Introducing A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things

Nature, money, work, care, food, energy, and lives. These seven things, according to Raj Patel and Jason W. Moore, have made our world and will have an unmistakable impact on its future. Bringing the latest ecological research together with histories of colonialism, indigenous struggles, slave revolts, and other rebellions and uprisings, A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things demonstrates that throughout history, crises have always prompted fresh strategies to make the world cheap and safe for capitalism.

Read on to find out a bit more about each of the authors, and click here to read the first chapter of the book for free on our website.

 

 

Raj Patel is an award-winning writer, activist and academic. He is a Research Professor in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin and a Senior Research Associate at the Unit for the Humanities at Rhodes University. He is the author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System and The Value of Nothing.

Jason W. Moore teaches world history and world-ecology at Binghamton University, and is coordinator of the World-Ecology Research Network. He is the author of several books, including Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital, and numerous award-winning essays in environmental history, political economy, and social theory.


Tools of the Trade: Resources for Scientists

As part of our “Tools of the Trade” blog series, we’re highlighting resources for science scholars and educators to aid in your research, writing, and prep work this summer. Look no further for a refresher of methods that you can use in your own work or share with your students.

Ecosystem Overviews

Floodplains: Processes and Management for Ecosystem Services by Jeffrey J. Opperman, Peter B. Moyle, Eric W. Larsen, Joan L. Florsheim, and Amber D. Manfree

This book provides an overview of floodplains and their management in temperate regions. It synthesizes decades of research on floodplain ecosystems, explaining hydrologic, geomorphic, and ecological processes and how under appropriate management these processes can provide benefits to society ranging from healthy fish populations to flood-risk reduction.

 

Ecosystems of California by Harold Mooney and Erika Zavaleta

A comprehensive synthesis of our knowledge about this biologically diverse state, Ecosystems of California covers the state from oceans to mountaintops using multiple lenses: past and present, flora and fauna, aquatic and terrestrial, natural and managed. Edited by two esteemed ecosystem ecologists and with overviews by leading experts on each ecosystem, this definitive work will be indispensable for natural resource management and conservation professionals as well as for undergraduate or graduate students of California’s environment and curious naturalists.

Ecology of Freshwater and Estuarine Wetlands edited by Darold P. Batzer and Rebecca R. Sharitz

Ideally suited for wetlands ecology courses, Ecology of Freshwater and Estuarine Wetlands, Second Edition, includes updated content, enhanced images (many in color), and innovative pedagogical elements that guide students and interested readers through the current state of our wetlands. This second edition of this important and authoritative survey provides students and researchers with up-to-date and accessible information about the ecology of freshwater and estuarine wetlands.

Conservation and Resource Management

Reintroduction of Fish and Wildlife Populations edited by David S. Jachowski, Joshua J. Millspaugh, Paul L. Angermeier, and Rob Slotow

This book provides a practical step-by-step guide to successfully planning, implementing, and evaluating the reestablishment of animal populations in former habitats or their introduction in new environments. Covering a broad range of taxonomic groups, ecosystems, and global regions, this edited volume is an essential guide for academics, students, and professionals in natural resource management.

Biodiversity in a Changing Climate: Linking Science and Management in Conservation edited by Terry Louise Root, Kimberly R. Hall, Mark P. Herzog, and Christine A. Howell

Biodiversity in a Changing Climate promotes dialogue among scientists, decision makers, and managers who are grappling with climate-related threats to species and ecosystems in diverse forms. The book includes case studies and best practices used to address impacts related to climate change across a broad spectrum of species and habitats—from coastal krill and sea urchins to prairie grass and mountain bumblebees. Biodiversity and a Changing Climate will prove an indispensable guide to students, scientists, and professionals engaged in conservation and resource management.

Foundations of Wildlife Diseases by Richard G. Botzler and Richard N. Brown

This book is a comprehensive overview of the basic principles that govern the study of wildlife diseases. The authors include specific information on a wide array of infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, arthropods, fungi, protista, and helminths, as well as immunity to these agents. Supporting students, faculty, and researchers in areas related to wildlife management, biology, and veterinary sciences, this volume fills an important gap in wildlife disease resources, focusing on mammalian and avian wildlife while also considering reptiles and amphibians.


Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene Call for Papers: Ecology

We invite you to submit your next paper to the Ecology domain of Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, a trans-disciplinary, open-access journal whose mission is Open Science for the Public Good.

Elementa publishes original research with the ultimate objective of accelerating scientific solutions to the challenges presented by this era of human impact. Structured into six distinct knowledge domains, the Ecology domain will consider research centered on the ways in which humans are intentionally and unintentionally altering the conditions for life on Earth and the resulting ecological implications. These anthropogenic effects manifest at molecular levels and can cascade into physiological, population, community, ecosystem, landscape and global responses. Elementa will report new breakthroughs across these levels of ecological organization as well as for all domains of life.

For the full Aims & Scope of the Ecology domain, please click here.

In addition to innovative features including a value-sharing business model and an article-promotion partnership with Kudos, Elementa articles are highly used and downloaded (see highlighted articles below). For the full Elementa story, visit our website at elementascience.org.

For Elementa news and updates, be sure to follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

There has never been a more important time to ensure that transparent, evidence-based, peer-reviewed research has the widest and most impactful dissemination as possible. Please consider submitting your ecological science papers to Elementa or developing a Special Feature or Forum, and feel free to get in touch with Donald R. Zak, University of Michigan, Editor in Chief for Ecology, should you have any questions.


Recent Special Features from the Ecology domain

New approaches to understanding urban aquatic ecosystems

High-impact Ecology content from Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene 

(All metrics from March 23, 2017)

Warming, soil moisture, and loss of snow increase Bromus tectorum’s population growth rate
Compagnoni A, Adler PB. 2014.
Total usage: 23,947 views/downloads since original publication on Jan 08, 2014

Quantifying flooding regime in floodplain forests to guide river restoration
Marks CO, Nislow KH, Magilligan FJ. 2014.
Total usage: 21,709 views/downloads since original publication on Sep 03, 2014

Biotic impoverishment
Naeem S. 2013.
Total usage: 20,328 views/downloads since original publication on Dec 04, 2013

Towards a general theory of biodiversity for the Anthropocene
Cardinale BJ. 2013.
Total usage: 17,863 views/downloads since original publication on Dec 04, 2013


Earth & Environmental Science and Ecology from Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene

elementa-pantone (1)

The AGU Fall Meeting continues. Thank you, again, to all attendees who have visited the UC Press booth 1512, which is featuring Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene for the first time. Today’s featured domains are Earth and Environmental Science, and Ecology.

If you’re interested in seeing how much usage, exposure, and impact your next article could get when submitted for consideration at Elementa, don’t delay and submit at www.elementascience.org. (Or, write with an enquiry to an Editor in Chief, or the publisher, Dan Morgan, at dmorgan@ucpress.edu.)

Thank you for reading!


Earth and Environmental Science

(All metrics from December 8, 2016)

Dating the Anthropocene: Towards an empirical global history of human transformation of the terrestrial biosphere
Ellis EC, Fuller DQ, Kaplan JO, Lutters WG. 2013.
Total views: 29,114 since original publication on Dec 04, 2013

Seasonally varying contributions to urban CO2 in the Chicago, Illinois, USA region: Insights from a high-resolution CO2 concentration and δ13C record
Moore J, Jacobson AD. 2015.
Total views: 17,802 since original publication on Jun 05, 2015

Sources and sinks of carbon in boreal ecosystems of interior Alaska: A review
Douglas TA, Jones MC, Hiemstra CA, Arnold JR. 2014.
Total views: 17,273 Since original publication on Nov 07, 2014

Earthcasting the future Critical Zone
Goddéris Y, Brantley SL. 2013.
Total views: 16,809 since original publication on Dec 04, 2013

Special Features open for submissions and enquiries
Deltas in the Anthropocene

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Ecology

(All metrics from December 8, 2016)

Warming, soil moisture, and loss of snow increase Bromus tectorum’s population growth rate
Compagnoni A, Adler PB. 2014.
Total views: 22,474 since original publication on Jan 08, 2014

Quantifying flooding regime in floodplain forests to guide river restoration
Marks CO, Nislow KH, Magilligan FJ. 2014.
Total views: 20,006 since original publication on Sep 03, 2014

