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Dredge Today, Restore Tomorrow


Author(s)

Kristine N. Hopfensperger
Department of Biological Sciences
Northern Kentucky University
hopfenspek1@nku.edu

Abstract

In this case study, students role-play members of a task force whose task it is to advise the Director of the National Park Service (their instructor) on the best location for creating a wetland using dredge material from the Potomac River.  Students apply previously learned knowledge about wetland ecology (i.e. hydrology, soils, and plants) to a wetland restoration decision. Through the case, students increase their understanding of the principles of ecosystem ecology and the complexity of natural resource management dilemmas. The case was developed for a wetland ecology course, but would also work well in an ecosystem ecology or natural resource management course.


Objectives

  • Use previously learned knowledge of wetland ecology to determine the most suitable location for the beneficial use of dredge material.
  • Understand the importance of ecosystem and landscape variables that either influence or are influenced by a wetland restoration effort.
  • Understand the variety of concerned groups interested in wetland restoration efforts.
  • Gain an appreciation for the complexities involved with wetland restoration.
  • Gain experience working with a group on a management dilemma.

Keywords

Restoration; wetland; ecosystem; environmental decision-making; Potomac River; Chesapeake Bay; Washington, DC; Virginia

Educational Level

Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division

Format

PDF

Type Methods

Dilemma/Decision, Jig-Saw, Role-Play

Language

English

Subject Headings

Ecology  |   Natural Resource Management  |   Environmental Science  |   Environmental Engineering  |  


Date Posted

3/14/2011

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