What is ecology about, anyway?
Ecology is the relationship of living things to each other and to what’s around them. So, if you
are learning about what kinds of relationships fish have with other animals (including us!) and plants
in their neighborhood, then you are learning about ecology.
The word ECOLOGY comes from Greek words meaning “study of the household.” That means that
ecology is the study of the “household” of living things: their neighbors and neighborhood.
Ecology includes not only how living things interact with each other, but how they interact with their
physical environment: things such as climate, water, and soil. Learn more about these interactions in
the Biomes section of this website.
Ecologists are the scientists who study ecology. They are curious and like to learn about living things
by observing them, seeing what happens, and recording what they find. This is all part of
the scientific method.
The Learn About Ecology section of this website introduces
the study of ecology, describes careers in ecology, provides interviews with ecologists and gives an overview
of the Kids do Ecology Program and website. It includes a discussion of
endangered species, provides links to additional
resources, and answers frequently asked questions.
Some ecologists study a
specific species or habitat. They might study the behavior of a
single species to see how it interacts with other organisms and
the environment. Or, an ecologist might study many different species
that either depend on each other (a food web, for example), or compete
with each other for food and space. There are many fields of ecology
with lots of things still to be discovered.
An Ecologist Talks About her Work
What is a Job in Ecology Like?
Types of Careers in Ecology
Information on Other Careers in the Environment