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ERTH 490: Independent Study Seminar in Restoration Ecology
Taught by demand

"At a time when most news about the environment seems bad, a constructive impulse to restore ravaged ecosystems has lately materialized . . ."

-- W.K. Stevens, in Miracle Under the Oaks

Course Description

In this independent study students we will examine the theory and practice of the cutting edge environmental practice, restoration ecology. Drawing on current research, we will gather information about the history of restoration ecology, techniques for mending damaged ecosystems, as well as the ethical and political issues invovled. Using this background as a base the class will apply its collective knowledge and skills toward designing a restoration plan at a local site. Through its National Heritage Park Program Marion County, Oregon has identified areas to be restored to their pre-European settlement status. From among these sites we will choose our case study.

As a group we will characterize the pre-settlement and current site conditions. In addition, each student will focus on an aspect of the restoration plan that holds special interest to him/her. Some examples of these might include:

* researching the land-use history of the site;
* describing the geologic/hydrologic characteristics of the site;
* developing a plan for dealing with non-native species at the site; and
* developing a monitoring system for plant/animal populations at the site.

This is a unique opportunity for students to apply their background in ecology, biogeography, biology, environmental science, and/or political science to a local restoration program, while also providing a valuable service to Marion County. Students may find the course also presents an opportunity to explore and develop senior thesis topics, Carson Grant proposals, and SCRP projects.

Prerequisites: Some basic background in environmental science and biology, an interest in conducting field research, the ability to work both independently and in a small group, and (most importantly) energy and enthusiasm for the topic!

Class meeting time: to be determined by participants.

The course will satisfy an upper level natural science requirement for the Environmental Science major.

Student Projects

History of Land Use and Ownership of Bonesteele Park - Fiona Lee

Salmon Habitat: A Case Study of the Aumsville Wetlands
- Alina Cansler, Sara Coffey, and Megan Mack

Potential Recreation and Educational Uses for Aumsville Ponds - Jeremy Markiewicz



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Last Updated 01/13/2011