What does the wealth of the world represent New ways to think about old problems

Define the term.

Evidence to use.

Seven parts of an ecological imagination.

What is an ecological inquiry?

Defining ecological thinking.

Ecological problem solving.

Laws of ecology.

Ecologically based accounting.

Defining ecology simply.

Advocating ecological values.

Biological importance.

Forests as valuable watersheds.

Underground water sources.


A redwood forest trail, Pygmy forest, California.

Ecological imagination

The initial requirement for environmental literacy is a creative ( imaginative ) capacity to tie awareness of a problem to evidence and understand how competing and cooperating factors together relate to formulating responses to opportunites that may remedy a situation and alter social behavior.




Such an imaginative capacity encompasses an ability to conceptualize the dynamic interactions of species and communities over time and during changing ecological conditions. This proficiency to envision elements and nutrients contributing to functionally dynamic ecosystems and the evolutionary descent from a common ancestor of a number of interdependent creatures is a necessary skill when examining how living things compete and cooperate. The recognition of both the ecological and the evolutionary genetic character of life brings earthly existence's diversity, symbiosis, and order into sharp relief. An ecological imagination by distinguishing the adaptive genetic potential and biophysical limitations of interdependent life creates a necessary depth to comprehend subtle relations among all creatures and both the living and inorganic conditions of existence.

Karl Mobius understood the oyster reef as a single entity.
Hard and soft coral species off of the Florida Keys.

Empirical - evidence from the surrounding world.

• what is evidence?
what is a source?


"The history of ecology is at last becoming fashionable, . . . The general public has now begun to think of 'the environment' as an important problem in which science is deeply involved. One facet of the history of these sciences is the changing attitude of western civilization to the environment."

Peter J. Bowler, History of the Environmental Sciences, xvi.

Elements in an ecological imagination are:

Using models

Comprehending feedback

Explaining nutrient recycling

Seeing how living together is basic

Practicing problem solving

Applying ecological criteria to problems

Displaying systemic thinking


atomic nature
Eighteen related bodies of knowledge to synthesize and form into a coherent whole whose totality is greater than the mere sum of its individual parts.

texts | technology | landscape changes

Natural capital | Accounting for natural assets | Worth of ecosystem services