Ecological engineering combines the disciplines of ecology and engineering in order to solve environmental problems. The approach is to interface ecosystems with technology to create new, hybrid systems. Designs are evolving in this field for wastewater treatment, erosion control, ecological restoration, and many other applications. The goal of ecological engineering is to generate cost effective alternatives to conventional solutions. Some designs are inspired by ancient human management practices such as the multipurpose rice paddy system, while others rely on highly sophisticated technology such as closed life support systems. Because of the extreme range of designs that are being considered and because of the combination of two fields traditionally thought to have opposing directions, ecological engineering offers an exciting, new intellectual approach to problems of man and nature. The purpose of this book is to review the emerging discipline and to illustrate some of the range of designs that have been practically implemented in the present or conceptually imagined for the future.
Was this article helpful?