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|Certification Governance and Administration|
The certification program operates under SER's 501c3 designation as a non-profit organization. Program governance is based upon the certification charter document.
The certification program is overseen by the Certification Program Coordinator and administered by the volunteer members of the five standing committees:
Information about the committees and committee members are described in more detail below.
The Certification Committee is comprised of 12-15 certified practitioners or practitioners-in-training. These committee members review all incoming applications and determine whether or not a candidate meets the program requirements.
Mickey Marcus, Chair (Term expires 2020)
Principal/Senior Scientist, SWCA Environmental Consultants
Mickey received his B.S. from Marlboro College, and M.S degree from the University of Maine at Orono. He has been working in the field of wetland science since 1981 where he got his feet wet conducting biological inventories of Maine peat bogs. His present areas of interest are in the fields of soil bioengineering, river morphology and restoration, watershed management, wetland restoration and innovative sediment and erosion control techniques and stormwater compliance and management. Mickey served for many years on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC); he is currently an at-large member of the SER New England Chapter Board of Directors; and a Board member of the Northeast Chapter of the International Erosion Control Association. Mickey is a past president of the Association of Massachusetts Wetland Scientists, and a past Chairman of the New England Chapter of the Society of Wetland Scientists. Mickey is a member of the executive Board of the Envirocert International Storm Water Council. Mickey is currently a Senior Wetland Scientist and Principal with New England Environmental, Inc. in Amherst, MA. He is a Professional Wetland Scientist, a Certified Professional in Storm Water Quality, and a Certified Profession in Sediment & Erosion Control.
Lynde Dodd (Term expires 2020)
Lynde Dodd is Research Biologist with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC) stationed at the Lewisville Aquatic Ecosystem Research Facility, Lewisville, TX. As a member of ERDC’s Aquatic Ecology and Invasive Species Branch, her research includes invasive species management and aquatic ecosystem restoration with emphasis in native aquatic and riparian species suitability and restoration implementation techniques. For the past 15 years she has enjoyed working with local, state, and federal partners to create functional, diverse, and sustainable aquatic ecosystems that provide valuable habitat. Some of the more recent projects that she has worked on include the Dallas Floodway Extension in south Dallas, where created wetlands adjacent to the Trinity River provide much needed refuge for migratory waterfowl using the Central Flyway and working with the City of Austin and the University of North Texas to restore aquatic vegetation to Lady Bird Lake and Lake Austin. Her current USACE Civil Works Aquatic Plant Control Research Program work unit is focused on investigating the genetics and ecology of an invasive float-leaved species – water chestnut (Trapa spp). She, along with other researchers and colleagues, received the Environmental Excellence Award from Texas Commission of Environmental Quality in 2013 for recognition of their restoration work for the Lake Conroe Habitat Improvement Project Coalition, a collaborative effort to restore aquatic plants and improve fish habitat in Lake Conroe, TX.
Michael Hughes (Term expires 2020)
Director of Environmental Sciences and Assistant Professor, Oregon Institute of Technology
Michael L. Hughes holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Studies, and Policy from the University of Oregon and has over 20 years of professional experience in hydrology and water resources, aquatic and riparian ecology, and environmental management and restoration. Having managed over 1 million dollars in related grant funding, he has authored or co-authored over 50 papers, presentations, and project reports. Dr. Hughes is active in interdisciplinary scientific communication and meeting organization. Examples of chaired sessions and conferences include The Science, Management, and Restoration of Aquatic Systems in Arid and Semi-Arid Basins at the Fall 2009 Conference of the American Geophysical Union; Dams, Sediment, and Fish at the 2010 Klamath Basin Science Conference; the 2014 Oregon Tech Sustainability Summit; Teaching Restoration Workshop at the 2015 SER World Conference; and Contributed Papers and Closing Plenary at the 2016 SERNW Conference: Monitoring Ecological Restoration. Dr. Hughes has taught at four universities and is currently tenured as an Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Sciences at the Oregon Institute of Technology, where he has served as the Director of Environmental Sciences since 2011. He teaches courses in geosciences (introductory and advanced), environmental law and policy, ecological restoration and monitoring, and professionalism in the sciences. Current projects include ecological monitoring of local rivers, wetlands, and wildlife refuges; assessment of irrigation control systems for drought resilience and sustainability; and student experiential learning for ecological restoration and monitoring. Dr. Hughes is the Program VP for the Society for Ecological Restoration Northwest (SERNW).
