275 pages, Tabs, figs, b/w photos
The diversity of nature's flora and fauna is staggering, and it is human nature to wonder how to explain the diversity, adaptability and beauty of the world that surrounds us. How can we explain the interactions between matter and energy that lead to the abiotic and biotic web of life on earth? These questions demand increasingly accurate answers as environmental managers endeavor to meet steeper sustainability benchmarks set by political agendas. This book presents an overview of the systems-based, thermodynamic properties that underpin this natural growth and development, and explains the underlying ecosystem properties that can explain the environment's response to natural perturbations and human interventions.
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Brian D. Fath is Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Towson University (MD, USA). He teaches courses in ecosystem ecology, environmental biology, networks, and human ecology and sustainability. Dr. Fath has also taught short-courses on ecological modelling in Portugal, Croatia, and Denmark. Since 2002, he is a regular summer research scientist at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Austria). Dr. Fath graduated in 1990 from Miami University (OH) with degrees in Physics and Aeronautics. He completed an M.S. degree in Environmental Science at Ohio State University (1993) and earned a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Georgia in 1998. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Georgia (1998-2000) and the U.S. EPA in Cincinnati (2000-2001). Dr. Fath researches system sustainability using ecological network analysis, integrated environmental assessment, and information theory. He has published research papers in Journal of Theoretical Biology, Ecological Modelling, Biosystems, Ecological Complexity, Environmental Modelling and Software, and Ecosystems. He has co-authored the book A New Ecology: Systems Perspective. Professional Service includes: Associate Editor for the journal Ecological Modelling (since 2005), Associate Editor-in-chief for the Encyclopedia of Ecology, President, North American Chapter of International Society for Ecological Modelling (since 2006), Editorial Board, The Scientific World Journal (2001-present), Editorial Board, International Journal of Ecodynamics (2004-present), Board of Directors, International Environmental Modelling and Software Society (2004-present), Baltimore County Commission on Environmental Quality (2005-present).