Understanding Human Ecology
A Systems Approach to Sustainability
Routledge – 2015 – 256 pages
We are facing hugely complex challenges – from climate change to world poverty, our problems are part of an inter-related web of social and natural systems. Human ecology promises an approach to these complex challenges, a way to understand these problems holistically and to start to manage them more effectively.
This book offers a coherent conceptual framework for Human Ecology – a clear approach for understanding the many systems we are part of and for how we frame and understand the problems we face. Blending natural, social and cognitive sciences with dynamical systems theory, the authors offer systems approaches that are accessible to all, from the undergraduate student to policy-makers and practitioners across government, business and community.
Road-tested and refined over a decade of teaching and workshops, the authors have built a clear, inspiring and important framework for anyone approaching the management of complex problems and the transition to sustainability.
Introduction: Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast Part 1: The Challenge 1. Human Ecology: An Evolving Discipline 2 . Water Conflicts in the Snowy Mountains 3. Having New Eyes Part 2: Thinking Together 4. Stocks and Flows 5. Feedback 6. Towards a Shared Theoretical Framework Part 3: Living in the Anthropocene 7. Paradigms: Ideas that Change the World 8. Global Food 9. Planetary Boundaries 10. Stewards of a Full Earth
Dr Robert Dyball convenes the 35 year old Human Ecology Program at ANU. He is vice-president of the Society for Human Ecology and Chair of the Human Ecology Section of the Ecological Society of America (ESA). Co-author of Social Learning in Environmental Management (2005).
Dr Barry Newell is Visiting Fellow at the Fenner School and Adjunct Associate Professor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, both at ANU.