Student Associations


What is a SER Student Association?

SER’s Student Association Program provides an opportunity for students interested in ecological restoration and related fields to become involved in SER’s global network, participate in SER conferences and events, and take advantage of SER resources. Organized and run entirely by the students themselves, student associations – previously known as student guilds – can be formed at any accredited academic institution, and provide a means for those students interested in pursuing a career in some facet of ecological restoration to come together in a like-minded group. The program was established in 2007 and has since grown to include several active student groups throughout the US and one in Canada (listed below). The program is not limited to US institutions, however, and can be formed by a motivated student group from anywhere in the world.  

Involvement in SER provides students with a number of valuable resources and opportunities. At SER’s biennial World Conference, students are able to share their knowledge and experiences, network with other student associations, and interact with restoration experts from around the world.  SER’s 14 regional chapters provide students with access to experts in their region and opportunities to participate in chapter conferences, leadership, and activities.  Many SER chapters provide discounted student membership rates and student positions within their leadership structure.

Not only do student associations connect budding restoration professionals with SER’s global community, they also provide a means for students to organize hands-on activities in their own communities and pursue professional development opportunities as a collective. Existing SER student associations have organized a variety of activities, including: volunteer and social events, native plant sales, restoration projects, workshops, roundtable discussions, career fairs, and fundraising activities, among others. 

How to Form Your Own Student Association

Student associations are officially recognized within SER but operate under the rules that govern student organizations at their academic institutions. Each student association pays a $160 USD annual fee to SER to receive a variety of benefits (summarized below). A low income student association annual fee of $130 USD is available for student groups from any academic institution in a developing country as defined by the World Bank (click here for a list of qualifying countries). For a detailed explanation of each benefit, please read the Student Association Information Packet.

  • Full student memberships in SER for all of your student association members (Student membership typically costs $20) 
  • A free individual membership for the faculty advisor (a $50 value)
  • A variety of benefits specific to the student association (e.g., access to post volunteer and training opportunities, official recognition by SER, free promotional materials etc.)
  • Networking and participation benefits for all student association members
  • Membership benefits for each student association member (e.g., SERNews, access to our career center, conference discount, and more)
The student association should identify these three student leaders upon joining or renewing the association membership.

Previously $250 USD, SER lowered the cost of its student association membership fee in 2013 to support student groups and foster a new generation of restoration ecologists.

Expectations of Student Associations

SER expects its student associations to be active and participatory members of the Society and its chapters. A short, summarized list of expectations is below. For more details, please read the Student Association Information Packet

  • Student associations are expected to have an organized leadership structure
  • Student associations are expected to hold regular meetings
  • Student associations and their members should try to participate in international and regional conference and events of the Society
  • Each student association is encouraged to create bylaws and guiding documents upon formation
  • Student associations are encouraged to participate in discussions with other student associations through the tools provided by SER (e.g., yearly teleconferences, forum discussions, in-person meetings at international conferences)
  • Student association members are encouraged to become involved in SER leadership, chapter leadership, and World Conference planning and coordination as opportunities arise

For more information on the benefits of becoming an SER student association, and step-by-step instructions on how to start your own, please download the Student Association Information Packet below:

Texas A&M University Student Association (TAMU-SER)
College Station, Texas, USA

The Texas A&M Society for Ecological Restoration Student Association (TAMU-SER) was established in 2010 and is located in College Station, Texas, USA. There are currently 30 active members in TAMU-SER The Association is comprised of undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in establishing a healthy relationship between nature and culture. The students study a variety of subjects including Ecological Restoration, Renewable Natural Resources, Forestry, Spatial Sciences, and Rangeland Ecological and Management. Throughout each semester, The Association takes part in a number of restoration related activities. Students are assisting Bastrop fire relief initiatives, pursuing a local restoration project to stabilize a portion of a stream bank, participating in local community volunteer events such as The Big Event, and hosting educational seminars.

To join email: chief_student_leader@tamu.edu. To learn more about TAMU-SER, visit www.ser.tamu.edu. Follow them on Facebook!  

