The word “science” comes from the Latin word for “knowledge.” That makes sense because scientists are always trying to learn more and to gain knowledge. But, you have to know that there are multitudes of branches of science. Some we are very familiar with and others draw blanks.
In 1594, Otto Casmann, a European scholar, called the study of humans “anthropology.” The ending comes from the Greek word “logos” meaning “discussion.” It was the first time that anyone ever used “ology” and folks have been tacking on “ology” onto the branches of science ever since.
Here’s a list of a few with the science name on the left and the definition on the right. Now, challenge yourself! How many of the sciences can you guess without looking at the right column? Note: as hard as some of these look to pronounce, you’ll usually be right if you put the emphasis on the OL in “ology.”
Apiology————————————Study of bees Biology————————————–Study of living things Cartology———————————–Study of maps Conchology——————————–Study of shells Graphology——————————–Study of handwriting Hippology———————————-Study of horses Hydrology———————————-Study of water Ichthyology——————————–Study of fish Mycology———————————–Study of fungi Nephology———————————Study of clouds Ophiology———————————-Study of snakes Otology————————————-Study of the ear Psychology——————————–Study of mind and behavior Pyrology————————————Study of fire Speleology———————————Study of caves Vulcanology——————————-Study of volcanoes
The list goes on! Keep in mind that no matter what you use, wear, eat, drink, smell etc. that somewhere, somehow, someway, science was involved to make that happen just for you!
NATURE NUGGET: Even though we are in the midst of winter there is another sign of the next season already poking its head up and that would be Skunk Cabbage. This remarkable plant looks like a gypsy slipper with the point jutting upwards from the wetland habitat that it favors. The flower blooms in full later in winter but you should see greenish spikes sticking up in wet areas right now. Pinching a smidgeon of the “slipper” and you’ll know where the skunk name came from!
“Porcupine Pat” McKinney is environmental education coordinator for the Schuylkill Conservation District and provides programming for people of all ages with an emphasis on schools, public programming and nature center development. “Porcupine Pat” hails from Marion, Ohio and has a BS with Distinction in Natural Resources – Environmental Interpretation from Ohio State. He is a recipient of the prestigious Sandy Cochran Award for Excellence in Natural Resources Education from the PA Forestry Association, the Schuylkill Pride Award, and the PAEE “Outstanding Environmental Educator Award.”