News & Resources

Featured Faculty: Dave Warners, Restoration Ecology

Posted by lindsaybarden | Mar 17, 2016

World traveler, outdoorsman and self professed composting addict, Dr. Dave Warners teaches Restoration Ecology (BIOL 482) at the Au Sable Institute during Summer Session II at the Great Lakes Campus in Michigan. While Dave’s past education and training is predominantly in plant ecology, he is inspired to pursue and teach Restoration Ecology because of the connections it shares with the Christian faith. Restoration ecology serves as a means of reconciliation between humanity and the earth. As Dave puts it,

“We live in world that shows many evidences of damage and brokenness.  As Christians we have been given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5) and are called to be agents of shalom in the world. Shalom is all about putting back together the brokenness in Creation and Restoration Ecology is one very tangible approach for doing this.”

Dave is a Professor of Biology at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the city where he grew up as a child. A celebrated member of the faculty at Calvin, Dr. Warners was the recipient of the 2009 Presidential Award for Exemplary Teaching, and in 2006, the Michigan Campus Compact Faculty/Staff Community Service-Learning Award, both honors of the highest order!

Having grown up in Grand Rapids, Dave’s roots run deep in the city where he is passionate about working to make his local community/environment happier, healthier and more sustainable. At his family’s home, Dave embraces the tension of creating an organic, bio-diverse, sustainable yard while also being a respectful neighbor to those around him. Having helped found Plaster Creek Stewards; a collaborative group at Calvin College that works to restore the health and beauty of the local Plaster Creek watershed, much of Dr. Warner’s scholarly work goes to the advancement and success of this organization.

Dr. Dave Warners has a wealth of knowledge and experience to be shared with his students in Restoration Ecology. His experience living overseas in Tanzania working in development helps him to bring a diversity of perspectives and insights to his teaching. It also means that Dave has stories to share about his adventures near and far, all one needs to do is ask!

Dave, his wife, and three children live in Grand Rapids and enjoy spending time in the outdoors together. Dave enjoys gardening, biking, cooking, reading, getting together with good friends and family, and as mentioned before, Dave says, “I’m pretty much addicted to composting!”

Get to know Dr. Dave Warners better in his course Restoration Ecology at the Au Sable Institute. To register, click here.