BES Synthesis and Integration Publication Timeline Available

BES has been a major source of integration among disciplines as it explores the structure, processes, and dynamics of Baltimore as a social-ecological system.  Some key integrative and synthetic papers have been assembled into a timeline.  The timeline is at https://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/1320530/BES-Milestones01/ Integrative papers are defined as ones that are cross disciplinary or multidisciplinary.   Synthetic papers […]

A New Book from the Baltimore Ecosystem Study

BES has been underway for more than 20 years.  Over that time, the many researchers, educators, and practitioners in the project have made significant contributions to understanding a metropolitan area as a social-ecological system.  So many insights have been generated that is seems impossible to summarize them within the scope of a standard published paper.  Of course, we […]

History of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study

Program description The Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) began in 1998 with three questions to advance the understanding of urban areas as a novel and increasingly important ecosystem type: 1) Structure: What is the spatial and temporal patch structure of ecological, physical, and socio-economic factors in the urban ecosystem? 2) Function: What are the fluxes of […]

Where Does the Baltimore School of Urban Ecology Apply?

The short answer is “Not just in Baltimore.”  Let’s explore this more deeply.  A school of thought is a broad way of thinking, strategy for research, and approach to problem solving that applies across a topic area.  A school of thought may be named for a particular place where it originated while applying to any […]

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.  We were expecting suggestions that suggested specific results, or particular educational contributions.  We were surprised by the results. First, […]

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 maps are a real treasure and a wonderful opportunity to explore the multiple geographies of the […]

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 being told how to practice sustainability.  This provided an opportunity for interesting engaged discussion, and […]

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 Ecosystem Study will live on, due to the desire of key partners who have been joined […]

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 and increasingly predominant environments.  The second is that ecological understanding can contribute to improving cities […]

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 underlying those data.  How can such opposing  constraints be reconciled?  BES has faced this challenge in developing its most recent […]