What Do People Value About BES?

The 2018 twentieth annual meeting of BES participants, institutional partners, and interested citizens, provided an opportunity to ask people what they thought the most important finding or contribution of BES had been over those 20 years. …

What's Hidden in the New York Times Maps of All the Buildings in America?

Much well deserved amazement and attention has been heaped on the recent map of "every building in America," by Tim Wallace, Derek Watkins, and John Schwartz, published on 12 October 2018 in the New York Times.  The Times' interactive…

Why is Urban Sustainability so Hard? The Trap of the Sanitary City

A few months ago, I was having a lively discussion with some serious and dedicated undergraduates at a university I was visiting.  The fact that they were disappointed with their training in sustainability came up -- They felt they weren't…

Evolution of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study

Since 1997, the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) has enjoyed the support of the Long-Term Ecological Research Program of the Division of Environmental Biology of the US National Science Foundation. That support is coming to an end, but the Baltimore…

Why Do Urban Ecology?

The ecological science of understanding the structure, workings, and change of urban places has three main reasons to be (raisons d'être, if you prefer the French).  One is the fact that urban systems are one of the world's most dynamic…

How Does a Long-Term Study Adjust Its Framework while Preserving Data Integrity?

Long-term ecological research is faced with seemingly contradictory constraints: It must maintain a consistent stream of rigorously comparable data over time while at the same time responding to conceptual and theoretical changes in the disciplines…