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Deane Wang

  • Welcome to the Workshop Follow-up Blog

    Welcome to the Workshop Follow-up Blog
    Deane Wang on Diffuse Pollution in the Landscape
    Thank you for considering participation in this blog following up the DIPCON 2010 workshop on Landscape Controls on Diffuse Nutrient Transfers in Agricultural Catchments. At this workshop we committed to summarizing the workshop and following up with participants to develop a synthesis of emerging ideas and concepts. The summary with follow as an…[Read more]
    Posted October 29, 2010.
  • Participant research/application experiences

    Deane Wang on Diffuse Pollution in the Landscape
    A question of place? We would like invite research teams that have described “spatial variability” in nutrient fluxes at any scale from the field to the basin to share their experiences.  We will attempt to synthesize what we get and report back to the group. We need to further clarify what we mean by spatial variability […]
    Posted October 29, 2010.
  • Workshop Synopsis

    Workshop Synopsis
    Deane Wang on Diffuse Pollution in the Landscape
    The human altered landscape is a complex hierarchical system with a large diversity of landscape elements, which influences the emission, transport, and export of diffuse pollution. Selective simplification of this complexity is necessary to focus both research and management activity. Framing river basins and watersheds as landscape systems can…[Read more]
    Posted October 14, 2010.
  • Leadership, organizations, and change (May 26)

    Leadership, organizations, and change (May 26)
    Deane Wang on Environmental Problem-solving
    How to lead change is both a mystery and a science. People have been studying the phenomena of leadership and change for many years. There are many books on the subject; some using data; some using cases; some using stories. Part of the difficulty in describing leadership is that it comes in so many styles, from […]
    Posted May 27, 2010.
  • Group Dynamics (May 24th)

    Group Dynamics (May 24th)
    Deane Wang on Environmental Problem-solving
    It’s official. In the opening of the 21st Century, getting environmental work done in the U.S. (and probably in most other countries) requires that the public sector, the private sector, and government work together. No more just doing your own thing, figuring something out (e.g., ecosystems provide valuable services to society and therefore saves…[Read more]
    Posted May 24, 2010.
  • Problem-solving Techniques (May 19)

    Problem-solving Techniques (May 19)
    Deane Wang on Environmental Problem-solving
    Taking an organized approach to solving a problem is a good thing. Involving more people in this process to create more options is generally always helpful. Just involving other people has proven to be very useful, especially if those people have some influence over the process/action needed. Coming up with a creative and realistic solution is […]
    Posted May 20, 2010.
  • Problem-solving Frameworks (17 May)

    Problem-solving Frameworks (17 May)
    Deane Wang on Environmental Problem-solving
    The next generation will have an accumulation of environmental debt that will hamper its ability to grow and develop economically as well as in terms of its quality of life. The financial debt that is also growing will contribute to the difficulty of dealing with making society work in concert with the natural systems that support […]
    Posted May 18, 2010.
  • The Impact Assessment Acts (May 12)

    Deane Wang on Environmental Problem-solving
    Both NEPA and Act 250 require that assessment of impact be conducted prior to the implementation of a project OR a policy (in the case of NEPA). As you discovered, these assessment need to cover a wide variety of environmental aspects such a water quality, wildlife habitat, traffic, economic development, etc. While some of these […]
    Posted May 13, 2010.
  • Hello, let's get started

    Hello, let's get started
    Deane Wang on Environmental Problem-solving
    This entry is just for starting to use the blog. I’m just going to introduce myself and comment on the course. Please introduce yourself here by making a comment (below) in which you introduce yourself and share any comments you may have about taking this course. I’m a professor here at the University of Vermont, and […]
    Posted May 12, 2010.
  • Learning from Nature

    Learning from Nature
    Deane Wang on Ecology and Human Survival
    Each strategy nature has invented to protect organism from hot or cold could be employed in separating a solar heat load on a house in Arizona from the space inside the house. Building designers and engineers have had their own favorite design and construction approaches, but the question now is, if global warming and peak oil […]
    Posted December 11, 2009.
  • Food systems considered

