Ecological Restoration



Course Number



Prereq: Fair 206A, equivalent introductory coursework in ESCI or ENVS, or permission of the instructor.

Long-term solutions to contemporary environmental problems involve not just conservation of the natural environment, but increasingly the restoration and recovery of ecologically healthy communities and landscapes. This course introduces you to the science and practice of restoring ecological systems. We will examine the implications of ecological theory for understanding how natural landscapes change in response to human activities. In particular, we will examine case studies where shifts in natural resource use, environmental policies, and land management have helped restore the ecological integrity of forests, rivers, grasslands, and other ecosystems. You will apply knowledge and build practical skills by working in groups to plan, implement, and assess ecological restoration projects at local field sites. Reflecting the interdisciplinary approach of this course, we also will connect our scientific understanding to social meanings of ecological restoration as experienced by individuals, communities, and cultures.

Texts: Reading assignments will be drawn from scientific journals and other primary texts, and distributed via Canvas.

Credit/Evaluation: Regular attendance and informed contribution to discussions is essential. Evaluation will be based on each student's grasp and understanding of the issues presented in the readings. Students also will: 1) work in teams to research, plan, implement, and evaluate an ecological restoration project locally; 2) document their work with a written project proposal, oral presentation, and final report; and 3) complete at least 2 hours of service learning with a local conservation organization involved in ecological restoration, documented with a brief written report.


Fall 2021
Course Instructor