2010 Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America

Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries to Understand Human Drivers of Environmental Threats


A wide range of ecological studies affirms the cumulative damage to ecosystem capital and services around the globe. They also point to the overwhelming role that anthropogenic or human drivers play in global ecological damage. The MAHB is intended to combine what we know about human drivers of environmental threats with what the social sciences know about changing human behavior and institutions. A variety of social sciences have taken up the first task of identifying the key human activities—at both the local, cumulative level and at the systemic level—most responsible for global environmental change. Considerable progress has been made in our understanding of land use and land cover change, of vulnerability, resilience, and adaptation, of the governance of common pool resources, and of demographic and economic factors. Each of these advances is the result of integrating ecological principals and findings into disciplined social science research. This presentation highlights one of these integrating approaches, the STIRPAT approach, that adds social and political variables and statistical sophistication from the social sciences to the widely adopted IPAT formula.

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Correspondence to Eugene Rosa.

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Rosa, E., Dietz, T. Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries to Understand Human Drivers of Environmental Threats. Nat Prec (2010). https://doi.org/10.1038/npre.2010.5251.1

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  • IPAT
  • Driving Forces
  • anthropogenic
  • environmental threats


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