Jeanne Kinney (Term expires 2020)
Thurston County Public Works
Bio Coming Soon
Anne Halford (Term expires 2019)
Bureau of Land Management
Bio Coming Soon
Drew Rayburn (Term expires 2019)
Natural Resources Supervisor, Jefferson County Open Space
Drew is an applied ecologist whose work encompasses aspects of community, landscape, and restoration ecology. Since his first experience working on a tallgrass prairie restoration project in Northern Texas in the late 1990s, he has enjoyed developing, implementing, and evaluating collaborative, multi-benefit habitat restoration projects. He obtained his B.A. in Biology from Austin College, his M.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Iowa State University, and his Ph.D. in Ecology from Utah State University. After a postdoc in Restoration Ecology at the University of California Davis, he worked on large-scale riparian, grassland, and rangeland restoration projects in California and Nevada that often sought to create habitat for special-status species of wildlife, fish, plants, and insects. He now resides in Colorado, where he is the Natural Resources Supervisor for Jefferson County Open Space, a public agency that owns and manages approximately 55,000 ac. of diverse habitat along Colorado's Front Range. Current projects on which he and his staff are working include large-scale forest restoration, invasive species prioritization and treatment, wildlife conservation, and prairie enhancement and restoration. Drew is also a Certified Ecologist (ESA), and serves as an Associate Editor for the journal Ecological Restoration.
Paul Davis (Term expires 2019)
Senior Vice President, GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc.
Paul Davis is a Senior Vice President at GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc., and Principal Environmental Scientist, based in the Springfield, Massachusetts. He serves as leader of the Natural Resources & Permitting Technical Practice and Ecological Services Client Sector for GZA, which includes over 40 professional scientists. He has 30 years of experience with wetland and aquatic resource assessment, ecological restoration, soil science, water quality, impact minimization/mitigation design and permitting. He earned his Doctorate in Biological Sciences from the University of Rhode Island and Masters Degrees in Zoology and Environmental Policy (Marine Affairs) from the same institution. His Bachelor of Science in Zoology is from the University of Massachusetts. He is a Professional Wetland Scientist and Certified Professional Soil Scientist. Dr. Davis has project experience with a wide variety of wetland and aquatic resource affected projects, and their permitting processes at the local, state and federal levels, including highway, rail, airport, utility, retail development, facility construction, recreation, natural resource management, and site remediation. His professional activities include membership in the Society of Wetland Scientists, Society of Ecological Restoration, Soil Science Society of America, and National Lakes Management Association. He is also on the Board of and a Visiting Professor of Ecological Studies at the American University of the Caribbean in Les Cayes, Haiti.
Joshua Tallis (Term expires 2019)
Restoration Ecologist, Arcadis
Joshua Tallis lives in Santa Cruz, California and works as a profession ecological restoration practitioner and botanist for a Dutch engineering company called Arcadis. His restoration work is largely done in the Western U.S. and is generally associated with environmental remediation. He received a M.S. in Environmental Horticulture from University of Washington in 2005. Joshua is a Certified Arborist and a Professional Wetland Scientist. Currently, he works predominantly in coastal wetland, riparian, chaparral, and oak woodland ecosystems.
Bill Shadel (Term expires 2019)
Shadel Environmental, New Jersey.
Bio Coming Soon
Carolina Murcia (Term expires 2018)
Chris Polatin (Term expires 2018)
Ecological Restoration Practitioner at Land Stewardship, Inc.
