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Know about life & beyond

By Ranjan K Baruah

Ecology is not synonymous with environment, environmentalism, natural history or environmental science. It is closely related to evolutionary biology, genetics and ethology.
An important focus for ecologists is to improve the understanding of how biodiversity affects ecological function. Ecologists seek to explain life processes, interactions and adaptations; the movement of materials and energy through living communities; the abundance and distribution of organisms and biodiversity in the context of the environment.
It is the scientific analysis and study of interactions among organisms and their environment. It is an interdisciplinary field that includes biology, geography, earth science etc.
Ecology includes the study of interactions organisms have with each other, other organisms, and with abiotic components of their environment. Topics of interest to ecologists include the diversity, distribution, amount (biomass), and number (population) of particular organisms, as well as cooperation and competition between organisms, both within and among ecosystems.
Ecosystem processes, such as primary production, pedogenesis, nutrient cycling and various niche construction activities, regulate the flux of energy and matter through an environment. These processes are sustained by organisms with specific life history traits, and the variety of organisms is called biodiversity. Biodiversity, which refers to the varieties of species, genes, and ecosystems, enhances certain ecosystem services.
It is a human science as well. There are many practical applications of ecology in conservation biology, wetland management, natural resource management (agro ecology, agriculture, forestry, agro forestry, fisheries), city planning (urban ecology), community health, economics, basic and applied science, and human social interaction (human ecology).
Students who take this subject are called ecologists. Ecologists have a lot of task to do. Some of them are to conduct research outdoors and in the laboratory; teach students and the general public — in universities or colleges as well as at high schools, museums ;apply ecological knowledge to solve environmental problems — by investigating ecological issues, interacting with affected communities, writing environmental impact statements and designing sustainable policies; help manage natural resources; communicate with co-workers, students, and the public by writing articles and research papers, giving lectures and presentations, participating in discussions, and conducting outreach in their local communities.
Simply put, their role is from research to outreach campaign or programmes. It depends on the students what s/he would like to choose out of different roles and responsibilities. We shall publish more in next edition.


CDS Exam: Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has released the official notification of Combined Defence Service (CDS). Aspirants willing to apply for CDS Exam 2019 can apply through the official site of UPSC at Individuals would be selected for Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. The last date to apply for the posts is set till November 26.
The examination will be conducted on February 3, 2019, across the country. The aspirant will have to be a graduate from recognised University/College/Institute to apply for the same.

(Ranjan K Baruah is a career mentor, skill trainer, academic consultant and strategic planner and can be reached at [email protected] or 8473943734 for any career related queries)

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