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Human Ecology

What is it?

Human Ecology investigates human population interacting with their specific natural enviroment through its culture and social organization. I aim conclusive understanding of the human population survival, based on the fieldwork by way of interview and direct observation of demographic, cultural and socioeconomic status, behavior and diet, simultaneously on collecting environmental and biological specimens and those analyses at the laboratory in Japan. I myself intend projection of the effect of anthropogenic modification of any condition in the system and thus I am devoted to construct mathematical models of human population survival. My research fields are mostly Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam.

Recommendable readings for Human Ecology

Whether the "Human Ecology" is established discipline or not is still in discussion. It is generally said that 100 human ecologists have 100 kinds of studying human ecology. Nonetheless, the framework of the human population survival in relation to its environment can be judged as more or less established. Here I list the recommendable readings for introducing general idea of human ecology. Studies on specific topics and regional studies will be listed in the other pages.

SUZUKI, Tsuguyoshi (1980) "JINRUI SEITAI GAKU no HOUHOU (The method of human ecology)", University of Tokyo Press, 980 yen
Unfortunately this is written in Japanese. This has excellent contents.
SUZUKI, Tsuguyoshi, Ryutaro OHTSUKA, and Hiroshi KASHIWAZAKI (1990) "JINRUI SEITAI GAKU (Human Ecology)", University of Tokyo Press, 3200 yen
The textbook compiled by the faculty of the Department of Human Ecology, University of Tokyo. About a decade later, a new book (with the same title from the same publisher) by the alumni of the Department was published, as Ohtsuka et al. eds., "JINRUI SEITAI GAKU".
ELLEN, Roy (1982) Environment, Subsistence and System: The Ecology of Small-Scale Social Formations. Cambridge University Press.
Dr. ELLEN is the Professor of Anthropology, University of Kent at Cantaberry. This book presents a perspective to the development of ecological anthropology in chapters 1 to 4. Thereafter, relationship between ecosystems and subsistence are discussed through the viewpoint of time allocation and energy. Adapation, reproduction, and methodology are also discussed in later parts.
MORAN, Emilio F. (1982) Human Adaptability: An Introduction to Ecological Anthropology. Westview Press.
The author is the Professor of Anthropology and of Public and Environmental Affairs in the Indiana University. This book also discusses the history of approaches to human adaptation in the first 3 chapters. After that, fundamental concepts of "ecological anthropology" are shown (the ecological anthropology is mostly overlapping with the human ecology). Chapters 5 to 9 shows the plenty of human adaptation examples in various environment. The last chapter shows the future direction of the human adaptability research. This "future" direction is mostly started, but still unsolved. I basically agree with his statement, "Human adaptability research has so far walked a fine line between pure and applied research," which typically represents the author's attitude and orientation.