Chris has been involved with environmental work for ten years in various contexts. He worked for several environmental consultancies on the west coast as an environmental scientist and biologist involved in conducting biological assessments, special status species surveys, wetland delineations, preparing mitigation plans and permit applications. He has served as a restoration project manager involved with managing the installation, maintenance, and monitoring of a diverse portfolio of restoration sites throughout northern and central California. These sites included several large scale riparian revegetation and streambank bioengineering projects overseen by the US Army Corps of Engineers. As a reserve steward for the University of California, Chris developed and implemented management plans for special status species and invasive plant control, supervised crew and staff, and helped build budgets and funding priorities. Upon moving to New England in 2002, Chris attended graduate school and for his master’s thesis conducted research to determine the best control techniques for managing three woody invasive plants within the Elizabeth Islands of Massachusetts. Chris began Polatin Ecological Services in 2005. The company has focused its efforts on invasive species management and revegetation due to concerns regarding the deleterious effects that invasive plants have on natural communities and biodiversity.
John Giordanengo (Term expires 2018)
Executive Director and Principal Restoration Ecologist, Synergy Ecological Restoration
From 19 years of applied and academic experience John has developed a broad skillset in the field of ecological restoration, regional stewardship planning, coalition development, applied research, training program development, and project management. Having begun his restoration career planting riparian shrubs and trees along the Green River in Washington, he completed his MS degree (restoration ecology focus) from Colorado State University in 2000. Having planned and implement over 180 restoration-related projects, including riparian, floodplain, and wetland restoration, wetland delineation and ACOE permitting, fish passage, road closure and obliteration, post-fire restoration, and alpine restoration, he has learned that one important precept: you can never know enough. And so every day offers new insights into the field of restoration ecology that help John hone his design skills, values, and construction/implementation methodology. John is the co-author of the Field Guide for Harvesting and Installing Willow and Cottonwood Cuttings, lead author for Living Streambanks: a manual of bioengineering treatments for Colorado Streams, co-author of the OSI Crew Leader Manual in Ecological Restoration, and has authored several professional papers and lead numerous workshops in the field of Ecological Restoration and natural resource research. John’s contribution to the practice of riparian restoration earned him the Colorado Riparian Association Excellence in Riparian Management Award in 2010. John has served on the board of directors for the High Altitude Revegetation Organization, Colorado Native Plant Society and dozens of restoration and natural resources committees across the Front Range of Colorado. Responding to some of Northern Colorado’s most severe natural disasters, John co-founded the Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed, the Big Thompson River Restoration Coalition, and the Southern Rockies Seed Network.
cassi saari (Term expires 2018)
ecologist, ecology + vision, llc
cassi is an ecological consultant and field botanist in the Midwest US, conducting natural areas assessments, floristic inventories, teaching plant identification courses, and monitoring habitat restoration projects. As a student at Northwestern University, she fell in love with the oak savanna while sitting on dropseed hummocks and observing bumblebees nectar rob stiff gentian flowers. cassi has been involved in Chicago region restoration efforts for over 10 years, from burning buckthorn on winter bonfires to identifying tiny seedlings during summer quadrat sampling. In 2014 she received the Chicago Wilderness Next Generation of Conservation Leadership Award for her efforts to engage others in regional conservation through natural areas stewardship.
The Appeals and Disciplinary Committee is comprised of 3-5 certified practitioners or practitioners-in-training. These committee members review all appeals for certification applications and continuing education approvals. The Appeals and Disciplinary Committee members also review any reports of ethics violations (in accordance with the program disciplinary policy).
Joe Berg, Chair (Term expires 2020)
Baltimore, Maryland USA
Joe is a systems ecologist at Biohabitats, Inc., where he is the Practice Lead for Ecological Restoration. He is the chair of the mid-Atlantic Chapter of the SER and is an At-Large Representative on the Board. Joe has been working in environmental consulting in the mid-Atlantic for more than 30 years. Prior to consulting, he was a research assistant at the University of Maryland where he earned an M.S. (1984). Joe is focused on improving restoration through anthropogenically-contextual ecological solutions that lead engineering practices to restore ecosystem process and services rather than continuing a singular emphasis on stability.
