2021 Spring Event Series

Biocultural Restoration

River Restoration Northwest is excited to host a series of virtual events to investigate the practice and values of Biocultural Restoration to help our community acquire increased understanding surrounding the practice of biocultural restoration and to gather some examples from the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

The Center for Native Peoples and the Environment defines biocultural restoration as “the science and practice of restoring not only ecosystems, but human and cultural relationships to place, so that cultures are strengthened and revitalized along with the lands to which they are inextricably linked.” 

February 1st, 2021 Virtual Panel Presentation

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer

A free virtual event

Biography:  Dr. Kimmerer is the co-founder and past president of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge section of the Ecological Society of America.  Dr. Kimmerer serves as a Senior Fellow for the Center for Nature and Humans. She is a mother, plant ecologist, writer and SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York.

She serves as the founding Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability. Her research interests include the role of traditional ecological knowledge in ecological restoration and the ecology of mosses. In collaboration with tribal partners, she and her students have an active research program in the ecology and restoration of plants of cultural significance to Native people. She is active in efforts to broaden access to environmental science education for Native students, and to create new models for integration of indigenous philosophy and scientific tools on behalf of land and culture. She is engaged in programs which introduce the benefits of traditional ecological knowledge to the scientific community, in a way that respects and protects indigenous knowledge.

As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. Dr. Kimmerer is the author of numerous scientific papers on the ecology of mosses and restoration ecology and on the contributions of traditional ecological knowledge to our understanding of the natural world. She is also active in literary biology. Her essays appear in Whole Terrain, Adirondack Life, Orion and several anthologies. She is the author of “Gathering Moss” which incorporates both traditional indigenous knowledge and scientific perspectives and was awarded the prestigious John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing in 2005. Her latest book “Braiding Sweetgrass: indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants” was released in 2013 and was awarded the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award. She has served as writer in residence at the Andrews Experimental Forest, Blue Mountain Center, the Sitka Center and the Mesa Refuge.

She holds a BS in Botany from SUNY ESF, an MS and PhD in Botany from the University of Wisconsin and is the author of numerous scientific papers on plant ecology, bryophyte ecology, traditional knowledge and restoration ecology. As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. She lives on an old farm in upstate New York, tending gardens both cultivated and wild.

We are excited to gather and acquire more deeper understanding about the practice of biocultural restoration, as shared by the panel of local and nationally recognized leaders on the afternoon of February 1st.

Additional panelists and event details will be announced soon!


Opportunities to connect virtually and in the field, to follow.

Location: Virtual

Instructors include: Kent Woodruff, Colin Thorne, Mark Beardsley, Alexa Whipple and Alec Spensor.

Course fee: $500

Description: This remotely taught short course covers the working with beavers to achieve river restoration goals by providing an understanding of beaver biology and their role as drivers of ecosystem recovery. The course deals with how practitioners can mimic beaver structures in their restoration designs as well as how to support the viability and expansion of beaver colonies.

During this course, students will learn about:

(1) beaver trapping, tagging and testing

(2) beaver biology and behavior

(3) unique beaver colonies in tidal environments

(4) practical methods to replicate beaver structures in streams to promote recovery and restoration of incised streams


Please contact our Programs Lead Danielle Devier Symposium@rrnw.org for questions about the series.


Please contact our registrar Peggy registrar@rrnw.org for questions associated with RRNW Course Registration.