SER 25th Anniversary

The SER2013 World Conference marks the 25th Anniversary of the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) and represents an opportunity to celebrate not only the Society’s achievements over the last two and a half decades, but also the great strides and important advancements made in the field of ecological restoration during this period. Since SER’s inception, ecological restoration has gone from being a marginal and poorly understood discipline lacking theoretical and methodological coherence, to a widely recognized strategy for safeguarding biodiversity, re-instating ecosystem services, sustaining human livelihoods and reconnecting fragmented landscapes that is becoming an increasingly important component of environmental and natural resource policy frameworks around the world.

SER2013 is the 5th SER World Conference on Ecological Restoration and the 21st Annual Meeting since the Society’s founding in 1988. The first SER conference was held in Oakland, California in 1989, and this began a series of annual meetings that continued until 2005. That year, the Society switched to a biennial conference cycle with a broader international focus, celebrating the 1st World Conference on Ecological Restoration in Zaragoza, Spain. The 2nd World Conference was held in 2007 in San Jose, California; the 3rd in Perth, Australia in 2009; and the 4th in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico in August 2011.

Madison, Wisconsin provides an ideal setting in which to celebrate the Society’s 5th World Conference and 25th Anniversary, as it was here that SER was originally founded and here that the science and practice of ecological restoration first began with the pioneering philosophies and early experiments of Aldo Leopold, Theodore Sperry and others. This rich history, coupled with the pressing need for restoration to play an ever more important role in informing land management and policy decisions, forms the basis for the SER2013 conference theme: Reflections on the Past, Directions for the Future.