We’re thrilled to announce the re-launch of ser.org. There were a few hiccups along the way, but in spite of the lack of tech savvy from some of the SER staff (and by some, I mean me), the new site is up and ready for you to explore.
The first thing you’ll notice is the sleek, modern design. If you’re accessing it on your smartphone and tablet, you’ll see it looks great there too. You can now take SER with you wherever you go.
It’s more than just a pretty face; we’ve expanded the content and functionality of the site, so you’ll want to return often to engage with SER and your fellow members:
- Improved Networking Features: Our new community forums allow you to easily connect with other SER members, share your knowledge and ask questions.
- Improved Profile Functions: Your new profile page has an attractive interface loaded with features enabling you to upload and share photos and documents, create blogs, track your professional development activities and more.
- Easier Access to Your Membership Information: You can now quickly access and update your profile, manage your notifications settings, download invoices and confirm whether or not your membership is up to date.
The website is one of several new features and benefits we’re rolling out this year, practitioner certification is another. Our goal is to continue to develop resources and tools for you and to regularly update the website with restoration news and events. We’re currently in the process of creating a feature to help you better connect with your Chapter (and vice versa) and we’re updating and redesigning the Global Restoration Network – with the goal of creating an all-in-one resource center for all types of restoration information, including science, policy, practice, traditional knowledge and more.
I hope you’ll login often to explore the new site!
Membership and Communications Director
P.S. I want to remind everyone we’re now inviting nominations for our 2017 SER Awards. These awards honor outstanding contributions to advancing the field of ecological restoration and recognize individuals and organizations for their excellence in restoration science, practice, and public engagement. You can find out more about the awards and criteria on SER.org.
SER Section Update: International Network for Seed-Based Restoration (INSR)
Contributed by Nancy Shaw, SER Board Member, Representative-At-Large and Director-At-Large of INSR
SER’s International Network for Seed-based Restoration Section (INSR), initiated just a year ago, already counts more than 250 members from 27 countries on 6 continents. The Section has established a website, promotional materials, an online forum for Q&As and information exchange, a newsletter, a cadre of international partners, and a webinar series. INSR has also exhibited at regional and international conferences. Members are now planning special sessions and workshops for the US National Native Seed Conference in Washington, DC, and SER’s World Conference in Iguazu, Brazil. We encourage you to join INSR and participate in activities that promote native seed-based restoration locally, regionally and globally. INSR membership is free to SER members. Click here to join!
Full text of the following stories can be found by clicking the NEWS tab on the INSR website.
Intern Diedra Keating evaluates germination responses of Wyoming big sagebrush.
Undergraduate internships in plant restoration: The Chicago Botanic Garden, an INSR partner, is collaborating with a number of institutions to offer internship programs that provide undergraduate research opportunities in plant biology and conservation. Interviews conducted by INSR Board Member, Olga Kildisheva, reveal that internship participants are enthusiastic about their newly gained knowledge, and possess an appreciation of seed science and the research process.
New technologies for native grass establishment: Simone Pedrini, INSR Webmaster and Ph.D. candidate at Curtin University and King’s Park, West Australia, studies combinations of promising new technologies to facilitate seed handling, increase seeding efficiency, and improve seedling establishment and stress resistance of native Australian grasses. Results could expand restoration use of these widespread species. Read about the project and watch for progress updates on the INSR website.
Native seed for prairie restoration in Iowa, USA: For the last 27 years, the University of Iowa’s Tallgrass Prairie Center, an INSR Partner, has collected and increased seed production from tallgrass prairie remnants to provide foundation seed for commercial growers. Through cooperative programs described by Greg Houseal, the Center has been instrumental in re-establishing prairie species on more than 36,000 hectares of highway rights-of-way and thousands of hectares of private lands. Establishment of perennial tallgrass prairie communities by the Center and its network promote the environmental and societal benefits of soil and water quality, habitat, and beautification.
New! Formation of Professional Development Committee to expand SER services
In September, SER members Amber Inggs and Matt Grabau came to us with a proposal for creating stronger and more dynamic professional development services for our members. Since SER is largely a society of professionals in the field of ecological restoration, we were all ears. Over the past year, we’ve been very focused on building out the certification program and its associated continuing education program as two key professional development resources. But Amber, Matt, and their colleagues had many additional ideas. They are particularly interested in developing resources that create opportunities for people at all levels of their career, and regardless of sector, to engage with and learn from each other and to enhance their experience and practice. Their goal is to help promote and enhance ecosystem restoration by sharing knowledge between experienced professionals and those new and/or entering the field, to engage these different “cultures” within the profession to work together on complex issues to sustain and restore habitats. No matter what your experience level, we should be doing more to share lessons learned, both positive and negative. But professional development isn’t exclusively about technical knowledge sharing – it’s also an opportunity for people to engage with each other about different approaches to achieving career goals.
Thanks to their enthusiasm, the SER board created a new Professional Development Committee, with Amber appointed as the committee chair. The purpose of the committee is to help people succeed in their careers by implementing a robust set of professional development tools that can be implemented internationally. The initial components of the committee include the following:
- An SER member survey to gauge what kind of professional development tools members are interested in. Tools could include:
- Mentoring program (which will depend upon volunteers to act as mentors)
- Professional development themed webinars
- Guide to careers in Ecological Restoration (e.g. academic programs, how to enter the field of ER from different academic or practical background; what types of jobs are available in ER; internship opportunities/major companies working in ER)
- Professional development discussion board on the new SER website open to all SER members
- Professional spotlight (via video or text) highlighting different types of professionals and the career path they’ve taken (education, experience, etc.)
- Conference services
- Professional development workshops (e.g. introduction to advanced degree programs in ecological restoration; introduction to the certification program).
- In-conference mentoring
- Ice-breakers and mixers
- Support for SER Continuing Education Credit program
If you are interested in being part of the committee please contact Amber Inggs and/or Marguerite Nutter. A big thank you to Matt and Amber for taking the initiative to expand SER’s professional development services!
SER Chapter Conferences & Events
SER Southwest Annual Conference
Where Practitioners and Scientists Connect
November 9-11, 2016 – Las Vegas, Nevada
The SER-SW Annual Conference will include engaging presentations and posters on topics related to restoration, management, and conservation of natural areas in the Southwest Chapter Ecoregions.
TXSER Annual Conference
Linking Science and & Practice
November 11-13, 2016 – Livingston, Texas
Come network and find new, exciting ways to contribute to the field of ecological restoration in Texas, through presentations, speakers, and field trips. Late registration is available through October 26, 2016.
SER Australasia (SERA) & New Zealand Ecological Society (NZES) 2016 Joint Conference
ERA 2016 – Ecology & Restoration, Australasia – Restoring resilience across all environments
November 19-23 – Claudelands, Hamilton, New Zealand
Registration is now open for what promises to be an engaging and inspirational conference geared toward the goal of restoring resilience to all environments (land and sea, urban and rural). An entire day of presentations will be specifically targeting restoration practitioners and community volunteers.
SER2017 World Conference on Ecological Restoration
Linking Science and Practice for a Better World
August 27-September 1 – Iguassu Falls, Brazil
The 7th SER World Conference on Ecological Restoration will take place in Iguassu Falls, Brazil from August 27-September 1, 2017. Be sure to mark your calendar for what promises to be a spectacular venue and spirited group of conference goers! The organizing committee is now accepting proposals for symposia, workshops and training courses.