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Dear Colleagues,

I know it’s a little late to say “Happy New Year,” but this is our first SERNews of 2017. So, Happy New Year!

I want to start by thanking you for making 2016 a great year for SER. We are pleased to report that SER now has more than 2,600 members, nearly 30% of whom are students. It’s gratifying and, quite frankly, exciting to know that the number of young people pursuing careers in ecological restoration continues to grow. With the current political shift in the United States, it’s critical we all nurture and support our next generation of restoration ecologists so they can join us as we combat climate change and reduce the ecological and social impacts of humans’ past actions. To start off the year, we want to welcome two new student associations to SER:

  • Laurentian University
  • Paul Smith’s College

We’re also starting the New Year with a modest change to SERNews. We’re moving from bi-monthly to quarterly publication. Because we’ve improved our platforms to share news about ecological restoration, including our new website and monthly delivery of Restore, we can get restoration news to you in a more timely fashion and then focus SERNews as your source for important information from the field of ecological restoration and updates from SER.

2017 will see SER focused on building our professional development programs. In addition to our recently launched certification program (if you missed the March deadline, don’t worry–round two is in July), we will continue to produce our popular webinar series. Last year’s topics included conserving and restoring layered landscapes, biocrusts in dryland restoration, creating a State-based ecological restoration division and more. All webinars are housed on our website, so if you can’t attend the live presentation, you can view it at a later date. Our next two webinars are in April and May 2017 and will feature seed-based approaches to restoration and our recently released International Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration. See below for details.

We know professional development also includes the opportunity to connect with your fellow restoration professionals. That’s why we kicked off 2017 with some exciting changes to our membership structure. Your member fees now include membership with the regional chapter or section of your choice. If you’re already a member of a chapter, this is simply a bundling of those fees. If you’re not a chapter member, affiliating with one of our chapters or sections will provide you with more networking opportunities with other restoration professionals. You can also better connect with your fellow members via the member search feature on our website. Read on for more details about the changes in our membership structure, which now features 3 new membership options!

Speaking of networking, SER Executive Director Bethanie Walder along with SER Board Chair Al Unwin (also representing SER-Ontario), Board member Dave Polster (also representing SER-Western Canada) and SER New England Chapter member (and former SER Board member) Michael Leff traveled to Quebec City in Quebec, Canada in February for a very productive site visit for the North American Continental Conference in June 2020. SER’s North American Chapters are partnering with the Canadian Land Reclamation Association and the Society for Wetland Scientists (SWS) to create our first North American continental conference as part of the Society’s global restructuring (See the April 2016 edition of SERNews for more information about SER’s global restructuring). We’re looking forward to sharing more details about this conference as things progress.

Finally, in case you missed it, in February SER published a statement on ecological restoration in the current political climate. We also joined 181 professional scientific, engineering and education societies, national associations, and universities in a letter expressing concern over the recent immigration and visa executive order. Earlier this month we joined with six other scientific societies, on behalf of over 200,000 collective scientist members, on a letter to President Trump and to congressional leadership in support of the Waters of the United States Clean Water Rule. SER is a global organization, and we have a long history of acting globally. Over the next several years, we will also act locally as appropriate to help limit the negative ecological impact of the current U.S. Administration both here and abroad. We encourage our members to do the same.

Best,

Marguerite

Member and Communications Director

 


Exciting Membership Changes at SER

The New Year brings some new options that simplify our membership structure and provide new ways for you to invest in SER. No matter what membership level you choose, all SER members will continue to receive a growing number of basic benefits from SER, including significantly discounted rates for our certification program and World Conferences; with discounts to all Island Press and Wiley Publications, including SER's journal Restoration Ecology. You also have access to new resources, continuing education and engagement opportunities via SER's updated website.

  • BASIC MEMBERSHIP CONSOLIDATION

    Our basic membership now includes membership with both SER and the regional chapter or thematic section of your choice. This is not a price increase. We are combining what had been two separate membership fees into a single fee of $65 per year for individuals or $25 for students, retirees and individuals from low-income countries. We know most of you are already members of a chapter, and this will simplify your renewal. For those who aren't chapter members, affiliating with one of our chapters or sections will provide more networking opportunities.

  • *NEW* RETIREE MEMBERSHIP: $25 

    We've created a special membership for our friends who are enjoying a well-earned retirement but want to keep in touch with SER and news in the field. As a Retiree Member, you'll receive the same benefits of the basic membership and you can continue to help the Society make a difference on the world stage.

  •  *NEW* FRIEND OF SER: $300

    If you'd like to make a bigger impact, consider becoming a Friend of SER. Friend membership includes a year's subscription to Restoration Ecology, chapter membership, and all other basic membership benefits. SER Friends will be recognized on our website (unless you choose to stay anonymous). But the principal reason to become a Friend is to make an additional investment in your Society. 

  •  *NEW* LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP: $1,500

    If you've been a long-time member of SER or even if you're new to the Society and feel a deep commitment to ecological restoration, consider a Lifetime Membership. All the benefits of a basic membership apply along with a lifetime chapter membership and lifetime subscription to Restoration Ecology (and no renewal notices!). As a Lifetime Member, you're providing both human investment and financial investment in SER for the long term, and we truly appreciate it!

 


Become an SER Sponsor!

As the lead organization promoting ecological restoration for nearly three decades, SER is the perfect investment for businesses wishing to expand their profile among those working in this field. Sponsorship links your organization with SER’s global reputation through a variety of high visibility opportunities to promote your business.

