Anthropology and bioecology are currently at a point in their development where researchers in both fields are working towards an integration, which can be described as a form of human ecology. Integration of such disparate disciplines is not easily achieved. Important steps which facilitate integration are the clear definition of terms relevant to the disciplines, and the development of a common framework which would allow the overlapping of domains of the disciplines. The objective of this paper is to contribute to an understanding of human ecosystems by discussing (1) the definition of human ecosystems, and (2) the use of models in illustrating the integration of bio-physical and socio-cultural components of human ecosystems. Icons from the systems modeling languages of H.T. Odum and J.M. Forrester are applied to the modeling of human ecosystems. Specifically, models of R.A. Rappaport's work with the Tsembaga Maring are discussed in terms of their depiction of the components of human ecosystems. Modeling allows one to conceptualize the complexity of human ecosystems, and is an important step towards a human ecology.
Pavao-Zuckerman, Mitchell A.. "The Conceptual Utility of Models in Human Ecology." Journal of Ecological Anthropology 4, no. 1 (2000): 31-56.
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