Resource Material – Living Systems and Systems Thinking
Here is the Internet resource list for the living systems blog essay .
 
Wikipedia Living Systems Theory
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A Basic Written Description Of Living Systems Theory
Waking Up In An Ecological Age – Molly Young Brown. An EXCELLENT summary of the history of modern systems/holistic thinking in ecology
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Living Systems Theory  An excellent and easily readable summary of livings systems theory. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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Why natural networks are more stable than man-made networks
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Scientists review worldwide rise of “network of networks”. Further indications that there is a unity of interconnectedness in Nature.
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Uncovering complex network structures in Nature
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BBC production: The Web of Life : Documentary on the Interconnection of All Living Things
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5 ways ‘systems thinking’ can jumpstart action
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Network thinking in ecology and evolution
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Earth’s Web of Life – A blog essay
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The Web of Life:A New Understanding of Living Systems By Fritjof Capra. This is a good, short summary of his important book
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Biodiversity: The Web Of Life. A video
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Celebrating The Beauty of Living Systems – Video
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The Unity of Living Systems
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 An overview of systems thinking
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Systems Thinking has been defined as an approach to problem solving, by viewing “problems” as parts of an overall system, rather than reacting to specific part, outcomes or events and potentially contributing to further development of unintended consequences. Systems thinking is not one thing but a set of habits or practices
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From Learning For Sustainability
Standing in contrast to positivist and reductionist thinking, systems thinking sets out to view systems in a holistic manner. Consistent with systems philosophy, systems thinking concerns an understanding of a system by examining the linkages and interactions between the elements that comprise the whole of the system.
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Can Systems Thinking Actually Solve Sustainability Challenges?
Systems thinking is a trans-disciplinary “framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things, for seeing patterns of change rather than static snapshots” (Peter Senge). Therefore, a systems thinker frames a problem in terms of a pattern of behavior over time, instead of focusing on particular events. Instead of microscopic, they strive for macroscopic, seeing beyond the details to the context of relationships in which they are embedded. Today, it is used by academics and practitioners alike to address sustainability challenges.
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A Teachers’ Guidebook for Applying Systems Thinking to Environmental Education Curricula for Grades 9-12
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Food Security and Sustainability: Systems thinking and environmental sustainability
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Introduction To Systems Thinking: A slideshare presentation
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Ecological Interactions. A nice written summary.
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A written summary of a very interesting lecture about food webs given by Jennifer Dunne at Santa Fe Institute. She portrays a hidden order in ecosystems using the studies of ecology and network theory.
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Chief Seattle’s Web of Life
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The Interconnected Web Of Life: We Are One
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Fritjof Capra, The Systems View of Life.    An outline of the new understanding of life that is now emerging at the forefront of science. It is a conception of life based on systemic thinking and some of the new concepts and mathematical techniques of complexity theory. It allows us for the first time to integrate the biological, cognitive, and social dimensions of life”
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The Hidden Power Laws of Ecosystems
A comprehensive description and review of the Gaia hypothesis
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Gaia Theory Website
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Trees and plants communicate and interact with each other. Sophisticated, underground, fungal networks  connect the trees and plants of an ecosystem. This symbiosis enables the purposeful sharing of resources, consequently helping the whole system of trees and plants to flourish. Here are four resources on the subject.
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Do Trees Communicate With Each Other? A very interesting video on how trees inter-communicate.
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What is an old-growth forest? 
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From the State of Minnesota. A nice web site on old-growth forests.
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The Networked Beauty of Forests. A very interesting video.
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Biodiversity enhances ecosystem multifunctionality across trophic levels and habitats
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My focus on connections in Nature includes evolution.
This web page is an exciting story about the discovery of an “anatomical mix between fish and a land-living animal.”
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Supporting native pollinators,.
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Feedback loops allow living organisms to maintain homeostasis
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The predominance of quarter-power scaling in biology
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Scaling : The surprising mathematics of life and civilzation
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Self Organization In Biology
Selforganization is a process where some form of overall order or coordination arises out of the local interactions between smaller component parts of an initially disordered system. The process of selforganization can be spontaneous, is not necessarily controlled by any agent outside of the system, and is leaderless.
Self-organized structures rely on a continuous input of energy to be maintained.  Biological systems challenge us because they consume energy, and are therefore far from thermal equilibrium. Thus classical thermodynamics, which has been so successful in developing an atomic understanding of physical and chemical properties such as temperature and pressure, does not apply to these systems. Instead of self-assembling into a lowest energy state, such as a crystal, these energy-dissipating components self-organize into highly dynamic structures, through which there us a constant flux of energy and material.
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The wikipedia definition of superorganism
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A detailed explanation of how many life systems are organized and maintained without a leader
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Bird flocks, zebra stripes, honeybee swarms: Self-organization in biological systems. A brief slide show that summarizes the famous book by Scott Camazine
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Lecture notes on self organization that offer great clarity
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Richard Golden; Characteristics of Self-Organizing Systems. A resource for teachers 1997.

My name is Bill Graham. As a Marine Biologist who has worked in the US and Mexico for 30 years, I am a student of Nature, a teacher, a researcher, and a nature photographer. Through my work, I have acquired an ever growing passion for how everything in Nature is connected. Today, I travel extensively contemplating about, writing about, and photographing Nature’s connections. I also work with conservation projects in the USA and Mexico and mentor talented youth.

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  1. Our Earth Is A Living System | Nature's Web Of Life - […] Here is a resource list for further study of the systems worldview that is introduced in this essay. […]

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