Human Macroecology Definition

May 9, 2015

This innovative field of study, dubbed “human macroecology,” is emerging as a hothouse for new and exciting discoveries regarding the close parallels between the dynamics of human societies and natural processes. According to Joseph Burger—University of New Mexico PhD student and key player in the development of human macroecology studies—at its core, human macroecology is “the statistical study of exchanges of energy, materials and information between humans and the environment across spatial scales, from local to global and temporal scales, from years to millennia”. Macroecology considers the human species as functioning within the constraints of the natural world, rather than being uniquely divorced from natural resource limitations. This conceptual approach cuts across disciplines ranging from physics and ecology to anthropology and economics (Burnside et al. 2012), creating the opportunity for unprecedented synergy between fields. The stakes are high. “Any discussion of sustainable solutions is incomplete and will ultimately fail without this perspective,” observes Burger.


Source: Anne-Marie Hodge, "The Emerging Field of Macroecology," May 28, 2013[verified 4/17/14]

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