New Book: Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER)

Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER): How to Study Society – Nature Interactions Across Spatial and Temporal Scales. Edited by Simron Jit Singh, Helmut Haberl, Marian R. Chertow, Michael Mirtl and Martin Schmid. Springer, 2013.

Over the last half century, exceptional changes in the environment have placed renewed importance on the study of society-nature interactions. Around the globe, ever increasing human demands on ecosystems not only harm the environment, but also induce great potential for social conflict. In this sense sustainability problems are not only 'ecological' but 'socio-ecological' since the ways societies interact with the environment affects both ecosystems and social systems.

The emerging interdisciplinary field of Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER) is primarily concerned with questions of global environmental change and sustainability. It aims to conceptualise, observe, analyse, and model changes in coupled socio-ecological systems over generations. Tracking these changes over extended periods is accomplished in research traditions that include social and human ecology, industrial ecology, environmental history, human geography and anthropology. LTSER aims to provide a knowledge base that helps reorient socioeconomic trajectories towards more sustainable pathways.

The authors of the just published volume make a case for LTSER’s potential in providing insights, knowledge and experience necessary for a sustainability transition. Contributions from Europe and North America review the development of LTSER since its inception and assess its current state. Through many case studies, this book gives the reader a greater sense of where we are and what needs to be done to engage in and make meaning from long-term, place-based and cross-disciplinary engagements with socio-ecological systems.

For more information:

Wolfgang Cramer recommends the new book in his article: 'Regional Environmental Change refocuses on sustainability and the human–environment relationship', with the words 'new quality of rigorous investigations into the human–environment relationship at the regional level'. See:

Barbara Smetschka

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