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Now is the time for conservation science – a mission-oriented scientific enterprise that seeks to protect nature, including Earth's animals, plants, and ecosystems, in the face of unprecedented human demands upon the planet. Conservation scientists apply principles from ecology, population genetics, economics, political science, and other natural and social sciences to manage and preserve nature. The focus of Conservation Science is first and foremost on protecting nature and especially Earth's biota. It also contains a heavy emphasis on highlighting strategies to better connect the practice of conservation with the needs and priorities of a growing human population.
Now used at over 150 colleges and universities, Conservation Science is an original and modern approach to conservation. Gretchen Daily (Stanford University) says it well: "Based on unparalleled, firsthand experience, Kareiva and Marvier explore the innovative approaches to conservation being honed around the world today. Their account is rigorous and engaging, with fresh questions, data, and quantitative analysis interwoven with vivid stories of actual conservation practice in the field."
Conservation Science was primarily written primarily for undergraduates and beginning graduate students who are interested either in academic careers or working in conservation at government agencies, non-governmental organizations, or international institutions.
Part I. Why Conservation is Needed
1. Humans Are the Dominant Ecological Force
2. Biodiversity and Extinction
3. Ecosystem Services: Accounting for Nature's Value
Part II. Policy, Protected Areas, and Planning
4. Policy Responses to Biodiversity Loss and Ecosystem Degradation
5. Protected Areas: A Cornerstone of Conservation
6. Conservation Planning and Priorities
Part III. How Science Informs Conservation Strategies
7. The Perils of Small Populations
8. Population Size, Trend, and Viability
9. Assessing Threats and Choosing Conservation Actions
10. Islands of Nature and the Role of Dispersal
11. Restoration and Reintroduction: Measures of Last Resort
12. Adaptive Management and Evidence-Based Conservation
Part IV. Conservation Challenges in a World Shaped by Humans
13. Reversing Global Deforestation and Forest Degradation
14. Balancing Agriculture and Conservation
15. Maintaining Sustainable Marine Fisheries
16. Managing Fresh Water for People and Nature
17. Getting Practical about Introduced Species
18. Climate Change Demands New Conservation Strategies
19. Making Conservation a Success Story
Peter Kareiva is the Chief Scientist and a Vice President for The Nature Conservancy, the world's largest environmental organization. He also maintains an appointment at Santa Clara University in California. Before moving to The Nature Conservancy, Dr. Kareiva was the Director of the Division of Conservation Biology at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Northwest Fisheries Science Center. He has served on the editorial boards of over a dozen different journals, has edited six books, and has been a faculty member at Brown University and the Universities of Washington and Virginia. He has received a Guggenheim fellowship and done research, consulting, teaching, or conservation work in twenty countries throughout Europe, Asia, and Latin America. He has authored more than 100 papers and articles, many of which were written in collaboration with colleagues in fisheries, agriculture, economics, and forestry. In 2007 he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science.
Michelle Marvier is a professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at Santa Clara University, where she has taught undergraduate courses in conservation science since 2000. She has published over 40 articles, is on the editorial board for Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, and regularly publishes articles with her undergraduate students. Dr. Marvier has also worked for NOAA Fisheries on salmon conservation and has served as an advisor to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and The Nature Conservancy on matters of statistics, monitoring, and risk analysis.
"The authors present reasoned and provocative discussion of the challenges we face while traveling the difficult road that lies ahead, and the book is thus an imperative read."
– Ecology, Todd Fuller
"[Kareiva and Marvier] have crafted a book that combines sound argument with practical examples [...] putting the tools of argument into the hands of the next generation of conservation scientists and on-the-ground practitioners."
– Science, John Fanshawe
"This fresh, engaging treatment of conservation biology covers key fundamental concepts from ecology and social science and integrates these into discussions of cutting-edge conservation science. Numerous examples, many from the firsthand experiences of Kareiva (The Nature Conservancy) and Marvier (Santa Clara University), enhance understanding of complex interdisciplinary issues. This work does an exceptionally good job of discussing the many ways that diverse human values influence attitudes toward biodiversity."
– Choice, D. Flaspohler
"Kareiva and Marvier offer a tour de force of conservation for the 21st Century. The reader is repeatedly confronted with the vexing choices inherent in conservation decisions, and comes away understanding why conservation must continue to evolve into a force that protects nature for rather than from people."
– Gretchen Daily, Bing Professor of Environmental Science, Department of Biology, Stanford University
"A remarkable combination of scholarship and pedagogy that will be the first choice for any course on conservation biology, and should be in every ecologist's library."
– Simon Levin, Moffett Professor of Biology, Princeton University
"This book marks a welcome revolution in the way students confront conservation science. It presents conservation issues as they are – vexing, unresolved problems involving economics and ethics as much as ecology. And it does all this in an engaging, think-foryourself style."
– Taylor Ricketts, Director Conservation Science Program, World Wildlife Fund
"A clear and concise delivery of the state of the art of conservation by two of its best scholars and practitioners."
– Mark W. Schwartz, Director, John Muir Institute of the Environment, University of California, Davis
"This book challenges conservation scientists to face discomforting questions. Should we design management plans that are deliberately suboptimal for biodiversity in order to maximize ecosystem services? Might exotic species be tolerated given their contributions to the functioning of ecosystems and the immense cost of their control? Kareiva and Marvier are unapologetic in facing down these and many other tough questions, with an unwavering commitment to practical solutions."
– Mark Vellend, Tier II Canada Research Chair in Conservation Biology and Associate Professor, University of British Columbia
"Emphasizing the need for science-based, sustainable ways that humans and nature can share this planet, the authors step away from the traditional crisis approach and instead promote a practical, solutions-oriented, approach to conservation science."
– Kent H. Redford, Director, WCS Institute
"Kareiva and Marvier have built their book on the principle that humans are the central ecological fact. This perspective is the only one that can lead to a sustainable future. For too long we have been teaching students about problems without helping them understand how we got here, and most importantly, how we get out."
– David Skelly, Professor of Ecology, Yale University
"Kareiva and Marvier use numerous case studies to illustrate how basic principles of ecology and evolution can be applied to some of the most challenging problems in contemporary conservation biology. The material emphasizes rigorous critical thinking and quantitative analysis, but is highly accessible due to the clear and engaging writing style. This outstanding book will provide a valuable resource for both teachers and students."
– Peter Armbruster, Georgetown University
"Conservation is a people problem. This book provides the framework and science to inform and foster human solutions for an increasingly degraded planet."
– P. Dee Boersma, University of Washington
"Conservation Science by Kareiva and Marvier brings fresh perspective to the urgent need to promote conservation in an increasingly human dominated world. Although most conservationists fret (rightly) about the threat to nature's resiliency of a world population that is growing in numbers, affluence and impact, Kareiva and Marvier emphasize the centrality of humans to any conservation solution, and look for ways to evaluate choices to the benefit of both people and nature. Well illustrated with the most current graphics and biological illustrations, this new text will strike a chord with students and lecturers alike."
– J. David Allan, University of Michigan