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A Primer on Natural Resource Science


By: Fred S Guthery

192 pages, 3 tables, 17 b&w figs., bib., index

Texas A & M University Press

Hardback | Jul 2008 | #178638 | ISBN-13: 9781603440240
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £35.95 $44/€40 approx

About this book

In wildlife, fisheries, forestry, and range management departments around the country, natural resource scientists and their students advance understanding of the natural world largely through the collection and analysis of data. These students learn how to acquire data in the field and analyze them using modeling and other statistical methods.What they do not learn, contends author Fred S. Guthery, is what science means as an intellectual pursuit and where natural resource science fits in the scientific tradition. He argues that without education about the nature and philosophy of science, the wildlife field has become enamored with its methodologies at the expense of gaining real knowledge, leading to what some have characterized as "a crisis in how wildlife science is pursued."

With "A Primer on Natural Resource Science", Guthery intends to put learning about the nature of science into the natural resource scientist's university curriculum. In the first part of the book, "Perspectives," Guthery describes the principles of the scientific endeavor, discussing the nature of reasoning, of facts, of creativity and critical thinking. In the second part, "Practice," he presents the "mechanics" of science, explaining the roles of experiment, observation, models, and statistics. He also demystifies the essential activity of publishing, telling students and researchers why they must do it and how to do it successfully.

Throughout the book, Guthery uses his long experience and the body of his own research to relate the philosophical underpinnings of science to the realities of field biology. By providing real-life examples in the practice of natural resource science, Guthery offers practical, occasionally painful, and sometimes humorous lessons on the human urge to know about nature through science.

Guthery has written a tour de force in depth that will shape the field of wildlife science for many years. - Steven W. Buskirk, Department of Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming, Laramie"

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FRED S. GUTHERY is a professor and holds the Bollenbach Chair in Wildlife Ecology at Oklahoma State University. Widely recognized for his work on upland game birds, he is the author of On Bobwhites and a contributor to the recent book Texas Quails, both published by Texas A&M University Press. He lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

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