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Society News

Dear Colleagues,

It’s been a crazy few months since the last issue of SERNews. Much of that time was focused on finalizing details for, and then hosting our 7th World Conference in Iguassu Falls, Brazil. I hope you will be as pleased as we were that the conference was an overwhelming success! Approximately one thousand delegates from 60 countries joined us for five days of amazing plenary talks; oral, poster and video poster presentations; field trips; cultural programs; networking and more. The conference provided a dynamic and engaging platform for knowledge sharing among scientists and practitioners, as well as the many other stakeholders involved with ecological restoration. The delegates left feeling inspired by what they heard and saw, as well as the people they met.


If you couldn’t make it to the conference, don’t worry--we’ve brought the conference to you! Visit our new SER2017 page where you can easily access conference material, including:

We want to acknowledge and extend many thanks to our incredible conference partners, the Brazilian Society for Ecological Restoration (SOBRE), and the Ibero-American and Caribbean Society for Ecological Restoration (SIACRE). This conference would not have been possible without their hard work and support. Most of all, we want to recognize and extend a special note of thanks to SER Board member Vera Lex Engel. She worked tirelessly over the past two years to lead the amazing local organizing committee as well as the international organizing committee to oversee all aspects of this conference. Her vision, dedication, enthusiasm, energy, and passion came through during every minute of the event, from the extraordinary opening ceremony on Sunday night to the fabulous closing ceremony the following Friday afternoon – each of which were followed by excellent cultural programs, and, of course, caipirinhas! Join us as we raise a caipirinha (with cachaça or ginger beer) in Vera’s honor for being the driving force that made this conference such an incredible success.

One last conference note: we’re excited to report we recorded all of the conference’s oral presentations. Over the next few months we’ll be working on getting the audio and corresponding PowerPoint presentations posted. We will send you an email once those are available, so keep an eye on your inbox!

In non-conference related news…

In this issue of SER News, we say thank you to three of SER’s board members.

We bid a fond farewell to Cara Nelson, whose term as Vice Chair/Past Chair concluded in June. Cara served on the SER Board for at least 10 years, in a variety of leadership roles. She was Chair of the board from 2013-2015, during which time she also acted as the Interim Executive Director, all while holding down a regular full time job running the Restoration Ecology program at the University of Montana. Her dedication to SER is nothing short of amazing. Though she’s stepping down, she will remain an active member of the Society, including through her work as the faculty advisor for our University of Montana student association, and in her continuing role on our Science and Policy Committee. She has also taken on a new leadership role as the Chair of the Ecosystem Restoration Thematic Group of the IUCN’s Commission on Ecosystem Management. We’ve already partnered with Cara/IUCN to deliver a stimulating Forum on Biodiversity and Global Forest Restoration in advance of SER2017. We’ll miss your work on the Board, Cara, but we know your work with ecological restoration will continue. Thank you for everything you’ve done for SER!

Samira Asem, SER’s Asia representative, announced she needed to step down from the board due to recent exciting career developments at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research. We thank Samira for her time and dedication to SER. We will miss you!

In addition, Student Representative Patricia Bass also had to resign from the Board due to conflicts in her schedule. Thank you so much for your work with SER and SER student members, Patricia, and we wish you all the best as your career develops.

And in addition to board members, we also need to announce that SER staff member Hannah Boone, who served as our Communications and Operations Coordinator for two years, left SER last month to pursue a Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Technology at the University of Maryland. Hannah was an amazing asset to SER, helping keep everything running smoothly through many staff and board changes. Though we’re sad to see Hannah go, we are very excited for her as she pursues her Master’s.

And finally, you probably didn’t meet our intern Allison Bryant this summer, but if you follow SER on Facebook or Twitter, you experienced her work. Allison took charge of those accounts during her 3-month tenure with us and did an absolutely terrific job. She is a biology major at Marian University in Indianapolis, Indiana. Check out this nice write up Marian University posted about Allison’s work with the Society.

Fortunately, it’s not all goodbyes. We do have a couple of welcomes. First… Hannah Boone! While no longer a daily presence at SER HQ, Hannah has returned to the Society as our new student representative to the board. Her in-depth knowledge of SER and her passion for restoration make her an ideal addition and we are excited about working with her in her new role.

