Ecology for the city also means with

Ecology In the City The growth of modern urban ecology has been marked by a differentiation among ecology in the city to ecology of the city, to ecology for the city (Childers et al. 2015, Zhou et al. 2017).  This scheme is intended to suggest that urban ecological science can be pursued by focusing on […]

Seeking Nuance in the Human Ecosystem: Built Versus Constructed

Parts of Any Human Ecosystem There are four components of human ecosystems: biological, physical, social, and built.  They are all necessary categories for human ecosystems, by definition.  The one-word label for each is a convenient shorthand that cannot instantly convey all the richness embodied in each one.  The Parts have Parts Take “social,” for example.  […]

Asphalt: Evolving Urban Boundary Object

Asphalt.  What could be more pedestrian, literally underfoot?  Or ignored as a dull gray ribbon somewhere beneath the floorboards as one navigates along city streets, concentrating on one’s destination?  Or still more invisibly, as the cladding along the ditches keeping parking lots and pavement from flooding during rainstorms. In reality, asphalt is a complex “boundary […]

Renewal and Diversity

Dear BES Community, As we begin 2017, we are grateful for the opportunity to clarify our research outlook. We are hard at work developing a new conceptual model, research questions, hypothesis and experimental plan for the 2018 Renewal Proposal. At the January Quarterly meeting, we had some great input from our Hydrology, Biodiversity and Social […]

BES Annual Report 2017: Part 3 – Key Activities for the Year

Major Activities. There are a large number of contributors to BES, including senior scientists, post-doctoral researchers, undergraduates, and even high school students. Their activities are presented below, divided into the Core Areas for urban LTER research, and ending with the Core Activity of engagement, especially through education. Some of the published papers explaining the methods […]

BES Annual Report 2017: Part 2 – What Is Our Theoretical Foundation?

A Role for Theory The goals of BES are supported by three major kinds of theories. Theories are unifying frameworks that embrace many models and identify the fundamental postulates and relationships of a broad area of research. Each of the three empirical foci of BES has at least one overarching theory that justifies its use […]

BES Annual Report 2017: Part 1 – What Have We Been Up To?

Major Goals of BES The Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) conducts research on metropolitan Baltimore as an ecological system. Focus on urban systems is important for several reasons. First, they are a novel ecosystem type which has been neglected during most of the history of ecology in the United States. As such, they contain 1) a […]

Ecosystem as Place; Ecosystem as Network

The most frequently cited definition of the ecosystem concept owes its origin to Sir Arthur G. Tansley in 1935 (Pickett and Grove 2009).  It has proven to be a very flexible concept, and can be applied to any scale that includes aggregations of physical environment and organisms, plus the interactions among all physical and biological […]

Emma Rosi-Marshall Becomes Sole Director of BES

Dr. Emma Rosi-Marshall has been co-directing BES with me since 2013.  That year, BES was reviewed by a visiting committee, and the results of that event helped us to shape the renewal process that would culminate with a new proposal in 2016.  After that review, Emma began to take an increasing leadership role in planning […]

How Many Principles of Urban Ecology Are There?

By Steward T.A. Pickett (Cary Institute) & Mary L. Cadenasso (University of California Davis) In 2008, we published a short paper on the principles of urban ecology (Cadenasso and Pickett 2008).  It was aimed at landscape architects and landscaping practitioners as a part of an “Ecological Landscaping” conference attended mainly by these professionals.  Consequently, we […]