Human Ecology

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Food Biodiversity Challenges From a Global Perspective Last Updated on 2014-07-25 14:03:15 Food collection or gathering has been an important part of human endeavors towards establishing civilization across the long history of human evolution. Humans have demonstrated their ingenuity in identifying and locating new and novel food sources located in their immediate surrounding and during their migration across the planet. Humans have become more successful than other species because of their better foraging abilities and coordinated group work in identifying and locating novel food sources over time. This trial and error approach has enabled humans over time to identify suitable food sources from their local environments. Over time, humans have identified more species that are edible or could be made edible using primitive to modern day recipes and cooking techniques. These long years of trial and errors have generated a wide range of food sources for... More »
Harvard Forest Dioramas Last Updated on 2014-07-07 19:04:14 In the mid-1920s, a Harvard professor and a philanthropist colleague envisioned a three-dimensional, miniature scaled exhibit depicting the land-use history, ecology, conservation and management of New England forests. Fifteen years later, their vision was realized with the completion of more than 20 magnificently detailed dioramas – miniaturized, incredibly realistic scenes showing how the New England landscape changed over three centuries as Europeans settled in the region and managed the land. Still used in teaching Harvard students, other visiting classes and for many other educational programs, this unique exhibit remains widely acclaimed and is regularly visited by scholars and other interested citizens from around the world. In 1903, Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, hired Richard T. Fisher to establish a school of forestry at the... More »
Population ecology Last Updated on 2014-06-15 19:13:18 Population ecology is the field of ecology that focuses on the factors that affect the population size of a given organism, population growth rate, and spatial dispersion of individuals with populations. Demography is the subset of population ecology that studies statistics related to human populations. The only factors that can alter population sizes are births, deaths, immigration, and emigration. Births and immigration add individuals to a population whereas deaths and emigration remove individuals from a population. When more individuals are being added to a population than are being removed, the population increases in size. Alternatively, when more individuals are removed from the population than are added to the population the population decreases in size. Population sizes do not change when the rate that individuals are lost from a population is equal to the rate that... More »
Horticulture Last Updated on 2014-06-13 16:59:22 Horticulture [L. hortus: garden +cult(us): till] is the cultivation of flowers, fruit, vegetables, or ornamental plants; the science and art of cultivating such plants. In addition to plant cultivation, other elements of horticulture include floral arranging, landscape design, and landscape installation, as well as landscape architecture, landscape management, interiorscaping, golf course management and urban forestry. Botanical gardens and arboreta provide public access to display gardens, and often support research programs as well. Horticultural therapy is the use of horticulture in therapeutical situations, such as in assisted living centers or for disadvantaged children' s programs. Greenhouse usage ranks high among plant production systems in terms of technological usage. A large majority of greenhouse crops are grown in containers using modified soil, or... More »
Historical extent of oaks, Sonoma County, California Last Updated on 2014-06-11 15:38:01 Oaks are intricately tied to the human history of Sonoma County, California. The impressive size of individual trees, and the extent and beauty of the lowland groves are common themes in our county’s historical records. Early writers often compared the valleys where oaks grew to a park, with open spaces between the trees and little understory . This is a testament to the natural vigor of the trees themselves, and to the stewardship of native peoples, who had been tending the land here for thousands of years. “We passed through an extremely large roblar (trees very tall and thick) . . . running 3 leagues [8 miles]east to west, and a league and a half [four miles] north to south” -- Jose Altimira, founder of the Sonoma Mission, describing Sonoma Valley in 1823. “the valleys are . . . sprinkled with oak trees, and it seems ever as if we were about to enter a... More »