University of Montana Student Association (UMSER)
Missoula, Montana, USA

The University of Montana Society for Ecological Restoration Student Association (UMSER), in Missoula, Montana, USA, was established in 2008 and currently has 23 active members. Each year UM-SER members work to promote ecological restoration around Missoula by hosting volunteer events, holding native plant sales, and interacting with environmental professionals in the community. Their main event takes place on Mt. Sentinel’s “M”-trail, the most hiked trail in the state, where they coordinate over 100 volunteers to help restore Palouse prairie by pulling invasive plants, planting native plants, spreading native seeds, and performing trail maintenance to prevent erosion. UM-SER also helps maintain a native plant garden on the University’s campus. Meetings are held bimonthly during the semester with additional meetings when a speaker comes to discussion restoration.

To join email: umt.restoration@gmail.com. To learn more about UM-SER, visit: www.cfc.umt.edu/UMSER.

University of Washington Student Association (SER-UW)
Seattle, Washington, USA

The University of Washington Society for Ecological Restoration Student Association (SER-UW) in Seattle, Washington, USA was established in 2008 by the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. SER-UW currently has 20 active members. In its first year as an Association, student members worked with university administration to take ownership of an on campus plot overrun with invasive species and in need of restoration. The group continues to restore that site, expanding its size and plant diversity each year. Association members also contribute to several restoration projects in the Union Bay Natural Area a popular birding location built on top of an old landfill. SER-UW is proud to have introduced the practice of restoration to hundreds of students by regularly partnering with the Intro to Environmental Science class. In the past they have hosted events, such as the 2012 Intersection of Ecological Restoration and Landscape Architecture panel discussion and a 2011 speaker event featuring Jack Nisbet, author of “The Collector: David Douglas and the Natural History of the Northwest.”

To learn more or to join, please visit: http://students.washington.edu/seruw/. Follow them on Facebook

Colorado State University Student Association (CSU-SER)
Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

The Colorado State University Society for Ecological Restoration Student Association (CSU-SER) was established in 2008. The Association is in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA and has 125 active members. CSU-SER’s specific goal is to bring together individuals from different disciplines that are invested in solving environmental problems. In bringing together students from various disciplines, the Association hopes to foster a network for communication which will help increase the effectiveness of restoration efforts. The group hosts regular native plants sales, restoration days, speaker series, and on- campus conferences. CSU-SER also provides its members with career mentoring and symposium scholarships. The students actively work to promote and sustain positive restoration practices on campus and within the greater university community.

To learn more or join please visit: http://warnercnr.colostate.edu/restoration-ecology-club-home/.
Follow them on Facebook

Temple University Student Association (TU-SER)
Ambler, Pennsylvania, USA

The Temple University Society for Ecological Restoration Student Association was established in 2012 in Ambler, Pennsylvania, USA. The group currently has 10-15 active members. The Association meets weekly to discuss recent conferences, new developments in the field of ecological restoration, and recent group activities. Recently, the group created a native plant nursery and since organized a student led record keeping system for the nursery.  Future activities include a speaker series, field trips to local restoration sites and native plant nurseries, and attendance at future SER regional and international conferences. Be sure to check out the Temple Student Association Blog for recent posts and news. 

To learn more about obtaining a master in Landscape Architecture at Temple Ambler visit: 
http://www.temple.edu/ambler/la-hort/academics/mlarch.htm. 

To join please email: Margaret.shaw@temple.edu


University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Student Association (UWSP-SER)
Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA

The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Society for Ecological Restoration Student Association (UWSP-SER) in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA, currently has 10-15 active members. Their main goal is to provide the hands-on experience while educating the general public about ecological restoration. The group holds regular meetings during the year. In addition to weekly meetings UWSP-SER participates in local volunteer events, attends conferences and events, hosts outreach activities, and organizes a speaker series.

Niagara College Student Association (SER-NC)
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada

The Niagara College Society for Ecological Restoration Student Association (SER-NC) was formed in 2013 by students of the Ecosystem Restoration postgraduate program. The association currently has 36 active members who are extremely proud to be the first international SER student association. The students have charged into their first year with great enthusiasm and are currently developing a proposal to rehabilitate a section of their campus which is overgrown with invasive species. They hope to convert the area into a prairie which will support pollinator species such as the at-risk monarch and karner blue butterflies. The group plans to hold information panels and meet-and-greets with environmental professionals. Additionally, they are looking to host fun events such as documentary movie nights and volunteer events. Be sure to check out their new blog: http://serncsa.wix.com/sernc

To join please email: ser.ncsa@gmail.com 

For more information on SER's Student Association Program please contact Leah Bregman, Membership and Communications Manager, at leah@ser.org or call (202) 299-9518 x4.