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The Structure and Dynamics of Human EcosystemsToward a Model for Understanding and Action$
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William R Burch, Gary E Machlis, and Jo Ellen Force

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300137033

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300137033.001.0001

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(p.1) One Introduction
The Structure and Dynamics of Human Ecosystems

William R. Burch Jr.

Gary E. Machlis

Jo Ellen Force

Yale University Press

This introductory chapter discusses how environmental scientists, managers, and other professionals need to intensify their search for cross-cultural models of resource systems that include the forces driving human desires. Socio-cultural variables as both cause and consequence of system change will need to be joined to the traditional biophysical concerns of the ecologist, forester, conservationist, range manager, park superintendent, and rural agriculturalist. Worldwide, disparate indicators of ecosystem stress abound. Some of these challenges include geochemical flux due to pollution, the accumulating inventory of toxic chemicals, a collapsing world fishery, biotic mixing, accelerating loss of coral reefs, desertification, and more. The chapter then introduces the Human Ecosystem Model (HEM) as a possible solution to these problems.

Keywords:   Human Ecosystem Model, resource systems, socio-cultural variables, system change, biophysics, ecosystem stress, human desires

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