Skip to Main Content
Public ecology: an environmental science and policy for global societyAuthor(s): David P. Robertson; R. Bruce Hull
Source: Environmental Science & Policy 6:399-410
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: North Central Research Station
PDF: View PDF (148.79 KB)
DescriptionPublic ecology exists at the interface of science and policy. Public ecology is an approach to environmental inquiry and decision making that does not expect scientific knowledge to be perfect or complete. Rather, public ecology requires that science be produced in collaboration with a wide variety of stakeholders in order to construct a body of knowledge that will reflect the pluralist and pragmatic context of its use (decision context), while continuing to maintain the rigor and accountability that earns scientific knowledge its privileged status in contemporary society. As such, public ecology entails both process and content. The process is that of a post-modern scientific method: a process that values the participation of extended peer communities composed of a diversity of research specialists, professional policy-makers, concerned citizens and a variety of other stakeholders. The content of public ecology is a biocultural knowledge of dynamic human ecosystems that directly relates to and results from the participatory, democratic processes that distinguish public ecology as a citizen science. The primary goal of public ecology is to build common ground among competing beliefs and values for the environment. The purpose of this paper is to help unify and establish public ecology as a distinctive approach to environmental science and policy in global society.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationRobertson, David P.; Hull, R. Bruce. 2003. Public ecology: an environmental science and policy for global society. Environmental Science & Policy 6:399-410
KeywordsBiocultural, Human ecosystems, Citizen science, Public participation, Democracy
- Public ecology: an environmental science and policy for global society
- Integrating ecological and social knowledge: learning from CHANS research
- Linkages to Public Land Framework: toward embedding humans in ecosystem analyses by using “inside-out social assessment.”
XML: View XML