University of Idaho Scientist’s New Book Taps Emerging Field of Environmental Research

Thursday, July 21 2011

MOSCOW, Idaho – Environmental scientists, military and humanitarian relief professionals, conservation managers and graduate students in a wide range of fields will benefit from a new book edited by a University of Idaho scientist and colleagues on the topic of warfare ecology, a relatively new field of study that examines the relationship between war and ecological systems.

"Warfare Ecology: A New Synthesis for Peace and Security" was released in June 2011 by Springer, and is edited by U-Idaho College of Natural Resources Professor of Conservation and Science Advisor to the Director of the National Park Service, Gary Machlis. Co-editors include Thor Hanson, conservation biologist; Jean McKendry, senior researcher with the Association of American Geographers; and Zdravko Špiric, scientific director at Oikon Ltd. - Institute for Applied Ecology, Croatia.

The book is based on a NATO Advanced Research Workshop held on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. With 19 chapters, many figures and color illustrations, the book provides a theoretical overview of warfare ecology and a range of case studies including mercury contamination during World War I in Slovenia, ecosystem impacts of the Palestinian occupation, bombing of coral reefs in Vieques and ecosystem loss due to violent conflicts in Africa. It also includes reprints of several classical papers.

“This book is a result of the NATO workshop involving scientists from North America, Europe, and the Middle East, and conducted by the College of Natural Resources,” said Machlis. “We hope it will advance the field of warfare ecology, and contribute to a better understanding of the environmental and humanitarian crises caused by war.”
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Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s land-grant institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year. The University of Idaho is classified by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation as high research activity. The student population of 12,000 includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars, who select from more than 130 degree options in the colleges of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Art and Architecture; Business and Economics; Education; Engineering; Law; Letters, Arts and Social Sciences; Natural Resources; and Science. The university also is charged with the statewide mission for medical education through the WWAMI program. The university combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities and focuses on helping students to succeed and become leaders. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. For more information, visit