Systemic Management: Sustainable Human Interactions with Ecosystems and the Biosphere

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Overview

Systemic Management describes a holistic, objective, and universally applicable form of management, providing a framework for addressing environmental challenges such as global warming, emergent diseases, deforestation, overpopulation, the extinction crisis, pollution, over-fishing, and habitat destruction. Its goals are the consistently sustainable relationships between humans and ecosystems, between humans and other species, and between humans and the biosphere. This book presents a convincing argument that these goals, and the means to achieve them, can be inferred from empirical information. It describes how comparisons between humans and other species reveal patterns that can serve to guide management toward true sustainability, i.e. ways that are empirically observed to work in natural systems. This objective approach has rarely been possible in conventional management because sustainability is invariably undermined by conflicting human values.

Systemic Management is presented as a specialized process of pattern-based decision-making that avoids the inconsistency, subjectivity and error in current management practice. It clearly demonstrates how mimicking nature's empirical examples of sustainability can circumvent anthropocentric tendencies to overuse/misuse human values in management, and illustrates the science best suited for achieving sustainability through examples of research that address specific management questions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an extraordinarily important book; it calls for a major conceptual shift away from how we currently view our relationship with the biosphere and forcefully makes the case that this shift is necessary. Every effort should be made to see that it is widely read (i.e., by a lot more than just the managers responsible for regulating our use of renewable resources)." — John Emlen, Northwest Science

"Systemic Management describes a different form of management of ecosystems and the biosphere that goes beyond conventional management techniques. In writing this book for scientists and practitioners, Fowler does a commendable job in showing how empirical patterns can be used as a diagnostic tool. Another strong suit is the critique of the shortcomings in conventional management practices."—Environmental Conservation

"A great reference book for graduate students, ecologists, and managers who are seeking a new direction in resource management."—CHOICE

"This book is one long argument (which he sees as more than confined to science) about how we fit in and how our actions should be managed."—Marine Mammal Science

"A refreshing and promising new perspecitve for the management of our impacts on life around us, such as our use of resources, for the ecozoic era."—Center for Ecozoic Studies Monthly Musings

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199540969
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 6/15/2009
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles W. Fowler earned his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1973, has taught at five universities, and currently holds academic positions at two in addition to his position as Systemic Management Studies Program Leader at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory, Alaska Fisheries Science Center (NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service [NMFS]) in Seattle, WA. His 29 years with the NMFS includes service as chief U.S. scientist to the North Pacific Fur Seal Commission, and as scientist on the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1. Systemic Management: What and Why
2. Variation Among Species: Observing Limits
3. Selective Extinction and Speciation
4. Why Conventional Management Does Not Work
5. Why Systemic Management Works
6. Humans: a Species Beyond the Limits
Epilogue
Bibliography
Subject Index

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