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Novel Landscapes: Challenges and Opportunities for Educating Future Ecological Designers and Restoration Practitioners

Novel Landscapes: Challenges and Opportunities for Educating Future Ecological Designers and... <p>In the context of changing climate regimes, new and modified chemical inputs, and introduced species, the interactions between biota and abiotic processes are being reconfigured. These new interactions result in novel communities, which are compositionally unlike communities observed previously, falling outside the conventional gradient of pristine to degraded ecosystems. For educators in college and university faculty in the ecological and design fields, two primary questions emerge in teaching restoration: how can design education engage landscapes not previously encountered, and how can educators and students acquire the necessary knowledge and experiences to be successful practitioners in no-analog communities? I first provide background about and examples of novel landscapes. I then describe the key complexities associated with novel systems made evident through research in the ecological sciences in order to understand the pedagogical challenges facing educators. I propose five pedagogical strategies that can facilitate exposure to and experience with the uncertainty and ecological dynamism that characterize novel systems. These changes include: making uncertainty central to the learning experience through creating future scenarios; using visualization and quantification technologies and playing digital game exercises; providing research opportunities for students through collaborations with municipalities and other experts, including natural and social scientists; and facilitating deliberations with ethicists, designers, and scientists about the political and ethical dimensions of interventions in hybrid and novel systems. I conclude with brief descriptions of three courses that integrate some of these pedagogical strategies while investigating novel systems.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecological Restoration University of Wisconsin Press

Novel Landscapes: Challenges and Opportunities for Educating Future Ecological Designers and Restoration Practitioners

Ecological Restoration , Volume 33 (1) – Feb 18, 2015

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Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
ISSN
1543-4079

Abstract

<p>In the context of changing climate regimes, new and modified chemical inputs, and introduced species, the interactions between biota and abiotic processes are being reconfigured. These new interactions result in novel communities, which are compositionally unlike communities observed previously, falling outside the conventional gradient of pristine to degraded ecosystems. For educators in college and university faculty in the ecological and design fields, two primary questions emerge in teaching restoration: how can design education engage landscapes not previously encountered, and how can educators and students acquire the necessary knowledge and experiences to be successful practitioners in no-analog communities? I first provide background about and examples of novel landscapes. I then describe the key complexities associated with novel systems made evident through research in the ecological sciences in order to understand the pedagogical challenges facing educators. I propose five pedagogical strategies that can facilitate exposure to and experience with the uncertainty and ecological dynamism that characterize novel systems. These changes include: making uncertainty central to the learning experience through creating future scenarios; using visualization and quantification technologies and playing digital game exercises; providing research opportunities for students through collaborations with municipalities and other experts, including natural and social scientists; and facilitating deliberations with ethicists, designers, and scientists about the political and ethical dimensions of interventions in hybrid and novel systems. I conclude with brief descriptions of three courses that integrate some of these pedagogical strategies while investigating novel systems.</p>

Journal

Ecological RestorationUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Feb 18, 2015

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