Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Essentials of Ecology, 6th Edition

  • G. Tyler Miller
  • Scott Spoolman
  • ISBN-10: 0538735368
  • ISBN-13: 9780538735360
  • 384 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2009, 2007, 2007
  • COPYRIGHT: 2012 Published
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About the Product

An ideal alternative to ecology texts that tend to be too difficult for non-majors, this succinct 11-chapter, full-color textbook covers scientific principles and concepts, ecosystems, evolution, biodiversity, population ecology, and more. Sustainability is the integrating theme and co-authors G. Tyler Miller and Scott Spoolman inspire students to take a positive approach toward finding and implementing useful environmental solutions in their own lives and in their careers. Updated with new information, art, and "Good News" examples, the text engages and motivates students with vivid case studies and hands-on quantitative exercises. The concept-centered approach transforms complex environmental topics and issues into key concepts that students will understand and remember.


  • CENTRAL THEME OF SUSTAINABILITY: Three clearly explained principles of sustainability (solar energy, chemical cycling, and biodiversity) are integrated throughout every chapter and take students through the practical steps they can take toward more sustainable lifestyles. Icons highlight sustainability throughout the text.

  • CONCEPT-CENTERED APPROACH: To help students focus on the main ideas, each major chapter section is built around one to two key concepts which state the most important take-away messages of each chapter.

  • PERSONAL RELEVANCE: "What Can You Do?" boxes describe how students can make a difference and "How Would You Vote?" questions give them an opportunity to think critically about issues. "Solutions" subsections present proven and possible solutions for students to explore and "Individuals Matter" boxes describe what various concerned citizens and scientists have done to help work toward sustainability.

  • OBJECTIVE COVERAGE: A strong emphasis on scientific objectivity and the need for non-biased solutions is a hallmark of the text. "Trade-Offs" boxes present advantages and disadvantages of various environmental technologies and solutions to environmental problems.

About the Author

G. Tyler Miller

G. Tyler Miller has written 65 textbooks for introductory courses in environmental science, basic ecology, energy and environmental chemistry. Since 1975, his books have been the most widely used textbooks for environmental science in the United States and throughout the world. Translated into eight languages, they have been used by more than 3 million students. Dr. Miller has a professional background in chemistry, physics and ecology. He taught college for 20 years, developed one of the nation's first environmental studies programs and created an innovative interdisciplinary undergraduate science program before deciding to write environmental science textbooks full time in 1975. Now Dr. Miller is president of Earth Education and Research, which is devoted to improving environmental education. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia and received two honorary doctoral degrees for his contributions to environmental education.

Scott Spoolman

Scott Spoolman is a writer with more than 30 years of experience in educational publishing. He has worked with Tyler Miller since 2003 as a co-author on editions of LIVING IN THE ENVIRONMENT, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE and SUSTAINING THE EARTH. With Norman Myers, he co-authored ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS: A MODULAR APPROACH. Spoolman has authored numerous books and articles in the fields of environmental science, geology and natural history, politics and business. In addition, he has worked as a consulting editor in the development of over 70 college and high school textbooks in fields of the natural and social sciences. He earned a master's degree in science journalism from the University of Minnesota. In his free time, Spoolman enjoys exploring the forests and waters of his native Wisconsin along with his family -- his wife, environmental educator Gail Martinelli, son Will and daughter Katie.

Table of Contents

1. Environmental Problems, Their Causes, and Sustainability.
2. Science, Matter, Energy, and Systems.
3. Ecosystems: What Are They and How Do They Work?
4. Biodiversity and Evolution.
5. Biodiversity, Species Interactions, and Population Control.
6. The Human Population and Its Impact.
7. Climate and Biodiversity.
8. Aquatic Biodiversity.
9. Sustaining Biodiversity: The Species Approach.
10. Sustaining Terrestrial Biodiversity: The Ecosystem Approach.
11. Sustaining Aquatic Biodiversity.

