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Observation and Ecology: Broadening the Scope of Science to Understand a Complex World Paperback – Jul 16 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Island Press (July 16 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597268267
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597268264
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #557,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"There is much in this volume that field-oriented conservationists will be heartened by, but just as much that will stimulate serious self-inquiry about the practice of science in the field."
(Conservation Biology)

"Rafe Sagarin and Anibal Paichard have written an engaging manifesto for a renaissance of field research in ecology ... inspiring reading"
(Basic and Applied Ecology)

"This review scratches the surface of (and heartily endorses) the case the authors make for observation to become prominent again in ecology."
(Wildlife Activist)

"Sagarin (Univ. of Arizona) and Pauchard (Univ. of Concepcion, Chile) view the history of ecology as moving from observational science during the later 1800s to experimental and theoretial science during the 1900s to revived observations during the 2000s but without replacing experiments and theory. Their book is a guide for this new ecology, defending it against detractors and explaining with sophistication how to proceed."

"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 Professor Emeritus, Unity College)

"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 Professor, Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University)

"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 Director, Centre for Invasion Biology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa)

"This book succinctly, and with great enthusiasm, makes the case for observational research in ecology ... If you are already a multidisciplinary or observation-based ecologist, this book will legitimize your work. If not, it should give you some reasons to expand your outlook and encourage you to accept observation-based research as 'real' science."
(Biological Conservation)

"reaches high"
(Quarterly Review in Biology)

"This book should motivate restoration ecologists..."
(Ecological Restoration)

"...[F]ull of enthusiasm and passion for the power of observations to explain, inform, and educate....They take on a number of sacred cows, and gore them, so this will be a thought-provoking and much-discussed book."

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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
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
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."
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book April 22 2015
By JavaBlue - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The wear on the cover and pages is exactly what was stated online. No surprises, good read.