Restoration Section Update 4/11/2019

 The 2019 ESA-USSEE Joint Meeting is just 4 months away! 

Once again, your Ecological Restoration Section will sponsor a business meeting and mixer. There will be an organized oral session as well as contributed oral and poster sessions on restoration topics. We’ll have details on times and dates later, but we wanted to let you know right away about our programs to encourage up-and-coming restoration ecologists. 

Mentorship Program 

  • • We will be running our annual mentorship program at ESA 2019 in Louisville! 
  • • The goal is to connect later-career restoration researchers (professors, professionals) with students (undergrad, grad, post-doc), so that students can ask about career choice, restoration research, and professional development. 
  • • Mentors and mentees are paired based on their interests, and then arrange a time to meet in person at the annual meeting. Attendance at ESA 2019 is required to participate. The deadline to sign up is July 15, 2019 
  • • To sign up as a mentor, fill out this form: 
  • • To sign up as a mentee, fill out this form: 
  • • Email Julea at with any questions 

Student Poster Contest 

  • • We will have our third annual student poster contest at ESA 2019 in Louisville! 
  • • Posters will be judged based on poster design and presentation and relevance to the conceptual and applied aspects of restoration ecology 
  • • Any student with a poster relevant to restoration ecology is welcome to enter, and membership in the section is not required 
  • • Cash prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place 
  • • To enter the contest, please complete this form by July 15: 
  • • Email with any questions 

Early Career Publication Award 

What: Any paper published or in press between August 2018 and July 2019 that focuses on ecological restoration 

Who: Any member of the Ecological Restoration Section that is either (1) within 7 years of receiving a bachelor’s degree or (2) is within 5 years of receiving a PhD When: Submit your nomination for the publication award to Elise Gornish ( before July 10 2019 for consideration. Winners will be notified by August 1 2019. 

Where: Award winners will receive a certificate plus a cash prize at the section mixer at the ESA annual meeting. Award winners do not have to attend the ESA annual meeting to receive a prize. 

In the nomination email, please include the following information: 

1. Name of nominee, institution and title 

2. Confirmation that nominee is a current Ecological Restoration Section member 

3. Full paper citation 

4. Description of why the paper merits an award (max 250 words) 

Attach the paper to the email 

Restoration Ecology Section Update – July 2, 2018

See you in New Orleans!

For those who will be attending the New Orleans meeting, there are several opportunities to get together with other members and/or share ideas about the direction of the Section.

The Section mixer is scheduled for Tuesday 6:30-8:00. Here is the link to mixer in the ESA 2018 preliminary online program:

We also have a booth at the exhibit hall this year. Our goal is simply to create a space for people to talk about restoration ecology, network, etc. If you’re willing to be present at the booth and help out for at least 1/2 hour sometime during the week, you can sign up here:

2018 Poster Contest

At ESA 2018 in New Orleans we will have our second annual student poster contest! Posters will be judged based on poster design and presentation and relevance to the conceptual and applied aspects of restoration ecology. Cash prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Any student is welcome to enter, and membership in the section is not required. The entry form is available here:

In case you missed it: Our 2017 Poster Contest winners!

Our section held its first annual student poster contest at the 2017 annual meeting in Portland. The judges were section members who selected five winners – there was a three-way tie for third place. Judging was tough, as all of those who entered the contest presented interesting information that can lead to improved efforts at ecological restoration. Winners were:

1st prize: Heather Herakovich, Northern Illinois University, The Effects of Bison Reintroduction on Grassland Bird Nest Success in a Tallgrass Prairie (with Holly P. Jones).

2nd prize: Ryan Blackburn, Northern Illinois University, Vegetation Impacts of Reintroduced Bison in a Restored Tallgrass Prairie and the Ability of UAV Imagery to Assess Them (with Holly P. Jones).

3rd prize (tie):
Courtney Coppinger, University of Kansas, Creating Links: Burrowing Mammals and Prairie Soils (with Helen Alexander and Benjamin A. Sikes).

Kirstie Savage, Northern Illinois University, Quantifying Coyote Dietary Niche Width in a Restored Grassland (with Holly P. Jones).

Zebediah G. Yoko, North Dakota State University, How Local is Local: Phenological and Life History Differences across the Range of Geum triflorum (with Jill A. Hamilton).

Mentorship Program

We started a new mentorship program at the 2017 annual meeting. The program’s goal is to connect later-career restoration researchers (professors, professionals) with students (grad, undergrad, postdoc) so that the students can ask about career choices, restoration research, and professional development. Hopefully the mentor relationships started at the meeting lay a foundation for longstanding professional relationships. Mentors and mentees are paired based on their interests, and then arrange a time to meet in person at the annual meeting. Those who participated last year reported it was a valuable experience.

