2019 Symposium:
Restoration Beyond the Reference System

Theoretical, practical, and ethical dimensions in managing for ecosystem function rather than species assemblages in a complex and forever changing landscape

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Reception to follow, 4:00 – 6:00pm
UW Botanic Gardens
Center for Urban Horticulture – NHS Hall
3501 NE 41st St.
Seattle, WA 98105

Symposium Announcement (PDF)

Detailed Agenda

Restoration practitioners are challenged by projects in which recovery toward a reference model community is not attainable. In these cases, it becomes advantageous to restore ecosystem function, rather than a historical suite of species. In this symposium, we will look at restoring ecosystems beyond reference conditions − from the theoretical background, practical application, and ethical dimensions that practitioners need to understand in order to restore ecological communities and functions across a complex and ever-changing landscape.

This symposium is co-sponsored by the University of Washington Botanic Gardens and the Northwest Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration and is part of a collaboration to provide continuing education for restoration ecology practitioners. Come to ask questions, to hear your colleagues’ stories of their successes and challenges, and to learn about cutting-edge approaches being used to improve restoration project success.

*NEW in 2019: REMOTE ATTENDANCE: We are excited to offer remote attendance, helping make this symposium more accessible to a broader audience throughout our region.


  • Novel and designed ecosystems: challenges for ecological restoration
    Dr. Eric Higgs, Professor of Environmental Studies | University of Victoria (Presentation PDFs: Part 1 Part 2)
  • Reference Communities: Classification of Native Vegetation in the Pacific Northwest
    Tynan Ramm-Granberg, Vegetation Ecologist | Washington Dept. of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program (Presentation PDF)
  • Union Bay Natural Area: A Dynamic Mosaic of Visions
    Rodney Pond, Executive Director | Sound Salmon Solutions (Presentation PDF)
  • Cross-wise: When climate impacts intertwine with human legacies
    Emily Howe, PhD, Aquatic & Estuarine Ecologist | The Nature Conservancy (Presentation PDF)
  • Conservation of an Endangered Butterfly and the Management of Novel Plant Assemblages
    Amy Lambert, Ph.D., Full-Time Lecturer | University of Washington, Bothell, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (Presentation PDF)
  • Indigenous Restoration Perspectives (Presentation PDF)
    Ashley Alvarez, Unangan, Black, & Filipina, Co-owner of Indigenous Roots LLC
    Pah-tu Pitt, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Member, Native Kut
  • Diversity as strength: A rainbow of goals and approaches
    Emma Marris, Environmental writer (Presentation PDF)







Garden Cycles LLC

Herrera Environmental Consultants

Restoration Analytics & Design LLC

Society of Wetland Scientists 




Sound Salmon Solutions

The Watershed Company



Past Symposia

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