Biotic impoverishment
Naeem S. 2013.
Total views: 18,999 since original publication on Dec 04, 2013

Towards a general theory of biodiversity for the Anthropocene
Cardinale BJ. 2013.
Total views: 16,438 since original publication on Dec 04, 2013

Special Feature
Urban Aquatic Ecosystems: New approaches to understanding urban aquatic ecosystems


The 25th Anniversary of the Great Oakland Hills Fire

by Gregory L. Simon, author of Flame and Fortune in the American West: Urban Development, Environmental Change, and the Great Oakland Hills Fire

Flame and Fortune in the American West cover

Another day, another menacing wildfire. This appears to be the new fire regime for much of the American West. These days it is not uncommon to learn of several fire events each week – many of which threaten human settlements and force the evacuation of hundreds at the urban fringe. Meanwhile, tens of millions of dollars are spent fighting dangerous fires each month – an ever-expanding budget that reached nearly one billion in California alone during the 2016 fiscal year.

Continue reading “The 25th Anniversary of the Great Oakland Hills Fire”


The Future of Point Reyes

by Laura Alice Watt, author of The Paradox of Preservation: Wilderness and Working Landscapes at Point Reyes National Seashore

Today is the 54th anniversary of the establishment of the Point Reyes National Seashore, a much-beloved destination for people around the Bay Area and far beyond. Over the years I have been researching the peninsula’s landscape history, many people have asked, why are there still ranches in the park? Classic national parks like Yosemite or Yellowstone do not contain active agriculture, so indeed the presence of dairy cows and beef cattle adjacent to Point Reyes’ beaches must seem puzzling to some.

9780520277083Yet these historic agricultural families have remained in place for a reason, as my forthcoming book The Paradox of Preservation explores in depth. For over a century before it became a national seashore, Point Reyes was famous for its agriculture. Starting in the 1850s, renowned dairy and beef ranches were established on privately-owned property across the peninsula. In the late 1950s, the area was first proposed as a Seashore, aimed at providing recreation opportunities close to the metropolitan Bay Area—but even in the earliest discussions, a key concern was the possible effects of establishing a park on the local agricultural economy. As early as 1958, in a letter to Senator Clair Engle (one of the initial sponsors of the legislation), then-president of Marin Conservation League Caroline Livermore wrote: “As true conservationists we want to preserve dairying in this area and will do what we can to promote the health of this industry which is so valuable to the economic and material well being of our people and which adds to the pastoral scene adjacent to the proposed recreation project.” Throughout two years of Congressional hearings, no one testified at any time in favor of shutting down existing ranching, dairying, or oystering operations. Instead, the 1962 legislation reflected a strong commitment to retaining and sustaining existing agricultural uses, as they served the public values that the new national seashore was created to protect.

The continuing presence of cattle ranches on Point Reyes’ rolling grasslands offers a vision of how working landscapes—places characterized by “an intricate combination of cultivation and natural habitat,” shaped by the work and lives of many individuals over generations, maintaining a distinct character yet responding to the changing needs of its residents—should be recognized as part of both natural and cultural heritage worth protecting. The U.S. national park system contains areas that primarily aim to preserve natural scenery as well as those that primarily preserve history and cultural heritage; Point Reyes offers the suggestive possibility of protecting all types of heritage resources together, as a landscape whole and including the resident users’ input in management, rather than separately. I hope you will join me in celebrating the Seashore’s anniversary on the 13th, in hopes of many more years of public enjoyment of this unique and inspiring model of land protection and stewardship.


Laura Alice Watt is Professor of Environmental History and Policy at Sonoma State University.


Natural History and National Wildlife Day

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 5.15.51 PMIn celebration of #NationalWildlifeDay, enjoy free access to select articles from Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, today through September 18.

Seeing Jaws: The Role of Shark Science in Ocean Conservation
Jennifer A. Martin (Vol. 46, No. 1, February 2016)
Think Shark Week put sharks on the map? Think again. Few scientists played a greater role in constructing how Americans envisioned sharks than marine biologist Perry W. Gilbert.

