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What Is an Environmental Science Project?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2016
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Environmental science is the study of the environment, and this study will generally include topics in geology, geography, physics, chemistry, and other scientific topics. An environmental science project is a controlled experiment regarding the impact of some sort of stimulus on the environment, and the specific nature of the project can vary significantly according to the goals of the study. A student at a college or university is likely to undertake an environmental science project, as is a student in primary school. Professional scientists will perform more elaborate and complex projects as well.

As the preservation of the earth continues to grow as a prominent pursuit among scientists, the environmental science project will remain a prevalent practice to determine environmental impacts that result from a variety of stimuli. Power sources in particular are often examined carefully to find out what kind of environmental impact they will create; coal plants and nuclear power plants are frequently studied to find out if creation of energy from these sources is safe for humans and animals, as well as plant life and ecological settings. An environmental science project may, for example, measure the amount of ash in the air downwind from a coal plant and find out how that ash affects the health and vibrance of that ecosystem.

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Another type of environmental science project may focus more on the impact human development has on the earth and its inhabitants. Most construction projects need to be analyzed carefully before construction begins to ensure the new building will not adversely affect surrounding ecosystems. Water tables must be analyzed to ensure factories and warehouses will not contaminate drinking water; light pollution studies can tell a builder whether the orientation of a road will prevent the growth of plant and animal life in a certain region; chemical dumping in waterways can lead to health problems for entire populations, so an environmental science project may focus on ways to prevent such negative effects.

At a young age, some students will begin with very basic projects that will teach them the scientific process as well as basic elements of environmental science. Students may learn about acidity in soil and how that acidity will positively or negatively affect plant growth. Life cycles and processes may be studied so students have an understanding of how animals grow and affect the environment around them. Food studies will give students an understanding of where food comes from and what factors affect the safety of that food.

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