Ecosystem Restoration

Given the current speed of habitat and species loss caused by human development, the restoration of degraded ecosystems is one of the greatest challenges humankind is facing. For this reason, the United Nations declared the current decade (2021-2030) as the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. This global effort will require experts on ecosystem science, management and design. This holistic approach will allow for a deeper understanding of how ecosystems recover from human disturbance and how we can use this knowledge to increase the currently limited performance of restoration practice. This course is particularly suited for students with interests in the natural component of landscape architecture, conservation, ecological engineering, or ecosystem management in a broad sense. This course is cross-listed with the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, which will allow students from both disciplines to exchange their knowledge in a multidirectional learning environment where we all will address real world restoration cases. We will learn how ecosystems recover from human disturbance to apply that knowledge to a real restoration project that students will develop. We will have key inputs from guest lectures coming from environmental consultants with many years of experience restoring ecosystems worldwide. They will help us to find targeted tools to support, design, and monitor ecosystems in both urban and natural environments. We will have field trips to restored sites where we would discuss with local managers or practitioners the outcomes of restoration practice. At least one previous course in ecology or a similar topic is required. This course will arm you with one of the most important tools to work with and for nature in the coming decades.