Poster Session & Social
4:40 PM - 6:30 PM Wed
POSTER PRESENTER #19
CO-AUTHORS: Nancy Aten, Land Restoration School (LRS); Chris Young, LRS
TITLE: Learning ecological restoration: Getting to proficiency in eight weeks
ABSTRACT: The pathways toward a career in the practice of ecological restoration are varied. Some of us get there from an academic background in ecology or conservation coupled with a passion for field work; some of us use continuing education practicums to develop know-how; some may move in their career as on-the-job experience shifts us towards the field and the practice. Given the critical need for many more practitioners doing effective, transformational work, the Land Restoration School (LRS) was formed in 2021 and launched an inaugural school in summer 2022. We tested the hypothesis of getting people from a range of initial conditions of background and experience to proficiency or beyond in eight immersive weeks, five days each week. Proficiency means having critical knowledge to both practice ecological restoration and develop a plan for an actual site using the Society for Ecological Restoration framework, including assessment of ecological need, land use history, current conditions, reference models, trajectories, steps, methods, and evaluation. This poster addresses the who-and-how of the LRS. We discuss the range of participants the LRS engaged and served and their transformation, and we assess the eight-week program for developing the natural science knowledge, ecological restoration understanding, planning framework, field methods experience, the business essentials, and case study insights needed to effectively launch ecological restoration practitioner careers. That career might begin as an independent contractor or as a project architect ready to help heal the earth and its wetlands. (See our complementary oral presentation for the what-why-and-where of the LRS.)
BIO: Dan Collins (he/him), P.E. (Engineering), is a restoration consultant and program manager at Landscapes of Place, where he applies scientific methods to ecological restoration, planning, implementation, and long-term management of landscapes as they are brought to higher levels of ecological function.