Date(s) - 04/16/2018
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Reconciliation Ecology—Encouraging Biodiversity in Human-dominated Ecosystems
Presenter: Dr. Dave Warners, Professor of Biology, Calvin College
Description: Dr. Warners will relate the story of Plaster Creek watershed and how the unique program called Plaster Creek Stewards came about. We will also learn about the good restoration work that they have accomplished over the years to help bring back the health of this degraded water system.
“Reconciliation ecology is the branch of ecology which studies ways to encourage biodiversity in human-dominated ecosystems. Michael Rosenzweig first articulated the concept in his book Win-Win Ecology, based on the theory that there is not enough area for all of earth’s biodiversity to be saved within designated nature preserves. Therefore, humans should increase biodiversity in human-dominated landscapes. By managing for biodiversity in ways that do not decrease human utility of the system, it is a “win-win” situation for both human use and native biodiversity. The science is based in the ecological foundation of human land-use trends and species-area relationships. It has many benefits beyond protection of biodiversity, and there are numerous examples of it around the globe. Aspects of reconciliation ecology can already be found in management legislation, but there are challenges in both public acceptance and ecological success of reconciliation attempts.” —Wikipedia
Biography: Dr. Dave Warners holds a BS in Biology/Chemistry from Calvin College, MS in Environmental Science-Land Resources, Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison and a PhD in Botany, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology program from the University of Michigan.
He currently works in the areas of Restoration Ecology, Plant Systematics and Evolution, Sustainability Studies and Faith-based Creation Care at Calvin College. His current research focuses on how to engage the local community to work together to restore health and beauty to the Plaster Creek Watershed. This work involves propagating native plants from local genotypes for use in habitat re-creations, as well as ongoing research on stream microbes, macroinvertebrates, flow dynamics, and overall water quality. He has also done work in prairie, forest, and wetland restorations.
Warners has served as an environmental consultant on Environmental Impact Statements, and has performed many botanical inventories for local townships, state parks and other organizations. He has helped many local schools, churches, and parks establish native wildflower gardens and led plant rescue efforts to preserve native species from areas that are planned for development. In addition, he has worked as a botanist for the Ann Arbor Parks department, served on the Board of the Land Conservancy of West Michigan, on the Academic Advisory Board for Au Sable Institute, and consulted the Nature Conservancy.