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Glossary
 

Ecosystems (short for ecological systems) are functional units that result from the interactions of abiotic, biotic, and cultural (anthropogenic) components. Like all systems they are a combination of interacting, interrelated parts that form a unitary whole. All ecosystems are "open" systems in the sense that energy and matter are transferred in and out(see complete article).
Ecosystem. Environmental informatics virtual textbook. [Internet]. St. Louis, Missouri: Center for Engineering Computing (ME 567), Washington University.; c1994 [cited 2006 May 24]. Available from http://capita.wustl.edu/ME567_Informatics/concepts/ecosys.html

Environmental justice is a term in the social sciences used to describe injustices in the way natural resources are used. Environmental justice is a holistic effort to analyze and overcome the power structures that have traditionally thwarted environmental reforms (see complete article).
Environmental justice. [Internet]. : Wikipedia.; c2006 [cited 2006 May 25]. Available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_justice 

Environmental science is the study of the interactions among the physical, chemical and biological components of the environment; with a focus on pollution and degradation of the environment related due to human activities; and the impact on biodiversity and sustainability from local and global development. It is inherently an interdisciplinary field that draws upon not only its core scientific areas, but also applies knowledge from other non-scientific studies such as economics, law and social sciences. Physics is used to understand the flux of material and energy interaction and construct mathematical models of environmental phenomena. Chemistry is applied to understand the molecular interactions in natural systems. Biology is fundamental to describing the effects within the plant and animal kingdoms (see complete article).
Environmental science. [Internet]. : Wikipedia.; c2006 [cited 2006 May 24]. Available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_science
 
Public policy is a course of action or inaction chosen by public authorities to address a problem. Public policy is expressed in the body of laws, regulations, decisions and actions of government. Policy analysis may be used to formulate public policy and to evaluate its effectiveness. Many public policy analysists earn MPP's and MPA's in public policy schools (see complete article).
Public policy. [Internet]. : Wikipedia.; c2006 [cited 2006 May 25]. Available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_policy 

Research methods The scope of the research process is to produce some new knowledge. This, in principle, can take three main forms: Exploratory research: a new problem can be structured and identified, Constructive research: a (new) solution to a problem can be developed, Empirical research: empirical evidence on the feasibility of an existing solution to a problem can be provided (see complete article).
Research methods. [Internet]. : Wikipedia.; c2006 [cited 2006 May 25]. Available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research#Research_methods

Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for the investigation of phenomena and the acquisition of new knowledge of the natural world, as well as the correction and integration of previous knowledge, based on observable, empirical, measurable evidence, and subject to laws of reasoning (see complete article). Scientific methods. [Internet]. : Wikipedia.; c2006 [cited 2006 May 25]. Available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

 
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