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About the Restoration Ecology Program

What is the Restoration Ecology Program?

The Mount Holyoke College Restoration Ecology Program, founded in 2012, offers a one-of-a-kind experience for undergraduate women to engage with the growing field of restoration ecology. We are uniting students, faculty, staff, and community members to take the lead in reversing ecosystem degradation by advancing the science, practice, and social dimensions of restoration.

The Restoration Ecology Program is an interdisciplinary program that draws from majors across campus. REP students have studied the arts, languages, business, psychology, and environmental studies. What unites this diverse group is that every REP student shares a concern for environmental and social issues. REP provides students looking for meaningful ways to engage with the world an opportunity to pursue real-world solutions to real-world problems.

Restoring the world. Here.

Photo of Kate Ballentine, Director of Restoration Ecology

Undergrads — working in partnership with Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Kate Ballantine — are digging in, designing experiments, answering questions, monitoring progress, and taking the lead in reversing ecosystem degradation and damage.

Millions of hectares are restored every year in countless ecosystem types around the globe. But restoration practitioners are often limited by lack of time, funding, resources, and expertise, so most restoration projects are carried out without the desired level of scientific study or long-term monitoring.

Could each unstudied restoration site be an opportunity to learn about ecosystem development and how to improve future restoration projects? Could we link researchers, students, and practitioners to answer real questions that will inform both ecosystem science and restoration practice?

Could we train bright future leaders in the science, practice, and social dimensions of restoration so that they might go on to contribute to this important and growing field?

I believe the answer to these questions is a resounding yes, and MHC is the perfect destination for students from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to put their liberal arts training to work on real-world projects with real-world consequences.

We are Mount Holyoke’s Restoration Ecology Program, and we are restoring the world. Here.

Kate Ballantine
Founder & Director, Mount Holyoke College Restoration Ecology Program

Program Philosophy

Graphic displaying the cyclical nature of integrataing science, practice and social dimensions in restoration

Integrating science, practice, and social dimensions in restoration

  • Our practice decisions are informed by the ecological theories that help us understand ecosystem development and function
  • We view restoration practice as an acid test for our science and understanding of ecosystems
  • We believe in using restored sites to inform science and improve future restoration projects
  • We approach the science and practice of restoration as mutually informing
  • We study social dimensions of restoration projects around the world, and consider these dimensions central to our work here on campus
  • We do all of this by involving students and community members in real world projects with tangible impacts

Learn More

Soil Sampling

What is Restoration Ecology?

Learn more about the scientific study that supports the practice of ecological restoration.
Photo of one of the teaching spaces at the restoration ecology site

Why study restoration at Mount Holyoke?

Learn what makes the Mount Holyoke College Restoration Program unique: the ability to work on real restoration projects on a campus field site.
Photo of students snowshoeing on the Mount Holyoke College campus

Undergraduate Program

Educating undergraduates in the science, practice, and human dimensions of restoration. Learn more.
Photo of summer scholars studying a collection from the stream

Restoration Ecology Summer Scholars Program

A week-long summer field studies program for high school girls.
This photograph depicts the boardwalk that winds through Project Stream.

Project Stream

Learn about the real-life restoration project that was planned and implemented by students in the Restoration Ecology Program.