Posts

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 […]

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, & […]

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 […]

The Human Ecosystem: What’s Missing?

The human ecosystem concept is one of the most common tools used in the Baltimore Ecosystem Study LTER.  Adopted from a team of social ecologists and sociologists who were involved in community forestry in the Himalayas, the application of such approaches to underserved areas in American cities, and the conservation and management of US National […]

BES Book of the Year, 2014-2015: Gottdiener and Hutchinson, The New Urban Sociology

The previous Book of the Year focused on bio-ecological theory.  Because BES is a social-ecological research and education endeavor, the Project Management Committee agreed that this year our book should focus on social theory.  An ideal book to help all of us in the project who are not social scientsts is Mark Gottdiener and Ray […]

Weeds and the City

Few ideas are as loaded — and as controversial — as that of “weed.”  Combine this familiar term with the equally problematic term urban, and surely, confusion is guaranteed to reign.  However Zachary Falck, an environmental historian, acts as a knowledgeable and confident guide into this troubled intellectual territory.  He has written the well documented […]

What Does Collapse Tell Us About Resilience?

The adaptve cycle is key to understanding resilience as an integrated ecological and social construct.  The cycle is introduced elsewhere in this Web Log (http://besdirector.blogspot.com/2011/01/resilience-ecology-evolution-and.html) as well as briefly defined in the BES Urban Lexicon (http://besurbanlexicon.blogspot.com/search/label/Adaptive%20Cycle).  One of the key aspects of the cycle is the movement of systems in a conceptual space defined by […]

Swamps and the City

Laura A. Ogden, of Florida International University is an anthropologist and Co-Principal Investigator of the Florida Coastal Everglades LTER.  She is also a regular collaborator with the BES community and has been involved with us and others in cross site projects concerning environmental justice, and the social ecology of lawns.  She has additional projects addressing […]

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 […]