Colorado mountains

Erle Ellis - Abstract

Erle Ellis

Ecology in the Anthropocene: Observing, Understanding, and Embracing Human Nature

Human populations and their use of land have now transformed ecosystem pattern and process across most of the terrestrial biosphere.

As a result, it is no longer possible to observe, understand or predict the functioning of ecosystems or evolutionary processes without understanding how human systems interact with, alter, or control them.

The emergence of the Anthropocene therefore heralds new imperatives and opportunities for ecological science and education.

As with humanity, ecology is becoming more global, multifunctional, multicultural, dynamic and adaptive.

Ultimately, to continue to progress, ecological science must embrace, observe, and model humans not as destroyers or disturbers of nature, but as permanent creators, engineers and stewards of our increasingly anthropogenic biosphere.

Background Photo by: Nicole Hansen - Jornada (JRN) LTER