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Observation and Ecology: Broadening the Scope of Science to Understand a Complex World [Paperback]

Rafe Sagarin , Anibal Pauchard

Price: CDN$ 30.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

July 16 2012 1597268267 978-1597268264

The need to understand and address large-scale environmental problems that are difficult to study in controlled environments—issues ranging from climate change to overfishing to invasive species—is driving the field of ecology in new and important directions. Observation and Ecology documents that transformation, exploring how scientists and researchers are expanding their methodological toolbox to incorporate an array of new and reexamined observational approaches—from traditional ecological knowledge to animal-borne sensors to genomic and remote-sensing technologies—to track, study, and understand current environmental problems and their implications.
The authors paint a clear picture of what observational approaches to ecology are and where they fit in the context of ecological science. They consider the full range of observational abilities we have available to us and explore the challenges and practical difficulties of using a primarily observational approach to achieve scientific understanding. They also show how observations can be a bridge from ecological science to education, environmental policy, and resource management. 

Observations in ecology can play a key role in understanding our changing planet and the consequences of human activities on ecological processes. This book will serve as an important resource for future scientists and conservation leaders who are seeking a more holistic and applicable approach to ecological science.

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“An inspiring, thought-provoking, critically needed treatment of how to use our power of observation to expand ecological knowledge and contribute practical environmental solutions. Observation and Ecology presents and develops a bold holistic approach to ecological research, realized through our human ability to integrate diverse signals and patterns. A must read for current and future ecologists.”
(Fiorenza Micheli)

"Observation and Ecology is a timely, superbly written, and highly innovative manifesto on the importance of clever observations for solving fundamental problems in ecology and environmental management. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and recommend it to anyone interested in understanding the complex workings of ecosystems in our human-dominated world."
(David M. Richardson)

"Sagarin (Univ. of Arizona) and Pauchard  (F.N. Egerton)

“Observational ecology demonstrates how and why direct sensory awareness of the natural world is a bridge to deeper ecological understanding. This is a groundbreaking work for teachers, scientists, policymakers, and citizens. It empowers the reader to blend disciplined observation with rigorous science. It explains why hands-on field immersion is the key to understanding and internalizing global environmental change. This is a brilliant handbook and rationale for anyone who wants to make ecological learning accessible.”
(Mitchell Thomashow)

About the Author

Rafe Sagarin is an assistant research scientist, marine ecologist, and environmental policy analyst, Institute of the Environment, University of Arizona. Aníbal Pauchard is Associate Professor of Plant Ecology and Invasion Biology in the Faculty of Forest Sciences, University of Concepción, Chile.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A VERY worthwhile read... Dec 8 2012
By L. Laurent - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
America, and the rest of the world, is suffering from a growing "Nature Deficit Disorder," as people become more and more detached from a natural world that is providing less and less food directly harvested from its ecosystems. Do we really want a future where individual harvest from the ocean or land is no longer possible? If there is any hope to save us from a decline into a bleak and impoverished future, it lies with people reconnecting to nature, either as professionals like Dr. Sagarin, or as enlightened amateurs - in the true sense of that word. As Aldous Huxley observed, "We can only love what we know, and we can never know completely what we do not love." Rafe Sagarin's purpose in "Observation and Ecology" is to remind us of the rewards awaiting each of us in being keen observers of the nature around us - at all scales. Only then will we love it enough to protect it from the consequences, intended and unintended, of our individual and collective actions.
As Pogo said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us." He might also have said, "We have met our problem-solver, and he is us."

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