Human ecology is the study of the relationship between humans and nature. People who work in this field believe that people are integrated into ecosystems, and they study how humans are intimately connected to their environment and how they impact that environment.
Studies of ecosystems typically consider relationships between species and nature. People, however, are sometimes purposefully left out of the scope, since some studies want to ensure a pure ecosystem study. Human ecology, on the other hand, promotes the idea that humans are not to be excluded as an unnatural part of a natural ecosystem. They recognize that humans have the largest influence on ecosystem changes happening today.
Humans are distinctive from all other species. This type of ecology teaches that humans are complex beings who express conscious goals via the natural world. A person's behavior is influenced by knowledge plus values, beliefs, and conscious goals. Developing cultures and emerging societies construct their values and goals relative to nature. Conflicts, as well as working together, contribute to an elaborate set of interactions among individuals and groups.
Human ecology also explores how the environment influences humans. The environment often forces human beings to invent, then adapt to, coping and survival strategies. This vein of ecological study asks how efforts to preserve the environment, for example, can include human values and societies' value differences. It is a way of seeing the world synergistically.
Scientists in the field accept human longings and anxieties, and they want to understand where these emotions originate. Additional exploration often leads them to ask how values and emotions affect the global environment. Social and political understanding could be linked to psychology, ethics, and theology.
Findings from other fields are often integrated into human ecology studies. Taking information from areas such as biology, anthropology, politics, and psychology contributes to the methodology's interdisciplinary reputation. It is also a participatory discipline, with the humans doing the research acting as part of the ecosystem they are evaluating. This can lead to greater insight into human values and understanding of people with differing values.
By focusing on the human aspects of environmental management, a human ecology research group observes interaction between people in an ecosystem. Particular areas of study may focus on sustainability of crops, harvesting methods, or biodiversity in forests of politically charged nations. By working with local communities in all parts of the world, the field aims for plans that benefit humans and non-humans alike.