639: Introduction to Restoration Ecology by Howell, Harrington, and Glass

by Gerard


639.9: Howell, Evelyn A., John A. Harrington, & Stephen B. Glass. Introduction to Restoration Ecology. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2011. 400 pp. ISBN 978-1-59726-189-0.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 600: Technology
  • 630: Agriculture
  • 639: Hunting, fishing, conservation, or related technologies
  • 639.9: Conservation of biological resources

Alright, folks—this is a measure of my dedication to this project. Staying up until 11 PM on a perfectly good Friday night reading a textbook on restoration ecology, even though there is very little chance I’ll ever be out in nature helping to restore some abandoned wetland or forest. But now, I have the prerequisite training to least follow a conservation conversation (see what I did there?). And Howell, Harrington, and Glass’s textbook on the subject—Introduction to Restoration Ecology—is a very suitable primer for the subject.

The editors of this textbook do a very good job of guiding the student through the basics of assessing an ecological restoration, creating a thorough inventory, a master plan for the site, and planning for the future of the site with a maintenance plan. In reality, the practice of restoration ecology is much more complicated. Even a small site could require years of study before a plan can be adequately comprehensive to cover its needs. Then, resources have to be gathered to both restore the site and cover its continued maintenance.

As far as textbooks go, this one is as good as any I’ve read. Each chapter goes through each step of the restoration master plan, guiding the user through each phase and being sure to emphasize that each step informs the next as well as updates previous steps. The master plan for the restoration of a natural resource is an ever-evolving project, changing when new information is encountered or when new resources and new technologies become available. Also, the book is absolutely chock full of case studies of restored ecological sites from around the world. It’s very good to know that folks everywhere are trying to push back against humanity’s continued efforts to scorch the earth. If you’re looking to join a restoration project or trying to feel out whether a career in ecology is right for you, then I suggest thumbing through this one to get your feet wet.