Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Getting the Right Message: Lay and Expert Perceptions of Ecological Restoration
by Holland, Austin, M.S., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2016, 114; 10112612
Abstract (Summary)

This research focuses on the social aspects of ecological restoration. Ecological restoration is assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has be damaged or destroyed because of human actions. This process has been used to combat the loss of prairie habitat that was once abundant in Illinois. Reintroduction of these habitats can be mutually beneficial to humans and the environment. First, prairie restoration provides habitat for native species that have been displaced due to human development. Secondly, prairie ecosystems sequester and store carbon. Lastly, restoration increases the fertility of the soil by reestablishing the nitrogen cycle. Despite the benefits that ecological restoration can bring, it can cause conflict between stakeholder groups. This conflict arises due to (1) the removal of economically viable land and (2) the fear of property damage from the use of fire as a management tool.

The purpose of this study is to gain a deeper understanding of lay and expert stakeholder perceptions of ecological restoration in Illinois. Using Nachusa Grasslands Preserve in Franklin Grove, IL, data from interviews with both stakeholder groups are presented. The data demonstrates disconnect between these two groups about funding, operations, purpose, and support.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Acheson, Gillian
Commitee: Hume, Susan, Shouse, Michael
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Geography
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 55/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Geography
Keywords: Ecological restoration, Environmental perceptions, Human-environment interactions
Publication Number: 10112612
ISBN: 9781339757650
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