Top 2015 Academic Environmental Books

These are my top 5 academic environmental books for 2015, including conservation biology and psychology, an update to economics to factor in the impending destruction of the world, and sustainability. Personal reviews available on request!

See the rest of this year’s book recommendations here!

  1. Ecological Economics for the Anthropocene provides an urgently needed alternative to the long-dominant neoclassical economic paradigm of the free market, which has focused myopically―even fatally―on the boundless production and consumption of goods and services without heed to environmental consequences. The emerging paradigm for ecological economics championed in this new book recenters the field of economics on the fact of the Earth’s limitations, requiring a total reconfiguration of the goals of the economy, how we understand the fundamentals of human prosperity, and, ultimately, how we assess humanity’s place in the community of beings.


  2. Ecosystem services are emerging as a key driver of conservation policy and environmental management. Delivery of ecosystem services depends on the efficient functioning of ecosystems, which in turn depends on biodiversity and environmental conditions. Many marine ecosystems are extremely productive and highly valued, but they are increasingly threatened by human activities. With contributions from leading researchers, this volume synthesises current understanding of the effects on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning caused by a variety of human activities and pressures at play in coastal marine ecosystems. The authors examine the likely consequences for ecosystem service provision, covering key topics including fisheries, aquaculture, physical structures, nutrients, chemical contaminants, marine debris and invasive species. Critically reviewing the latest developments, this is a unique resource both for environmental managers and policy makers and for researchers and students in marine ecology and environmental management.


  3. As both the societies and the world in which we live face increasingly rapid and turbulent changes, the concept of resilience has become an active and important research area. Reflecting the very latest research, this book provides a critical review of the ways in which resilience of social-ecological systems, and the ecosystem services they provide, can be enhanced. With contributions from leaders in the field, the chapters are structured around seven key principles for building resilience: maintain diversity and redundancy; manage connectivity; manage slow variables and feedbacks; foster complex adaptive systems thinking; encourage learning; broaden participation; and promote polycentric governance. The authors assess the evidence in support of these principles, discussing their practical application and outlining further research needs. Intended for researchers, practitioners and graduate students, this is an ideal resource for anyone working in resilience science and for those in the broader fields of sustainability science, environmental management and governance.


  4. This is the new edition of what is now the leading textbook in conservation psychology, the field that explores connections between the study of human behavior and the achievement of conservation goals. Completely
    updated, this book summarizes theory and research on ways in which humans experience nature; it explores people’s conceptions of nature and environmental problems, their relationship with nature, and their moral lenses on nature; and examines ways to encourage conservation-oriented behavior at both individual and societal levels. Throughout, the authors integrate a wide body of research demonstrating the role of psychology in promoting a more sustainable relationship between humans and nature.


  5. Conflicts over the conservation of biodiversity are increasing and are serious obstacles to wildlife conservation efforts worldwide. Changing patterns in land use, over-exploitation, pollution, climate change and the threat posed by invasive species all challenge the way we currently maintain and protect biodiversity – from the local management of single species to the international management of resources. Integrating approaches from different academic disciplines, policy makers and practitioners, this volume offers a radically new, cross-disciplinary, multi-scale approach to deal with conflicts. Groundbreaking strategies for conservation are analysed and a large section of the book is devoted to exploring case studies of conflict from around the world. Aimed primarily at academics, researchers and students from disciplines relating to conservation, ecology, natural resources management and environmental governance, this book will be equally valuable to conservation NGOs and practitioners, and the policy community at national and international levels.


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