Sustainability: teaching the next generation of ecologists

I had a great day today spending some time with Dr. Jason Grabosky’s (Rutgers) ecology class on a field tour in Washington, DC.

Our first stop was a visit with entomologist Dr. Mike Raupp (University of Maryland) who talked to us about the importance of biodiversity and the need to maintain all trophic levels in order to have full ecosystem function (the web of life thing – yup, it’s real).

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We then had Dr. Ari Novy from the US Botanic Garden talk to us about the facility’s informal education mission, it’s role in the SITES initiative, and how they are using a “let the landscape tell us what will thrive” approach versus a high inputs “replace the design in kind or else, whether the plants live or not” approach in the native garden. This is sustainable landscape management in action.

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Finally, Dr. Jess Sanders (Casey Trees) talked to us about efforts to increase tree canopy on public and private property to realize sustainability goals in the nation’s Capitol.

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I was able to talk a bit about private sector consultancy and developing actionable intelligence to help clients address sustainability issues.

SavATree had a great time hearing from these experts and talking to the bright young minds that will find the next generation of solutions to issues faced by people + trees in cities. Many thanks to Dr. Grabosky and his students for a great day.