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For the past six years, ecological design has been more than an abstraction

for me. The essays that follow originated in physical and

intellectual proximity to an ecological design project on the campus

of Oberlin College described in chapter 14. What began as a fairly

straightforward design and construction project became a crash

course in architecture, engineering, materials analysis, ecological engineering,

landscape ecology, energy analysis, philosophy, institutional

politics, and fund-raising. During that time it was my privilege to

work with some of the most remarkable designers of our time. To all

of the participants in that project I owe a large debt: Ray Anderson,

David Austin, Bill Browning, Kevin Burke, Leo Evans, Carol Franklin,

Chris Hays, Mark Hoberecht, Amory Lovins, John Lyle, Bill McDonough,

Dave Nelson, Ron Perkins, Russell Perry, Mark Rusitsky, Bob

Scheren, Michael Shaw, Stephen Strong, John Todd, Martin Troutman,

and Adrian Tuluca. They persevered on a tough project. I owe a

large debt to friends and colleagues here and elsewhere particularly

David Benzing, Peter Buckley, Fritjof Capra, Tony Cortese, Nancy

Dye, Karen Florini, Dierdre Holmes, Jon Jensen, Adam Lewis, Peter

Lewis, Al MacKay, Brad Masi, Gene Matthews, Carl McDaniel, John

Petersen, John Powers, Michael Stranahan, Paige Wiegman, and

Cheryl Wolfe. I thank David Ehrenfeld and Gary Meffe, both for their

editorial skill that improved many of these essays and for their encouragement.

I am grateful to Island Press for permission to include

“The Ecology of Giving and Consuming” from Consuming Desires, ed.

Roger Rosenblatt (1999); to MIT Press for permission to include

“Loving Children” from Children and Nature: Psychological, Sociocultural,

and Evolutionary Investigations, ed. Peter H. Kahn Jr. and

Stephen R. Kellert (2002); to Wild Earth for permission to include

“The Great Wilderness Debate, Again”; and to Blackwell Science for

permission to reprint material from Conservation Biology included

here in chapters 3–17. Finally, this book is dedicated to my brother

Wilson, with gratitude and love.