Jennifer Franklin (Term expires 2019)
Associate Professor, University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
Jennifer Franklin studies forest restoration, mine reforestation and the effects of the environmental stresses on tree growth and function, at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries teaches courses in ecosystem restoration, tree physiology, and prescribed fire management. Her research program is focused on the restoration of hardwood forests of the eastern U.S., and identifying factors important in the successful establishment of native plant communities. Originally from Canada, Jennifer came to UT in 2003 after completing a PhD in tree physiology and land reclamation at the University of Alberta. She lives in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains with her husband and son.
Jen Ford (Term expires 2018)
Principal Restoration Ecologist at Ecosure
Jen has worked full-time in the ecological restoration industry for the last 20 years in South East Queensland and northern NSW. As a recognized industry leader and passionate advocate, Jen’s skills have seen her as thought leader and catalyst for developing the restoration industry in SEQ during the last 10 years. Jen has demonstrated a strong track record of strategic leadership and contribution at senior levels in Gold Coast City Council and in industry peak bodies such as the Australian Association of Bush Regenerators, the Weed Society of QLD and the Society of Ecological Restoration. Jen has facilitated a large variety of project teams and stakeholders as well as working as a trainer and educator on restoration theory and practice. Her work with diverse communities, local councils, state agencies, developers, peak bodies and the local restoration industry to develop and implement ecological restoration and environmental education programs has proven Jen as an effective negotiator and facilitator.
The Standards Committee is comprised of 5-7 members including a chairperson who is a certified practitioner. The Standards Committee members review and, if needed, revise the program requirements to ensure that the program standards are meeting the program goals.
Mike Toohill, Chair (Term expires 2020)
Senior Project Manager at BSC Group, Inc.
Mike is a co-founder and board member of the New England Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration, a member of the Executive Committee of the SER Ad Hoc Committee on Certification, and the current Chair of the Certification Standards Committee. Mike is an environmental scientist with over thirty-five years of experience in environmental impact evaluation, mitigation, and ecological restoration. He assumes primary responsibility as the leader of interdisciplinary teams on complicated infrastructure and land development projects for both public and private sector clients. Mike has a broad background in many facets of environmental impact assessment including terrestrial and aquatic ecology, ecological restoration, impact assessment, wetland delineation and mitigation design, and habitat evaluation. He routinely works on large, linear infrastructure projects such as gas pipelines, electrical transmission lines, and highways. He has presented at SER International conferences, local conservation conferences, and at national conferences for allied organizations.
Connie Bersok (Term expires 2020)
Florida Department of Environmental Regulation Tallahassee, FL, USA
A member of SER for 15 years, Connie earned a Master’s degree through the University of Florida’s Center for Wetlands, focusing on factors that affect wetland restoration in a post-mining landscape. This research laid the groundwork for a restoration-based approach to wetland regulatory review. Connie was in charge of Florida’s Springs Initiative Program, consisting of integrating hydrogeologic data with land use to develop plans to restore both water quality and discharge for the major springs in the state.
Tein McDonald (Term expires 2020)
President Australian Association of Bush Regenerators, Editor EMR Ecological Restoration & Management (ESA), Principal Tein McDonald & Associates
Dr. Tein McDonald has been involved in the philosophy, ecology and practice of ecological restoration for nearly 35 years as a bush regenerator, trainer and consultant restoration planner - and in the last 18 years has also been Editor-in-Chief of the Australasian journal Ecological Management & Restoration for the Ecological Society of Australia. Tein has been an assessor of practitioners applying for accreditation with the Australian Association of Bush Regenerators’ for over two decades and is committed to improving links between science and practice. She has been a member of SER since its first meeting and was SER’s first Australian corresponding secretary in the early 1990s. Currently Tein is a board member of the Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia (SERA) for whom she spearheaded and co-edited the National Restoration Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration in Australia. More recently she was a co-author of SER’s International Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration launched in Dec 2016.
Cara Nelson (Term expires 2019)
Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana Missoula, Montana, USA
Cara Nelson is an Associate Professor of Restoration Ecology in University of Montana’s Ecosystem Sciences and Conservation Department and the founding Director of the University’s Ecological Restoration Program. She received Masters degrees in Forestry and in Conservation Biology from University of Wisconsin and a PhD in Forest Ecosystem Analysis from University of Washington. Cara and her students study the effects of large-scale disturbance on vegetation, the efficacy and ecological impacts of ecological restoration, and the conceptual basis for ecological restoration. Cara is a past Chair of SER and the current Chair of SER’s Science and Policy Committee.
