Ecosystem Services and the Ecological Identity & Ecological Disenfranchisement Discourse
Keith G. Tidball, PhD
Senior Extension Associate
Dept. of Natural Resources, Cornell University
Associate Director, Cornell Civic Ecology Lab (CEL)
Theme Leader, Environmental Dimensions of Human Security
New York State Extension Disaster Education Network Coordinator
Faculty Fellow, David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future
The Tidball “this explains everything” be-all-and-end-all root cause analysis
Why are there more disasters?
Depletion of Resilience
Pathologies of Management
Why do pathologies of natural
resource management persist?
Why are Earth systems suffering
from depletion of resilience?
Community and neighborhood
Loss of ecological identity
Why does ecological
• How have we humans become ecologically
• What kind of “othering” or disenfranchising,
or marginalizing in its various forms is
occurring to humans?
• How can we undo or reverse this process?
• What clues might exist in “Red Zones” about
the above questions?
Relating to ecosystems Services
Tidball, K.G. (2014). A gilded trap of our own making: anthropocentric discursive traps
as barriers to transformation. Part of Resilience 2014 session “Tips or Traps?
Advancing understanding to steer clear of impoverishment traps and tipping points”.
Hobson alludes to discursive traps in her analysis of competing discourses of sustainable consumption, and provides
a jumping off point for further investigation of discursive traps. This line of inquiry is especially relevant to efforts to
better understand barriers to social-ecological system transformations. Such barriers often include the presence of
rigidity and poverty traps within systems of interest, but as this paper posits, some rigidity and poverty traps may be
informed by and/or reinforced by discursive traps that exist in the social structures nested within social-ecological
Krasny, M.E., Russ, A., Tidball, K.G., and Elmqvist T. (2013). Civic ecology practices:
Participatory approaches to generating and measuring ecosystem services in cities.
Ecosystem Services. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2013.11.002
… suggest that civic ecology practices not only create green infrastructure that produces ecosystem services, but also
constitute social-ecological processes that directly generate ecosystem services (e.g., recreation, education)
associated beneﬁts to human well-being.
Tidball, K.G., and Stedman, R. (2013). Positive dependency and virtuous cycles: from
resource dependence to resilience in urban social-ecological systems. Ecological
Economics. 86: 292-299. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.10.004
Lays out the importance of recognition of positive dependency as a precursor to the development of a heightened
sense of ecological self and sense of ecological place in urban SES, and provides insights and suggestions for further
research into civic ecology practices that may enhance positive dependency on and investment in ecological assets
that contribute to positive ecological senses of self and place, and the importance of these to achieving sustainable,
resilient urban futures.