    Food systems considered
    Deane Wang on Ecology and Human Survival
    Learning about food chains, food webs, ecological efficiency, food pyramids, chemical energy, etc. in natural systems is certainly interesting, and critical to managing those systems. But is any of this knowledge useful in comparing and contrasting with human food systems? Which part of the human system would we want to consider (for example, just…[Read more]
    Posted December 03, 2009.
  • Staying in control

    Staying in control
    Deane Wang on Ecology and Human Survival
    Global change will be the defining question of the 21st Century. How does the Earth work and are we now capable of altering major global processes? The upcoming Copenhagen conference will continue that international dialog. The outcomes of these discusssions, resolutions, and international agreements depend on many political, social, economic, and…[Read more]
    Posted November 19, 2009.
  • Millions of moving parts

    Millions of moving parts
    Deane Wang on Ecology and Human Survival
    Think about your lawn (or your neighbors). You may mow, weed, fertilize, pesticide the place to achieve the model Scott’s monoculture, but as soon as you stop, this even, level, uniform space quickly grows in “weed” diversity. If a niche is a special place (like a south-facing, dry, rocky slope), then why do many species move […]
    Posted November 11, 2009.
  • Nature's Services

    Nature's Services
    Deane Wang on Ecology and Human Survival
    Nature services itself. All the living organism have evolved in concert with each other to accommodate their needs from each other and the abiotic resources around them. That humans (as part of the ecosystem) have found many of their needs attended to by nature (the ecosystem) is no surprise. However, as humans evolved their technologies and […]
    Posted November 05, 2009.
  • Ecological Complexity

    Ecological Complexity
    Deane Wang on Ecology and Human Survival
    Ecosystems are complex things. The diagram above is mislabeled. It is a simply diagram of a complex ecosystem. To better understand how we might try to understand complex things, it helps to work on a real one. This time I want you to think about a bounded physical space. It could be your house, your […]
    Posted October 30, 2009.
  • Disturbing Mother Nature

    Disturbing Mother Nature
    Deane Wang on Ecology and Human Survival
    Human are the best thing and the worst thing to happen to planet Earth. We are the pinnacle of evolution and we are the scourge that threatens all life on the planet. In time (millions or billions of years), evolution will handle all perturbations, but as occupants and parents at this point in time, we need […]
    Posted October 16, 2009.
  • Survival Ecology

    Survival Ecology
    Deane Wang on Ecology and Human Survival
    Probably the most important obstacle to moving toward a sustainable relationship with the natural world is how humans think about this relationship. Are we a parasite on the planet? Are we the stewards of nature’s gifts? Are we just another species (albeit, a very successful one) going through its expansionist evolution? Reflect on the dominant…[Read more]
    Posted October 08, 2009.
  • The Balance of Nature

    The Balance of Nature
    Deane Wang on Ecology and Human Survival
    Nature’s balance is a wonderful enigma. Intricate, inspiring, amazing, and perplexing, the presence of balance among so many moving parts has inspired naturalists and befuddled ecologists from the beginning. Human society, which is all those things and more (complex, dynamic, emergent, confusing), may seek to emulate some aspects of nature in…[Read more]
    Posted September 30, 2009.
  • Growth in a Finite World

    Deane Wang on Ecology and Human Survival
    Knowing a set of concepts (e.g., logistic growth) in an abstract way is a starting point to understanding, but application, as suggested by folks like Dewey ( and Bloom (, is a better training ground for thinking. Select one issue from the…[Read more]
    Posted September 29, 2009.
  • The Evolution of Structure and Function

    The Evolution of Structure and Function
    Deane Wang on Ecology and Human Survival
    Evolution provides the opportunity for organism to adapt to their environment (biotic and abiotic). Darwin’s phrase captured this idea in terms of “survival of the fittest.” How might the idea of co-evolution fit in with this concept of what drives evolution? (You’ll need to do some research on co-evolution on your own here). Do structure and […]
    Posted September 17, 2009.