We are at the intuitive stage of theory development for human ecosystems (see Figure 9 and Box 3). Some progress has been made in developing definitions and basic concepts. The empirical content is largely descriptive and unconsolidated. Models are just beginning to be developed. Framework is incipient.
It is possible that most of the components for a useful theory of human ecosystems already exist. If so, these components are widely dispersed among many different disciplines. The challenge is to bring these components together in the development of theory. How this is done depends on the relations of human ecology to the broader intellectual community and the public at large.