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Environmental Social Science: Human - Environment interactions and Sustainability

ISBN: 978-1-4051-0573-6
232 pages
February 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
Environmental Social Science: Human - Environment interactions and Sustainability (1405105739) cover image
Environmental Social Science offers a new synthesis of environmental studies, defining the nature of human-environment interactions and providing the foundation for a new cross-disciplinary enterprise that will make critical theories and research methods accessible across the natural and social sciences.
  • Makes key theories and methods of the social sciences available to biologists and other environmental scientists
  • Explains biological theories and concepts for the social sciences community working on the environment
  • Helps bridge one of the difficult divides in collaborative work in human-environment research
  • Includes much-needed descriptions of how to carry out research that is multinational, multiscale, multitemporal, and multidisciplinary within a complex systems theory context
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Preface.

1. The Challenge of Human-Environment Interactions Research.

The Evolution of Social Ecological Systems.

Characterization of Contemporary Global Environmental Changes.

History of the Development of the Human Dimensions Agenda.

Characteristics of the Research on the Human Dimensions.

The Way Forward: Integrative Science.

2. Theories and Concepts from the Social Sciences.

Population, Technology and Central Place Theories .

Population and Environment Theories.

Agency and History.

Decision-theoretic Approaches.

Political Economy and Political Ecology.

Cultural Ecology.

3. Theories and Concepts from the Biological Sciences.

Evolution by Natural Selection.

Species respond individualistically, not as communities, to environmental change.

Interactions with other species help determine if a particular species will persist in a particular place (Niche and Neutral Theories).

Top-down vs. bottom-up control in ecosystems.

Succession.

Island Biogeography.

Equilibrium/non-equilibrium theories of competition, coexistence, community composition

Biodiversity and ecosystem processes/services.

The Ecosystem Concept in Biology and the Social Sciences.

4. Spatially-Explicit Approaches.

Remote Sensing and GIS.

A Case Study using GIS/ Remote Sensing to study Amazonian Deforestation.

Urban-rural spatial dynamics.

Modeling and GIS.

5. Multi-Scale and Multi-temporal Analysis.

An approach to multi-disciplinary, multi-scale research.

Scale.

Local level of analysis.

Regional Level of Analysis.

Global Level of Analysis.

Future Directions.

6. Bio-complexity in Ecological Systems.

Spatially-explicit Processes in Ecological and Social Systems.

Agent-Based Modeling of Complex Systems.

Hierarchical Modeling.

Conclusions.

7. Environmental Decision-Making.

Institutional Analysis.

Individual Behavior and Environmental Decisions.

Decisions and Social Context.

Conclusions.

8. Towards Sustainability Science.

Sustainability Science Research Priorities.

Scales of Sustainability.

Cities and Sustainability Science.

Climate Change and Sustainability.

Conclusions.

Bibliography.

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Emilio F. Moran is Distinguished Professor and Rudy Professor of Anthropology and Professor of Environmental Sciences at Indiana University in Bloomington. He is the author of Through Amazonian Eyes: the human ecology of Amazonian Populations (1993), Human Adaptability, 3rd Edition (2007), and People and Nature (2006, Blackwell).
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  • Makes the theories and methods of the social sciences available to biologists and other environmental scientists
  • Illuminates biological theories and concerns for the social sciences community working on the environment
  • Helps bridge one of the difficult divides in collaborative work in human-environment research
  • Includes a discussion of how to carry out research that is multinational, multiscale, multitemporal, and multidisciplinary within a complex systems theory context
  • Facilitates much-needed interdisciplinary collaboration
See More
"This work represents an impressive bridge between social and natural science. For anyone interested in the development of a comprehensive environmental science." (Choice , 1 April 2011)

"Thanks to its capacity of surfing across natural and social sciences, Moran's work will at minimum help scholars from both sides to create bridges across the gap that still separates them; something that can already be seen as a non-trivial result." (Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, July 2010)

“This transformative book addresses the foundational theories and methods essential to both social and biophysical fields in human-environment research, promoting familiarity with -- and accessibility to -- research crossing traditional disciplinary bounds. Destined to become a key text within coupled human-natural systems research by exploring the complex problems that our environment faces, this book underscores that those challenges can be successfully addressed only through interdisciplinary research teams; this work will be an integral component of educating future interdisciplinary researchers.”
Jane Southworth, University of Florida

"In the nick of time at the dawn of the era of great environmental challenge: a work that encompasses the full array of relevant sciences...fundamental to lasting solutions"
Thomas E. Lovejoy, The Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment

“Professor Moran gives scientists the tools to attack the most critical environmental challenges – those involving the relations between people and the environment"
David E. Blockstein, National Council for Science and the Environment

"The book fills an incredibly important gap.  Emilio Moran provides a remarkably comprehensive coverage of the fundamental science that underpins the analysis of coupled human-environment systems. It's a must read for researchers working in the emerging field of sustainability science."
Pamela Matson, Stanford University

"A superb overview of the emerging field of sustainability science. Readers will enjoy his clear writing, engaging examples and effective answers to real-world problems."
Ben Orlove, University of California, Davis

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