Rory Denovan (Term expires 2019)
Senior Environmental Analyst at City of Seattle
Chris Lenhart (Term expires 2018)
Research Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota: Twin Cities
Mark Vander Meer (Term expires 2018)
Partner, Watershed Consulting LLC
Mark Vander Meer is Principal Partner at Watershed Consulting and has been with the company since 1998. He is our senior restoration ecologist with more than 30 years of experience in ecologic restoration and bio-physical assessments. Mark is a USDA certified soil scientist and an ISA Certified Arborist. He works to mend severe disturbances such as degraded riparian areas or abandoned mine sites. Mark has developed many innovative revegetation and soil stabilization techniques. He is the lead author for three regional revegetation manuals. He owns and operates a native plant nursery for the company’s many revegetation projects. In the woods, Mark applies responsible forest practices that restore and sustain long-term forest use and vitality. His work encourages woodland health and appropriate ecologic trends. Recognizing the importance of the soil resource, Mark works to assess how past disturbances influence natural bio-physical resiliency and ecological trends of the above- and below-ground ecosystems; he then provides recommendations for soil rehabilitation and native plant revegetation. Mark is continually learning and teaching restoration and forest management techniques throughout Western Montana.
The Continuing Education Committee is comprised of 5-7 members, including a chairperson who is a certified practitioner. These committee members review all requests for continuing education credit approval. Committee members will also work with academic institutions and training organizations to develop curricula for ongoing courses and degree programs.
David Polster, Chair (Term expires 2020)
Polster Environmental Services Ltd. Duncan, British Columbia, Canada
David Polster is a plant ecologist with over 35 years of experience in vegetation studies, reclamation and invasive species management. He graduated from the University of Victoria with an Honors Bachelor of Science degree in 1975 and a Master of Science degree in 1977. He has developed a wide variety of reclamation techniques for mines, industrial developments and steep/unstable slopes as well as techniques for the re-establishment of riparian and aquatic habitats. He is the past-president (third term) of the Canadian Land Reclamation Association. He is the treasurer for the Western Canada Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration and is the NW Regional Representative on the board of the international Society for Ecological Restoration (SER). He was recently awarded the prestigious John Rieger Award from SER. He served as the alternate mining representative on the board of the Invasive Species Council of B.C. for 9 years, ending in 2015.
Regina Wandler (Term expires 2020)
Stewardship Associate at Skagit Land Trust
Regina holds the position of Stewardship Manager of Skagit Land Trust, a non-profit land trust in northwestern Washington where she has worked on stewardship and restoration projects since 2010. She holds a Masters in Environmental Horticulture (MEH) from the University of Washington. In 2016, she completed a thesis project focused on designing a continuing education program for Pacific Northwest professionals to be offered by the University of Washington Botanic Gardens. Regina serves as an at-large board member for SERNW and has experience with small forest management, teaching, volunteer management, planning and design.
David Forestieri (Term expires 2019)
Nez Perce Tribe
Juli Crane (Term expires 2019)
Principal Wetland Specialist at Lake County Stormwater Management Commission
With a B.S. in Wildlife and Range Resources and an M.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife (wetland focus), Juli has nearly 30 years of experience playing with plants, water, and dirt (soil, for you purists) … and making paper trails. Currently, she is a Principal Wetland Specialist with the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission (SMC), where she reviews permit applications for wetland impacts; manages wetland restoration projects; and provides staff support for the County’s Wetland Restoration Fund, various SMC grants, and development of a county-wide wetland restoration and preservation plan. During her 25+ years as an environmental consultant, Juli worked on projects throughout the Intermountain West and Midwest as well as in parts of the Pacific Northwest. Her passion for learning has produced an alphabet soup of professional credentials that she trots out as needed.
