Coping with Climate Change: Conservation Planning in Minnesota
Susan Galatowitsch, professor of restoration ecology in the Department of Horticultural Science, was named the 2007–2008 Fesler-Lampert Chair in Urban and Regional Affairs in June 2007. Galatowitsch’s research has focused primarily on smaller scale wetland ecosystem restoration projects and methods for re-establishing native plant populations, controlling invasive plant species, and analyzing related wildlife habitat loss and recovery. However, she believes there is a critical need to “scale up” the size of restoration projects. For one thing, growing concerns about global climate change and related interest in cellulose-based biofuel production potentially could involve large-scale restoration of Minnesota’s tallgrass prairies. In addition, restoration of some sensitive ecosystems—such as the bottomland hardwood forests along the Upper Mississippi River—are inherently large endeavors that require different restoration approaches. The resources provided by her appointment allowed Galatowitsch and her research team to focus on several related projects that advanced understanding of landscape-scale restoration projects in the Midwest.