We will be running this program again in New Orleans this year and hope to expand the number of mentors and mentees participating. If you are interested, please contact Kris Hulvey (

Meet this year’s Ecological Restoration Section officers

Jonathan Bauer is our new Section Chair, having moved into that position after serving two years as our website and social media guru, and also assisting with the poster contest and mentoring programs. Jonathan is a post-doc at Michigan State University studying community assembly of plants and fungi in restored tallgrass prairies.

Our new Secretary is Anisha Malik. Anisha is a restoration ecologist and certified SITES AP, designing and implementing a variety of habitat restoration projects for Michael Baker International in Irvine, California. She proactively tracks changes within the field, including the PSHB beetle research, to best manage her projects and the new variables that continue to develop within the area.

Adam Mitchell has agreed to serve as Treasurer this year. Adam is a PhD candidate in Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware. He has served on committees in other professional organizations (Society for Conservation Biology and The Wildlife Society) to write and award travel grants for students to attend national conferences, as well as organize and implement symposiums at state and national meetings.

Kris Hulvey, who has served as co-chair the past two years with Elise Hulvey, continues to serve in a leadership role as Past Chair. Kris is an assistant professor of Wildland Resources at Utah State University, where she studies restoration options for semi-arid landscapes and the role of grazing management in influencing flows of rangeland ecosystem services.

Mark Brunson is our Outreach Coordinator, responsible for sharing information about the section’s activities far and wide. He is a professor of Environment and Society at Utah State University, studying social-ecological systems perspectives on disturbance, invasion, and restoration.

Julea Shaw, our Student Liaison, is a doctoral candidate in the Graduate Group in Ecology at the University of California, Davis. Julea’s research interests lie in understanding how changes in biodiversity influence ecosystem function, especially in light of increasing pressures on ecosystems from human activity.

Ecosystem Restoration Scientist

Job: full-time Ecosystem Restoration Scientist, Illinois

The Nature Conservancy is hiring a full-time Ecosystem Restoration Scientist at The Nachusa Grasslands in northern Illinois.  

The Ecosystem Restoration Scientist (ERS) will be the on-site lead for providing technical and scientific support for habitat management and restoration at Nachusa Grasslands, a 4,000-acre landscape of native and restored prairies, savannas, streams and wetlands in north-central Illinois.

Nachusa Grasslands has emerged as the premier location for ecological restoration and management. The success of the project has also attracted significant scientific interest from faculty and students from numerous universities throughout the country as well as state and federal agencies.

The ERS ensures that the most beneficial, applied science is conducted and that it is executed in a manner that maximizes its value to Nachusa Grasslands and TNC over the long term.

For details on the position and how to apply, visit:

ESA 2017 – Ecological Restoration section minutes

Ecological Restoration section minutes –August 8, 2017

The Ecological Restoration section of ESA met Tuesday evening during the annual meeting, with 46 people attending.

Meeting opened by Co-Chair Kris Hulvey with introductions of all present, a review of the section’s goals and philosophy, and accomplishments of 2016-17.

Jonathan Bauer, website and social media guru, reported that we have 650 followers in Twitter. The website is up and running. Currently both the website and social media positions are combined, but these are likely to be split in the future

Kris reported on the new Ecological Restoration Section Mentorship program that began this year at the meeting. We had 4 mentors and mentees participating, with good feedback from folks. We will look to expand this program next year at the New Orleans meeting.

Officers: An invitation was issued to submit nominations (including self-nominations). Nominees will be invited to submit brief biographies, and these will be circulated via email for a vote in the near future. New nominations will be accepted until Sept. 15.

Brainstorming about section activities for the 2018 annual meeting in New Orleans:

