Today was the first day of teaching for both Hana and I this winter term. Hana is teaching a first-year non-majors Biology class entitled, "Microbes: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly", and I'm teaching a second-year Environmental Studies course, "Understanding Environmental Issues".
Following Hana's lead, I thought I'd post my students' responses to question, "what does the word 'environment' mean to you?" Although a second-year course, students from all years (1–4+) are participating and from a wide variety of disciplines across science and arts: e.g. forestry, biology, chemistry, political science, languages, and philosophy. We'll revisit these definitions at the end of the course and discuss any changes their authors might make to them, if any, and why:
A place in which a species lives where it takes advantage of all resources within the biosphere.
I consider "environment" to be our surroundings.
Mother Nature and her natural resources.
The environment is the natural world in which we live that surrounds us every day.
The environment is all the things surrounding us on the planet.
The natural and built world that people, plants, and animals inhabit.
Your natural surroundings.
The environment is the area which surrounds us, whether it be nature, people, etc., and is subject to manipulation.
Where humans, plants, and animals live; natural resources which provide essential tools for survival.
The world we live in and what surrounds us.
The physical area in which an organism lives.
Everything that surrounds me. An object's surroundings and the interactions between them.
Natural surroundings and our impacts or dependance upon them.
The areas in which life exists and resources are available.
The habitats and interactions within habitats in an area.
The environment pertains to the surrounding elements that are crucial for our healthy lifestyles.
The interaction between plants, animals, people, and their surrounding world.
That which is around us and interacts with us.
Living and nonliving things around you that interact with each other.
It surrounds us: from mountains to deserts, the environment is what makes that area unique.
All surrounding settings involving nature or otherwise.
Everything together: the land, sea, oxygen, plants, weather, etc... How they work together — cause and effect.