Finally, we want to welcome Rebecca Shoer, who joined SER in August as our Communications and Operations Associate (the new Hannah, as it were). Rebecca has worked with endangered species and habitats across the globe including studying elephants in Thailand and rescuing turtles on Cape Cod (she loves turtles, by the way). She is most drawn to projects that address the intersection of community and conservation. As an added bonus, she is absolutely hilarious. 

Read on for more details about SER2017, upcoming chapter conferences, editor’s picks for our journal and more.


Marguerite Nutter

Membership Director


Certification Updates!

Curious about who has made the cut to become a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (CERP) or Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner-in-Training (CERPIT)? Search the CERP and CERPIT Directory.

Continuing Education
In order for CERPs and CERPITs to renew their certification they will need to earn 50 continuing education credits (CECs) over the 5-year period. It may sound like a lot, but it's just 10 CECs per year. That's typically just one conference per year or one webinar per month. Check out our continuing education event tutorial to learn how to:

  • Find courses/events that are pre-approved
  • Request credit for courses that have not been pre-approved
  • Track how many credits you have or need

In order to make it easy for CERPs/CERPITs, we are pre-approving as many courses and events as we can. You can find listings of upcoming events that are pre-approved for credits on our website. Just go to our website and sort the events to "Pre-Approved CERP Continuing Education Activities".

·         Find Pre-approved Events

·         Get Your Event Pre-Approved

E-learning Course Available

The e-learning course "Overview of the Practice of Ecological Restoration" is now available in both a video version and an assessment version. This course provides an overview of the standards and practices used in the field of ecological restoration and summarized in the SER foundation documents. We encourage everyone to view the course. The assessment version of this course is part of the application to become certified as a CERP or CERPIT (use the code "2018CERPWindow"). Happy viewing!


SER Staff Member Rebecca Shoer manning the CERP Booth at SER2017 (Photo: Marguerite Nutter).

CERP Program at #SER2017

We would like to say a huge "Thank You" to some of our amazing CERPs who represented the program at SER's World Conference in Brazil. Most of our CERPs in attendance served as ambassadors during a program-sponsored coffee break. Special kudos to Nancy Shaw, Julie Marcus, Mickey Marcus, Dave Polster, Joe Berg, Cristian Echeverria, Carolina Murcia, Tein McDonald, Jen Franklin, SER Board Members (especially Jim Furnish and Al Unwin), and SER staff (Rebecca, Marguerite, Levi, and Bethanie) for helping get the message out!


Nancy Shaw and Jim Furnish Engaging with Potential CERP Applicants at SER2017 (Photo: Mickey Marcus).

Wanted:  Student Volunteers

We are looking for one or two student volunteers who can help with CERP program data management during the application windows. Time commitment is flexible. Please email Jen if you are interested in learning more. 


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

A web-based thematic section of SER, INSR provides a forum for exchanging ideas and information relevant to native seed biology, ecology, and seed-based restoration. Membership is free to all SER members – just fill out this quick form now. To join SER visit the membership page and check the INSR box as you complete the application form.

INSR activities:  INSR hosted a full-day session “Seed-based Restoration:  Innovations, Opportunities and Challenges” at the SER 2017 7th World Conference on Ecological Restoration in Iguassu, Brazil on September 1, 2017. Seventeen delegates from nine countries discussed topics ranging from seed collection to seed technology and seeding strategies.

INSR members will also be presenting at the NASSTEC (NAtive Seed Science, TEchnology & Conservation) Conference, September 25-29, 2017 at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK and during the November 20-23, 2017 “International Symposium and Workshop on Native Seeds in Restoration of Dryland Ecosystems” that will be held with the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research.

Visit the INSR website for information on resources, tools, past webinars, presentations and more. Our interactive forum is open to all on the SER website.

