Posts

Two Ways to Discover Disturbance

Ecological disturbance is often defined as an event that disrupts the structure of a specific system (Pickett & White, 1985).  This kind of material or physical disruption is important because it can result in changes in behavior of the system, or leave heterogeneous structural legacies that affect the system in the future (Pickett, Cadenasso, & […]

The Invisible in the City

Much that happens in cities — urban areas more broadly — is not obvious to the naked eye or to casual observation.  The invisible things in urban social-ecological systems represent four key dimensions: social processes and their legacies; the built and technological structures and infrastructures; ecological structures and processes; and influences and events that arrive […]

The Science of Connection in a Disconnected Place

The news from Baltimore has been sad and disturbing over the past few weeks.  Urban ecologists, like all ecologists, I think, love the places where they work.  So I must remark on what is happening in Baltimore and what it means to me, as a scientist who has committed more than two decades to research […]

A Disturbance Primer for Urban Systems

Basics The fundamental definition of disturbance is a physical disruption of the structure of a specified system.  The term may also be applied to the specific event that causes that disruption (Pickett et al. 1989, Peters et al. 2011).  [Box 1 An Example of Disturbance: Sixty-four acres of Baltimore’s central business district was destroyed by a fire […]