Friday, March 25, 2011

UIS hosts Midwest-Great Lakes Society of Ecological Restoration Chapter Annual Meeting

The University of Illinois Springfield’s Alfred O. and Barbara Cordwell Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon and its partners will host the third annual Midwest-Great Lakes Society of Ecological Restoration (SER) Chapter Meeting on April 1-3, 2011.

The Midwest-Great Lakes Chapter was established as a SER Regional Chapter in March 2008. The Chapter serves Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Under the leadership of Chapter President Rocky Smiley, Ph.D., the chapter is the largest restoration group in the Midwest and Great Lakes region.

The meeting theme this year is “Linkages between Ecological Restoration and Ecosystem Sustainability”. Participants will examine how current restoration efforts contribute to regaining, preserving, and sustaining the structure and functions of Midwestern and Great Lakes ecosystems.

The meeting will begin on campus, but also features off site tours of UIS’ field station and other sites. The meeting begins on campus at the Public Affairs Center on Friday, April 1 with registration starting at 11 a.m. Registration is followed by a special plenary session on floodplain restoration for sustaining large river ecosystems that is organized by Michael Lemke, UIS associate professor of Biology and director of the Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon. A keynote presentation will be delivered later that evening by Roger Anderson, emeritus professor of Ecology at Illinois State University.

Over forty contributed presentations will be given by presenters from nine states including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin on both Friday afternoon and Saturday (April 2) morning.

Ecological restoration work at the Emiquon Preserve will be the focus on the afternoon of Saturday, April 2 when meeting participants will have the option to board a bus and tour the Emiquon Preserve, located 45 miles from campus. In 2007, The Nature Conservancy began transforming 7,425 acres of farmland immediately adjacent to the Illinois River to its natural state - a large river floodplain. This undertaking represents one of the largest river reclamation efforts of its kind in the United States. The UIS Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon was dedicated on April 25, 2008 to study, research, and document the incredible transformation and to give students the opportunity to learn at the site.

Participants will have the choice of one of two field trips on Sunday, April 3. One field trip is a tour of The Nature Conservancy’s landscape scale restoration project at Kankakee Sands, located in northwest Indiana. The other field trip is a tour of Lincoln Memorial Gardens, located at 2301 East Lake Shore Drive in Springfield.

For more information on the meeting, contact Michael Lemke at 217/206-7339 or email You may also contact Michael Cheney at 217/206-8271 or email

Learn more about the Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon by visiting More information on the Midwest-Great Lakes SER Chapter is available at

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