Paul Errington, Aldo Leopold, and Wildlife Ecology: Residential Science
Robert E. Kohler (Vol. 41, No. 2, Spring 2011)
Place shapes field science: not just the place where research is carried on, but the places where investigators have been in their mobile careers.

Endangered Science: The Regulation of Research by the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection and Endangered Species Acts
Etienne Benson (Vol. 42, No. 1, February 2012)
The Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act have been cornerstones of federal wildlife conservation policy in the United States since their enactment in the early 1970s. Although there was relatively little controversy over the need for or nature of these permit procedures during the debates leading up to the enactment of the laws, they became the source of concern on the part of many zoologists, biologists, and ecologists as soon as federal agencies began to implement them.

The Business of Natural History: Charles Aiken, Colorado Ornithology, and the Role of the Professional Collector
Steve Ruskin (Vol. 45, No. 3, June 2015)
Charles Aiken was a Colorado ornithologist and specimen dealer whose career spanned almost sixty years, roughly 1870–1930. He was an entrepreneurial naturalist who operated a long-running commercial natural history dealership in Colorado Springs, which enabled him to pursue his passion for birds and make important contributions to American ornithology.


National Wildlife Day and the Meaning of “Wildlife”

by Harry W. Greene, author of Tracks and Shadows: Field Biology as Art

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Tracks and Shadows moves beyond childhood fascination with snakes, academics, and becoming a hunter, to explore our roles as participants in nature, not just spectators. These perspectives led me in a recent Mind and Nature essay to define “wildness” in terms of ecological and evolutionary processes, including big herbivores and predators that enable them, rather than minimal human influence per se. “Wildlife” could thus refer to organisms molded by those forces, even when we’re part of the mix.

Let’s illuminate that last point with three examples—provided here as natural history koans, challenges to traditional presumptions.

9780520292659My first wild predatory mammal was a Gray Fox, high in a Texas oak, and many years later, while visiting Santa Barbara’s Museum of Natural History, I marveled over specimens of the closely related Channel Island Fox. With fewer tail vertebrae and two-thirds the mass of mainland animals, its taxonomic description in 1857 has never been controversial. Now, though, thanks to archaeology and genomics, we know California’s only endemic carnivore diverged less than ten thousand years ago from Gray Foxes. Most intriguingly, Native Americans, who used the little canids for ritual burials, clothing, and rodent control, facilitated their overwater dispersal, possibly even their origin as a species.

Second, Columbus’s ships brought Iberian cattle to Florida and the Southwest, where after half a millennium of mostly natural selection, they’ve diversified into Cracker Cattle, which thrive in subtropical habitats, and arid-adapted Longhorns. Having observed both breeds, I’m enthralled by their behavior, so unlike that of other livestock. Longhorns maintain social hierarchies by sparring with namesake weaponry and require no help calving. Predators don’t take their offspring. Bulls attend to herd dynamics, breaking up squabbles and chasing younger males away from estrous cows. During a recent drought, they ate cactus and marched miles uphill for scummy pond water, so no wonder nineteenth century Kiowa viewed them as power symbols, as they did Bison.

Finally, during decades out West I’ve seen countless Coyotes, yet was astonished a few winters ago by one on a path through my suburban New York backyard. Turns out, that huge female (she squatted to pee) is the new normal. By the mid-1900s Wolves were almost eradicated from the eastern U.S., thence permitting range expansion by her kin—who’ve hybridized along their northern boundary with the larger Wolves, as well as perhaps been selected for bigger bodies by preying on deer, themselves super-abundant thanks to anthropogenic landscape changes.

Island Foxes, Longhorns, and eastern Coyotes, all immigrants affected by local ecological and evolutionary processes—but how should we regard these now-native lineages, their characteristics shaped, intentionally or otherwise, by humans? If more than five thousand years of differentiated existence confers “wild” status on foxes, what about five hundred for cattle and fifty for invasive canids? Meanwhile, I’m richer thanks to those magnificent ruminants and our sleek backyard visitor, hope to someday see California’s five-pound predators in their insular haunts.


Harry W. Greene is the Stephen Weiss Presidential Fellow and Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University and a recipient of the E.O. Wilson Award from the American Society of Naturalists. His book Snakes: The Evolution of Mystery in Nature (UC Press), won a PEN Literary Award and was a New York Times Notable Book.


