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University of Southern Mississippi

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

Ocean Springs, MS

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The Society for Ecological Restoration Southeast Chapter (SERSE) is pleased to announce that its Annual Symposium and Membership Meeting will be held from October 18-20 2017, at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The SERSE includes professionals from a wide variety of disciplines including scientists, land managers, landscape architects, regulatory agency staff, engineers, community leaders, students, and practitioners that study, plan, and implement ecological restoration projects throughout the Southeastern USA. Members of the SERSE and other like-minded individuals bring to the symposium extensive experience and knowledge in ecological restoration of numerous ecosystems at varying scales to share with participants.

This years’ theme, NEXT GENERATION RESTORATION: Emerging Practice and Policy, sets the stage for opportunities to present and to learn about the evolving methods and motivations that are shaping the landscape in which ecological restoration will be viewed and conducted in the southeastern USA in the coming years and possibly decades.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

19 October 2017 – The Southeast Chapter is pleased to welcome Dr. Steve Crooks as one of our keynote speakers for this year’s symposium. Dr. Crooks is a wetland scientist and geomorphologist with Silvestrum Climate Associates. Steve has over 20 years post-PhD experience in the science and practice of wetland restoration, working to bridge academic and private sectors to deliver scientifically credible and practicable best-practice solutions for coastal management. He was a Lead Author of the IPCC 2013 Wetland Supplement, is a NASA Carbon Monitoring System Principal Investigator, co-founder of the International Blue Carbon Initiative, an author of the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Wetland Restoration and Conservation requirements, and a Wetland Expert for the VCS.

20 October 2017 – The Southeast Chapter is also pleased to welcome Dr. Andre Clewell as the keynote speaker for the second day’s plenary session. Dr. Clewell is a founding member and past-president of SER. He was instrumental in developing SER’s policies on restoration practice. After a long career restoring southeastern ecosystems, Clewell has been writing papers and books on restoration and giving restoration workshops on five continents. He wrote the book Ecological Restoration: Principles, Values, and Structure of an Emerging Profession, now in its second edition, which has been translated into French, Spanish, and Portuguese. He has traveled to China six times since 2014 to reconnect fragmented habitat for the Giant Panda and principally to teach Nature Reserve managers how to conduct restoration projects that emphasize biodiversity. He wrote a new book to be published later this year in Chinese on managing restoration projects. He has also spent considerable time in Chile to restore native forest on mountains that had been converted to Eucalyptus plantations.

Clewell will attend the World Conference on Ecological Restoration in Brazil in August and report to us on the latest developments of SER’s new Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner Program and SER’s just-issued document on Restoration Performance Standards. He was intimately involved in the development of both of these initiatives. He will share with us his perspectives on how ecological restoration practice and policy have evolved since the first-ever SER conference in 1989, which he attended in Oakland, California.

REGISTRATION

Symposium Early Registration Fee for 19-20 October 2017 (Two Day Symposium at GCRL including breaks with beverages and snacks, lunch, and social event).

  1. SER Member rate: $60
  2. Non-member/Government rate: $70
  3. Non-member/non-government rate: $80
  4. Student: Free with proper identification, first come/first served based on space availability. Students must register in order to attend. Lunch not inlcuded.

PRE-SYMPOSIUM FIELD TRIPS, WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18

Three morning field trips include lunch at the GCRL cafeteria followed by an afternoon trip to the USM GCRL Aquaculture facility located at Cedar Point.

USM Gulf of Mexico Marine Aquaculture Park

The USM Aquaculture mission is to develop and transfer technology for management agencies, stock enhancement, and commercial development of Gulf of Mexico marine species. Located at Cedar Point in Ocean Springs, Mississippi; this 224-acre property is bordered by Gulf Islands National Seashore and Davis Bayou. The facility includes six buildings that provide office/support, maturation, broodstock-rearing, marine shrimp grow-out and finfish grow-out.

Field trip 1 - Urban Estuary/Marsh restoration-Leader Elizabeth Englebretson/GCCDS $20

Join representatives from Gulf Coast Community Design Studio and other partner organizations on this field trip to explore, examine, and discuss three separate urban tidal marsh/bayou restoration projects in Biloxi and Ocean Springs, MS. Bayou Auguste is a tidally influenced urban bayou running through the Bayview neighborhood in East Biloxi. This four-phase restoration project took over four years to complete; utilized many different funders, donors, and volunteers; and received the 2015 Gulf Guardian Civic/Nonprofit award. Shearwater Park is in the first phase of a multi-phase project to enhance public education and outreach opportunities as well as public enjoyment of our unique ecology. Instead of removing the existing bulkhead the marsh was dug out behind the bulkhead to provide a low level of protection to the young marsh from the wave action produced by the boats in the harbor while still allowing for tidal water exchange. Weeks Bayou is a tidally influenced bayou located adjacent to East Beach in Ocean Springs; just down the road from the Gulf Coast Research Lab (GCRL). This restoration brought back the tidal marsh and was designed with elements such as a water testing platform for GCRL to bring students to study water quality and the ecology of this site.

