Where the Shovel Meets the Science: Reciprocal Learning Between Restoration and Ecology.
Thursday, August 8, 2013: 8:00 AM-10:00 AM
101H, Minneapolis Convention Center
Casey J. Huckins
Amy M. Marcarelli
Casey J. Huckins
In today’s social and funding climate, many of us who do not consider ourselves “restoration ecologists” find ourselves working on projects related to restoration of ecosystems and mitigation for ecological and environmental disturbances. We are often motivated by our desires to contribute our expertise to projects that “do good” in our communities and in ecosystems to which we are passionately and scientifically dedicated. In part, this involvement is also motivated by funding realities; as the budgets of basic research funders like NSF have stagnated over the past decade, scientists have sought funding from “shovel ready” programs such as the EPA: Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Moreover, restoration projects can provide unique opportunities for ecologists to test hypotheses of basic ecological principles at large spatial extents and over long time scales. In this session, we hope to bring together restoration ecology specialists and basic ecologists working on restoration projects to discuss questions such as: 1) How can we improve ecological understanding gained through restoration projects? 2) Although we cannot perfectly restore any ecosystems, what can ecologists contribute to restoration projects to help improve the feasibility and success of these projects? 3) Can we integrate community partners and citizen scientists into ecological studies of restoration in a way that moves beyond superficial “broader impacts”?