  • Collaboration with the Traditional Ecological Knowledge section. Michelle Stevens (Cal State-Sacramento) suggested that we might pursue a symposium or other session on the topic of “cultural restoration.”
  • Regarding a symposium, a suggestion was also made to find a way to fit the 2018 meeting theme of “Resilience, Human Well-Being, and Extreme Events.” (NOTE: As of 8/21/17 this effort is under way in conjunction with the Rangeland Ecology section. Nancy Shackelford is taking the lead on a proposal with input from Brandon Bestelmeyer, Stephen Murphy, Mark Brunson, and Loretta Battaglia.)
  • There is interest in a restoration-themed field tour for the New Orleans area. Persons who expressed willingness to help us connect with local experts were Max Piana and Albert Meier. Julie Whitbeck, soil scientist at the University of New Orleans, may be able to help.
  • An Ignite session could be assembled that has a real-world, applied focus where people offer short (5-minute) descriptions of how they’ve approached a restoration problem and hopefully solved it (or at least learned about it).
  • Adam Mitchell suggested an organized oral session. Others who agree to work on that included Noah Teller, Albert Meier, Virginia Matzek, and Anisha Malik.
  • Bring practitioners to a special session where they can share ideas with graduate and undergraduate students. There was discussion about where to find practitioners – one suggestion was the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  • This year we sponsored a graduate student poster contest; the suggestion was made to expand this to include talks as well. The challenge is that attending talks takes more time, so we would need significantly more volunteer judges to make this happen.
  • Other suggestions about sessions in New Orleans:
    • Provide a venue for grad students who want to network with non-academic professionals
    • Pull together a set of case studies of adaptive management
    • Focus on the region where we’ll be meeting (Gulf Coast)

Other ideas about section activities:

  • Mentorships – students would appreciate if we can focus on recruiting members from NGOs or practitioner firms as mentors.
  • Post profiles of section members on the website
  • Post internship opportunities on the section website (NOTE: This would also entail doing outreach to encourage use of the section website.)
  • Be careful not to duplicate what the Society for Ecological Restoration has done. (For example, SER regional meetings are practitioner-heavy and we can encourage students to attend those meetings.)
  • The outreach coordinator can do outreach to news media as well as restoration researchers, managers, and practitioners.

One attendee who works in consulting shared the perception that the section’s focus is largely “theoretical” rather than applied. Others disagreed – for example, the section is called Ecological Restoration rather than Restoration Ecology to stress that the emphasis is on science to accomplish restoration rather than simply on ecological research that could inform restoration activities someday somehow.

This led to a discussion about how it can be difficult for practitioners to get permission and support to attend an ESA meeting because research isn’t as valued by that sector of our audience.


– Submitted by Mark Brunson

News – August 2017

Greetings, ESA Ecological Restoration Section members!


The 2017 annual meeting is less than two weeks away, and we wanted to take this opportunity to share some of the Section activities you can enjoy in Portland:

  • Our business meeting will be held Tuesday, Aug. 86:30-8 pm, in room 257 of the Oregon Convention Center. We hope everyone who’s going to ESA this year will join us to help us plan our efforts to raise the profile of ecological restoration within the Society and to support restoration students, practitioners, and researchers. Because it’s no fun to be all business, we have also planned an informal mixer immediately following the meeting at the Lucky Labrador/ Hawthorn Brew Pub, 915 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd from 8pm-12.
  • One of our tasks during the business meeting will be to select our officers for the coming year. We are accepting nominations for the following offices: chair, vice-chair, treasurer, secretary, outreach coordinator, website guru, student coordinator, social media coordinator, and programs coordinator. If you are interested in serving in any of these positions, or know someone who would be great, please submit the nominee’s name and a 1- to 2-sentence description of the nominee to our current co-chairs, Kris Hulvey ( and Elise Gornish ( For a description of the positions follow this link:
  • We were successful in our proposal for a restoration-themed symposium at this year’s meeting. The symposium is entitled “Ecological Restoration for Multiple Ecosystem Services and the People Who Value Them” and features presentations from a mix of practitioners and researchers ( See you there on Friday, August 11 2017from 8:00 – 11:30, Room D135!
  • While at the meeting, please stop by our Ecological Restoration Section booth at the poster session. The booth will feature information about ecological restoration activities, both at ESA and in the future; a survey to gauge your interests in possible section activities; and a logo design contest. Every section needs a logo – help us get started by sketching out a design and you might win $150! We also need volunteers to staff the booth between 4:15 and 6:30 pm Monday through Thursday. If you’d like to take a half-hour slot at the booth, contact Mark Brunson (
  • To our student members: If you’re presenting a poster on a restoration-themed topic at this year’s meeting, please consider entering our poster contest. Judges will award points based on content and design, and relevance to restoration. The winner will receive a $300 check, 2nd place will receive a $200 check and 3rd place will receive a $100 check after the meeting. To submit your poster for consideration, email Julea Shaw ( with your name, poster title and poster session number, or sign-up via this online form:

Hope to see you in Portland!

-Kris Hulvey, Elise Gornish, Mark Brunson, Jonathan Bauer, Virginia Matzek, Dustin Joughton & Julea Shaw (the current Ecological Restoration Section Officer Team)