SERS Stories: ERS 342 Prof Restoration Practice II Spring Field Course

ERS 342 StudentsThe students enrolled in ERS 342 Professional Conservation and Restoration Practice II, a 1.0 Credit course, were provided an excellent opportunity to learn from ecological restoration professionals engaged in forest, prairie, wetland, and marsh restoration in the Long Point World Biosphere.

Morning readings, presentations, and discussions in the library were followed by field trips to restoration sites to examine restoration progress and meet the restoration practitioners who were responsible for planning, implementing, and monitoring the restoration projects.  Professional restoration ecologists with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Long Point Region Conservation Authority, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and non-governmental organizations, among others, guided the field trips through restoration sites and discussed the success and challenges of effective restoration.

The goals of restoration projects in the Long Point World Biosphere -  the recovery of a functionally integrated landscape, the preparation of suitable habitat for a suite of species, the enhancement of ecosystem services vital to economic sustainability -  are as diverse as the organizations, agencies, and individuals implementing and supporting the restoration, all contributing to improving the health of the landscape.

The students readily embraced the opportunity to spend a day planting trees and seed recently created wetlands in the Long Point area. After productive excursions, and wholesome dinners prepared in the recently renovated and well-equipped kitchen and dining area at the Delta Waterfowl Research and Conservation Center in Turkey Point, the students enjoyed relaxing around the campfire in the evenings before retiring to a comfortable dorm. Additional information can be found in the 2020 ERS 342 course syllabus.

Student quotes:ERS 342 students in the field

“ERS 342 offers an amazing combination of experiential learning and industry networking. It was a privilege to meet professionals in the ecology field, discuss their projects and passions, and see the work first hand. An immersive and extremely fun field course that I would recommend to anyone!”  Evan, 2018

ERS students kayaking"ERS 342 was such an amazing learning experience and likely the highlight of my undergraduate degree. The course allowed me to make connections and relationships with all the professionals I met who are contributing to restoration today, as well as my classmates who were just as passionate about the environment as myself!" Jessica, 2019

ERS 342 students in the fieldI really recommend ERS 342 as a way to gain insight into restoration projects in the Carolinian zone and learn from experts in the field. Not only was the sequence very well-organized, we also had many opportunities to go kayaking    and hiking! Sarah, 2019

“I really appreciated being able to work with expert professional in the field and have genuine conversations about their career paths and experiences.  This gave me a real-world experience in the field that I am passionate about.  Thank you so much again. Elizabeth, 2019