SER invites your company or organization to consider a variety of opportunities to sustain our programs in valuable and rewarding ways. We are happy to tailor your SER sponsorship to meet your organization’s specific philanthropic, marketing and community relations goals.

We are thrilled to welcome GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. as our first founding sponsor of our certification program. GZA is an employee-owned consulting firm providing geotechnical, environmental, water, ecological, and construction management services to a wide array of private and public clients. Thanks so much to GZA for their early support for our certification program!

We also want to thank the SER New England and Southeast Chapters for their financial support for the certification program. GZA, SER New England, and SER Southeast are helping SER build a strong foundation for ecological restoration and we could not be more pleased to have them on board for the launch of our certification program.

 


Student Scholarship Fund

There’s still time to donate to our student scholarship fund to provide financial support for some of our best and brightest to attend SER’s 2017 World Conference in Brazil. These students will have the opportunity to interact with and learn from current leaders and experts in our field. They'll attend sessions and field trips where they can discuss, see and address change in the future of restoration, while also sharing their fresh approaches and creative solutions to restoration challenges. Some of our student members who have attended past conferences describe the experience as “transformative” and “inspiring.” Your gift of $25, $50, $100 or whatever amount works best for you, will make a big difference in their lives. Please donate (and thanks!).

 


Upcoming Webinars

April: Seed-Based Restoration presented by Stephanie Frischie, Secretary of the International Network for Seed-Based Restoration Section

May: International Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration presented by George Gann, SER Global Restoration Ambassador

Look out for email announcements in the coming weeks.

 


SER Chapter Conference Digest

High Altitude Revegetation Committee – Central Rockies Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration 2017 Conference Summary

Thanks to all the participants, keynote speakers, presenters, sponsors, vendors, and volunteers interested in ecological restoration for making the HAR-CeRSER 2017 Conference a success! The conference brought together more than 225 participants representing private firms, public agencies, industry, students and academia from 9 US states and 2 Canadian provinces to learn, share, and network. We were fortunate to have the conference opened by Bethanie Walder, Executive Director of the Society for Ecological Restoration, who also introduced participants to SER’s new certification program for ecological restoration practitioners.



Engaging keynote presentations by Dr. Katharine Suding (University of Colorado – Boulder), Dr. Eric Higgs (University of Victoria), and Cheryl Schwarzkopf (Converse County Weed and Pest Supervisor, Wyoming) encouraged us to think about how ecosystems are changing and the increasingly important role of ecological restoration going into the future. Oral and poster presentation sessions on partnerships and collaborations, policy, monitoring, mining and energy development, invasive species, wildlife, forests, aquatic systems, and case studies brought into sharper focus the challenges, successes, and exciting opportunities of ecological restoration in the Central Rockies region and beyond.

The conference encouraged involvement of the next generation of ecological restoration professionals with a student-professional mixer, including student volunteers as an integral part of running the conference, and providing feedback to student presenters. Congratulations to all our student presenters!

 


SER Section Update: International Network for Seed-Based Restoration (INSR)

INSR at the Fifth International Conference of SER Australasia:  Held in stunning Hamilton, New Zealand, the conference was a superb showcasing of restoration in the southern hemisphere and emphasized the extraordinary ‘whole island’ restoration approach in New Zealand. INSR was well represented and busy promoting the message that practitioners need to increase their knowledge of wise native seed use.

Full texts of the following stories can be found by clicking the News tab on the INSR website.

Bonaire Dry Forest Ecosystem
 

 

USA National Native Seed Conference 2017. The fourth biennial conference in this series sponsored by the Institute for Applied Technology was held in Washington, DC, with presentations and field tours highlighting the goals and implementation of the National Seed Strategy. INSR presented its first international symposium “Get smart in using native seeds” with speakers from five continents.

The NAtive Seed Science, TEchnology and Conservation (NASSTEC) project develops and shares seed science.  NASSTEC, a multi-national, European Union funded program coordinated by the Science Museum of Trento, Italy, connects native seed conservation, production, research and use. Young researchers obtain comprehensive experience in the field of seed science, including increasing public awareness and outreach.

Restoring the Dry Forest Ecosystem of Bonaire. Echo, a foundation with the goal of protecting the Yellow-shouldered Amazon parrot, combats loss of Bonaire’s dry forest ecosystem by establishing herbivore exclosures and growing and planting thousands of tree seedlings of more than 30 species from locally collected seed. Recovering forests will provide habitat and education opportunities for raising environmental awareness.

Botanic Garden Meise active in conserving and restoring Katangan metallophytes. Isolated metalliferous hills of Upper Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo, harbor a unique “copper flora”. Botanic Garden Meise and collaborators lead efforts to conserve these rare and remarkable species through ex situ conservation and research to enable their use in revegetation and restoration programs.

 


Upcoming SER Conferences & Events

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. The abstracts deadline is about to close, so get your abstract in as soon as possible! Our keynote speakers are finalized and will address a diversity of topics, including water resources and ocean issues, scaling up to meet international restoration commitments, innovative approaches to restoration, and more. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for short video interviews with several of our keynote speakers. We received excellent submissions for symposia, workshops and abstracts and the conference promises to have something for everyone working in ecological restoration. We also have nearly 20 field trips planned during the third day of the conference, when we will move from the lecture hall to the field. In addition, we have pre- and post- conference field trips and training sessions. If you haven’t submitted yet, send in your abstract now! Registration should be open by the time you receive this issue of SERNews. August is an excellent time of the year to visit Brazil – we can’t wait to see you there!

 

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