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Western New York Waterways Will Provide Living Laboratory for 2010 Ecosystem Restoration Workshop at UB

Release Date: July 29, 2009

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The waterfall at Eighteen Mile Creek, just south of Buffalo, is one of the sites visited by attendees of UB's "Engineering for Ecosystem Restoration" workshop.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Professional scientists and engineers interested in restoring and preserving stream and waterway resources are invited to participate in the University at Buffalo's summer 2010 "Engineering for Ecosystem Restoration" workshop to be held June 7-25.

The annual summer workshop is designed to help train specialists in "ecosystem engineering" how best to work with natural processes to restore system function. It is sponsored by UB's ERIE (Ecosystem Restoration through Interdisciplinary Exchange) and Great Lakes programs,

"One of the distinctive features of the course is its interdisciplinary approach to ecosystem restoration," said Alan Rabideau, Ph.D., professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering in the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and director of ERIE. Rabideau will coordinate the program.

The main courses will be team-taught by professional hydrologists, ecologists, geomorphologists and engineers who are leading experts and practitioners in ecosystem restoration, riverine and Great Lakes ecology, fluvial geomorphology and environmental modeling.

Classroom concepts are reinforced through site visits and a ship-based sampling field trip to nationally recognized stream restoration projects in Western New York.

The three one-week courses provide training in theoretical and applied concepts of ecosystem restoration; courses may be taken individually or in succession, and may be credited toward academic or Professional Engineer continuing education requirements.

In addition to UB faculty, lecturers will come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Buffalo State College, Ecology & Environment and River Research Design.

Attendees typically represent a broad range of government, environmental and industrial organizations, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Buffalo/Niagara Riverkeepers and the Monroe County Water Authority.

They will benefit from their interactions with each other and with the doctoral students in UB's ERIE, who are required to attend.

In the past, the program has visited a large number of creeks in Western New York, including a hands-on assessment of Ellicott Creek. Participants also have studied Lake Erie, taking samples and studying the ecological networks found in the Great Lakes.

The 2010 workshop also will feature a new module on Great Lakes science and engineering covering ecology, chemistry, emerging contaminants, fish, invasive species and modeling.

Rabideau noted that the joint sponsorship of the "Engineering for Ecosystem Restoration" workshop by ERIE and the UB Great Lakes Program will provide participants with an intensive, interdisciplinary experience. ERIE is a set of academic programs and research projects designed to advance the science, engineering and policies of ecosystem restoration, and aid in the ecological recovery of the Great Lakes and Western New York, while the Great Lakes program coordinates the development, evaluation and synthesis of scientific and technical knowledge on the Great Lakes ecosystem to support public education and policymaking.

Both programs include scholars from various departments at UB, including the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Law and Graduate School of Education, as well as from Buffalo State College, the University of Waterloo and the University of Windsor.

For more information on the workshop, please contact the ERIE office at 716-645-4001 or

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

Media Contact Information

Ellen Goldbaum
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Tel: 716-645-4605
Twitter: @UBmednews