Restoration Ecology (Biol 482)

Great Lakes Campus - Summer Session II

Course Description

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 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. Field, Applied.

Professor: Dr. Rick Hammer
Meets: Wednesday & Friday

Register now!

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 Experiences

  • 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


Interested in learning more about Restoration Ecology?

Check out this blog!

Courses That Change Your Life: Restoration Ecology