TOWARD A UNIFIED UNDERSTANDING OF HUMAN ECOSYSTEMS: INTEGRATING SOCIAL SCIENCE INTO LONG-TERM ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH In pursuit of a thorough, scientific understanding of the world around us, biological ecologists and social scientists have each worked within their own academic disciplines to develop a wide range of empirical studies, methods, and models to identify key drivers, processes, and controls that regulate human behavior and interactions with the environment. However, most studies have pursued answers to fundamental questions about pattern and process in the ecological and human world from within the boundaries of one discipline or another, neglecting the feedbacks that cross between ecological and social systems.