BES Milestones01

1990-10-18 02:00:23

Urban-Rural Gradient Ecology

The Urban-Rural Gradient Ecology (URGE) project in metropolitan New York City was a key stimulus for the Baltimore Ecosystem Study

1993-05-14 04:33:49

Humans As Components of Ecosystems

A Cary Conference in the early 1990s brought together natural and social scientists to advance the idea that humans are in fact components of ecosystems, whether in wild, rural, or urban places.

1997-01-24 00:43:57

Founding Papers of BES

The first issue of the then new journal Urban Ecosystems, contains three papers important to the establishment of BES.

1999-01-09 19:06:47

Integration and Synthesis Crucial to BES

The early years of BES revealed the need to study the methodology, history, and philosophy of integration and synthesis for interdisciplinary science.

2001-06-12 18:32:04

The First Major Synthesis Article

BES was invited to submit an article for the Annual Review of Ecology, and Systematics. This "review of record" was an important recognition by the larger ecological community of the success and significance of BES Pickett, S. T. A., M. L. Cadenasso, J. M. Grove, C. H. Nilon, R. V. Pouyat, W. C. Zipperer, and R. Costanza. 2001. Urban Ecological Systems: Linking Terrestrial Ecological, Physical, and Socioeconomic Components of Metropolitan Areas. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 32:127–157.

2006-01-23 12:06:49

Sharing the strategy of integration.

The curiosity of other researchers about how BES was put together and how it integrated across ecological and social disciplines let to synthetic papers.

2006-04-09 11:19:29

Complexity in Time, Space, and Organization as key for Urban Systems

Complexity is an important feature of urban areas as social-ecological systems. There are levels of complexity on three dimensions in cities.

2006-06-10 14:33:55

Integrative social-ecological methods

Addressing challenges for dealing with urban social and ecological mosaics, in contrast to gradients, and the challenges of hi-categorical resolution of social and ecological categories.

2007-03-04 20:08:12

A New Concept of Land Cover for the City

It became clear early on in BES that the land use/land cover categories usually used in cities were too coarse to capture ecological and social changes we saw in Baltimore. M.L. Cadenasso and colleagues created a classification that was more useful to us.

2007-08-07 20:52:20

Urban Ecology Needed a New Theory

The integration and synthesis required for social-ecological research and application required new theory, and better ways to link with established ecological theory. We relied on a second edition of the first book on philosophy of ecology to inform those efforts.

2007-11-09 18:48:00

Urban Design Expands the Thinking in BES

Architect Brian McGrath and landscape architect Victoria Marshall joined the project and stimulated new ways to think about and help improve the city. Urban design studios and the associated field trips were powerful integrative activities.

2008-04-19 02:59:04

A New Round of Synthesis

As more long-term data, and additional disciplinary perspectives were added to BES, the opportunity for a second large synthetic paper emerged.

2008-11-07 19:23:20

Synthesizing Urban Principles for Science and Application

An invitation to contribute to a conference on ecological landscape design and management provided the opportunity to articulate core principles of urban ecology.

2010-10-18 02:00:23

Species interactions take center stage

BES and CAP scientists articulate a new model for biodiversity loss in cities, promoting the importance of species interactions in shaping biotic communities.

2011-01-22 04:53:12

Second Generation Synthesis: A Book in a Journal

The Journal of Environmental Management invited a peer reviewed synthesis to update our 2001 Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics paper.

2011-05-03 01:22:36

BES Authors Contribute to LTER Social-Ecological Synthesis

After a series of workshops convened by the LTER Science Council, social scientists and natural scientists produce a shared framework for integration.

2011-09-11 02:42:51

Architecture and Ecology Combine in the Metacity

When architectural thinking meets patch dynamics, a new dynamic view of urban systems emerges.

2012-07-09 13:11:05

A New Concept of Urban Watersheds

Baltimore was attractive to ecologists in part because it encompasses several functional watersheds. This made applying key ecosystem ideas relatively easy. Yet, as Kaushal and Belt show, urban watersheds have distinctive features that must be understood to explain their function, and their complex relationships to the larger urban landscape. This paper is one of BES's signature new synthetic contributions.

2013-01-01 00:42:28

Urban Design Integration with Ecology Improves City Resilience

A Cary Conference in 2011 brought together designers and ecologists. That stimulating gathering led to refinements in how resilience, sustainability, and ecological knowledge could be applied to improve cities.

2013-03-18 13:54:37

Sustainability is a Trajectory, Not a Condition

Ecologists, urban designers, and social scientists join together to explore how to set cities on more sustainable trajectories.

2013-07-27 15:14:51

Revisiting the Fundamentals of Resilience in Urban Ecology

An interdisciplinary workshop in Switzerland led to understanding how resilience and sustainability differ, and how resilience theory can better apply to cities.

2014-07-05 09:30:51

Climate Change Requires Social Science, and Ecology

City transformation in the face of climate change is a growing need. This action oriented approach combines perspectives from biophysical and social sciences.

