First SER@VCU Ecological Restoration Conference at VCU Rice Rivers Center
November 30, 2016
The VCU Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER@VCU) hosted the first Ecological Restoration Fall Conference and Workshop on November 12 at VCU Rice Rivers Center. Those who attended were introduced to restoration practitioners from VCU and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Natural Heritage program. Participants also were part of laying the groundwork for the first native plant nursery at VCU Rice Rivers Center.
The SER@VCU chapter was formed in the spring of 2016, when a group of Life Sciences graduate students interested in ecological restoration approached Dr. Ed Crawford to become their faculty mentor. The Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) is an international organization, with members and partners in over 70 countries. SER@VCU is the first student chapter in Virginia, and one of only three on the East Coast. The students join a team of researchers and scientists committed to SER’s mission to promote ecological restoration as a means of sustaining the diversity of life on Earth and re-establishing an ecologically healthy relationship between nature and culture.
SER@VCU has attracted significant campus and community interest since its general interest meeting in February 2016. In March, the first contingent of VCU students ever to participate in a regional SER conference traveled to New Jersey, where undergraduate Christopher Gatens’ poster took first place in the audience choice awards.
The group hopes to make the Fall Conference and Workshop an annual event, and are planning additional workshops both on and off campus this spring.