Seed-based Restoration News:

Texas Native Seeds Program: Sowing seeds of change in the Lone Star State.  Native seeds supplies can be huge catalysts for change. When non-native grass issues and their impacts on wildlife alarmed Texas landowners, they set in motion an initiative that has paid big dividends for increased appreciation of native plants and for encouraging and enabling successful restoration seedings. Read how the Texas Native Seeds Program at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute has cultivated and grown its collaborative efforts toward having major impacts on seed-based restoration and native plant conservation in Texas. --Forrest Smith, Dan L Duncan Endowed Director of South Texas Natives and Texas Native Seeds, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University – Kingsville.

Developing and implementing a forest nursery program in Togo.  On what was once bare, dusty ground, surrounded by a cinderblock wall, a seedling nursery now stands in the village of Notsé, Togo. Learn how true collaboration has led to a project centered on trees, education, and community. --Rebecca Lieberg, Center for Forest Nursery and Seedling Research, University of Idaho, Moscow, and Anthony S. Davis, Associate Dean of Research, College of Forestry, Forest Engineering, Resources and Management, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.

Native seed supply & the restoration species poolEcological restoration does not come without risk. An enormous amount of resources are spent on a practice which we are still trying to fully understand in order to achieve desirable outcomes. We have explored two key constraints and opportunities for reducing risk in a case study of over 1,000 species important to ecological restoration in temperate European grasslands in a new paper: “Native seed supply and the restoration species pool.” --Emma Ladouceur, Early Stage Researcher/PhD Candidate, Science Museum of Trento and the University of Pavia, Italy.

Seed Collectors NetworkDuring the National Native Seed Conference in Washington, DC last winter, the group involved in the “Tools for Seed Collectors” task force expressed a need for a common place to seek or post information about seed collecting. In response to this request, the task force has developed a forum for posting information and questions on a wide range of topics regarding seed collection. In an effort to test its usefulness, I invite you to sign up for an account and get involved in the discussion. The hope is that the more people that participate, the more useful this forum will become. We think that it will provide a unique way for seed collectors to communicate with and assist one another in our seed conservation efforts in the USA and beyond. --Clara Holmes, Seed Collection Coordinator, Mid-Atlantic Regional Seed Bank, Greenbelt Native Plant Center, Staten Island, New York. 


Upcoming Conferences & Events

SER-Southeast Annual Symposium and Membership Meeting

October 18-20, 2017 – The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, Mississippi, USA

This year’s symposium theme is Next Generation Restoration: Emerging Practice and Policy, which sets the stage for opportunities to present and learn about the evolving methods and motivations that are shaping the landscape in which ecological restoration will be viewed and conducted in the southeastern USA in the coming years. Keynote speakers will include Dr. Steve Crooks and Dr. Andre Clewell. Register online here.

TXSER Annual Conference

November 10-12, 2017 – University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA

TXSER's 2017 Annual Conference is coming home to North Texas, where TXSER was originally founded. The conference will be held November 10-12 on the campus of the University of North Texas in Denton. This year’s theme is Resilience & Connectivity at Our Roots. Fabulous Friday field trips are planned, as well as a BBQ Picnic on the Prairie, Student and Young Professionals Roundtable Under the Stars, opportunities for hands-on restoration, socials, poster sessions, campfires and more! Register online here.

SER-Southwest Annual Conference

December 6-8, 2017 – Hotel Albuquerque, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

SER Southwest’s 3rd Annual Conference is headed to New Mexico! Expect a program filled with informative talks and restoration field trips. More information to follow soon!

SER-Western Canada 2018 Conference – Restoration for Resilience

February 13-17, 2018 – Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

Hosted by SER-Western Canada in partnership with the joint Ecological Restoration program of British Columbia Institute of Technology and Simon Fraser University, SERWC2018 is an excellent learning, networking and tradeshow opportunity for researchers and students, resource industries, government regulators and managers, consulting practitioners, Indigenous peoples, and community-based organizations. Abstracts are now being accepted.

Authors Wanted!

We are seeking book proposals for the Science and Practice of Restoration Book Series that is jointly sponsored by the Society for Ecological Restoration and Island Press. We are particularly interested in short (~50,000 word) books, books that are appropriate for the Practitioner Certification Program, and/or books that summarize different positions on timely debates in restoration. Prospective authors with questions are encouraged to review the guidelines for proposals and contact James Aronson or Karen Holl, editors of the series with any questions.



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