Human Adaptability: An Introduction to Ecological Anthropology / Edition 3

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 75%)
Est. Return Date: 07/25/2015
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $24.59
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 47%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (17) from $24.59   
  • New (10) from $36.20   
  • Used (7) from $24.59   


Designed to help students understand the multiple levels at which human populations respond to their surroundings, this essential text offers the most complete discussion of environmental, physiological, behavioral, and cultural adaptive strategies available. Among the unique features that make Human Adaptability outstanding as both a textbook for students and a reference book for professionals are a complete discussion of the development of ecological anthropology and relevant research methods; the use of an ecosystem approach with emphasis on arctic, high altitude, arid land, grassland, tropical rain forest, and urban environments; an extensive and updated bibliography on ecological anthropology; and a comprehensive glossary of technical terms.

Entirely new to the third edition are chapters on urban sustainability and methods of spatial analysis, with enhanced emphasis throughout on the role of gender in human-adaptability research and on global environmental change as it affects particular ecosystems. In addition, new sections in each chapter guide students to websites that provide access to relevant material, complement the text’s coverage of biomes, and suggest ways to become active in environmental issues.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Moran draws on his extensive knowledge of several disciplines and his wide-ranging field experience to offer a clear, engaging, and accessible account of human interactions with natural ecosystems. He provides an understanding of human adaptability that will be of interest to students, to professionals, and to the broad reading public that is concerned with human adaptation to global environmental change.”
Benjamin S. Orlove, Editor, Current Anthropology; Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California, Davis

“Rich in information…Eminently suitable as a text for courses in human ecology from either the biological or anthropological viewpoint.”

“Solid scholarship…A well-written book that should be read by anyone with interests in this diverse field, students and professionals alike.”
Annals of Human Biology

“One of the clearest statements to date of the systems approach in ecological anthropology…Superb.”
Reviews in Anthropology

Details nongenetic strategies of human adaptation to a variety of ecosystems, discussing environmental, physiological, behavioral, and cultural adaptive strategies. Offers a complete discussion of the development of ecological anthropology and relevant research methods, and uses an ecosystem approach with emphasis on arctic, high altitude, and rainforest environments. The bibliography lists 1,100 classic and recent references. This second edition addresses the impact of political economy and the uses of remote sensing in the study of human ecology. Moran teaches anthropology at Indiana University, where he directs the Anthropological Center for Training and Research on Global Environmental Change. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813343679
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2007
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 727,941
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Emilio F. Moran is Distinguished Professor and James H. Rudy Professor of anthropology, professor of environmental sciences and adjunct professor of geography, Director of the Anthropological Center for Training and Research on Global Environmental Change, and Codirector of the Center for the Study of Institutions, Populations, and Environmental Change at Indiana University.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface to the Third Edition
List of Acronyms

History, Theory, and Method

1 People in Ecosystems
Human Adaptability as a Response to Constraints
Ecosystems and Global Change
Suggested Readings and Useful Websites

2 Theories of Human-Habitat Interaction
Environmental Determinism
Cultural Determinism: Nature as a Limiting Factor
Human Adaptation to Environment
Cultural Ecology: Comparison in Human-Environment Research
Applications of the Cultural Ecological Method
Ecological Anthropology
Ethnoecological and Cognitive Approaches
Historical Ecology
Political Ecology
Political Economy and Human Adaptability
Suggested Readings and Useful Websites

3 Fundamental Concepts and Methods
Ecosystem Relationships
Soils and Plant Productivity
Physiological Responses
Sociocultural Regulatory Adjustments
Information and Decisions: Toward Actor-Based Approaches
Suggested Readings and Useful Websites

4 Environmental Change and Spatial Analysis
The Challenge of Scale and Levels of Analysis
Human Adaptability to Global Environmental Change
The Use of Remote Sensing and GIS in the Social Sciences
Experimental Approaches in the Social Sciences
Spatial Analysis and the Study of Institutions
Suggested Readings and Useful Websites


5 Human Adaptability to Arctic Zones
The Arctic Ecosystem
Adaptation to Cold Stress
Coping with Snow and Sea Ice
Adaptation to Prolonged Light and Darkness
Coping with Low Biological Productivity
Change in the Arctic
Suggested Readings and Useful Websites

6 Human Adaptability to High Altitudes
Mountain Ecosystems
Adaptation to Hypoxia
Adaptability to Cold Stress in the Andes
Aridity and Low Productivity
Climate Change and High Altitude Ecosystems
Suggested Readings and Useful Websites

7 Human Adaptability to Arid Lands
Desert Ecosystems
Adjustments to Dry Heat
Utilization of Resources
Change in Desert Ecosystems
Suggested Readings and Useful Websites

8 Human Adaptability to Grasslands
Grasslands Ecosystems
Herd Management
Relations with Cultivators
Adaptive Strategies in the Northern Plains
Global Change and the Future of Grasslands and Pastoralism
Suggested Readings and Useful Websites

9 Human Adaptability to the Humid Tropics
Tropical Rain Forest Ecosystems
Coping with Ecosystem Complexity
Adaptability to Humid Heat
Global Change Processes and Alternatives to Deforestation
Suggested Readings and Useful Websites


10 Urban Ecology and Urban Sustainability
The History of Cities
The Ecology of Cities
Spatial Aspects of the City: Compact Versus Sprawl Patterns
Reducing Dependence on the Automobile
Cities and the Upcoming Water Crisis
An Integrative View of the Urban Ecosystem
The Urban LTERs
Final Remarks
Suggested Readings and Useful Websites


Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 1
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)