Nancy Shaw (Term expires 2018)
USDA FS Rocky Mountain Research Station
Boise, ID, USA
Nancy is a Research Botanist (Emeritus) with the US Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station. Her research focused on development and use of native plant materials for sagebrush steppe restoration, and she served as Team Leader for the Great Basin Native Plant Project for the last 13 years of her career. Nancy was a founder of the SER Great Basin Chapter and currently serves on the Board of SER’s International Network for Seed-based Restoration Section. She received an M.S. in Botany from Idaho State University and a Ph.D. in Crop Science (seed technology emphasis) from Oregon State University.
John Wigginton (Term expires 2018)
Southeast Region Manager at Westervelt Ecological Services
John Wigginton is the Southeast Region Manager for Westervelt Ecological Services, a nationwide habitat mitigation company. His duties include site feasibility analysis and selection, Interagency Review Team interaction, landowner negotiations, budgeting, long-range planning, process management, and team management. John is a certified Professional Wetland Scientist and received his PhD in Forest Ecology from the Auburn University School of Forestry, where he studied the effects of floodplain forest succession and restoration on soil organic matter formation and sequestration. He has a MS in Wetland Studies from the University of Florida’s Center for Wetlands.
Katie McMahen (Term expires 2018)
Mount Polley Mining Corporation
Katie has a BSc in Global Resource Systems from the University of British Columbia and has been working in the mining industry since 2011. Mine reclamation research, planning and implementation has been a major focus of her work, and she is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at the University of British Columbia on that topic. Specifically, her research is investigating terrestrial reclamation methods that promote development of soil microbial communities and networks, and in doing so improve vegetation establishment, soil development and ecosystem resiliency. She is the recipient of scholarships from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the BC Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation. Katie was previously involved with SER as the Media Coordinator of the Western Canada chapter.
The Marketing and Outreach Committee is comprised of 3-5 members, including a chairperson who is a certified practitioner. These committee members work to inform ecological restoration practitioners about the certification program (and its benefits), promote training opportunities, and identify and facilitate opportunities for teaming with other organizations.
Mary Beth McCormack (Term expires 2020)
Cleveland Montessori School
Cleveland, OH, USA
Mary Beth holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education from George Washington University and an Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) Diploma from the International Center for Montessori Studies Foundation in Bergamo, Italy. She works to connect students to restoration efforts in their local communities and has collaborated to develop yearly cycles of restoration activities to teach them the importance of environmental stewardship and how they can connect to this work.
Shri Verrill (Term expires 2019)
Rob Monico (Term expires 2019)
Trent University and Fleming College
Bio Coming Soon
Bruce Clarkson (Term expires 2018)
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, University of Waikato
Professor Bruce Clarkson is recognized as one of New Zealand's foremost authorities on ecological restoration. He currently leads an MBIE funded research programm People, Cities and Nature: restoring indigenous nature in urban environments. His research has had a direct impact on Hamilton gully restoration initiatives and the Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park project near Hamilton Zoo. In 2005, together with independent consultant Dr Wren Green, he carried out a review of progress on the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy for the chief executives of the sponsoring government agencies. In 2006 he was awarded the Loder Cup, New Zealand's premier conservation award and in 2016 he received the RSNZ Charles Fleming Award for environmental achievement. Professor Clarkson is a board member of the Australasian chapter of the International Society for Ecological Restoration, on the Governance Group for the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge and is ambassador for the New Zealand's Biological Heritage National Science Challenge.
Robert Magill (Term expires 2018)
Lead Wildlife Biologist, Western Slope Wildlife, LLC
Robert Magill holds a BS in Wildlife Biology and a MS in Wildlife Management with an emphasis on ornithology. He is a certified Wildlife Biologist by The Wildlife Society. Robert has over 20 years of experience in wildlife ecology and management, and has worked for/with federal and state agencies, private companies, Native American tribes, and non-profit organizations. He specializes in program and project management with technical expertise in ornithology with a focus on investigating the influences of habitat characteristics and changes on avian productivity. This focus on how habitat changes can influence productivity offers a natural transition to restoration ecology, hopefully enabling me to work successfully to integrate the two disciplines through working with SER.