A New Stewardship Ethic: Os Schmitz and Eleanor Sterling on Sustaining Humans and Nature as One



In the past, ecologists contended that nature must be protected from humankind and its relentless drive to dominate and destroy it. That view, however, is giving way to a new vision of humankind and nature working together, each dependent on the other for its existence. In this episode, Oswald J. Schmitz, professor of population and community ecology at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, explores this new way of thinking about nature — of which humans are a part — and its promise for ensuring a more sustainable future. He is joined by Eleanor Sterling, the chief conservation scientist at the American Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, who describes some of the dangers of separating humans from nature — including a lost knowledge of how different systems work and interact — and how some cultures across the world have successfully maintained relationships with the natural world.