Mission Statement

The tri-campus University of Washington Restoration Ecology Network (REN) provides educational, outreach and research leadership in ecological restoration. REN facilitates interdisciplinary approaches to restoration education, student research and hands-on participation in restoration, faculty interaction across disciplines and campuses, and campus community interactions.

General Objectives

  1. To promote study of ecological restoration that is multidisciplinary, integrated and has a strong hands-on component in order to prepare students for the challenges of ecological restoration (planning, implementation, monitoring, and teaching), particularly in the Pacific Northwest region.

  2. To foster linkages among faculty of diverse expertise across campuses and thereby promote multidisciplinary perspectives in ecological restoration.

  3. To develop outreach programs which connect REN educational initiatives to environmental education in the K-12 school systems, community colleges and the general public.

  4. To develop connections between UW and community groups, businesses, governmental entities, and non-profit organizations to further regional efforts in ecological restoration while providing practical experiences for UW students.

  5. To develop principal sites of restoration activity for each campus in a coordinated fashion that will serve as primary focal points for the above objectives.

 

Specific Objectives

  1. To promote study of ecological restoration that is multidisciplinary, integrated and has a strong  hands-on component in order to prepare students for the challenges of ecological restoration (planning, implementation, monitoring, and teaching), particularly in the Pacific Northwest region.

Develop courses and/or course coordination in the realm of ecological restoration & conservation that will bring strong elements of interdisciplinary approaches and foster faculty collaboration across specialties. Work toward mechanisms for long-term sustainability of these courses after the initial 3-year REN funding cycle.

Develop the UW-REN Capstone Program to provide integrated and meaningful practical experiences in restoration for each student as required by their specific degree program. Work to unify the academic expectations of the different degree capstone requirements for students interested in the UW-REN Capstone Program and promote the creation of interdisciplinary teams of students from more than one campus where appropriate and practical.

Develop a network of student research and practical opportunities in restoration within and beyond the university (outside of their capstone experiences). The REN should act as a place that students will turn to first to explore possibilities for independent practical experiences and research in ecological restoration.

Develop opportunities for students to extend their practical and research experiences in restoration to "professional", teaching and/or outreach presentations. This will allow motivated students to further refine their knowledge and hone vital presentation and teaching skills. Some options students might pursue are outlined below.

  • The REN web site will act as a clearinghouse for selected individuals to examine possible projects (permission only) that are collected in conjunction with the capstone program.

  • Undergraduate student research will have an electronic presentation requirement. The completed work (both capstone and independent projects) will be presented on the REN web site in various possible formats including a journal style.

  • Graduate student involvement in design and initial implementation of unique lab / field experiences for courses

  • Regular public outreach presentations (field walks, posters, evening presentations) by students

  1. To foster linkages among faculty of diverse expertise across campuses and thereby promote multidisciplinary perspectives in ecological restoration.

This general objective will be addressed by activities outlined under the specific objectives 1A and 1B above.

  1. To develop outreach programs which connect REN education initiatives to environmental education in the K-12 school systems, community colleges and the general public.

Develop programs to provide interpretive education in ecological restoration and conservation at one principal field location near each UW campus. UW students will be principally responsible for the development of specific educational material and program elements, working in conjunction with faculty supervision and appropriate public / K-20 counterparts.

Initiate a restoration education symposium that will focus on how to educate and disseminate information in the realm of ecological restoration and conservation. This will not be a conference focused on restoration research and practical issues, but instead will focus on the educational components (as is the REN focus).

Elements of specific objectives 1A, 1C, and 1D will also apply here.

  1. To develop connections between UW and regional community groups, businesses, governmental entities, and non-profit organizations to further regional efforts in ecological restoration while providing practical experience for UW students.

This general objective falls under the purview of specific objectives 1A, 1C, 1D, 3A, and 3B outlined above.

  1. To develop principal sites of restoration activity for each campus in a coordinated fashion that will serve as primary focal points for the above objectives.

Develop coordinated programs of site characterization, maintenance and monitoring at primary restoration sites near each campus. These are tentatively identified as North Creek (UWB), Union Bay (UWS) and Dickman Mill (UWT). Also to identify and catalog other potential sites (e.g., Big Beef Creek) for future inclusion as intensive sites of REN activities. Along with this objective is the understanding of a need for long term planning of REN activities, particularly beyond the initial three-year funding horizon.