Taken from Greek, the word Ecology refers to knowledge of the “house”, or studying the earth and knowing how all the parts are supposed to fit together compatibly.
The Study Of Earth
Since the Earth is a living entity in itself, constantly changing, and its inhabitants, plant, animal, and human likewise are changing and must have balance to maintain life, a definition of Ecology can be extended to be the study of the inhabitants of Earth and how they interact with each other and natural resources.
Ecology is considered to be science, as it studies living things and relationships between them. It also looks into natural resources, such as water, air, and soil. Studies are done on an on-going basis to determine what changes may be taking place, such as effects of pollution and particles on water and air over time, what impacts these elements, and how the changes may affect other living organisms.
The study of this science can be micro or macro, looking at small cells or large populations, so there is a lot of room for persons interested in any level to become involved in an area they enjoy studying. Adventurers like Jacques Cousteau and his heirs continue to study the oceans and indigenous animals and fish, and they create interesting documentaries to spread their scientific information.
It is a multidisciplinary science that encompasses many sciences, such as microbiology, geology, entomology, botany, zoology, and others. In recent times, this science has received much publicity, making its presence known in environmentally correct endeavors such as recycling, and awareness of hazardous contamination and its effects. In population and behavioral studies, knowledge of population or species dynamics are discovered and tracked. Other areas of study that fall under the umbrella of the definition of ecology include community use studies, ecosystem ecology, evolutionary and political ecology.
Geographic studies are part of this science, as deserts, tropics, and polar areas of Earth are studied in depth. Global weather, warming and cooling, and weather effects on water levels are yet another area of ecological studies. Modern studies are done with animal and human populations, the effects of vegetation and water resources on these populations, and how changes in one affect another.
Today’s ecologists examine the atmosphere, and hydrosphere, and different types of energy resources. The shifting of continental areas, rising and falling water levels, and atmospheric changes are also part of this broad reaching scientific catch all term. The concept of ecosystem is basic to the definition of Ecology. This is the concept that all organisms have a continuing relationship with every other part of their environment. The health and balance of each is essential to the health and balance of the others. Too many animals can ruin a meadow grassland, thus causing a food shortage, and so on.
Projecting effects of changes can mean the difference between a living planet and an empty, dead sphere. Studying ecology, knowing about our earthly “house” is essential to our planet’s survival, as well as all forms of life here.