Complexity: The Hidden Nugget in Jane Jacobs’ Book

Well, perhaps it’s unfair to call it hidden.  It is after all the topic of the final chapter, entitled “The Kind of Problem a City Is.”  In that chapter, she explores the nature of cities as complex systems, stimulated by the work of pioneering cyberneticists as summarized by Dr. Warren Weaver[i].  But I have to […]

Interest in Urban Resilience: A Burgeoning Frontier

Resilience is becoming an increasingly important concept in contemporary ecological science.  Since the introduction of the resilience cycle, an open ended, ecological concept has guided the understanding of this important process (http://besdirector.blogspot.com/2011/01/resilience-ecology-evolution-and.html).  Resilience has been a major stimulus for research in socio-ecological systems.  It has been useful in understanding fisheries, and landscapes in which people […]

Does Science Need Art?

Here’s something to think about, from a recent article in the Business section of the Christian Science Monitor, one of the “newspapers of record” in the United States (www.csmonitor.com/business/2011/0323/What-do-Apple-GM-and-P-G-share-Design): The need to hire 100,000 more teachers in science, technology, engineering, and math to make American students globally competitive is so urgent that President Obama has […]

Insights from the BES Communicating Science Meeting

Common strategies for effective communication of science This meeting, led by Dr. Chris Swan of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with my assistance, was designed to improve the ability to communicate the outcomes of our science with other members of BES and with the larger world.    To do this, the meeting drew on […]

Communicating Science for the Baltimore Ecosystem Study

The theme of the BES Quarterly Research Meeting on Tuesday 5 April is Communicating Science. Featured speakers include Tim Wheeler of the Baltimore Sun, Julie Palakovich Carr from American Institute of Biological Sciences, and science writer Rebecca Wolf. Contributors also include BES members Mary Cadenasso, Brian McGrath, and Steward Pickett. Topics include Communicating Effectively with […]

BES Adds Four Co-Principal Investigators

To acknowledge the broad community that contributes to and manages the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, four persons have agreed to be added as official Co-Principal Investigators and to be recognized as such by the National Science Foundation: Dr. Mary L. Cadenasso, Associate Professor of Ecology at the University of California, Davis has been added to promote […]

Press-Pulse Dynamics: A Hypothetical Feedback Model for Long-Term Social-Ecological Research

An important conceptual resource for BES III has recently appeared online. This publication presents the feedback cycle between social and ecological structures and functions as mediated by ecosystem services and by press and pulse events. This conceptual framework highlights that the dynamics of press and pulse events is a key link in the integration of […]

Resilience: Ecology, Evolution, and Engineering

The concept of resilience is key to BES III. This powerful concept is ideal for understanding and working with complex, human ecosystems. However, it is the object of some confusion because there are two contrasting ways to frame and theorize the concept. Originally, engineering and physical systems were the source of the concept as applied […]

BES Photo Album Now Publically Available

Need a photograph of BES research activities or sites for your teaching or non-commercial publication? Have a great photo of sites, people, research activities, or education in action? Access the BES Picasa album at http://picasaweb.google.com/117245078152518298258/BES# to download photos. If you use a photo, please credit Baltimore Ecosystem Study Long-Term Ecological Research project, and the National […]

Urban Ecology: Use and Abuse

In the first two decades of the 20th century, two new scholarly disciplines were being established in the United States. One was the biological science of ecology, and one was sociology. Although both had deeper European roots, and began to flourish in several American universities, there was one school that was a seedbed for both: […]