New to this edition

  • NEW: "Good News" logos mark areas in the text that present positive developments in efforts to deal with environmental problems.
  • NEW: "Connections" boxes in each chapter briefly describe connections between human activities and environmental consequences, environmental and social issues, and environmental issues and solutions.
  • NEW: New "Core Case Studies" are threaded throughout each chapter and explore current, relevant environmental topics and place them in the context of sustainability for the student.
  • NEW: Enhanced art program includes new figures and photos, updated figures, and a new design that reinforces and enhances learning.
  • NEW: "Three Big Ideas" appear near the end of every chapter, reinforcing key take-away ideas students can apply.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

PowerLecture with JoinIn™ Student Response System, and ExamView®  (ISBN-10: 0538493798 | ISBN-13: 9780538493796)

One DVD provides all the resources you need for faster, easier lecture preparation. PowerLecture makes it easy for you to create customized lectures with Microsoft® PowerPoint®. A single DVD consolidates all resources and literally puts them at your fingertips. It's yours at no charge when you adopt this text. Chapter resources include: all chapter diagrams and photos plus bonus photos, animations and active figures (also available to students in CengageNOW), a great selection of videos from ABC® and other sources, PowerPoint® lecture slides featuring bulleted lecture outlines, JoinIn Student Response System slides with book-specific questions, and Instructor's Manual and Test Bank (in Microsoft® Word®)

Online Instructor's Manual  (ISBN-10: 0538731729 | ISBN-13: 9780538731720)

The Instructor's Manual has been updated and reorganized to improve usability. Some of the features new to this edition include the integration of the case studies and feature boxes into the lecture outline, a new section on teaching tips, and a revised video reference list with web resources. A correlation to the Lab Manual and Suggested answers to the end of chapter Critical Thinking Questions have also been added. Also available on PowerLecture.

Online Electronic Test Bank  (ISBN-10: 0538491310 | ISBN-13: 9780538491310)

The Test Bank includes a variety of test items for each text chapter ranked according to difficulty, and divided be the section numbers in the chapter to make selecting questions even easier. New to this edition are Short Essay questions to further challenge your students' understanding of the topics. Also available on PowerLecture, and in ExamView.

The Brooks/Cole Environmental Science Video Library: BBC Motion Gallery Video Clips with Workbook  (ISBN-10: 0538733551 | ISBN-13: 9780538733557)

This instructor DVD includes two- to five-minute videos on Does Clean Coal Exist?, Who Pays the Price for Technology?, Kalahari Desert Could Double in Size, What is the Environmental Cost for Your Food?, Half the World Denied Basic Sanitation, New Ideas for Dealing with Climate Change, Pollution and Jeans, Darwin's Galapagos under Threat, End for Selling Traditional Bulbs, China's Deadly Pollution, Plastic Bag Charge Debated, Carbon Dioxide's Impact on Our Oceans, The Devastation of Exotic Species in Hawaii, Are We Facing an Extinction Crisis?, and Finding Alternatives to Oil.

Lab Manual for Environmental Science  (ISBN-10: 0495560243 | ISBN-13: 9780495560241)

New to support the Miller's Environmental Science texts, this lab manual includes both hands-on and data analysis labs to help students develop a range of skills. Create a custom version of this lab manual by adding labs that you have developed or choose from our collection with Cengage Custom Publishing.

What Can You Do?  (ISBN-10: 0495829188 | ISBN-13: 9780495829188)

This booklet can be packaged with the text and offers students ideas and resources for what they can do to effect individual change on key environmental issues. Included are spots for students to evaluate what their carbon footprint is in the beginning, and how it changes as they make various adjustments in their life style.

Student Supplements

WebTutor™ on Blackboard® with eBook on Gateway Instant Access Code  (ISBN-10: 0538491361 | ISBN-13: 9780538491365)

Improve your grades with WebTutor online review, test preparation tools, and eBook.

WebTutor™ on WebCT with eBook on Gateway Instant Access Code  (ISBN-10: 0538491345 | ISBN-13: 9780538491341)

Improve your grades with WebTutor online review, test preparation tools, and eBook.

Lab Manual for Environmental Science  (ISBN-10: 0495560243 | ISBN-13: 9780495560241)

Includes both hands-on and data analysis labs and activities to help students develop a wider range of skills and gain greater insight on environmental science.

What Can You Do?  (ISBN-10: 0495829188 | ISBN-13: 9780495829188)

This booklet offers resources for what you can do to effect individual change on key environmental issues.

CengageNOW with Personal Tutor, Audio Study Tools, InfoTrac Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 0538491302 | ISBN-13: 9780538491303)

CengageNOW saves you time with automatic grading and an easy-to-use grade book and provides students with an efficient way to study. Personalized Study Plans focus students on what they still need to learn and direct students to resources that best match their learning styles (such as videos, animations, and eBook text pages). In addition, students can access an integrated digital eBook, live online tutoring, and the InfoTrac College Edition online library. CengageNOW content can also be provided for use in other course management platforms, such as WebCT® and Blackboard®.

Audio Study Tools Instant Access Code  (ISBN-10: 0538491256 | ISBN-13: 9780538491259)

Whatever you're doing, wherever you are, you can review course materials and prepare for exams with Cengage Learning Audio Study Tools.