Klagenfurt, Austria

Social and Human Ecology

Sozial- und Humanökologie

Language: GermanStudies in German
Subject area: social
Qualification: Mag. phil
Magister/Magistra der Philosophie, Mag. phil
4 Semester
120 ECTS
University website: www.aau.at/
Ecology (from Greek: οἶκος, "house", or "environment"; -λογία, "study of") is the branch of biology which studies the interactions among organisms and their environment. Objects of study include interactions of organisms with each other and with abiotic components of their environment. Topics of interest include the biodiversity, distribution, biomass, and populations of organisms, as well as cooperation and competition within and between species. Ecosystems are dynamically interacting systems of organisms, the communities they make up, and the non-living components of their environment. Ecosystem processes, such as primary production, pedogenesis, nutrient cycling, and niche construction, regulate the flux of energy and matter through an environment. These processes are sustained by organisms with specific life history traits. Biodiversity means the varieties of species, genes, and ecosystems, enhances certain ecosystem services.
Humans (taxonomically Homo sapiens) are the only extant members of the subtribe Hominina. The Hominina are sister of the Chimpanzees with which they form the Hominini belonging to the family of great apes. They are characterized by erect posture and bipedal locomotion; high manual dexterity and heavy tool use compared to other animals; open-ended and complex language use compared to other animal communications; and a general trend toward larger, more complex brains and societies.
Human Ecology
Human ecology is an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary study of the relationship between humans and their natural, social, and built environments. The philosophy and study of human ecology has a diffuse history with advancements in ecology, geography, sociology, psychology, anthropology, zoology, epidemiology, public health, and home economics, among others.
Living organisms including humans are social when they live collectively in interacting populations, whether they are aware of it, and whether the interaction is voluntary or involuntary.
The thing the ecologically illiterate don't realize about an ecosystem is that it's a system. A system! A system maintains a certain fluid stability that can be destroyed by a misstep in just one niche. A system has order, a flowing from point to point. If something dams the flow, order collapses. The untrained miss the collapse until too late. That's why the highest function of ecology is the understanding of consequences.
Frank Herbert, in Dune ("Appendix I: The Ecology of Dune")
For some years now the activity of the artist in our society has been trending more toward the function of the ecologist: one who deals with environmental relationships. Ecology is defined as the totality or pattern of relations between organisms and their environment. Thus the act of creation for the new artist is not so much the invention of new objects as the revelation of previously unrecognized relation- ships between existing phenomena, both physical and metaphysical. So we find that ecology is art in the most fundamental and pragmatic sense, expanding our apprehension of reality.
Gene Youngblood, Expanded Cinema, 1970 p. 346; The Artist as Ecologist
The extinction of Partula is unfair to Partula. That is the conventional argument, and I do not challenge its primacy. But we need a humanistic ecology as well, both for the practical reason that people will always touch people more than snails do or can, and for the moral reason that humans are legitimately the measure of all ethical questions—for these are our issues, not nature's.
Stephen Jay Gould,"Unenchanted Evening", (1993).
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