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Independent projects support dissertations

Education Achievements

Independent projects support dissertations

Curriculum was intensified for the required Pracices in Ecological Restoration course to include experiential learning through field investigations. ERIE trainees in the course were challenged to undertake a transformative independent project tied to the course content but also centered in their potential PhD research area. The topic was vetted by both the instructor and the student's PhD adviser, and each trainee was required to present his or her findings to the entire class. Example topics included an examination of the effects of landscape-scale conditioning of nutrient fluxes in a mixed-used watershed, and an examination of the socio-cultural dimensions of cultural landscape restoration by removing federal watershed infrastructure from Native American reservation land. Through this classroom experience, each trainee has completed a rigorous, theoretically-rich independent project that will feed directly into his/her PhD dissertation topic.