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On a Wing and a Prayer

A Wetland Mitigation Dilemma



Co Authors:

Susan M. Galatowitsch
Water Resources Program
University of Minnesota
galat001@umn.edu

Barbara A. Peichel
Water Resources Program
University of Minnesota

Abstract:

The essential elements of this dilemma case are based on a real-life wetland mitigation problem. A biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has to decide whether to improve a wetland adversely impacted by toxins or restore another site instead. He is relying on the collective judgment of an interagency team. Working in small groups, students weigh the potential risks and opportunities of each site, and make a decision as to which site has the best chance to succeed at mitigating the damage. The case was developed for advanced courses in restoration ecology, conservation biology, and wetland ecology, but also works well in an introductory environmental science course.

Objectives:
  • Understand the opportunities and limits of mitigation as an environmental protection strategy.
  • Understand how landscape context and site condition govern the likelihood of restoration success.
  • Analyze the risks presented by specific mitigation sites and to make decisions that are a response to these risks.
Keywords: Wetlands; wetland mitigation; ecological restoration; restoration ecology; conservation biology; habitat suitability; environmental decision-making
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Dilemma/Decision, Role-Play
Language: English
Subject Headings: Environmental Science   Natural Resource Management   Environmental Engineering   Ecology  
Date Posted: 10/16/06
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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