The University Record, February 20, 1996

Protection of biodiversity is program topic

By Joanne Nesbit
News and Information Services

Our current world is a series of broken and fragmented ecosystems where nature's legacy is severely threatened. Just how this threat can be met and what strategies for landscape management to protect biodiversity can be developed are some of the issues that will be addressed March 1­2 during the Ecosystem Restoration Workshop at the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE).

Ecosystem restoration is both an emerging science and art that attempts to address the problems of degraded ecosystems and habitat fragmentation.

"It is a testing ground for ecological theory as well as a process for developing new patterns of human relationships with nature," says Robert Grese, associate professor of landscape architecture. "By its very nature, ecosystem restoration demands the involvement of a variety of disciplines, among them ecologists, wildlife and wildland managers, sociologists and psychologists, policy scientists, landscape architects, geologists, hydrologists, and horticulturists." In addition, many restoration efforts provide the public with opportunities to become involved in the process.

The Ecosystem Restoration Workshop will bring together representatives from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds to discuss what direction should be followed in developing strategies for research, education and national policy for ecosystem restoration. The public is invited to attend keynote addresses and a presentation of case studies.

Reed Noss, a research scientist at the University of Idaho and scientific director for the Wildlands Project will speak on "Status and Trends of Ecosystems in the U.S.: The Context and Need for Ecosystem Restoration" at 8:30 a.m. March 1 in Rackham Amphitheater. At 10:15 a.m. in the same hall, Roger Anderson, professor of biology at Illinois State University, will speak on "Research in Ecosystem Restoration," and at 11:15 a.m. William Niering, professor of botany and research director at Connecticut College's arboretum and editor of the Journal of Ecological Restoration, will deliver "Teaching Ecosystem Restoration." All three presentations are free and open to the public.

Beginning at 1:45 p.m. in Room 1040, Dana Building, four case studies will be presented including Michelle Grigore's "Toledo MetroparksSavanna Restoration in the Oak Openings Metropark," John Young's "Cooper River Project in South Carolina" and his "St. Clair River Project in Michigan," Donald Tilton's "Detroit Airport Wetland Mitigation Project," and Tom Crow's "Impacts of Silvicultural Treatments on Biological Diversity in the Ottawa National Forest." This presentation session also is free and open to the public.

For information, call Wayne Say, 764-6823.