• Daniel G. Bates
  • Susan H. Lees


At no time in human history is understanding the environmental implications of human activities as vital to as many people as it is today. The world’s population, still growing rapidly, stands in excess of 5.6 billion and is not expected to level off until the mid 21st century, when it may reach 12 billion. The environmental impacts of this phenomenon are still unknown, but efforts to address this overriding ecological question are central to human ecological research. Those in the growing field of human ecology have joined naturalists, environmentalists, and social scientists in an effort to understand human environmental interactions and to ameliorate, if possible, such negative impacts as may affect long-term human well-being. As natural scientists, ecologists are interested in three very broad questions. One, how does the environment affect the organism? Two, how does the organism affect its environment? Three, how does an organism affect other organisms in the environments in which it lives? The quest for answers to these questions encompasses almost everything ecologists do. Human ecology links the subject matter of anthropology, biology, geography, demography, economics, and other disciplines in an attempt to understand relationships between people and their environments in terms of these three areas of inquiry.


Human Ecology Ecosystem Approach Human Labor Cumulative Change Ecosystem Ecology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel G. Bates
    • 1
  • Susan H. Lees
    • 1
  1. 1.Hunter College, City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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