Ecological restoration involves the repair and recovery of ecosystems that have been degraded, damaged, or destroyed. The target of most restoration work is the renewal of ecological integrity to systems that have been compromised in some way. In this course we will explore various facets of ecological restoration, particularly those related to restoring and managing the kinds of habitats found in Southeastern Michigan and the upper Midwest. Through a combination of lectures, readings, field trips, and project work, we will examine practices for designing and implementing the ecological restoration of terrestrial habitats. While most of the examples we'll study will be local, the principles and processes will have applications world-wide. The goal of the class is to facilitate a rich discussion of approaches and strategies for ecological restoration.
The course consists of a one two-hour lecture/discussion period on Thursdays from 3:00-5:00 pm. and a Saturday field trip on Saturday, April 14th. The sequence of class lectures, readings, and discussions provides basic information on ecological restoration and natural areas management. Our in-class field trip on April 5th and on Saturday, April 14th will provide first-hand exposure to local ecosystems and the challenge of putting restoration ideas into practice, including the conducting of a prescribed burn if weather cooperates. Class work will include discussions, one or more short papers, a term paper/project, and a final exam.