into two major disciplines: the life sciences and the physical sciences. Life sciences include research in fields such as biology, botany, and entomology, or the study of living things and organic processes, such as those of plants and insects. The physical sciences involve research in physics, geology, and mathematics, which are often called the pure sciences as they are much more theoretical in nature and involve the discovery of basic physical laws. When someone claims to be working on environmental science technology, however, their research can cross many disciplines. An example of this would be a climatologist, who is a scientist who studies changes in weather patterns that are affected by geological and solar events, as well as the effects of plant life on air and water cycles.

An environmental scientist may work in the field of research.

When engineers look for environmental technology solutions, they also end up crossing traditional research and development barriers. Engineers focus on building solutions to problems in the fields of chemical, mechanical, and civil engineering, but the solutions themselves often lead to new discoveries and a new understanding of physical laws. As engineers have built buildings and automobiles over time, inefficiencies in how buildings retain heat or resist earthquakes, or how automobiles burn fuel for mechanical motion have led to a refinement of technologies with a better understanding of the physical laws under which operate and which involve principles of pure scientific research in physics, chemistry and metallurgy.

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The intersection of environmental science and technology, both in research and in the application of knowledge, traditionally brings the two disciplines together as part of a team. Scientists are concerned with “why” questions about environmental processes, and technology developers are concerned with “how” questions to build something to meet environmental goals. Cooperation between all fields of environmental science and technological development becomes increasingly important as human activity has an increasing effect on the natural world.

The health of ecosystems around the world is increasingly linked to commercial human production of raw and natural materials to fuel human growth. Since this activity has broad-based effects in various scientific and technological fields, new environmental technologies must be produced along with cutting-edge research by scientists to avoid mistakes that can cause unforeseen harm to the environment. Government action by groups such as the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and the European Science Foundation (ESF), an association of 78 scientific research organizations across Europe, work to create collaborative efforts in environmental science and technology solutions in global scale.

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