Ecological Understanding

Ecological Understanding
Author: Steward T.A. Pickett,Jurek Kolasa,Clive G. Jones
Publsiher: Elsevier
Total Pages: 206
Release: 2013-10-22
Genre: Science
ISBN: 9780080504971

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Ecology is an historical science in which theories can be as difficult to test as they are to devise. This volume, intended for ecologists and evolutionary biologists, reviews ecological theories, and how they are generated, evaluated, and categorized. Synthesizing a vast and sometimes labyrinthine literature, this book is a useful entry into the scientific philosophy of ecology and natural history. The need for integration of the contributions to theory made by different disciplines is a central theme of this book. The authors demonstrate that only through such integration will advances in ecological theory be possible. Ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and other serious students of natural history will want this book.

A Recursive Vision

A Recursive Vision
Author: Peter Harries-Jones
Publsiher: University of Toronto Press
Total Pages: 380
Release: 1995-01-01
Genre: Philosophy
ISBN: 0802075916

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Gregory Bateson was one of the most original social scientists of this century. He is widely known as author of key ideas used in family therapy - including the well-known condition called 'double bind' . He was also one of the most influential figures in cultural anthropology. In the decade before his death in 1980 Bateson turned toward a consideration of ecology. Standard ecology concentrates on an ecosystem's biomass and on energy budgets supporting life. Bateson came to the conclusion that understanding ecological organization requires a complete switch in scientific perspective. He reasoned that ecological phenomena must be explained primarily through patterns of information and that only through perceiving these informational patterns will we uncover the elusive unity, or integration, of ecosystems. Bateson believed that relying upon the materialist framework of knowledge dominant in ecological science will deepen errors of interpretation and, in the end, promote eco-crisis. He saw recursive patterns of communication as the basis of order in both natural and human domains. He conducted his investigation first in small-scale social settings; then among octopus, otters, and dolphins. Later he took these investigations to the broader setting of evolutionary analysis and developed a framework of thinking he called 'an ecology of mind.' Finally, his inquiry included an ecology of mind in ecological settings - a recursive epistemology. This is the first study of the whole range of Bateson's ecological thought - a comprehensive presentaionof Bateson's matrix of ideas. Drawing on unpublished letters and papers, Harries-Jones clarifies themes scattered throughout Bateson's own writings, revealing the conceptual consistency inherent in Bateson's position, and elaborating ways in which he pioneered aspects of late twentieth-century thought.

Sustainable Living with Environmental Risks

Sustainable Living with Environmental Risks
Author: Nobuhiro Kaneko,Shinji Yoshiura,Masanori Kobayashi
Publsiher: Springer
Total Pages: 287
Release: 2014-03-11
Genre: Science
ISBN: 9784431548041

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We are not free from environmental risks that accompany the development of human societies. Modern economic development has accelerated environmental pollution, caused loss of natural habitats, and modified landscapes. These environmental changes have impacted natural systems: water and heat circulation, nutrient cycling, and biodiversity. These changes in natural systems degrade ecosystem services and subsequently increase environmental risks for humans. Environmental risks, therefore, are not only human health risks by pollution, climatic anomalies and natural disasters, but also degradation of ecosystem services on which most people are relying for their lives. We cannot entirely eliminate the risks, because it is not possible to attain zero impact on the environment, but we need to find a mechanism that minimizes environmental risks for human sustainably. This is the idea of the interdisciplinary framework of “environmental risk management” theory, which advocates harmony between economic development and environmental conservation. Based on this theory, the Sustainable Living with Environmental Risk (SLER) programme, adopted by the Japanese Ministry of Education (MEXT) as one of its strategic programmes, has been training graduate students at the Yokohama National University, Japan, from 2009 to 2013 to become future environmental leaders who will take the initiative in reducing the level of environmental risks and in protecting natural resources in the developing nations of Asia and Africa. This book provides students and teachers of this new academic field with a comprehensive coverage of case studies of environmental risks and their practical management technologies not only in Japan but also in developing nations in Asia and Africa.

The Ecology of Place

The Ecology of Place
Author: Ian Billick,Mary V. Price
Publsiher: University of Chicago Press
Total Pages: 479
Release: 2012-08-01
Genre: Science
ISBN: 9780226050447

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Ecologists can spend a lifetime researching a small patch of the earth, studying the interactions between organisms and the environment, and exploring the roles those interactions play in determining distribution, abundance, and evolutionary change. With so few ecologists and so many systems to study, generalizations are essential. But how do you extrapolate knowledge about a well-studied area and apply it elsewhere? Through a range of original essays written by eminent ecologists and naturalists, The Ecology of Place explores how place-focused research yields exportable general knowledge as well as practical local knowledge, and how society can facilitate ecological understanding by investing in field sites, place-centered databases, interdisciplinary collaborations, and field-oriented education programs that emphasize natural history. This unique patchwork of case-study narratives, philosophical musings, and historical analyses is tied together with commentaries from editors Ian Billick and Mary Price that develop and synthesize common threads. The result is a unique volume rich with all-too-rare insights into how science is actually done, as told by scientists themselves.

