The Science and Practice of Ecological Restoration

Intelligent Tinkering

Bridging the Gap between Science and Practice

Authors: Cabin, Robert J.

  • Cabin’s experience as both an academic research ecologist and a restoration scientist/practitioner gives him the credibility and platform to discuss and critique the role of formal science in restoration
  • The main theme—role of science within the practice of ecological restoration—is a major selling point, interest is proven by an exchange of views in one of the two major journals in the field
  • Writing style and content will attract readers, especially from the practitioner part of the audience
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eBook $30.00
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  • ISBN 978-1-61091-040-8
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About this book

Robert J. Cabin uses the restoration of tropical dry forestland in Hawaii as an in-depth case study to investigate the scientific, practical, and philosophical issues associated with performing ecological restoration in the messy real world.
 

Interweaving entertaining narratives of his own on-the-ground experiences as a practicing restorationist with reflections about his scientific training and background, Cabin explores the relationship between science and practice in ecological restoration. He observes that because restoration can be complex and value-driven, its implementation often turns out to be as much interdisciplinary art as hard science. Despite the often distinct cultures and methodologies of scientists and practitioners, Cabin shows how each has a vital role in effective restoration and offers suggestions for improving working relationships.


One approach he advocates is what he calls "intelligent tinkering," after the work of Aldo Leopold. In this model, practitioners employ the same kind of careful but informal trial-and-error strategy followed by such groups as indigenous peoples and hobbyist mechanics. Cabin illustrates the power of intelligent tinkering using examples from his own work and other restoration projects.


The gap between science and practice is not unique to ecological restoration; it is a widespread problem across all fields of applied science. Written in a clear and engaging style, Intelligent Tinkering offers an insightful look at the underlying causes of the problem, along with invaluable suggestions for addressing it.

About the authors

Robert J. Cabin is an associate professor of ecology and environmental science at Brevard College. Before returning to academia, he worked as a restoration ecologist for the US Forest Service and the National Tropical Botanical Garden.

Table of contents (10 chapters)

  • Introduction: The Science of Restoration Ecology and the Practice of Ecological Restoration

    Cabin, Robert J.

    Pages 1-10

  • Tropical Dry Forests: Land of the Living Dead

    Cabin, Robert J.

    Pages 13-33

  • Let’s See Action! Planning and Implementing a Research and Restoration Program

    Cabin, Robert J.

    Pages 35-57

  • Now What? Responding to Nature’s Response

    Cabin, Robert J.

    Pages 59-80

  • Writing It Up: The Art and Importance of Science Papers

    Cabin, Robert J.

    Pages 81-94

Buy this book

eBook $30.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-61091-040-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format:
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Intelligent Tinkering
Book Subtitle
Bridging the Gap between Science and Practice
Authors
Series Title
The Science and Practice of Ecological Restoration
Copyright
2011
Publisher
Island Press/Center for Resource Economics
Copyright Holder
Island Press
eBook ISBN
978-1-61091-040-8
DOI
10.5822/978-1-61091-040-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XX, 220
Topics