Institute for Ecological Regeneration

The Institute for Ecological Regeneration, under the umbrella of Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center, will be committed to bringing renewal and vitality to ecosystems through research and education.  Humankind is part of – not separate from – local, regional, national and global ecosystems. Humans have adversely impacted many natural systems — necessitating the call for transformative practices. The institute will study natural history, biotic and abiotic systems and the intersecting human dynamics. The institute will use the best investigative techniques and apply imagination to achieve an improved care and stewardship of creation. Principles of faith and shalom will guide the choice of actions to bring regeneration to ecological issues.

Purpose

The Institute for Ecological Regeneration, under the umbrella of Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center, will be committed to bringing renewal and vitality to ecosystems through research and education.  Humankind is part of – not separate from – local, regional, national and global ecosystems. Humans have adversely impacted many natural systems — necessitating the call for transformative practices. The institute will study natural history, biotic and abiotic systems and the intersecting human dynamics. The institute will use the best investigative techniques and apply imagination to achieve an improved care and stewardship of creation. Principles of faith and shalom will guide the choice of actions to bring regeneration to ecological issues.

Projects

The projects and programs of the institute will be designed on the integration of four core themes: land, community, faith and peace. Conducting research, maintaining field collections and data, delivering formal academic courses, hosting symposia and disseminating learnings through various media to an array of publics will achieve the goals of the institute.  The institute provides a context for studying, integrating and applying the interdisciplinary constructs of resilience of the land, responsibilities of people in community, and commitments to peace and justice.

The current and planned programs of the institute include the agroecology summer intensive and a sustainability semester in residence for undergraduate students, a master’s in environmental education, and conferences and symposia on topics of ecological stewardship. Undergraduate and graduate students will have direct involvement in the goals of the institute through various research

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