Field trip 2 - Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge-Leader Dr. Andre Clewell $20

The Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1975 under authority of the Endangered Species Act to protect the critically endangered Mississippi sandhill cranes and their unique, and itself endangered, wet pine savanna habitat. The crane population, at that time only 30-35 birds, is currently at approximately 110 birds. Through captive rearing and reintroduction to the area as well as wild birds nesting in the savannas, the crane population continues to grow. The refuge protects and restores large expanses of wet pine savanna, primarily through the use of prescribed fire and consists of more than 19,000 acres (77 km2) in four units that is now part of the Gulf Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Field trip 3 - Oyster Bayou Stream Restoration-Leader Jim Kelly/3Point Eco-Logical, LLC $25

Tour a ten-year old stream restoration on Oyster Bayou located in south Mississippi immediately north of US Highway 90 on the Mississippi Sound. The approximately 4.0- acre restoration site is part of the primary drainage for more than 350 acres of West Biloxi located on the Beauvoir-Jefferson Davis Home complex. You won’t believe that this was bare dirt just ten years ago! This trip includes a Powerpoint presentation of the baseline condition of the site and restoration implementation as well as admission to the Beauvoir.

Add $20 for registrations received after 30 September 2017 (students excluded).


SPONSORSHIP

Thank you for considering support of this year's Society for Ecological Restoration Southeast Chapter Symposium with the following theme: Next Generation Restoration: Emerging Practice and Policy. Your sponsorship is invaluable, and we are truly grateful. Your contribution will help us provide an educational venue for many practitioners and students interested in restoration, conservation and ecological values.

For more information or to discuss alternative ways to reach a level and show your support such as underwriting printing, posters, signage, travel, transportation, student participation or other means of contribution please contact Jim Kelly, SERSE Symposium Chair at jpkuk@hotmail.com or phone 228.217.2841. We encourage everyone to participate in any way they can!

Plans are well underway for the 2017 Symposium, and this year we’re excited to be able to offer our sponsors the following benefits in return for their support.

Bronze Level: $150

  • President will acknowledge your sponsorship at the beginning of each day's plenary sessions;
  • List your association in the 2017 Symposium program by sponsorship level;
  • List your association on our 2017 Symposium website by sponsorship level;
  • List your association on the Symposium poster to be prominently displayed at the registration table.

Silver Level: $250

  • President will acknowledge your sponsorship at the beginning of each day's plenary sessions;
  • List your association in the 2017 Symposium program by sponsorship level;
  • List your association on our 2017 Symposium website by sponsorship level;
  • List your association on the Symposium poster to be prominently displayed at the registration table;
  • Waive Symposium registration fee for one representative of your association;

Gold Level: $500

  • President will acknowledge your sponsorship at the beginning of each day's plenary sessions;
  • List your association in the 2017 Symposium program by sponsorship level;
  • List your association on our 2017 Symposium website by sponsorship level;
  • List your association on the Symposium poster to be prominently displayed at the registration table;
  • Waive Symposium registration fee and field trip fee for one representative of your association;
  • Provide a table for vendor space at the Symposium venue.

Platinum Level: $1000

  • President will acknowledge your sponsorship at the beginning of each day's plenary sessions;
  • List your association in the 2017 Symposium program by sponsorship level;
  • List your association on our 2017 Symposium website by sponsorship level;
  • List your association on the Symposium poster to be prominently displayed at the registration table;
  • Waive Symposium registration fees and field trip fees for up to five representatives of your association;
  • Provide a table for vendor space at the Symposium venue.

Organizers anticipate 60 or more participants in this year's Symposium. Donations will be considered a charitable gift and are tax deductible to the extent provided by law. You may pay online or by check. Checks should be made payable to The Society for Ecological Restoration – Southeast Chapter or SER-Southeast Chapter and mailed to:

SER Southeast Chapter

ATTN: John Wigginton-Treasurer

2128 Moores Mill Road, Suite B

Auburn, AL 36830

Thank you for your support and we hope you will continue to support future SER Southeast Chapter sponsored symposia.

VENUE

The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) is a marine/coastal research and education enterprise sited in Ocean Springs, Mississippi overlooking the Mississippi Sound. It is a unit of The University of Southern Mississippi‘s College of Science and Technology. GCRL has a workforce of 200 faculty, researchers, graduate students and support staff. Research at GCRL is multidisciplinary and applications-oriented with a focus on sustainable coastal and marine resources, development of new marine technologies, and the education of future scientists and citizens. For more information; particularly location, maps and directions; please visit http://gcrl.usm.edu/.

LODGING

The historic Gulf Hills Hotel has agreed to accommodate symposium participants at the government agency rate of $79/night. Surrounded by magnificent old-growth live oaks and just five minutes from downtown Ocean Springs, the hotel is located atop a ridge of waterfront property overlooking the picturesque saltmarshes of the tree-lined Old Fort Bayou. Elvis Presley used to stay here on his trips to the Mississippi Gulf Coast! For more information; particularly location, maps and directions; please visit http://www.gulfhillshotel.com/.

OCEAN SPRINGS

Ocean Springs, Mississippi, lies at the heart of the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast on the eastern shore of Biloxi Bay. It’s known as the City of Discovery in recognition of the French settlement in 1699. Long before the French arrived, however, the area was appreciated for its beauty and natural resources by Native Americans. The attributes that brought these early residents have attracted a diverse stream of people during the past 300 years. Ocean Springs has been flavored by many influences during its rich history, and now in the 21st century, it has its own unique character among Gulf Coast communities.

Nestled along the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the City of Ocean Springs is a vibrant and eclectic arts community. It is home to numerous galleries, artist studios, and over 100 restaurants, and recently opened its first micro-brewery. Visit the historical and growing commercial districts for unique shopping experiences and enjoy spending time in one of the many parks and green spaces. Take some time to enjoy the natural beauty, cultural resources, and other aspects of the city and the Coast. For more information visit the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce.

For Questions or additional Information about the Symposium please contact:

Jim Kelly, SERSE Symposium Chair, jpkuk@hotmail.com or phone 228.217.2841.

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Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

Ocean Springs, MS

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