Sunday, September 2, 2007

Readings for Week 3: Humans and biogeography

This week we are reading an article and a couple of sections from a prominent text book in biogeography.

Lomolino, Riddle, and Brown. 2005. Biogeography 3rd Edition, Sinauer Press. pages 3 - 12 and 728 - 743.

Terrell, J. E. 2006. Human biogeography: evidence of our place in nature. Journal of Biogeography 33:2088-2098.

The excerpts from the biogeography text book define the field of biogeography and give good examples of human biogeographic patterns. It also contains good background information on human colonization of the world.

The Terrel paper gives good background for the valuable contributions that biogeography can make to the social sciences. It also provides a philosophical discussion for how perspectives on the human place in nature have changed through time and by discipline. I contacted Dr. Terrell to see if he would be willing to chime in to our blog discussions of his paper. He responded with interest but is traveling next week. As an alternative I will email him a few of our questions and we can post his responses. So please think of very good discussion questions that you can ask to the author directly.

1 comment:

Steve said...

On page 2092 Terrell observes that "populations" of humans are hard to define.

Is this a common problem with biogeography in general, or is this unique to humans? For example, who can say where a "population" of pine trees ends?

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