With environmental science and technology continually advancing, the practice of restoration has evolved significantly over time. Despite these advancements, it can be difficult for the community of restoration practitioners to share the challenges and successes they face in their day-to-day work. Through the Restoration Webinar Series, NOAA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Society for Ecological Restoration have found an accessible, engaging way to showcase innovative techniques and best practices.
More than 3,500 practitioners have tuned in since the series began in 2013. They have shared established approaches and cutting-edge methods for solving some of our nation’s greatest restoration challenges. The virtual platform allows practitioners to hear the experiences of on-the-ground experts working across the country, from Great Lakes wetlands to California dunes to western oak woodlands.
In addition to spanning a variety of habitat types, the series covers a range of project elements, including:
- Planning and implementation.
- Monitoring and evaluation.
- Accounting for sea level rise and climate change.
- Engaging with stakeholders.
One of the most exciting aspects of the series is the ability to see information exchange in practice. In 2015, the series hosted a webinar about low-cost methods for dune formation developed by Safe Harbor Environmental in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Miles away in Puerto Rico, a professor named Dr. Robert J. Mayer was watching the webinar and began implementing what he learned with his students on the island. In 2018, Dr. Mayer gave his own presentation through the Restoration Webinar Series about how this dune restoration work will enhance the resilience of coastal communities in Puerto Rico to the effects of storms and climate change.
Originally started by NOAA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Restoration Webinar Series partnership expanded in 2018 to include the Society for Ecological Restoration. Attendees of the webinars can now receive continuing education credits towards the society’s Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner Program.
How to get involved:
- Register to participate in an upcoming webinar. Topics for the 2019 webinar series are scheduled through October.
- View recordings of past presentations through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center.
- Submit suggestions for future webinar topics to help with the presentation selection process.