Biocomplexity is an emerging area of science that integrates core concepts of ecology, biogeography, social sciences, ecosystem services, and landscape ecology to address how humans are an integral part of nature. Using a range of science tools and ideas, Biocomplexity explores the consequences of humans’ choices about the biological communities we inhabit.

Over the past two centuries, humans have made great scientific advances and innovations in chemistry, biology, and ecology. However, these studies often ignored the role of humans in biological systems. Biocomplexity considers humans as essential players in ecological systems, shaping and shaped by our environment. This new way of studying humans and the places where we live, build, and harvest resources has led to exciting and surprising scientific insights.

Students can view the world through the lens of Biocomplexity by studying real situations in which humans play an essential role in their environment. The units in this curriculum demonstrate how Biocomplexity may be the most important field of science for the next century. With an increased knowledge of how Earth’s systems work, students can make a positive difference in their environment.

This brief 3-minute video, What is Biocomplexity?, provides more detail.