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Geography and the Emergence of Sustainability Science: Missed Opportunities and Enduring Possibilities

Abstract: 
The dawn of the 21st century saw the emergence of the newly declared field of "sustainability science." The new field's research agenda focuses on meeting human needs while simultaneously sustaining the life support systems of the planet. The field works to merge the natural and social sciences with analyses conducted from global to local scales. Sustainability science resembles the long-standing human-environment tradition in geography, yet geography was not widely recognized as a fundamental discipline during the emergence of sustainability science. The failure of geography to exert itself in the birth of sustainability science is the latest failure by geography to take its place as a discipline essential to solving pressing environmental problems. Opportunities remain for geography to take a central role in the advancement of sustainability science by leveraging its diversity of perspectives to provide a needed and uniquely geographical contribution.
Author: 
Drew E. Bennett
Institution: 
Oregon State University
Year: 
2013
Input By: 
Jessica Haskins
Affiliation: 
MIT
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