The field of ecological restoration has always offered many challenges, and the future is certain to hold many more. Some challenges can be solved by science, some with experience and elbow grease, and others with new approaches and cutting-edge technologies. Whatever the solution, all challenges are best solved with collaboration.

Although those of us who work in this profession often find many similarities between our projects, we know that like snowflakes, no two restoration projects are exactly the same and each project has its own subtle nuances that makes it unique.

Restoration professionals are also a bit like snowflakes. Although many of us share the same degrees and skill sets, are working towards similar project goals or with similar opportunities and constraints, we each bring something unique to the table — a perspective and personal resources that are wholly our own.

Each of us has a restoration story worth sharing!

And so I call upon each of you who are involved in restoring California to assemble this coming May in Davis because — whether you are new to the field or a seasoned veteran, a restoration planner or practitioner, a landscape architect or engineer; whether your specialty is soil or water, flora or fauna; whether you prefer old-school methods or tend to try the latest technology — together we are all part of California’s restoration history and, more importantly, its future!

Come share your story in Davis in May 2017!
— Harry Oakes, SERCAL President and Conference Chair, ICF

Looking Back, Leaping Forward!

The 24th Annual Conference of the California Society for Ecological Restoration at the UC Davis Conference Center, California  2017

SERCAL 2016 Registration will be online beginning March 1. Early Bird registration discounts will be available through April 15. We hope to see you there!

We will begin taking sponsorships January 25: Without the support of our generous sponsors, SERCAL would not be able to keep conference registration fees at a reasonable level for our attendees, nor would we be able to generate the operating capital necessary to keep the organization moving forward. We greatly appreciate your support! 

Call for Abstracts: Technical Abstracts accepted through 15 February 2017; Poster Abstracts accepted through 15 March 2017.  Call for Abstracts Brochure  |  Online Abstract Submission Form is below

Technical Sessions  Looking Back at Early Restoration Projects: How Have They Fared the Test of Time?  |  Native Plant & Seed Sources: Challenges and Solutions in Plant Propagation and Seed Collection|  Restore, Monitor, Mitigate…Repeat? Adapting Habitat Restoration Projects for Climate Change|  Stream and Riparian Restoration  |  Technology & Innovations in Data Collection, Analysis, and Reporting|  Tidal Habitat Restoration: Practitioners' Perspectives— plus a Poster Session featuring a Student Poster Competition

ONLINE ABSTRACT SUBMISSION FORM for technical presentations:

Are you a student? contact to learn about student scholarships.

Please use the form below to submit your technical session or poster abstract for the 2017 SERCAL Conference. If you have any questions or concerns about this process, please contact Julie at

Your accepted abstract will allow you to register at a substantial presenter discount. It’s our way of saying thanks!  But please register during early registration!

Name *
Clearly summarize your presentation in 10 key words or less
Include your affiliation and the best means of contacting you (address, phone, email) for further information. In the case of multiple authors, designate the presenter with an asterisk (*) after their name and use superscript numbers to identify each author’s affiliation and contact information.
Concentrate on results and conclusions using 250 words max. It should fit within a technical session (see below).
Desired Technical Session *
Choose your preferred technical session.

The Finer Details: Abstracts

The following is an example of a well-crafted abstract, in fact an abstract for an award-winning poster at our 2011 Conference in San Diego… even though the full title is longer than 10 words: 

Saving Time, Money and the Bay: How Save The Bay Successfully Manages a Community-based Wetland Restoration Program. Laura Wainer, Save The Bay, 350 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Suite 900, Oakland 94612.

Ecological restoration by volunteers is often associated with inefficiencies and inefficacies. Contrary to this stereotype, for over ten years Save The Bay, San Francisco has used over 50,000 community volunteers to successfully restore transition zone salt marsh habitat throughout the San Francisco Bay Estuary. We present here ten years of tidal salt marsh enhancement data to indicate the success of Save The Bay’s Community-based Restoration program. Lessons learned from analysis of this data have been used to adaptively manage our restoration efforts, increase productivity associated with utilizing volunteers, and to project a timeframe for meeting our goals. We assess our restoration efforts by measuring non-native plant reduction, native plant coverage, non-native to native plant ratio, habitat use by sensitive species, acreage, and maintenance. We depict quantitative data that indicate the financial, organizational and volunteer resources necessary for successful habitat enhancement. We conclude with recommendations for other community-based restoration programs.