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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Amy M Lambert
BES 362
Bothell Campus

Introduction to Restoration Ecology

Introduces ecological restoration of damaged ecosystems. Develops a broad understanding of restoration ecology, including diverse ecological aspects of the practice of restoration, conceptual and philosophical issues underlying the field, and social and political factors that influence restoration outcomes. Includes field work, lectures, readings, and discussion.

Class description

SPR 2014 This is an introductory course that will expose you to a wide range of ecological and philosophical concepts that are the basis of restoration ecology. Generally, the goal of restoration ecology is to restore ecosystem function and reestablish historic plant and animal communities. Although there are many ways to practice restoration ecology, one of the most important objectives is to create healthy and sustainable ecosystems through cultural practices. The relationship between cultural practices and sustainability will be one of the dominant themes in this course. Additional topics will include (1) the social and political rationale for restoration (2) approaches to the practice of restoration (3) ecological/theoretical frameworks from which restoration is practiced and (4) constraints on restoration and how restoration is assessed. Restoration ecology is best understood by experiencing projects first-hand. We will visit restoration sites, interact with land managers and participate in restoration activities. My goal is for everyone to gain a deeper understanding of restoration ecology so that you are able to confidently inquire and perhaps participate in local restoration projects after taking this course.

Student learning goals

Develop a working definition of restoration ecology and the skills to critically assess and characterize restoration projects

Understand principles and values of restoration ecology and explore how restoration can be integrated across disciplines

Understand ecological and theoretical frameworks from which restoration ecology is practiced

Gain a better appreciation and understanding of lowland forest, wetland and prairie ecosystems and the methods used to restore these ecosystems

Understand the social and political rationale for restoration including the historical and cultural frameworks from which restoration is practiced

Investigate a local restoration project, conduct field studies and present a poster illustrating your results

General method of instruction

Weekly readings will provide the basis for discussion but lot of our class time will be in the field, actively participating in restoration projects. This is a field class. Attendance on field trips is required. Questions and short essays will synthesize ideas and concepts from your readings and field experiences. Group activities/projects (in the field) and the production of a restoration case-study poster will also be a focus of the course.

Recommended preparation

Students will be better prepared if they have already taken BES 312 Ecology, and a course in plant identification. Neither is required, and students should not be discouraged from participating if they lack these courses.

Class assignments and grading

Students will keep a field notebook documenting site visits. Two quizzes will be given to test your understanding of basic concepts and vocabulary. Writing assignments (Questions and Synthesis Essays) are an opportunity to explore and synthesize ideas and concepts from your readings and field experiences. Throughout the quarter you will be asked to collect information about a select restoration site that will aid in the development of your case-study poster.

Participation in field activities is crucial. Questions should be properly developed including the use of introductory statements that synthesize concepts, address weekly readings and link ideas to information about upcoming field trips. Synthesis Essays will be evaluated on thoughtful construction of ideas, clear and logical paragraph development, proper usage of terminology and use of supporting material (field trip experiences, supporting documents provided to you prior to field trips, textbook and journal articles). The results of your observational studies and assessment will culminate in the development of a case-study poster. You will be evaluated on content, presentation, organization, graphics, and participation in peer review.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Amy M Lambert
Date: 02/13/2014