Challenges to interdisciplinary discourse
Many of the world's critical problems involve human interactions with nature and their long-term implications for environmental quality and the sustainability of resource/ecological systems. These problems are complex defined by the collective behaviors of people as well as by the structure and function of ecosystems suggesting that both the social and the natural sciences should focus efforts on dimensions of these problems. The separate efforts of social and natural sciences are unlikely to fully illuminate the fabric of or fashion solutions to environmental problems. Rather, much might be gained by truly interdisciplinary research endeavors where each constituent discipline informs the investigation of the others and where hypotheses might even be jointly formed. Interdisciplinary research seems the best hope for unraveling the complex interactions between the collective behavior of Homo sapiens and their environment and yielding workable solutions to these problems.