Advances in Historical Ecology
Edited by William L. Balee
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Advances in Historical Ecology by William L. Balee
Book DescriptionEcology is an attempt to understand the reciprocal relationship between living and nonliving elements of the earth. For years, however, the discipline either neglected the human element entirely or presumed its effect on natural ecosystems to be invariably negative. Among social scientists, notably in geography and anthropology, efforts to address this human-environment interaction have been criticized as deterministic and mechanistic. Bridging the divide between social and natural sciences, the contributors to this book use a more holistic perspective to explore the relationships between humans and their environment. Exploring short- and long-term local and global change, eighteen specialists in anthropology, geography, history, ethnobiology, and related disciplines present new perspectives on historical ecology. A broad theoretical background on the material factors central to the field is presented, such as anthropogenic fire, soils, and pathogens. A series of regional applications of this knowledge base investigates landscape transformations over time in South America, the Mississippi Delta, the Great Basin, Thailand, and India. The contributors focus on traditional societies where lands are most at risk from the incursions of complex, state-level societies. This book lays the groundwork for a more meaningful understanding of humankind's interaction with its biosphere. Scholars and environmental policymakers alike will appreciate this new critical vocabulary for grasping biocultural phenomena.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780231106337
(254mm x 178mm x 24mm)
Imprint: Columbia University Press
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publish Date: 26-Sep-2002
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author William L. Balee
Time and Complexity in Historical Ecology, Hardback (April 2006)
Placing emphasis on the close relationship between humans and their natural environment, this book examines how alterations in the natural world mirror human cultures, societies, and languages. It explores thousands of years of ecological history while addressing important contemporary issues, such as biodiversity and genetic variation and change.
Footprints of the Forest, Paperback (October 1999)» View all books by William L. Balee
Footprints of the Forest is the clearest and most comprehensive account to date of the relationship between and Amazonian people and their botanical environment. Based on Balee's ten years of ethnographic and botanical research among the Ka'aper Indians of eastern Amazonia, this book documents how the Ka'apor use, manage, name, and classify hundreds of plant species found in their habitat.
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Author Biography - William L. Balee
William L. Bal e is professor of anthropology at Tulane University and author of Footprints of the Forest: Ka'apor Ethnobotany--The Historical Ecology of Plant Utilization by an Amazon People (Columbia).
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