|Title||Integrative approaches to investigating human-natural systems: the Baltimore Ecosystem Study|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2006|
|Authors||Cadenasso, ML, Pickett, STA, Grove, JM|
This paper presents an overview of the research approaches used to study metropolitan Baltimore (Maryland, USA) as an ecological system. The urban ecosystem is a complex of biophysical, social, and built components, and is studied by an interdisciplinary team of biological, social, and physical scientists, and urban designers. Ecology "of" the metropolis is addressed rather than restricting research to ecology of green areas "in" the metropolis. The project applies standard ecological approaches such as the ecosystem, watersheds, and patch dynamics to the metropolitan area. In addition to research, the project conducts education at all levels and engages with communities and local policy makers and managers. Three broad questions guide the project, and focus on 1) the structure of the system from biophysical, social, and built perspectives, 2) the fluxes of energy, matter, population, and capital, and 3) the feedback between ecological information and environmental quality. We present examples of results focusing on each question.