Urban Ecologies: Pluralism at the Center and Margins of a Discipline
Steward T.A. Pickett
Steward T. A. Pickett is an ecologist and distinguished senior scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. He specializes in urban and landscape ecology, and was founding director of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study Long-Term Ecological Research project.
He employs a social-ecological research approach to the structure and dynamics of urban areas and complex regional landscapes.
Pickett’s talk will probe key features of ecological science as a “transdiscipline” for these two important intellectual and practical realms. The conversation will be organized around the conundrum about pluralizing ecology. The term “ecologies” often evokes different reactions among natural scientists, compared to design professionals, scholars in the social sciences and humanities, and activists.
The presentation will examine the contrasting structure and use of science implied by the plural and singular, relate those to the core and interdisciplinary margins of urban ecology, and exemplify how useful social-ecological models can emerge from the plural stance. Contrasting ecologies can be understood as resulting from different kinds and scales of co-production relevant both within science and beyond. Finding common ground between “ecology” and “ecologies” is important for transdisciplinary success.
Rausser College's Horace M. Albright Lecture in Conservation in collaboration with the College of Environmental Design's Catherine Bauer Wurster Memorial Lecture Series