Ecological restoration has been defined as the return of an ecosystem to a close approximation of its condition prior to disturbance (NRC, 1992). According to the Society for Ecological Restoration, ecological restoration is the process of assisting the recovery and management of ecological integrity. Ecological integrity is related to biodiversity, ecological processes and structures, regional and historical contexts and sustainable use (SER, 1999). Thus, ecological restoration can be considered as human intervention to recover natures integrity; to restore the environment to its natural state.
A sound science-based ecological foundation is needed for developing and implementing restoration projects. In order to train our graduate students effectively as future resource managers, environmental scientists, and restoration ecologists, we need to equip them with skills and science-based principles that are transportable from one system to another. They also need to learn that good restoration requires a view above and beyond the technical details and should include historical, social, cultural, political, aesthetic and moral aspects, so these ideas are addressed in the technical courses developed for this program.
Students completing the MS non-thesis with concentration in Ecological Restoration will develop or strengthen their knowledge and skills allowing them to:
Approved Courses for MS Ecological Restoration
Academic programs are required to give a final examination to students as part of their MS graduation requirements. The examination format (e.g., written or oral), length, breadth, location, and subject matter will be determined by the Major Advisor plus an additional SFRC faculty member in concert with the student. The content will be centered on subject matter drawn from the students coursework. A second SFRC faculty member, to be identified by the Advisor and student working together, will be required to participate in the students examination. The examination should be taken during the last semester of enrollment, but no later than one month prior to the end of the term.
Funding Opportunities for Current or Prospective Students
The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and thus all UF degree programs carry this accreditation (and are held to very high peer-review and administrative/bureaucratic approval processes during the development of courses and programs).
Since 1937, the School of Forest Resources & Conservation has been developing new knowledge and educating students and citizens about the sustainable management and conservation of natural resources. We emphasize integrative, interdisciplinary approaches spanning three main programs: (1) Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences emphasizing sustainable fisheries, aquaculture and aquatic ecology and health; (2) Forest Resources and Conservation including the biology, ecology, economics, policy and human dimensions associated with sustainable management and conservation of forests; and (3) Geomatics specializing in modern geospatial sciences such as surveying, mapping, remote sensing, satellite imagery, GIS and GPS.
The SFRC is part of the University of Floridas Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences with four missions: undergraduate education, graduate education, research and extension. Our programs provide: (1) a rich personal educational experience for students; (2) new discoveries and applications that enrich lives, communities and natural resources; and (3) lifelong learning opportunities for professionals, policy makers, landowners, youth and the general public.