About this book
R. David Simpson Norman L. Christensen, Jr. Human Activity and Ecosystem Function: Reconciling Economics and Ecology Recognizing the need to improve social decision making on tradeoffs between economic growth and ecological health, the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation convened a workshop in October 1995 on "Human Activity and Ecosystem Function: Reconciling Economics and Ecology. " While the subtitle perhaps reflected unrealistic expectations, the presentations and discus sions at the workshop were a preliminary step toward that rec onciliation: bringing together ecologists, economists, other nat ural and social scientists, and policy makers to layout the issues, articulate their needs and perspectives, and identify common ground for further work. This volume contains the pa pers presented and reports generated from the workshop. We emphasize ecology and economics in this discussion. We could argue that organizing our inquiry around these diSCiplines is only natural. Ecology is the study of behavior of organisms within complex systems composed of a myriad of other organ isms and their physical environments. Increasingly, this disci pline has focused on how interactions among biological and physical components influence the overall functioning of ecosys tems. These components are increasingly being determined by viii Ecosystem Function and Human Activities human activities. Economics is the study of how we decide which of our needs and wants we choose to satisfy given our limited re sources.
ecology ecosystem environment risk assessment