We are an integral part of the ecosystem where we live. In this book we learn that what we do in our yards matters just as much as the way our local parks and nature preserves are managed. Author and professor of landscape ecology Sara Gagné focuses on the ecological importance of our day-to-day activities and spaces we are most familiar with and can most influence. With cutting-edge science, anecdotal experiences, and practical recommendations, Sara brings the message of how people and nature are vitally connected in the urban and suburban landscape.
Each chapter is dedicated to a particular space—beginning with the yard, moving onto the street, the park, the greenway, the neighborhood, and the town/city. She tells stories of the latest ecological research, interwoven with her own experiences studying animals, to show readers how they affect nature and how nature in wilder, greener spaces affect us in both positive and negative ways. Sidebars feature practical steps readers can take to deepen their connections with nature.
Based on the author’s fifteen years of research and teaching in urban ecology, the wide variety of places and topics covered in this book adds a fresh perspective to urban nature writing and appeals to those who want to take action to make the places they live greener, healthier, and more biodiverse for themselves, the wildlife, and the earth.
Dr. Sara Gagné is associate professor of landscape ecology in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at University of North Carolina Charlotte. She has trained with the best ecologists in the world and published scientific articles in high-impact journals such as Ambio and Bio Science. She’s done research on coyotes and carabid beetles and is a member in an interdisciplinary department of physical and social scientists. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.