Environmental Social Science: HumanEnvironment interactions and Sustainability / Edition 1

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The past decade has witnessed a rapid growth in the development of research on the human dimensions of global environmental change. Environmental Social Science offers a synthesis of this new cross-disciplinary enterprise, and provides a foundation for scholars and policy makers to address the urgent needs of these globally-scaled processes. With increasing evidence of climate change, loss of biodiversity, rapid deforestation in the tropics, and an impending crisis in availability of potable water, the book argues that environmental research demands a better understanding of the complexities of current human-environment interactions. In recommending a new collaborative approach that makes environmental theories and research methods accessible across the natural and social sciences, the book outlines a mutually beneficial research agenda for all concerned.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405105736
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/22/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

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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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Preface xi

1 The Challenge of Human-Environment Interactions Research 1

The Evolution of Social Ecological Systems 2

Characterization of Contemporary Global Environmental Changes 7

History of the Development of the Human Dimensions Agenda 16

Characteristics of the Research on the Human Dimensions 20

The Way Forward: Integrative Science 22

2 Theories and Concepts from the Social Sciences 25

Population, Technology, and Central Place Theories 25

Population and Environment Theories 31

Agency and History 34

Decision-theoretic Approaches 37

Political Economy and Political Ecology 42

Cultural Ecology 46

3 Theories and Concepts from the Biological Sciences 49

Evolution by Natural Selection 50

Species Respond Individualistically, Not as Communities 51

Interactions with Other Species: Niche and Neutral Theories 52

Top-down vs. Bottom-up Control in Ecosystems 53

Succession 54

Island Biogeography 59

Equilibrium and Nonequilibrium Theories 61

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Processes/Services 62

The Ecosystem Concept in Biology and the Social Sciences 63

4 Spatially Explicit Approaches 70

Remote Sensing and GIS 74

A Case Study Using GIS/Remote Sensing to Study Amazonian Deforestation 77

Urban-Rural Spatial Dynamics 83

Modeling and GIS 88

5 Multi-scale and Multi-temporal Analysis 93

An Approach to Multidisciplinary, Multi-scale Research 97

Scale 100

Local Level of Analysis 103

Regional Level of Analysis 106

Global Level of Analysis 108

Future Directions 110

6 Biocomplexity in Ecological Systems 112

Introduction 112

Spatially Explicit Processes in Ecological and Social Systems 115

Agent-based Modeling of Complex Systems 120

Hierarchical Modeling 124

Conclusions 124

7 Environmental Decision Making 126

Institutional Analysis 131

Individual Behavior and Environmental Decisions 134

Decisions and Social Context 136

Conclusions 140

8 Towards Sustainability Science 143

Sustainability Science Research Priorities 145

Scales of Sustainability 149

Cities and Sustainability Science 149

Climate Change and Sustainability 153

Conclusions 156

References 158

Index 203

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