Reflections on a century of rangeland research in the Jornada Basin of New Mexico

TitleReflections on a century of rangeland research in the Jornada Basin of New Mexico
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsHavstad K, Schlesinger W.H.
EditorBarrow J.R., E. McArthur D, Sosebee RE, Tausch RJ
Conference NameWildland Shrub Symposium, Proceedings: Shrubland Ecosystem Dynamics in a Changing Environment
VolumeGen. Tech. Rep. INT-GTR-338
Date PublishedMay 23-25, 1995
PublisherUSDA Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-GTR-338
Conference LocationLas Cruces, NM
Accession NumberJRN00216

A historical analysis can generally take one of three formats: 1)narrative, 2)context, or 3)analog. As narrative, the analysis is limited to a description detailing events. As context, historical analysis explains the present state based on interpretations of its varied history. As analog, the analysis attempts to support predictions regarding future conditions. The narrative format is the safest in that it typically involves the least interpretation and assumption, especially if the historical record is well documented. The context format can be the most enlightening. The analog, though, is the most useful, and the most precarious, and shares the central premise of scientific experimentation, the desire to make predictions about the future. The Jornada Experimental Range's history overlaps that of the discipline of rangeland management. Reviewing the history of the range should not be a parochial exercise, but should have a wider generic application to the history of the discipline. The history of research at Jornada has six often overlapping and evolving themes: classic range management, animal husbandry, ecology, range improvement, interdisciplinary sciences, and ecosystem science.