When a group of liberal arts students embark on a university assignment about the natural environment, no one could have quite prepared them for the bewildering array of questions and provocations to confront them in their task. What starts out as an earnest attempt to understand nature in the modern world, turns into a philosophical and practical tangle that only a good transdisciplinary education can provide. Can anyone save the day and actually start to value ‘nature’? And if they can’t, then what’s stopping them?
The idea of ‘valuing nature’ harmonises diverse areas of natural resource management and is an important dimension of scientific and practical work concerned with managing ecosystems and habitats for sustainability. This graphic book takes the reader on an exploration of the issues that arise from this growing interest and concern in the valuation of nature.
Set around the premise of a ‘motley’ group of undergraduates endeavouring to complete a university assignment on ‘nature in the modern world’, the book explores:
- the many and diverse meanings people assign to nature
- the different ways the relationship between people and nature might be characterised
- the many values systems people hold for the natural world
- the options and approaches society can deploy to manage it
- the extent to which we need entirely new economic systems to protect and sustain nature.
This highly interdisciplinary book invites consideration of a range of philosophical and applied debates and questions. Written in an accessible style, it is an ideal undergraduate text in the fields of ecology, human and physical geography, conservation science, environment, social science and spatial planning, as well as a general primer for graduate natural and social scientists embarking on interdisciplinary research in the natural resource management arena.
Rob Fish has reinvented the textbook! This bright, illustrated and accessible volume is no less rigorous in what it teaches for having a graphic novel style, than a traditional text. I love it, and it will keep students engaged with material in a way that academic literature doesn’t always manage.
-- Dr Neil J. Gostling, Lecturer in the Ecology and Evolution Research Theme, School of Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, UK
This is a brilliant and refreshing piece of academic literature, presenting the key themes of human ecology in a fun and organic way that keeps you engaged throughout, a far cry from the usual dense academic text. I wish I had this available at the beginning of my degree!
--Katie Hargrave-Smith, Environmental Social Sciences student, School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent, UK
So often now, as scientists, we are asked to frame nature in terms of 'resources' and 'value' it in terms of 'service' to human economies. In my humble opinion this only serves to entrench the fundamental schism we have generated between ourselves and our environment. Healing this separation wound, as this book helps to do, is not only profound at an individual level, but potentially holds the key to a truly sustainable future. Bring on the transformation!
-- Dr Kerrie Farrar, FRSB, in 'The Dinosaur on your Window Sill' Facebook Group