Letter to the Readers

Dear Reader,

This book was written by undergraduate students at The Ohio State University (OSU) who were enrolled in the class Introduction to Environmental Science.  The chapters describe some of Earth’s major environmental challenges and discuss ways that humans are using cutting-edge science and engineering to provide sustainable solutions to these problems.  Topics are as diverse as the students, who represent virtually every department, school and college at OSU.  The environmental issue that is described in each chapter is particularly important to the author, who hopes that their story will serve as inspiration to protect Earth for all life.

All of the chapters in this book were written by first-time authors. In writing these chapters, our students learned a great deal about the publication process. They learned: (1) How to find information from primary and secondary sources and critically evaluate topics, issues, results and conclusion. (2) How scientific research is conducted and how results and conclusions are reported to the public so that people can make more informed decisions in their own lives. (3) That the peer-review evaluation system is an integral part of the scientific process, which enables scientists to maintain high quality standards and provides credibility to research and scholarly works. And (4) that peer reviews are a necessary part of the writing process because it focuses attention on particular details and considers the input of an actual audience.

We are very proud of the work of our student authors and hope that this book will serve as encouragement for other first-time authors.


Brian H. Lower