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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2014

Understanding Society and Natural Resources

Forging New Strands of Integration Across the Social Sciences

  • This open access book has a Preface by Dr. R.K. Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

  • Shows how social science integration might lead the way to a sustainable future

  • Embraces complexity and presents practical tools for natural resource scientists and managers to address complex social-ecological problems

  • Includes supplementary material:

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (11 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxv
  2. The Status of Integration

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 1-1
    2. Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere (MAHB): Integrating Social Science and the Humanities into Solving Sustainability Challenges

      • Ilan Kelman, Eugene A. Rosa, Tom R. Burns, Paul Ehrlich, Joan M. Diamond, Nora Machado et al.
      Pages 25-43Open Access
  3. Topics in Integration

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 45-45
    2. Who’s Afraid of Thomas Malthus?

      • Jörg Friedrichs
      Pages 67-92Open Access
    3. A Conceptual Framework for Analyzing Social-Ecological Models of Emerging Infectious Diseases

      • Melissa L. Finucane, Jefferson Fox, Sumeet Saksena, James H. Spencer
      Pages 93-109Open Access
    4. Studying Power with the Social-Ecological System Framework

      • Graham Epstein, Abigail Bennett, Rebecca Gruby, Leslie Acton, Mateja Nenadovic
      Pages 111-135Open Access
    5. Considerations in Representing Human Individuals in Social-Ecological Models

      • Michael J. Manfredo, Tara L. Teel, Michael C. Gavin, David Fulton
      Pages 137-158Open Access
  4. Methodological Advances for Facilitating Social Science Integration

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 159-159
    2. Inter-disciplinary Analysis of Climate Change and Society: A Network Approach

      • Jeffrey Broadbent, Philip Vaughter
      Pages 203-228Open Access
  5. Back Matter

    Pages 253-261

About this book

In this edited open access book leading scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds wrestle with social science integration opportunities and challenges. This book explores the growing concern of how best to achieve effective integration of the social science disciplines as a means for furthering natural resource social science and environmental problem solving. The chapters provide an overview of the history, vision, advances, examples and methods that could lead to integration.

The quest for integration among the social sciences is not new. Some argue that the social sciences have lagged in their advancements and contributions to society due to their inability to address integration related issues. Integration merits debate for a number of reasons. First, natural resource issues are complex and are affected by multiple proximate driving social factors. Single disciplinary studies focused at one level are unlikely to provide explanations that represent this complexity and are limited in their ability to inform policy recommendations. Complex problems are best explored across disciplines that examine social-ecological phenomenon from different scales. Second, multi-disciplinary initiatives such as those with physical and biological scientists are necessary to understand the scope of the social sciences. Too frequently there is a belief that one social scientist on a multi-disciplinary team provides adequate social science representation. Third, more complete models of human behavior will be achieved through a synthesis of diverse social science perspectives.


  • Climate change and society
  • Emerging infectious diseases
  • Environmental problem solving
  • Facilitating social science integration
  • Human sustainability
  • Humanity and the biosphere (MAHB)
  • Land change research and modelling
  • Land degradation and desertification
  • Livelihoods, poverty and conservation
  • Natural resource social science integration
  • Representing human individuals
  • Resouce challenges and conflicts
  • Risk governance research
  • Science during crisis
  • Social ecological systems
  • Social science integration opportunities and challenges
  • Solving sustainability challenges
  • Status of integration
  • The social-ecological system framework
  • Water managing


"This volume is clearly an important contribution to the literature with a proper blending of different disciplines that would help us understand the interface between human society and natural resources in an integral manner." (Dr. R.K Pachauri, Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Dept of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, USA

    Michael J. Manfredo, Jerry J. Vaske, Esther A. Duke

  • Graduate School of Social Work, University of Denver, Denver, USA

    Andreas Rechkemmer

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Understanding Society and Natural Resources

  • Book Subtitle: Forging New Strands of Integration Across the Social Sciences

  • Editors: Michael J. Manfredo, Jerry J. Vaske, Andreas Rechkemmer, Esther A. Duke

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Dordrecht

  • eBook Packages: Humanities, Social Sciences and Law, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and the Author(s) 2014

  • License: CC BY-NC

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-94-017-8958-5Published: 01 July 2014

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-94-017-8967-7Published: 07 August 2014

  • eBook ISBN: 978-94-017-8959-2Published: 11 June 2014

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XXV, 261

  • Number of Illustrations: 36 b/w illustrations, 2 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Society, Earth System Sciences, Human Geography

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)