What Is Ecology?
What does ecology have to do with me?
Ecology is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment; it seeks to understand the vital connections between plants and animals and the world around them. Ecology also provides information about the benefits of ecosystems and how we can use Earth’s resources in ways that leave the environment healthy for future generations.
Who are Ecologists?
Ecologists study these relationships among organisms and habitats of many different sizes, ranging from the study of microscopic bacteria growing in a fish tank, to the complex interactions between the thousands of plant, animal, and other communities found in a desert.
Ecologists also study many kinds of environments. For example, ecologists may study microbes living in the soil under your feet or animals and plants in a rain forest or the ocean.
The Role of Ecology in Our Lives
The many specialties within ecology, such as marine, vegetation, and statistical ecology, provide us with information to better understand the world around us. This information also can help us improve our environment, manage our natural resources, and protect human health. The following examples illustrate just a few of the ways that ecological knowledge has positively influenced our lives.
What We Do
The ESA Vision
Our vision is for ecological science that effectively meets the challenges of a changing world.
We advance science by connecting ecologists with managers, government agencies, and others who need their expertise. We help position ecologists as credible sources of information about the complexity of ecological systems through our collaborations with federal and state agencies, individual government scientists, and NGOs.
ESA Diversity Statement
The Ecological Society of America is dedicated to the science and study of ecology. The society welcomes and encourages participation by all individuals regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, national origin, physical or mental difference, politics, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or subculture.
We strive to cultivate a society built on mentorship, encouragement, tolerance and mutual respect, thereby engendering a welcoming environment for all. Ecologists believe in the need for interdisciplinary study, both in terms of disciplines and participants. We believe in biodiversity both in terms of ecosystems and membership.
We will vigorously and proactively reject prejudice and stereotyping wherever it is encountered in our profession. ESA further promotes diversity in all areas of activity, including fostering diversity in membership, leadership, committees, staff, outreach, public engagement, recruitment, and all other areas of societal activity.
Promote your products, services, technology, equipment and literature to a community of 3,000 plus scientists, researchers, educators, administrators and policymakers engaged in the science of ecology.
The ESA and USSEE communities are transforming, bringing important new perspectives into the field. Inclusive approaches to ecology can build bridges between theory and practice, connect those working in disparate landscapes and sub-disciplines, and incorporate diverse perspectives.
Such approaches support ecologists and the ecological community as a whole as they articulate socio-environmental connections, address widespread ecosystem change, take advantage of technological advancements that provide unprecedented access to data and new analytical techniques, and engage in interdisciplinary collaborations.
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