Monday, February 16, 2009

Environmental Studies: A balanced approach to the study of environment

This textbook uses a balanced approach to the study of environment adopting operational definitions, broad and realistic classification and focused analyses and discussions that highlight the complexities, importance and scope of environmental studies to a wide array of undergraduate students.

The book categorizes the environment into three general chapters: - Non-Living (or abiotic) Environment; Living (or biotic) Environment; Social (or human) Environment and the fourth chapter, Environmental Conservation, integrates the first three chapters.

The intention of this textbook is to focus on specific topics and headings, appearing in the ‘Core Module Syllabus’ proposed by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for Environmental Studies, which is applicable to Undergraduate Courses of all Branches of Higher Education.
For this purpose, the book has redistributed the proposed topics and headings under the four interlinked chapters and discussed them with well-established examples and case studies.


  • Syllabus map cross-references the syllabus unit with sections in the book, thereby making the book student-friendly.
  • Learning objectives appearing at the beginning of each chapter provide an overview of the specific chapter.
  • Case studies appear in form of boxes within the chapter so that they do not disturb the flow of the chapter.
  • Topics/themes for practical/field studies and short-term projects are provided at the end of the chapters to impart practical knowledge to students.
  • Self-explanatory figures and tabulated format of concepts enhance the ability of the student to grasp and understand concepts in shorter duration than flowing text.
  • Concept check questions provided after each major section test the grasping power and reasoning ability of the student after completing the respective section.
  • Questions provided at the end of each chapter are divided into Review Questions (comprising long-, short- and concise-answer questions) and Objective-Type Questions (comprising multiple choice, fill in the blanks and state whether true or false questions) with model answers to a few selected questions.
  • Model questions and answers to short- and concise-answer questions show how to strategically attempt such questions.
  • Frequently asked questions provided at the end of the book comprise a set of questions commonly asked in various university examinations.
  • Appendices are also provided at the end of the book to create awareness among readers regarding the conservation of environment through international organizations, such as WWF, IUCN and UNEP; the preservation of animals through animal welfare organizations, such as AWBI, BCI, PfA and SPCA; the concept of Remote Sensing; the Forest Rights Act and the different categories of Protected Areas.
  • Glossary is provided to briefly understand the complex terms used in the chapters.
  • Bibliography consists of references for further reading.
  • Index provides the page references for the different keywords used in chapters.

Throughout the book, the role of the individual in conservation of the environment has been highlighted.

The book also contains:
180+ review questions
200+ objective questions
8 model questions with answers
40 figures
3 short-term projects and 2 term papers

This book is meant for not only utilizing the theoretical implications in examinations but also exercising its practical applications in day-to-day lives.

About the authors

R. J. Ranjit Daniels is currently the Director of Care Earth an organization he founded in June 2000 that is dedicated to biodiversity research and training. He has been a Research Scientist at the Madras Crocodile Bank, an Honorary Secretary at the Chennai Snake Park and also the Principal Scientific Officer (Biodiversity and Biotechnology) and Chair (Biodiversity) at the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation. He has been an advisor on the conservation of biodiversity for UNESCO, UNEP, IUCN, NAM Centre for Science and Technology, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (Government of India), the Tamil Nadu State Government and academic institutions like the IIT (Madras).

As a guest faculty, he has taught in colleges affiliated to Mangalore University, Pondicherry University, State Forest Service College (Coimbatore) and National Centre for Biological Sciences (Bangalore).

Throughout his research career, he has focused on the conservation of biodiversity taking lessons from the ecology of a wide range of organisms including ants, birds, amphibians, fishes, reptiles and mammals in the Western Ghats, the Great Nicobar Island, the Eastern Ghats, the mangroves of Bhitarkanika (Orissa) and in the rainforests of Panama.

He has authored 8 books on biodiversity and nearly 200 articles on the subject in natural history magazines and scientific journals. He has published extensively in national and international journals on diverse topics such as ecology, conservation and taxonomy, and on various groups like birds, frogs, ants and plants.

Ranjit Daniels was awarded a Doctorate from the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 1990 for his study of birds of the Western Ghats. He has a Masters degree in Agricultural Entomology from the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and has completed a Post-doctoral research on amphibians.

Jagdish Krishnaswamy is currently the Convenor of the Suri Sehgal Centre for Conservation Science at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), a conservation and research Non-Government Organization (NGO) in Bangalore, India. He has worked as a scientist and faculty member at institutions such as the Wildlife Institute of India, Centre for Wildlife Studies and Wildlife Conservation Society-India Program, National Centre for Biological Sciences and ATREE. He is also an Affiliate Teaching Faculty at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Bangalore.

He has contributed to many regional, national and international conservation initiatives and campaigns, including the Kudremukh mining impact study, selection and nomination of UNESCO World Heritage Sites from the Western Ghats, and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund for the Western Ghats.

His research interests are in the fields of forest soils and hydrology, applied landscape ecology and applied statistics. He has contributed to science-based conservation planning, monitoring and policy in India, especially in the Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot. He has used remote sensing data in his efforts to develop effective surrogates for biodiversity and ecosystem services for large landscapes.

He has authored and edited book and numerous scientific papers in international peer-reviewed journals. He is also on the editorial board of the international journal, Biotropica.

Jagdish Krishnaswamy has a PhD in soil and hydrologic science from the Department of Environment of the Graduate School, Duke University; a Masters in Statistics from the Institute of Statistics and Decision Sciences, Duke University and is a Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

To buy this book please visit:

ISBN: 978-81-265-1943-9

Pub Date: February 2009

Price: 249/-

Pages: 296