In a world that is changing on a global scale and faster than ever before, science should rediscover its roots of observing the natural world unimpeded by the strict protocols of experimental manipulations, UA ecologist Rafe Sagarin and co-author Aníbal Pauchard suggest in their book, “Observation and Ecology.”
Mars rover Curiosity is doing it. School children strolling through the woods with binoculars are doing it. Charles Darwin was doing it. Observing the natural world around them was how the early naturalists started what would later become known as ecology – the science of how living things interact, depend on each other and how their habitats and communities change over time.
In their book, “Observation and Ecology,” ecologists Rafe Sagarin and Aníbal Pauchard make the case that if scientists are to tackle the enormously complex problems the world is facing, researchers and funding agencies have to leave their comfort zone of well-controlled experimental manipulations. (more…)