Understanding Yellowstone

by James E. Meacham, co-editor of Atlas of Yellowstone

9780520271555Understanding a place as complex and as important as Yellowstone is a daunting task. As an atlas cartographer, compelling maps combined with imagery and words are my tools to helping tell Yellowstone’s complicated story. The geographic perspective is the cartographer’s lens to interpret the deep and broad knowledge on Yellowstone that has been collected and analyzed since before the National Park was established in 1872. The goal of creating the Atlas of Yellowstone was to unify that wealth of knowledge and make it accessible. John Varley, a retired career Yellowstone scientist, refers to the Atlas of Yellowstone as a “… synthesis equally useful to the public and scientists alike.” Over the ten years I worked with my co-authors, colleagues, and students in the production of the Atlas of Yellowstone, and we synthesized the knowledge and stories contributed by dozens of scientists, historians, ethnographers, and park managers, that have invested their careers and their hearts in this place that is held ecologically and culturally sacred by so many.

Yellowstone is of course more than what can be scientifically measured, there is a spirit there that artists and poets have been working to capture since it became known to the broader world through the works of painter Thomas Moran, and photographer William Henry Jackson of the Hayden Expedition of 1871 that helped persuade President U. S. Grant and Congress to establish Yellowstone as the first national park. Historical Geographer, Judith Meyer, writes “…the Park houses a genus loci or spirit of place: an infectious, irresistible force that stirs something within so many of us”. Through my decade long experience of collaboratively mapping the greater Yellowstone, I saw in myself a gradual and profound change in my relationship with Yellowstone as a place. Yellowstone evolved beyond being a remarkable place of study, to a place of refuge and connection.


James E. Meacham is Senior Research Associate and Executive Director of InfoGraphics Lab in the Department of Geography at the University of Oregon. He is the Cartographic Editor of the Atlas of Yellowstone (UC Press, 2012). His current project is working on the Atlas of Wildlife Migration: Wyoming’s Ungulates.


Science and Sensibility: Negotiating an Ecology of Place

by Michael Vincent McGinnis, author of Science and Sensibility: Negotiating and Ecology of Place

This guest post is published to coincide with the Ecological Society of America conference in Fort Lauderdale. Check back every day this week for new posts through the end of the conference on August 12th.

9780520285200Eduardo Viveiros de Castro writes, “Ecology is nothing but this: the evaluation of place.” As ecologists, we often spend a lifetime evaluating the impacts human beings have on ecosystems. Each generation of ecologists has less “nature” to draw from and observe. So as ecosystems decline, we witness a natural world receding like a mirage in the Arizona desert. The rivers of the Pacific Northwest were once full of wild salmon. Now ghosts of that abundant salmon remain. Tropical islands in the South Pacific are also slowly fading away as the sea level rises. The songs of marine life are also growing more silent as the diversity of the planet is diminished from global climate change. Watersheds are converted to wastesheds that shed human pollution. Local communities are suffering from globalization and the loss of ecosystem services. As the ecosystems we study are degraded, we are often left with a profound sense of suffering and loss that runs much deeper than an analysis of scientific information or raw data that shows the decline of a species or habitat. We may also witness the decline of the human community that fails to adapt to the loss of ecosystem health. The decline of peoples and places goes hand in hand. As we evaluate place, we begin to recognize our own destiny is connected to the protection of the places we inhabit.

In Science and Sensibility: Negotiating an Ecology of Place, I invoke the power of place to protect ecosystems and the people who depend on these systems. I am a product of the landscape and seascape I inhabit. The book draws from twenty years of experience in research and professional work that focuses on the importance of cultivating a science and a sensibility of place and one’s region. It offers a range of case studies—watersheds, river basins, offshore energy development, aquaculture, shipping, restoration ecology, marine protection, among others—that show that while scientific knowledge helps humans address complex problems, cultivating a renewed sense of place and increasing sustainability in our communities and larger ecosystems is essential to the challenges we face today.


Michael Vincent McGinnis is Associate Professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California. He is the editor of Bioregionalism and is the author of Marine Governance: The New Zealand Experience.