Collected Papers of Michael E. Soulé
6 x 9
6 x 9
In the early 1970s, the environmental movement was underway. Overpopulation was recognized as a threat to human well-being, and scientists like Michael Soulé believed there was a connection between anthropogenic pressures on natural resources and the loss of the planet’s biodiversity. Soulé—thinker, philosopher, teacher, mentor, and scientist—recognized the importance of a healthy natural world and with other leaders of the day pushed for a new interdisciplinary approach to preserving biological diversity. Thirty years later, Soulé is hailed by many as the single most important force in the development of the modern science of conservation biology.
This book is a select collection of seminal writings by Michael Soulé over a thirty-year time-span from 1980 through the present day. Previously published in books and leading journals, these carefully selected pieces show the progression of his intellectual thinking on topics such as genetics, ecology, evolutionary biology, and extinctions, and how the history and substance of the field of conservation biology evolved over time. It opens with an in-depth introduction by marine conservation biologist James Estes, a long-time colleague of Soulé’s, who explains why Soulé’s special combination of science and leadership was the catalyst for bringing about the modern era of conservation biology. Estes offers a thoughtful commentary on the challenges that lie ahead for the young discipline in the face of climate change, increasing species extinctions, and impassioned debate within the conservation community itself over the best path forward.
Intended for a new generation of students, this book offers a fresh presentation of goals of conservation biology, and inspiration and guidance for the global biodiversity crises facing us today. Readers will come away with an understanding of the science, passion, idealism, and sense of urgency that drove early founders of conservation biology like Michael Soulé.
"At a time when fewer and fewer individuals understand what wildness means and how biology works, the Collected Papers of Michael E. Soulé arrives like rain in the desert. No one has had a greater impact on conservation biology than Michael Soulé. His knowledge of this blessed Earth is more than just a sharp-eyed respect for science. Soulé holds a spiritual conviction that recognizes that the intersection between biology and beauty is the miraculous. Each of these papers is an example of ecological consciousness delivered with a bow toward our humble place on the planet."
Terry Tempest Williams, author of "When Women Were Birds"
"Michael Soulé is considered the father of modern conservation biology and is one of my personal heroes. The papers in this collection are valuable and timeless on their own, but the addition of a preface, a substantive introduction by James Estes, and introductions to each paper by the author and Rob Peters makes this book a significant new contribution to the literature. The outlook for life on Earth may appear grim, but the world is a better place with Michael Soulé in it."
Reed F. Noss, author of "Forgotten Grasslands of the South"
"Michael Soulé has guided the development of the vital field of conservation biology since its origin, making sure that it remains true to the best science and the best ethical principles in the face of numerous challenges. This remarkable feat is beautifully charted in these collected papers."
David Ehrenfeld, Founding Editor of "Conservation Biology" and Distinguished Professor of Biology, Rutgers Univ.
Introduction \ James A. Estes
Chapter 1. Conservation Biology: Its Scope and Its Challenge \ Michael E. Soulé and Bruce A. Wilcox
Chapter 2. What Is Conservation Biology? \ Michael E. Soulé
Chapter 3. The Millenium Ark: How Long a Voyage, How Many Staterooms, How Many Passengers? \ Michael E. Soulé, Michael Gilpin, William Conway, and Tom Foose
Chapter 4. Conservation Biology and the "Real World" \ Michael E. Soulé
Chapter 5. Reconstructed Dynamics of Rapid Extinctions of Chaparral-Requiring Birds in Urban Habitat Islands \ Michael E. Soulé, Doulgas T. Bolger, Allison C. Alberts, John Wrights, Marina Sorice, and Scott Hill
Chapter 6. The Onslaught of Alien Species, and Other Challenges in the Coming Decades \ Michael E. Soulé
Chapter 7. Conservation: Tactics for a Constant Crisis \ Michael E. Soulé
Chapter 8. Conservation Genetics and Conservation Biology: A Troubled Marriage \ Michael E. Soulé and L. Scott Mills
Chapter 9. The Social and Public Health Implications of Global Warming and the Onslaught of Alien Species \ M. E. Soulé, PhD
Chapter 10. Complimentary Goals for Continental Conservation \ Michael E. Soulé and Reed Noss
Chapter 11. Conserving Nature at Regional and Continental Scales: A Scientific Program for North America \ Michael E. Soulé and John Terborgh
Chapter 12. Ecological Effectiveness: Conservation Goals for Interactive Species \ Michael E. Soulé, James A. Estes, Joel Berger, and Carlos Martinez Del Rios
Chapter 13. Strongly Interacting Species: Conservation Policy, Management, and Ethics \ Michael E. Soulé, James A. Estes, Brian Miller, and Douglas I. Honmold
Chapter 14. Editorial: The "New Conservation" \ Michael E. Soulé
Island Press grieves the loss of Michael Soulé, an Island Press author who was widely recognized as the Father of Conservation Biology. Michael was a founder and first president of the Society for Conservation Biology as well as a cofounder of The Wildlands Network. His impact lives on through Island Press and his many contributions to the environmental community.
Barbara Dean was Michael’s editor at Island Press for several decades beginning in the late 1980s, and over the years they became friends and collaborators. His fourth Island Press book, Collected Papers of Michael E. Soulé, was one of the final books she edited before her retirement in 2014 and was dearest to her heart. Barbara’s tribute below conveys the importance of Michael’s legacy to the conservation world and how the actions of one determined person can be the catalyst for powerful change:
It was not only an honor to work with Michael Soulé on his books that Island Press published, it also changed my life. Michael showed me the power that a book can have. To be present at the beginning of a new science—a new way of understanding the wild world, how it works, and why that matters—was more than exciting. It changed how I experienced the world.
Michael brought science together with spirit and love. He valued the role of every part of the natural world. As he said in the acknowledgments of his last Island Press book, “I also thank the wild, scaly hairy predators, the large herbivores, and the terrestrial, marine, and aquatic leafy and microbial beings that ensure the stability and diversity in wild places.” I will always be grateful to Michael for introducing me to this broader, more appreciative understanding of the millions of life forms that I live among. I will miss him.
Kyler Geoffroy is the Online Marketing Manager for Island Press