Ethnobiology for the Future: Linking Cultural and Ecological Diversity

Ethnobiology for the Future: Linking Cultural and Ecological Diversity

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Ethnobiology holds a special place in the hearts and minds of many because of its dedication to celebrating the knowledge and values of some of the most distinctive cultural practices in some of the most distinctive places on Earth. Yet we live in a world of diminishing natural and linguistic diversity. Whether due to climate change or capitalism, homogeneity is trumping the once-resplendent heterogeneity all around us.

In this important new collection, Gary Paul Nabhan puts forth a call for the future not only of ethnobiology but for the entire planet. He articulates and broadens the portfolio of ethnobiological principles and amplifies the tool kit for anyone engaged in the ethnobiosphere, those vital spaces of intense interaction among cultures, habitats, and creatures.

The essays are grouped into a trio of themes. The first group presents the big questions facing humanity, the second profiles tools and methodologies that may help to answer those questions, and the third ponders how to best communicate these issues not merely to other scholars, but to society at large. The essays attest to the ways humans establish and circumscribe their identities not only through their thoughts and actions, but also with their physical, emotional, and spiritual attachments to place, flora, fauna, fungi, and feasts.

Nabhan and his colleagues from across disciplines and cultures encourage us to be courageous enough to include ethical, moral, and even spiritual dimensions in work regarding the fate of biocultural diversity. The essays serve as cairns on the critical path toward an ethnobiology that is provocative, problem-driven, and, above all, inspiring.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780816532742
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publication date: 04/15/2016
Series: Southwest Center Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 332
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

A MacArthur Fellow and recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Conservation Biology, Gary Paul Nabhan is the Kellogg Chair in Southwest Borderlands Food and Water Security at the University of Arizona, where he is also a research social scientist at the Southwest Center. He is the author or editor of more than twenty-six books.

Table of Contents

Foreword Paul E. Minnis ix

Introduction: Letter to Young Ethnobiologists 3

Part I Redefining Ethnobiology: Toward a General Theory of the Interactions of Biodiversity and Cultural Diversity 11

1 Ethnobiology Emerging from a Time of Crisis 13

2 Defining New Disciplinary Trajectories Mixing Political Ecology with Ethnobiology 18

3 Ethnoscience, the "Oldest Science": A Needed Complement to Academic Science and Citizen Science to Stem the Losses of Biodiversity, Indigenous Languages, and Livelihoods 23

4 Autobiology?: The Traditional Ecological, Agricultural, and Culinary Knowledge of Us! 36

5 Searching for the Ancestral Diet: Did Mitochondrial Eve and Java Man Feast on the Same Foods? 42

6 Microbial Ethnobiology and the Loss of Distinctive Food Cultures 63

7 Ethnophenology and Climate Change 67

Part II Exemplifying How Ethnobiology Serves as a Pivotal Interdiscipline in Biocultural Conservation 73

8 Safeguarding Species, Languages, and Cultures in a Time of Diversity Loss: From the Colorado Plateau to Global Hotspots 75

9 Agrobiodiversity in an Oasis Archipelago 96

10 Passing on a Sense of Place and Traditional Ecological Knowledge between Generations 144

11 Biocultural and Ecogastronomic Restoration: The Renewing America's Food Traditions Alliance 156

12 Conservation You Can Taste: Heirloom Seed and Heritage Breed Recovery in North America 184

13 Multiple Lines of Evidence for the Origin of Domesticated Chile Pepper, Capsicum annuum, in Mexico 197

14 Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Endangered Species: Is Ethnobiology for the Birds? 215

Part III Writing Ethnobiology For Broader Appeal and Impact 223

15 Guadalupe Lopez Blanco: Reflections on How a Sea Turtle Hunter Turned His Community Toward Conservation 225

16 Paleozoologist Paul Martin, the Ghosts of Evolution, and the Rewilding of North America 233

17 Parque de la Papa: Vavilov's Dream for Potatoes? 243

18 Why Poetry Needs Ethnobiology: Hawkmoth Songs and Cross-Pollinations 249

19 Aromas Emanating from the Driest of Places 261

20 The Ethnobiology of Survival in Post-Apocalyptic Dystopias 277

Afterword: Ethnobiology in Metamorphosis 288

Contributors 297

Index 303

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