Understanding Urban Ecosystems

A New Frontier for Science and Education

  • Alan R. Berkowitz
  • Charles H. Nilon
  • Karen S. Hollweg

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxix
  2. Introduction: Ecosystem Understanding Is a Key to Understanding Cities

    1. Charles H. Nilon, Alan R. Berkowitz, Karen S. Hollweg
      Pages 1-13
  3. The Importance of Understanding Urban Ecosystems: Themes

  4. Foundations and Frontiers from the Natural and Social Sciences: Themes

  5. Foundations and Frontiers from Education Theory and Practice: Themes

  6. Visions for the Future of Urban Ecosystem Education: Themes

  7. Back Matter
    Pages 503-523

About this book


Nowhere on Earth is the challenge for ecological understanding greater, and yet more urgent, than in those parts of the globe where human activity is most intense - cities. People need to understand how cities work as ecological systems so they can take control of the vital links between human actions and environmental quality, and work for an ecologically and economically sustainable future. An ecosystem approach integrates biological, physical and social factors and embraces historical and geographical dimensions, providing our best hope for coping with the complexity of cities. This book is a first of its kind effort to bring together leaders in the biological, physical and social dimensions of urban ecosystem research with leading education researchers, administrators and practitioners, to show how an understanding of urban ecosystems is vital for urban dwellers to grasp the fundamentals of ecological and environmental science, and to understand their own environment.


complexity ecology ecosystem education environment environmental management

Authors and affiliations

  • Alan R. Berkowitz
    • 1
  • Charles H. Nilon
    • 2
  • Karen S. Hollweg
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Ecosystem StudiesMillbrook
  2. 2.School of Natural ResourcesUniversity of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.The National Academies’ National Research CouncilWashington, DCUSA

Bibliographic information