ENVIRON 217: Restoration Ecology: Theory and Applications

Course Information

Instructor: Prof. Rebecca Vidra

Addresses fundamental principles of ecological restoration. Includes an overview of the discipline, scientific, ethical and philosophical underpinnings, and the legislative framework that guides much of the restoration work in the United States. Principles of ecosystem ecology introduced to provide an understanding of ecosystem processes across landscapes and within specific restoration sites. Students will conduct a comparative study of a restoration site with a reference site and work in small groups to create a monitoring report for this site.

Student Writing Assignment

What are students writing? A restoration and monitoring plan.
For whom? Professionals involved in various aspects of ecological site restoration.
Where would such writing typically be found? A workplace document for landowners or managers; consulting firms; city governments.
Why would someone usually read it? A Restoration Plan tells a story of a particular place in terms of its history, current challenges, and future potential. While it includes specific strategies for enhancing the ecological integrity of a site, the plan also provides a narrative for why restoration is needed and how a successful restoration will be determined. Therefore, readers may be interested in knowing what makes this place the focus for restoration, the motivation for a particular restoration strategy, and how this place fits into the larger landscape context.

Reader requirements: experience in some aspect of ecological site restoration–could include: ecologists; environmental consultants, env or civil engineers, or site managers with experience in mitigation or restoration; landscape architects; non profit program directors dealing with ecological management issues.

See examples of reader bios for this course

Student – Reader Interactions

Intro Meeting – by Sept 17, if possible

September 27 – October 4: Students meet with Readers to discuss project plan and next steps

October 28 – November 5: Students meet with Readers to workshop sections

November 11 – 25: Optional meeting with Readers to discuss final Plan


ENV 217 2013 Syllabus

Restoration Plan Assignment:

Restoration Plan

Feedback response questions:

Does the Plan offer a clear and reasonable vision for restoration that takes into consideration the current state of the site and surrounding land area?

What should the students consider taking into account when outlining their plan for monitoring this site?

Is this document written in language appropriate for professionals in the field (e.g., no jargon, background information sufficient but not too overwhelming)?

Reader Feedback Example