People and the Land through Time, first published in 1997, remains the only introduction to the field of historical ecology from the perspective of ecology and ecosystem processes. It has been widely praised for its emphasis on the integration of historical information into scientific analyses and cited for its usefulness to an interdisciplinary audience of students and professionals in such diverse fields as ecology, conservation, history, archaeology, geography, and anthropology. This revised edition brings the research up-to-date and addresses current issues in historical ecology such as the proposed geological epoch, the Anthropocene, the roles of indigenous people in historic ecosystems; the impacts of past climatic fluctuations; and trends in sustainability and conservation. This fascinating exploration sheds light on the lingering consequences of human history on current ecosystems and landscapes, as well as the role that changing environments have played in human history.
Emily W. B. (Russell) Southgate is a senior scholar at Hood College's Biology Department. She is the author of People and the Land through Time and co-editor of Protecting the New Jersey Pinelands.
"It is truly inspiring to follow Emily Southgate's thoughts on people and the environment over time. This is a classic of historical ecology and at the same time a very personal and inspiring book."
– Matthias Bürgi, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL
"This edition presents two decades of progress in historical ecology, in which Southgate remains a crucial leader. She cogently shows the value of historical ecology for understanding the present, and shaping a sustainable future."
– Steward Pickett, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
"Revising what has been the foremost text in historical ecology for over twenty years may seem a risk. But readers can rejoice: a classic has been expertly updated and improved."
– David Mladenoff, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"After reading this book it will be impossible to take a walk in nature – pristine or otherwise – without wondering how past human activities may have shaped the ecosystem in ways profound or subtle."
– Mark Vellend, author of The Theory of Ecological Communities
"Emily Southgate provides an effective and insightful message on the nature of human-environment interaction through time. This is a valuable and important contribution to the emerging field of historical ecology."
– Christopher L. Hill, co-author of Geoarchaeology: The Earth Science Approach to Archaeological Interpretation
"By reading this second edition of People and the Land through Time, there is no doubt that ecology researchers will be convinced to do more historical ecology for understand ecosystems functioning."
– Thierry Dutoit, CNRS, Avignon University
"This beautiful book captures the excitement and importance of learning how humans have shaped ecosystems and landscapes, from prehistory to present. Ideal as a text for seminars in geography and ecology."
– Sally Horn, University of Tennessee