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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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Goals, Strategies, and Tactics for Inquiry and Action

Goals, Strategies, and Tactics for Inquiry and Action

(p.102) Seven Goals, Strategies, and Tactics for Inquiry and Action
The Structure and Dynamics of Human Ecosystems

William R. Burch Jr.

Gary E. Machlis

Jo Ellen Force

Yale University Press

This chapter presents a version of human ecology called practical ecology. It argues that the application of the Human Ecosystem Model (HEM) as an organizing concept for resource management, environmental decision-making, and human ecological research is both real-world and worldly. Ecosystem theory is to be tempered by the complexity of practice. In formulating the HEM, the scientists’ inspiration comes from the work of Goethe, who was both a scientist and a poet. The challenge of combining art and science brings these scientists closer to Goethe’s ideal. They emphasize that the HEM is a menu of possibility organized by a logical structure that permits one to learn how the components and variables of the human ecosystem respond to particular forces of environmental change.

Keywords:   practical ecology, human ecology, human ecosystem, resource management, environmental decision-making, Goethe, art, science, Human Ecosystem Model

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