Course Description

420.615 - Environmental Restoration

This is field-centered course focused on the prehistoric and land use histories of river, freshwater tidal wetland, serpentine and deforested environments that have been restored/designed in the Maryland and DC region. Knowledge of prehistoric ecological conditions and post-settlement impact along with modern ecological studies provide important long-term guidelines for restoration, mitigation and conservation measures. Saturday or Sunday field trips (6 sites) include identification of plant indicator species, bird identification, background on geology, paleoecology, historical impact, conservation and restoration approaches at the field sites. Site locations include Gettysburg Battlefield, Soldiers Delight Environmental Area, Big Spring Run Restoration (Lancaster), Severn River and Kenilworth Marsh, DC. Weeknight classroom sessions include plant identification of grasses, sedges and trees, birds as habitat indicators, and slide/lectures on vegetation, land use history and paleoecological data derived from pollen, macrofossil, geochemical and geomorphic analyses of the field sites. The pros and cons of different restoration and conservation approaches are reviewed.