By H. J. B. Birks (auth.), F. M. Chambers (eds.)
I am happy to offer this quantity of invited studies and study case reviews, produced to mark the retirement of Professor A. G. Smith - one of many prime researchers in Holocene palaeoecology. A. G. Smith took his first measure on the collage of Sheffield, graduating in 1951 with a first class honours measure in Botany. His doctorate used to be presented in 1956 for a research in late-Quaternary vege tational heritage, established within the Sub-Department of Quaternary examine on the collage of Cambridge, below the supervision of the past due Sir Harry Godwin, FRS. He then researched and taught at Queen's collage, Belfast, from 1954, best the Nuffield Quaternary learn Unit there, changing into Co-Director of the Palaeoecology Laboratory from 1964. He was once appointed Professor and Head of the dept of Botany (later, Plant technology) at collage university, Cardiff, in 1973, and retired from the varsity of natural and utilized Biology on the renamed collage of Wales collage, Cardiff, in August 1991. even though his central pursuits were curious about the post-glacial environmental background of the British Isles, Professor Smith has considerably in fluenced many researchers somewhere else of their interpretation of organic and different facts for human amendment of the typical environment.
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Extra resources for Climate Change and Human Impact on the Landscape: Studies in palaeoecology and environmental archaeology
Someone went out and felled a tree. It was then used in the make-up of the crannog. So despite the fact that the tree is not an archaeological artefact in the normal sense, the date has an immediacy that is often lacking in archaeology. We now know, thanks to R. Warner (pers. ), that the felling activity most probably relates to hostilities between the Maguires of Fermanagh and the Q'Rourkes of Co. Sligo (to the west) in that year. Corban Lough lies only a few miles to the west of Maguiresbridge - one of the seats of the Maguires.
At the outset, two somewhat opposed notions already foreshadowed in an earlier section strike me forcibly: latency and reinforcement. Piecing together the basis for reconstructing past climates from proxy records requires the establishment of rigorously evaluated databases. If the pattern of current research investment is any indication of future value, they may well be among the most significant contemporary research developments in the field. They will often be built, at least initially, on data acquired from past research not directly related either to the present research agenda or to the task in hand for the database builder.
4 THE FUTURE There is increasing evidence for the potential importance of human-induced forcing in the course of global change. A growing scientific consensus has shifted the balance of research priorities and resourcing, and bids fair to establish a major new research agenda, not simply for the duration of a passing fad, but for several decades. The research agenda, from which evolved the deductive successes outlined in the previous section, required the Quaternary palaeoecologist to establish the immediate antecedents of environmental problems once they had been detected and, all too often belatedly acknowledged as worthy of concern, not merely for their scientific interest but above all for their economic, social and even political implications.