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Arlene Hopkins on Ecological Restoration

I am Arlene Hopkins, an educator and architect, and I provide consulting services in evaluation. Extending my work beyond education, libraries, land use and facilities, I am interested in standards, metrics and tools applied to environmental sustainability programs and projects.   Recently I have been focusing on evaluation standards, metrics and practices within the emerging subfield of “Ecological Restoration. ”

Ecological Restoration is the science and practice of recovering and restoring ecological systems to be functional, self-organizing and self-sustaining. Ecological Restoration is an important means to reverse the destructive impacts of shortsighted land use and land management practices that destroy or degrade living soils, watershed systems and habitat.  Ecological Restoration can result in habitat and biodiversity recovery, which in turn can result in halting, if not reversing, life-threatening climate change trends.

Evaluators interested in environmental issues may benefit from learning more about Ecological Restoration. Ecological Restoration may be applicable to independent consulting evaluation, international and cross-cultural evaluation, government evaluation, research on evaluation, advocacy and policy change evaluation, costs effectiveness benefits and economics evaluation, and environmental program evaluation, among others.

Interested evaluators may want to monitor developments in Ecological Restoration standards, metrics and tools. Further, interested evaluators may want to monitor applications of ecological restoration to emerging evaluation practices in land use, brownfields restoration, greenfields management, land & water systems management, habitat management, urban planning and environmental education. Here are some rad resources you can use to accomplish this.

Rad Resource #1: Listen to David W. Orr, Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College, provide an overview to the big picture climate change issue. Go to YouTube and search for “President’s Lecture Series 2009-10: David Orr”, or input http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KU8pcBVHWIM.

Rad Resource #2: Read the Wikipedia article, “Restoration Ecology.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restoration_ecology)

Rad Resource #3: Attend or monitor the California Society of Ecological Restoration (SERCAL) 2011 Conference. Theme will be “An Integration of People and Disciplines.”  Scientific sessions will include current standards, best practices and evaluation.  Case study sessions will include programs and projects on urban Ecological Restoration.  San Diego, California, 10-12 May 2011.

Rad Resource #4: Attend or monitor the Society of Ecological Restoration (SERI) 2011 Conference. Theme will be “Reestablishing the Link Between Nature & Culture.”   Merida, Mexico, 21-25 August 2011.

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