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This article synthesizes recent work carried out at The Field Museum that applies an ecosystems approach to ecological and anthropological research, conservation planning, and environmental action. This work is part of an effort to protect biological diversity in the Lake Calumet region of metropolitan Chicago. The need for an ecosystems approach to urban areas, particularly in relation to conservation efforts, is discussed. Reviewing the problems of alternative, non-systemic perspectives indoi:10.5751/es-00568-070302 fatcat:avuky2sdarg5xnjwk3btlieqna