Ecological Identity

Ecological Identity
Author: Mitchell Thomashow
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 260
Release: 1996-07-25
Genre: Science
ISBN: 0262700638

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Through theoretical discussion as well as hands-on participatory learning approaches, Thomashow provides concerned citizens, teachers, and students with the tools needed to become reflective environmentalists. Mitchell Thomashow, a preeminent educator, shows how environmental studies can be taught from different perspective, one that is deeply informed by personal reflection. Through theoretical discussion as well as hands-on participatory learning approaches, Thomashow provides concerned citizens, teachers, and students with the tools needed to become reflective environmentalists. What do I know about the place where I live? Where do things come from? How do I connect to the earth? What is my purpose as a human being? These are the questions that Thomashow identifies as being at the heart of environmental education. Developing a profound sense of oneself in relationship to natural and social ecosystems is necessary grounding for the difficult work of environmental advocacy. In this book he provides a clear and accessible guide to the learning experiences that accompany the construction of an "ecological identity": using the direct experience of nature as a framework for personal decisions, professional choices, political action, and spiritual inquiry. Ecological Identity covers the different types of environmental thought and activism (using John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, and Rachel Carson as environmental archetypes, but branching out into ecofeminism and bioregionalism), issues of personal property and consumption, political identity and citizenship, and integrating ecological identity work into environmental studies programs. Each chapter has accompanying learning activities such as the Sense of Place Map, a Community Network Map, and the Political Genogram, most of which can be carried out on an individual basis. Although people from diverse backgrounds become environmental activists and enroll in environmental studies programs, they are rarely encouraged to examine their own history, motivations, and aspirations. Thomashow's approach is to reveal the depth of personal experience that underlies contemporary environmentalism and to explore, interpret, and nurture the learning spaces made possible when people are moved to contemplate their experience of nature.

Lessons from a Multispecies Studio

Lessons from a Multispecies Studio
Author: Julie Andreyev
Publsiher: Intellect Books
Total Pages: 365
Release: 2021-09-01
Genre: Art
ISBN: 9781789384543

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A highly original book in which the author proposes an expanded field of aesthetics, guided by her philosophy and approach to working, through the ways that philosophy can be manifested in art. She demonstrates the depth and complexity that she brings to her work through a sustained and committed relationship to working with animals across multiple projects. The book tells real-world stories about the author’s creative encounters – with animals, plant life, mineral beings and forest ecosystems – in her Vancouver-based interspecies art practice, Animal Lover, and how they shifted her outlook on the Earth and all of life. Each chapter presents a weaving together of personal reflection, interdisciplinary research, critical thought and art methods. The threads converge on this main point: the need to move away from anthropocentrism and towards ecological understanding, reciprocity and biophilia. The local journeys in each chapter are guided by more-than-human ways of knowing which provide an expanded sense of the world and an understanding of the imperative for action. This book is an invitation to readers to step into more-than-human worlds, re-sense life and re-think their relationship with the planet and all its inhabitants. It asks readers to slow down, look around and listen – and feel. Love for life is practised by all beings in their lively projects. It is what joins us together in the relational flourishing that is the vital wondrous complexity of the Earth. The Anthropocene is a term used to describe the geological era in which we live, marking the realization that humans have become such a force that we are affecting the Earth’s air, lands, oceans, climate. At its core, in the modern Eurocentric societies that typify this era, is an entrenched worldview of nature as a means to fuel global capitalist-colonial systems. This anthropocentric worldview justifies the colonization and exploitation of ecosystems and nonhuman life, seen as ‘resources’ available for human expansion and prosperity, and readily available as free labour. The consequential outcomes are manifest in today’s climate emergency and ecological degradations including animal slavery, industrial farming, over-fishing, deforestation and habitat loss, and the coming environmental collapse with its sixth mass extinction. Within recent decades, the sustainability of anthropocentric views have been called into question across disciplines. Lessons from a Multispecies Art Studio joins with these movements, and offers new applied approaches – from interspecies art – to help shape and evolve human outlooks, emotions and actions. Primary readership will be research-creation academic artists working with animals, and researchers working around animals; more-than-human-animal activists; artists and emerging artists, as well as to art theorists and to those with a strong interest in environmental values.

The Ecology Book

The Ecology Book
Author: DK
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 352
Release: 2019-04-02
Genre: Nature
ISBN: 9781465488428

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Explore ecology in this accessible introduction to how the natural world works and how we have started to understand the environment, ecosystems, and climate change. Using a bold, graphic-led approach, The Ecology Book explores and explains more than 85 of the key ideas, movements, and acts that have defined ecology and ecological thought. The book has a simple chronological structure, with early chapters ranging from the ideas of classical thinkers to attempts by Enlightenment thinkers to systematically order the natural world. Later chapters trace the evolution of modern thinking, from the ideas of Thomas Malthus, Henry Thoreau, and others, right up to the political and scientific developments of the modern era, including the birth of the environmental movement and the Paris Agreement. The ideal introduction to one of the most important subjects of our time.

Ecological Complexity and Agroecology

Ecological Complexity and Agroecology
Author: John Vandermeer,Ivette Perfecto
Publsiher: Routledge
Total Pages: 387
Release: 2017-10-24
Genre: Science
ISBN: 9781315313672

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This text reflects the immense current growth in interest in agroecology and changing approaches to it. While it is acknowledged that the science of ecology should be the basis of agroecological planning, many analysts have out-of-date ideas about contemporary ecology. Ecology has come a long way since the old days of "the balance of nature" and other romantic notions of how ecological systems function. In this context, the new science of complexity has become extremely important in the modern science of ecology. The problem is that it tends to be too mathematical and technical and thus off-putting for the average student of agroecology, especially those new to the subject. Therefore this book seeks to present ideas about ecological complexity with a minimum of formal mathematics. The book’s organization consists of an introductory chapter, and a second chapter providing some of the background to basic ecological topics as they are relevant to agroecosystrems (e.g., soil biology and pest control). The core of the book consists of seven chapters on key intersecting themes of ecological complexity, including issues such as spatial patterns, network theory and tipping points, illustrated by examples from agroecology and agricultural systems from around the world.