BiographyI worked as a research scientist for over 25 years with a variety of cultures in agricultural, coastal, desert, forest, valley grassland, shrub steppe, and subarctic settings in various parts of the world before realizing that science is not designed to answer the vast majority of questions society is asking it to address. Science deals with an understanding of biophysical relationships; society asks questions about human values.
Consequently, I gave up active scientific research in 1987 and have since worked to unify scientific knowledge with social values in helping to create sustainable communities and landscapes, part of which entails my facilitating the resolution of social-environmental conflicts. I have written over 286 publications, including 34 books, all of which deal with some aspect of social-environmental sustainability. In addition, I am listed in: Who’s Who in the West, American Men and Women of Science, Contemporary Authors, and International Authors and Writers Who’s Who.
As an author, international lecturer, mediator in environmental disputes, facilitator in creating vision statements, and assisting in sustainable community development, I am committed to telling it as I see it in order to give people an honest, open appraisal based on extensive experience of innovative ways to resolve their conflicts and unite their community in a sustainable relationship with their surrounding landscape from whence comes the community’s natural wealth. This is important because people can most easily deal with required changes when they feel safe and know someone is there who sincerely cares about them to guide the process as gently as possible, all the while protecting their dignity and looking out for their well-being.
I firmly believe that we MUST—for the children's sake, if for no other—discard our view of the Earth as a battlefield of subjective competition, where our human "superiority" reigns over that of Nature, where my "superiority" reigns over yours, and where the "superiority" of adults reigns over children. We will all be better off if we instead consider Earth as a biological living trust wherein all complementary efforts are gifts of equal value—including the innocence and imagination of children. All life is important to the health and well-being of the whole, living system—each life form in its own way. I say this because life demands inner struggle and tenacity, albeit tempered by outer cooperation, which continually fits and refits each living being to its function.
Complementary efforts among adults (men AND women), as well as between adults AND children, imply equality among people, and human equality represents the stage upon which hope, dignity, and social-environmental sustainability can endure for all generations. After all, the outcome of the decisions we adults make today become the consequences that children for all generations must live with—in that we give them no choice. To bequeath all generations a legacy that is better than we are today creating, I have agreed to CRC's request to create and edit a series of books on Social-Environmental Sustainability. If you are interested, the series can be found by clicking "Books" and then clicking the "series" link.
For me, working with the people at CRC is pure joy. They are professional, thoughtful, and kind.
"Chris Maser is a courageous writer. I've been his editor on two books—"Our Forest Legacy: Today's Decisions, Tomorrow's Consequences" and "The Perpetual Consequences of Fear and Violence: Rethinking the Future"—and I know quite well that Chris poses the problems our society faces in ways that don't pander to popular opinion and simple slogans, but rather draw the mind down the hard and complex path of systemic thinking. Everything in our lives is related to everything else. Even in the largest city, the soils of remote forests sustain life there. He presents an unusual blend of hard science and the wisdom of the ages, equally comfortable discussing the chemistry of organic decomposition, economics, psychology, and history. My favorite chapter from his work is "Learning to See a Forest by Understanding Its Dynamics." It is all about learning to see the world in its multi- and related dimensions. We are not individuals, Chris Maser would say, we are dynamic. "
Robert Merrill, Ph.D. , Editor, Maisonneuve Press Professor, Literature and Humanities, Maryland Institute College of Art
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Social-environmental sustainability based on human respect for—and harmony with—Nature's inviolable biophysical principles, which govern the productive capacity of ecosystems and thus ensure the sustainability of their services for all generations—all life.
Leaving this magnificent planet a little better for the privilege of having been here.