Environmental expertise is the basis of ecological and environmental policymaking. Ecologists, environmental engineers, environmental planning, and environmental strategists are therefore all part of this complex field. The scientific community at large defines the discipline in many ways. However, most people agree on one common definition: environmental expertise refers to those who understand the effects of natural and human interventions on the environment and on the world in general. These experts utilize a variety of scientific, technological, and economic tools and strategies to understand, protect, and promote environmental quality. They can be educators, policy makers, managers, consultants, or scientists.
Among the broad range of approaches taken by environmental scientists to understand, protect, and improve the environment, there is an emerging field called “connecting science.” This umbrella term encompasses a wide range of research approaches, including social science, policy, and environmental, economic, and geotechnical science. Connecting science has both theoretical and practical implications for those who pursue its definition. Thus, it is important to differentiate between what some call “expertise” and what others may label “connecting science.” For example, while some connect environmental expertise with theories of ecosystems, others may focus on methodology and the methods used to analyze and synthesize data. You can get more information about environmental consultants.
Although environmental expertise can be discerningly defined, it is frequently associated with theories and practices that support environmental quality management. Thus, while some scholars tend to consider theories and practices such as those of Alfred Wallace, James Wright, and Joseph R. Berber over the critical analysis of environmental problems, others have embraced more parsimonious explanations such as the role of cultural psychology, cognitive science, philosophy, sociology, and psychology in environmental issues. Still, despite the different approaches taken to defining environmental expertise, virtually all acknowledge that scientific experts have an important role to play in environmental problems.
However, what is environmental expertise and how do environmental scientists, policy makers, and environmentalists work together to solve environmental problems? Environmental scientists are the scientific community that investigates and studies the causes and solutions to environmental problems. Scientists conduct research and study samples from around the world. They compile and interpret information based upon scientific study and they publish their findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Most commonly, in addition to conducting scientific research, they serve as advocates and put their findings in the forefront of environmental policy development, legislation drafting, and public policy implementation. In short, they provide the information and knowledge necessary to effectively and appropriately solve environmental issues.
Policy makers and judges, too, rely upon the knowledge and findings of scientists. Judges might take environmental impact into consideration when deciding whether or not to approve a new drilling site, for example. Similarly, policy makers and judges could consider previous studies and research and make decisions based upon the same scientific knowledge. Therefore, scientists and other experts often work in collaboration with other experts and work together towards a common goal – developing comprehensive plans and policies to address the problems associated with environmental and natural resource management.
Is there an effective way to integrate science and policy and achieve a successful strategy for dealing with environmental issues? Yes. Science and technology experts must come together to jointly design comprehensive plans and policies to deal with the many environmental issues. The key is for them to set aside their individual interests, and work as a team. Only then can such an endeavor be successful. Please follow the link below to learn more about how you can use science, technology, and society to solve some of the most pressing environmental issues of today.