The article covers main steps of establishment and development of Research Institute for Occupational medicine and Human ecology with Siberian Division of RAMSc over 50 years of activities, major results of research, contribution of the Institute personnel into development of hygienic science and practical medicine in Siberia.
This text is a slightly edited version of a lecture given when the author was installed as professor of environmental history at Umeå University on October 9, 1993. The author sketches tendencies in historical research--the Annales-school and the historiography of the West in the United States--leading up to the formation of environmental history as an independent field of research during the last quarter century. He comments on some recent examples of excellent scholarship--works by Alfred Crosby, Carolyn Merchant, Donald Worster--before turning to an older tradition of environmental description in 19th century geography, geology and the life sciences. He then puts environmental investigations into the framework of a general history of science starting with John Evelyn's study of the quality of the London air, published in 1661, but also mentioning major naturalists and thinkers such as Pascal, Linnaeus, Haeckel, and Humboldt. The author finally takes up the theme of biodiversity, indicating that a history of the environment and of the environmental sciences also has implications for how nature is treated today and how it will be treated in the future.
Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) were hunted commercially in Canada's Pacific region until 1966. Depleted to an estimated 1,400 individuals throughout the North Pacific, humpback whales are listed as Threatened under Canada's Species at Risk Act (SARA) and Endangered under the US Endangered Species Act. We conducted an 8-year photo-identification study to monitor humpback whale usage of a coastal fjord system in British Columbia (BC), Canada that was recently proposed as candidate critical habitat for the species under SARA. This participatory research program built collaborations among First Nations, environmental non-governmental organizations and academics. The study site, including the territorial waters of Gitga'at First Nation, is an important summertime feeding destination for migratory humpback whales, but is small relative to the population's range. We estimated abundance and survivorship using mark-recapture methods using photographs of naturally marked individuals. Abundance of humpback whales in the region was large, relative to the site's size, and generally increased throughout the study period. The resulting estimate of adult survivorship (0.979, 95% CI: 0.914, 0.995) is at the high end of previously reported estimates. A high rate of resights provides new evidence for inter-annual site fidelity to these local waters. Habitat characteristics of our study area are considered ecologically significant and unique, and this should be considered as regulatory agencies consider proposals for high-volume crude oil and liquefied natural gas tanker traffic through the area. Monitoring population recovery of a highly mobile, migratory species is daunting for low-cost, community-led science. Focusing on a small, important subset of the animals' range can make this challenge more tractable. Given low statistical power and high variability, our community is considering simpler ecological indicators of population health, such as the number of individuals harmed or killed each year by human activities, including ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear.
Cites: Biometrika. 1965 Jun;52:249-5914341277
Cites: Biol Lett. 2011 Apr 23;7(2):299-30220943678
Overall 50 children suffering from infectious-allergic bronchial asthma who live in ecologically contrasting regions were examined. Those children residing in unfavourable, in terms of ecological conditions, regions demonstrated diminution of the peripheral blood T-lymphocytes together with a decrease in their functional activity as well as in the activity of interleukin 2. It is in this group of children that immunomodulating effect of thymalin is less apparent. It is suggested that the relevant immune correction in such cases might be achieved through repeated courses of treatment with immunomodulating agents and rehabilitation of patients in favourable ecological conditions together with prescribing of other immunostimulators of selective action in respect of the T-link of the immunity system.
The preservation of human health in polar and circumpolar regions depends mainly on the strategy for future development of these regions. The consequences of human intervention into northern ecology are irreversible, as in the case of greenhouse effect, industrial and atomic pollutions of polar nature, tundra devastation, destruction of northern flora and fauna, etc. The ongoing creation of large-scale industrial population centers in the North due to newcomers is to be stopped. Polar regions are to be used for biospheric reservation and tourist sanitary zones, to preserve specific flora and fauna, to provide the rhythms and customs necessary to survive in extreme climatic and geophysical conditions of high latitudes. The programme for securing man's survival in circumpolar regions should comprise several stages of practical measures to provide necessary resources and to combine international efforts. The preservation of human health should be based on the understanding of the relationship between the health status and biospheric processes and the assessment of the role of human intervention into polar ecology. A programme facilitating the preservation of human health and survival in the North and in the Antarctic should be launched.
The conceptual rubric of ecosystem management has been widely discussed and deliberated in conservation biology, environmental policy, and land/resource management. In this paper, I argue that two critical aspects of the ecosystem management concept require greater attention in policy and practice. First, although emphasis has been placed on the "space" of systems, the "time" -- or rates of change -- associated with biophysical and social systems has received much less consideration. Second, discussions of ecosystem management have often neglected the temporal disconnects between changes in biophysical systems and the response of social systems to management issues and challenges. The empirical basis of these points is a case study of the "Crown of the Continent Ecosystem," an international transboundary area of the Rocky Mountains that surrounds Glacier National Park (USA) and Waterton Lakes National Park (Canada). This project assessed the experiences and perspectives of 1) middle- and upper-level government managers responsible for interjurisdictional cooperation, and 2) environmental nongovernment organizations with an international focus. I identify and describe 10 key challenges to increasing the extent and intensity of transboundary cooperation in land/resource management policy and practice. These issues are discussed in terms of their political, institutional, cultural, information-based, and perceptual elements. Analytic techniques include a combination of environmental history, semistructured interviews with 48 actors, and text analysis in a systematic qualitative framework. The central conclusion of this work is that the rates of response of human social systems must be better integrated with the rates of ecological change. This challenge is equal to or greater than the well-recognized need to adapt the spatial scale of human institutions to large-scale ecosystem processes and transboundary wildlife.