Restoration Ecology

biol 482 - Great Lakes - Summer Session II


Ecological and theoretical foundations for ecosystem, community, and species level restoration. This course develops ecological principles for restoration and connects them to our faith-based emphasis on being redeemers of creation (II Cor 5). Field studies include analysis of restoration and rehabilitation work with the Kirtland's Warbler, local rivers, coastal dunes, kettle-hole bogs, deforested lands, abandoned oil wells, as well as a full day field trip to engage urban restoration in practice. Practical field skills are emphasized through a class project during which a degraded area around Au Sable is made available for the students to develop and implement their own restoration plan. Prerequisite: one year of biology and one course in ecology or field biology, or permission of professor. (4 credits)

Field, Applied.

Professor: Dr. Rick Hammer

Meets: Wednesday & Friday


Knowledge gained

How creation care, and in particular restoration ecology can be a physical, tangible expression of our faith commitment.

How to recognize and assess degraded ecosystems and how to understand the disturbance(s) that contributed to its degradation.

How to develop and implement plans to restore degraded ecosystems.


Skills developed

Reading a landscape for its natural quality and/or level of degradation.

How to recognize native and invasive species and important information the presence or absence of species can contribute to an understanding of the history of a particular site.

Practical methods that will help to heal a degraded ecosystem and bring back some of its former functionality and beauty

Hands-on experience in restoration ecology through an applied restoration project throughout the duration of the course


field experience

Field Measurements of Discharge

Hartwick Pines State Park

Oil well sites in the vicinity of Au Sable Institute

Kirtland’s Warbler habitat - endangered species restoration

Grayling and Au Sable River restoration work

Grand Rapids and Plaster Creek Stewards restoration work

On-campus field restoration project site