Professor Emeritus R. Robberecht
College of Natural Resources | University of Idaho
Moscow, Idaho 83844-1133 USA    208-885-7404
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Course & student objectives
Assessments: Project
Course outline
Learning achievement targets
Learning tips & Path to mastery

Restoration Ecology (REM 440, 3 credits) | Spring semesters

Course Description: Ecological principles and management practices involved in restoring and rehabilitating wildland ecosystems after disturbance or alteration to return damaged ecosystems to a productive and stable state.

The ecological restoration of disturbed ecosystems. Fundamental principles from ecology, ecophysiology, and community ecology are used in a systems ecology approach to examine how the structure and function of damaged ecosystems can be restored with the goal of establishing a stable and self-sustaining ecosystem.

Prerequisite: General ecology, or permission
Recommended preparation: Introductory botany and zoology, and a good working knowledge of Windows-based computer systems.


Course Objectives
Convey the fundamental principles and philosophy of restoration ecology
Emphasize critical analysis of restoration approaches used in case studies
Develop a systems approach to restoration

Student Learning Objectives
- To Achieve Competence in ...
Philosophy and principles of ecological restoration 
Critical analysis and written reviews of case studies
Develop a restoration plan with a systems approach 

Student Learning responsibilities

Students are responsible for learning independently to master the course material with the materials provided and through the assessment It is therefore your responsibility to: (1) keep up with the course schedule, (2) master the material as per the learning achievement targets, (3) to regularly review the course announcements, and (4) to regularly study and review previous course material while you learn new material. Consult the Reading assignments and Announcements sections for course schedule and learning achievement targets.


Textbooks (optional)
Order online
*: University of Idaho Bookstore (eBook available) | | CampusBooks | Direct from Publisher

Required textbook
No required textbook, but readings will be required.

Recommended references
Elements of Ecology, 9th Edition. R.L. Smith & T.M. Smith (2015) | Printed and electronic versions available
Oxford Dictionary of Ecology
. M. Allaby. 2011.

A Dictionary of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics. R.J. Lincoln et al. 1998.
Units, Symbols, and Terminology for Plant Physiology. F.B. Salisbury. 1996.
Dictionary of word roots and combining forms of scientific words, by Tim Williams. 2005.

*These links are provided for your convenience. The University of Idaho and the professor have no connection with, and do  not endorse or support these companies.


Restoration ecology is a discipline within the science of ecology that uses fundamental ecological principles for the restoration of disturbed ecosystems with the goal of establishing a stable and self-sustaining ecosystem. Knowledge and understanding of ecology, ecophysiology, and community ecology are required to understand the complex interactions between the physical environment and organisms, and the structure and function of ecosystems. A systems ecology approach, which includes ecosystem modeling, is required for the effective and successful restoration of disturbed ecosystems.

It is essential that you take the initiative to seek out additional readings in ecological journals, books, and magazines at your university.

Course assessments: Two projects


Schedule for assessments



Skills assignment: Definitions (not part of course grade) Friday, February 7
Project I: Restoration case study analysis Monday, March 16
Project II: Restoration proposal Thursday, May 14


*Course assessments and final grading scale



Final Grade
(% of total points)

Project I: Restoration case study analysis


A 90 -100%
Project II: Restoration proposal


B 80 - 79%
    C 70 - 79%
    D 60 -69%



F < 60%
Note. The grade level of "A" represents outstanding performance on the projects.

Important dates

Event | UI calendar of events


Course begins January 15
Martin Luther King - Idaho Human Rights Day - UI closed January 20
Final date to withdraw from courses without a grade of "W" January 29
President's Day - UI closed February 17
Spring recess - UI closed March 16 - 20
Final date for withdrawal from course with a grade of "W" April 3
Course ends May 15



Course outline


Background and introduction to restoration ecology Review and master Exploring Ecology
Follow-up (optional) with interactive lessons on ecology
Introductory articles on restoration ecology


Project I: Critical analysis of a case study Summary
Review the scientific literature to select a case study in
restoration of a disturbed ecosystem
Select a case study to analyze
Analysis summary: goals, objectives, approaches,
experimental design, methodology, results, and success.


Project 2: Scientific proposal on restoring a disturbed
Review the scientific literature to for different approaches
to restoring disturbed ecosystems
Select a disturbed ecosystem to restore
Use a systems approach to restoration
Develop a scientific proposal (goals, objectives,
approaches, experimental design, methodology,
results, and predicted results).