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UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY FOREIGN LANGUAGE DEPARTMENT
FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY
UNIT 1 : ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY 1
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1) What do you think the term environment refers to? 2) What environmental issues are you concerned about? 3) Have you ever heard of the word ecology?
The term environment broadly indicates the surroundings of an individual organism or a community of organisms, ranging on up to the entire biosphere, the zone of Earth that is able to sustain life. By surroundings is meant all the nonliving and living materials that play any role in an organism`s existence, from soil and air to what the organism feeds on and the organisms that may feed on it. Any other factors acting on the organism, such as heat and light and gravitation, make up its environment as well. In the case of human beings, cultural factors may also be included in the term.
2 ENGLISH FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
The environmental science of ecology is the study of the relationship of plants and animals to their physical and biological environment. The physical environment includes light and heat or solar radiation, moisture, wind, oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients in soil, water, and atmosphere. The biological environment includes organisms of the same kind as well as other plants and animals.
Because of the diverse approaches required to study organisms in their environment, ecology draws upon such fields as climatology, hydrology, oceanography, physics, chemistry, geology, and soil analysis. To study the relationships between organisms, ecology also involves such disparate sciences as animal behavior, taxonomy, physiology, and mathematics.
An increased public awareness of environmental problems has made ecology a common but often misused word. It is confused with environmental programs and environmental science. Although the field is a distinct scientific discipline, ecology does
indeed contribute to the study and understanding of environmental problems.
The term ecology was introduced by the German biologist Ernst Heinrich Haeckel in 1866; it is derived from the Greek oikos (“household”), sharing the same root word as economics. Thus, the term implies the study of the economy of nature. Modern ecology, in part, began with Charles Darwin. In developing his theory of evolution, Darwin stressed the adaptation of organisms to their environment through natural selection. Also making important contributions were plant geographers, such as Alexander von Humboldt, who were deeply interested in the “how” and “why” of vegetational distribution around the world.
Figure 2 : Ecology
UNIT 1 : ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY 3
Answer the questions about the reading. 1) What is environment?
2) Who is considered to be the founder of modern ecology? 3) When was the term ecology used for the first time?
4) What does ecology deal with?
5) Why does ecology depend on such sciences as climatology, oceanography, physics, chemistry, or geology?
Write T if the sentence is true and F if it is false.
1) _ The term environment also includes cultural factors.
2) _ Ecology does not draw upon physiology or mathematics.
3) _ _ Ecology does not contribute to the study and understanding of environmental problems
4) _ Ecology is the study of the interactions of organisms with their physical and biological environment
5) _ The term ecology was introduced in the mid 19th century.
Choose the best word or phrase in the box for each of the following sentences.
1) Ecology focuses on the interactions taking place between ………………… and their environments.
2) The study of ecology also includes how the nonliving ……………………… in the environment influence one another.
3) Darwin`s theory of ……………………… was essentially ecological. 4) When did ecology emerge as a distinct …………………… ?
5) Alexander von Humboldt made significant …………… to ecology.
6) Ecology also ……………… such disparate sciences as animal behavior, taxonomy, physiology, and mathematics
7) The moon can …………………… life because it does not provide enough of what organisms need in order to live or exist.