Abstract: We all know that humans are part of the so-called Environment, but the collapse of human-dominated ecosystems in not so distant and recent times suggests that we don't have a good understanding of human-environment systems. What are some of the belief and values that humans introduce into their interactions with ecosystems and how do these in turn affect sustainability? I will address these questions and give an example of an approach to coupling human-environment systems from our recent work on mathematical modeling of human influence on forest-grassland mosaic dynamics. By coupling, I mean a two-way feedback: from human behavior to environmental dynamics and back to human behavior.
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