James R. Gosz, a professor of biology at the University of New Mexico, has taken a leave to become the executive director of the Ecological Society of America's newly established Sustainable Biosphere Initiative (SBI) Project Office in Washington, D.C. The goal of the initiative is to integrate the expertise of scientists, educators, and decision-makers on environmental issues.

Gosz, 51, says that one way to ensure that this objective is met is by "making significant attempts to bring in other disciplines" to ecological studies, particularly the social and economic sciences. "Ecological knowledge is not going to solve problems unless it's brought into the policy-making arena," an area in which social scientists and economists can provide valuable assistance, he says.

"It's only recently been recognized how humans need to be built into ecological studies," Gosz says. "A lot has been focused on plants and animals, but we need to have broader and...

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