2015-01-12 21:32:45

Design and Social-Ecological Science Join to Focus on Ecology FOR the City

A interdisciplinary group advances social, design, and ecological perspectives to prepare cities for adapting to climate change.

2015-04-03 14:08:16

Putting BES in the Global Urban Perspective

Urbanization is one of the world's most rapid and novel changes. The experience with past urban transitions in the United States fails to account for new and unprecedented patterns as new cities emerge, and old cities explode around the world. An interdisciplinary group develops a new global theoretical context. How BES fits in this emerging global reality is a healthy expansion of our thinking.

2015-10-02 01:13:13

Introducing and Summarizing the Baltimore School

BES has by now produced enough novel results, revealed enough surprises about urban ecology, and linked multiple disciplines and professions in a unified view, that it can be called a "school" of urban social-ecological science.

2016-01-10 19:42:38

BES Contributes to an International Perspective on the Future of Urban Ecology

The First World Congress of the Society for Urban Ecology presented the opportunity for BES science to help articulate a view of the way forward for urban ecological science.

2016-03-21 10:21:13

Ecology In, Of, and For: More than Metaphor

A survey of the three major perspectives of urban ecology -- ecology in, of, and for the city -- reveals that these seemingly simple labels actually refer to different theories, modeling approaches, and applications.

2016-03-21 10:21:13

How to Better Link Science with Decision Making

BES has always attempted to be a "good citizen" in Baltimore, and to conduct research that is relevant to and of interest to city residents, students, and policy makers. This paper summarizes the strategy that has proven successful for us.

2016-10-18 02:00:23

Nutrient Retention in Restored Streams and Rivers: A Global Review and Synthesis

Stream restoration has become a common practice in urban watersheds and improving water quality is frequently a goal. Empirical measurements of nutrient retention at BES LTER stream restoration projects prompted this global review and synthesis.

2017-04-28 16:18:52

Spatial Heterogeneity Affects Sustainability

Spatial heterogeneity is one of the most characteristic features of cities. BES landscape ecologists explore the implications of heterogeneity for urban sustainability.

2017-06-18 02:03:35

Dynamic Heterogeneity: A New Way to Link Social and Biophysical Processes

The generation, maintenance, or change of spatial heterogeneity are of interest to ecologists, designers, planners, and residents. We have a new way to tie these concerns together.

2017-07-28 09:51:20

The Human Ecosystem: State-of-the-Science

The Human Ecosystem framework or model type is fundamental to all social-ecological-technological integration. Burch and colleagues, the original authors of the concept, update it for the 21st century.

2017-08-06 19:39:30

The Ecology of Segregation

Segregation is -- unfortunately -- one of the most familiar and pervasive features of American cities. Although social scientists have addressed this phenomenon for decades, it is terra incognita to biophysical scientists. This paper opens a door onto this neglected scientific domain, and identifies an important research frontier for the synthetic science of urban social-ecological systems.

2017-08-27 15:42:10

Fundamental Ecological Concepts Apply to Cities: The Case of Disturbance

Disturbance has become one of ecology's central ideas, and indeed, is a core research topic of long-term studies in America. This paper applies and refines a rigorous framework for the study of disturbance to urban areas.

2017-11-06 04:20:45

The Journal, Ecosystems, Includes Urban Ecology in its Forward-Looking Anniversary Issue

Participants in BES, CAP and several other leading urban ecological research projects look forward to the future of their interdisciplinary pursuit.

2018-01-05 16:02:24

Better Linking Social and Biophysical Perspectives on Sustainability

BES ecologists were invited to share with social scientists and environmental justice activists the ecological contexts of sustainability.

2018-03-27 08:37:56

Urban Areas are Co-produced Systems

Co-production is often used to refer to the generation of knowledge and solutions by researchers, communities, and urban professionals. However, it can also refer to the joint biological and social creation of urban systems themselves. That new use of the term has profound implications for the science and application of urban ecology,.

2018-07-16 06:04:17

Project or Platform: A New Way to Address the Future of Urban Ecology

Even inter- and transdisciplinary projects must adapt to changing material, political, and practical futures. Thinking about our transdisciplinary experience in BES as a tool for future growth invites planning for an adaptive future.

2019-02-12 22:00:03

Twenty Years of BES Data and Insights

Twenty years of long-term data, experiments, examination of extreme events, interdisciplinary team building, and transdisciplinary trust and outcomes have been summarized in a new book.

2019-04-24 12:38:39

An Atlas of Baltimore Land Covers

BES developed a new land cover classification (see Cadenasso et al. 2007 earlier in this timeline) to make up for the shortcomings of the traditional way that urban lands have been classified in the United States. Based on a rigorous yet creative approach to organizing this land cover classification introduced by landscape architect Victoria Marshall and architect Brian McGratn, BES ecologists joined to explore the theoretical and practical implications of the HERCULES classification system.

BES Milestones01

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