Foundations for Sustainability

Foundations for Sustainability

A Coherent Framework of Life–Environment Relations

1st Edition - November 16, 2018

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  • Authors: Daniel Fiscus, Brian Fath
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128114605
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128116449

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Foundations for Sustainability: A Coherent Framework of Life-Environment Relations challenges existing assumptions on environmental issues and lays the groundwork for a new paradigm, bringing a greater understanding of what is needed to help create an environmentally and economically sustainable future, which to date has been an uphill battle and not an obvious choice. The book presents the case for a paradigm based on a multi-model of life as organism, life as ecosystem, and life as biosphere, as opposed to the singular assumption that life can be viewed solely as an organism. All backed with well-cited research from top investigators from around the world, this book is a must-have resource for anyone working in ecology, environmental science or sustainability.

Key Features

  • Introduces a holistic, systemic approach and a synthesis of the systemic root cause that underlies many surface symptoms that are part of individual environmental problems (climate, water, energy, etc.)
  • Complements current piecemeal approaches in order to solve many interconnected environmental problems which share root causes
  • Provides tests and thought experiments to challenge current views on sustainability, leveraging the power of critical thinking to find new solutions
  • Gives insights on how to find solutions by blending interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary focuses with disciplinary specialization in ecology and ecosystem science
  • Bridges concepts and methods from math to ecology to human development


Ecologists, environmental scientists, environmental managers, geographers, sustainability experts, biologists needing information on sustainability

Table of Contents

  • 1. To Solve a Difficult Problem, Enlarge It
    2. Life as the Basis of Value
    3. Holistic Science of Life-Environment – Mutualistic Interfaces
    4. Life: From Origins to Humans
    5. Reforming Reductionism with Six Core Principles
    6. Life Science Lessons from Ecological Networks and Systems Ecology
    7. A Bridge Not Too Far: Spanning Theory to Science to Application
    8. Technology and Applications in the Context of Holistic Life-Environment
    9. Sustainability: A Goal for All

Product details

  • No. of pages: 292
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2018
  • Published: November 16, 2018
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128114605
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128116449

About the Authors

Daniel Fiscus

Dan Fiscus is a researcher in sustainability, systems ecology, food systems, and regenerative economics. He has degrees in electrical engineering, ecology with a minor in biomathematics, and a PhD in Environmental Science. He studies holistic, sustainable human-environment and life-environment relations, theoretical ecology and ecological modeling, ecological network analysis and sources of leverage for change to benefit humanity. He is also a member of the Western Maryland Food Council, which works to increase local food production and for systemic change and improvement to the food system in the Western Maryland region. Dan also collaborates with colleagues in the Research Alliance for Regenerative Economics (RARE).

Affiliations and Expertise

Western Maryland Food Council and Research Alliance for Regenerative Economics

Brian Fath

Brian D. Fath is Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Towson University (Maryland, USA) and Senior Research Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Laxenburg, Austria). He has published over 180 research papers, reports, and book chapters on environmental systems modeling, specifically in the areas of network analysis, resilience, and sustainability. He co-authored the books Foundations for Sustainability: A Coherent Framework of Life–Environment Relations (2018) and Flourishing Within Limits to Growth: Following nature’s way (2015). He is also Editor-in-Chief for the journal Ecological Modelling. Dr. Fath was the 2016 recipient of the Prigogine Medal for outstanding work in systems ecology, and held a Fulbright Distinguished Chair at Parthenope University (Naples, Italy) in 2012.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor, Towson University, MD, USA Senior Research Scholar, Advanced Systems Analysis Program, IIASA, Austria

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