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This just in...

Is the Anthropocene recent? Defined solely by the accelerating impacts of an industrial society that threatens the future of both humanity and the biosphere (Barnosky et al., 2012,  Rockstrom et al., 2009)? A closer look at the history of human use of land yields a very different story.  Today in PNAS, my colleagues and I present a new global history of land use suggesting that human transformation of the terrestrial biosphere was already globally significant more than 3000 years ago ... [More]

Monday, April 29, 2013 | 0 Comments
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Methods »

Sunday, February 16, 2014 | 0 Comments

Roger M. Spanswick, Professor of Plant Biology, chair of my Ph.D. and undergraduate advisor, died on February 12, 2014 at the age of 74.  Roger Spanswick mentored me through some of the biggest transitions in my life, educationally and just in growing up.  Though my current work is near... [More]

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Global Change, Land use »

Monday, April 29, 2013 | 0 Comments

Is the Anthropocene recent? Defined solely by the accelerating impacts of an industrial society that threatens the future of both humanity and the biosphere (Barnosky et al., 2012,  Rockstrom et al., 2009)? A closer look at the history of human use of land yields a very different story.  ... [More]

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Global Change »

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 | 0 Comments

Is our planet now threatened by rapid global changes caused by human forcing of the terrestrial biosphere past a planetary tipping point?  Two different articles in Nature have suggested that the answer may be yes (Rockstrom et al. 2009, Barnosky et al., 2012).  Such is the question that B... [More]

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Anthromes, Ecosystems, Global Change »

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 | 0 Comments

What are we humans doing to biodiversity in the Anthropocene? Causing Earth’s sixth mass extinction? (e.g. Barnosky et al. 2011 and others).  How about something completely new to biodiversity on this planet?   How about a massive globalization of species leading to the widespre... [More]

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Methods, Sustainability »

Friday, December 16, 2011 | 0 Comments

As the fate of the Earth system becomes ever more intertwined with human systems, “thinking in systems” has become more essential than ever.  I've read books on systems theory (e.g. Allen & Hoekstra 1993), but a refresher is always good, so when I came across Thinking in Systems... [More]

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Global Change, Methods »

Tuesday, September 6, 2011 | 0 Comments

Acting locally: no problem.  Thinking globally: big problem!  To solve global problems, we need global understanding of local change. Yet no matter how hard we try, it remains extremely difficult to think globally.  Even in a world where Earth’s entire surface is scanned daily b... [More]

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Ecosystems, Global Change »

Thursday, August 25, 2011 | 0 Comments

What happens when a talented science writer brings together a diverse group of ecologists and conservationists chasing a new vision of nature?  If that writer is Emma Marris, the answer is: Rambunctious Garden- a new book to be released this September 1. Using her great gift for storytelling... [More]

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Global Change, Sustainability »

Friday, June 3, 2011 | 0 Comments

If media attention is any measure of popular thinking- then we have indeed finally arrived in the Anthropocene.   Thanks to the leadership (and hard work) of Jan Zalasiewicz, who initiated and convened the Anthropocene Working Group of the International  in London two weeks ago, there... [More]