Environmental studies: Managing the disciplinary divide
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Environmental studies has developed as an academic activity over the last 25 years. The area usually calls into play interdisciplinarity and the exploration of values. It also calls for inputs across a range of disparate sciences and humanities. Central to binding together these inputs are needs for commitment and communication between the cultures and philosophies involved.
Older and more traditional university cultures are not properly structured to permit the level of communication needed. Several models of environmental activities, and particularly their management, are described, together with their strengths and weaknesses. The lifeboat model as used at Griffith University is also described. This model indicates how the levels of communication can be enhanced by both major structural characteristics, as well as by more minor decisions like the allocation of offices.
KeywordsStructural Characteristic Environmental Management Nature Conservation Environmental Study Environmental Activity
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