EnviroThursday—"Reimagining Restoration: Grasslands Under Global Change"
Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021
noon - 1 p.m.
Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center JBD Lecture Hall
Speaker: Daniel Hernández, Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at Carleton College
Grasslands of North America are one of the most threatened ecosystems on Earth, and future grassland management will require us to confront the reality of global environmental changes. Climate change, nutrient deposition, and altered species assemblages are all currently impacting grassland biodiversity and ecosystem function, creating unprecedented challenges in managing these novel ecosystems. Yet, the goal of grassland restoration is often to return these systems to their perceived historic state, with little consideration of the tradeoffs in such an approach. I will use two ecological case studies, California serpentine grasslands and Minnesota tallgrass prairie, to consider the future of grassland management and restoration. Additionally, reimagining ecosystem management will only be successful if we incorporate diverse perspectives into the practice of conservation. To this end, I will discuss my involvement in efforts to increase engagement of underrepresented groups in the field of conservation science.
Daniel Hernández is an ecosystem ecologist interested in the challenge of restoration and management of grasslands in the face of global change. He is program faculty on the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at UC Santa Cruz.
This EnviroThursday is co-sponsored by the Environmental Studies and Biology Departments.