In the Name Of The Father – Odum School Of Ecology Study

Eugene Pleasants Odum is often referred to as the father of modern ecology. Some even say brought the term “ecosystem” into the vernacular. A scientist with a holistic approach, Odum was one of the first to study the interaction of Earths ecological systems. Although he died in 2002, his name lives on in the Odum School of Ecology, which he founded in 1960. Housed at the University of Georgia, where Odum taught for over 40 years, the School has the distinction of being the first stand-alone academic unit of a research university dedicated to ecology. With its increasing programs and popularity, the School has outgrown its walls, utilizing other locations in order to meet classroom, laboratory and office demands. Biohabitats is honored to be on a team selected by the University of Georgia to begin developing conceptual designs for a new facility. The team, led by BNIM Architects recently began work on this exciting project. The new facility will accommodate administrative, research and teaching functions should reflect the environmental stewardship values of the school’s founder. The building design and concept is expected to employ the most progressive sustainable design principles and strive for a carbon neutral construction process and sustained operation. It should also support environmental stewardship and facilitate intellectual growth of its faculty, students, and staff.

Groundbreaking Work

The Chesapeake Bay is about to get a little healthier, thanks to the City of Baltimore and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Maiden Choice Run project. Ground was broken on December 2 for this $1.4 million urban stream restoration. A tributary to Gwynns Falls, which flows into the Chesapeake Bay, Maiden’s Choice Run had been heavily influenced by urban conditions, including stormwater runoff, loss of riparian vegetation and floodplain constrictions. To address these challenges, we used a natural channel design approach that incorporated daylighting, creation of wetlands and reforestation. With its location in between two schools, Maiden’s Choice Run offers great potential as a vehicle for recreation, education, outreach, and the development of community stewards.

From Battered to Beautiful

Terry’s Branch, a stream that drains a 2.8-square-mile watershed in Knott County, Kentucky, had experienced the effects of logging, relocation, and straightening. Were it not for the efforts of the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources (KDFWR), the stream would likely have remained in a degraded condition. Through an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, KDFWR restores streams to offset impacts caused by activities such as road construction or mining. Working with KDWFR, we designed and supervised restoration construction of a 2,900-foot reach of the stream. We are currently monitoring the site and are pleased to report that one year after the completion of construction, things are looking up for Terry’s Branch! With newly acquired access to its floodplain, the stream’s flows are able to spread out over the valley, depositing sediment and building new point bars in the channel. New plants are taking hold on the point bars, improving the diversity and habitat of the system. Aquatic habitat has also improved with the increase of riffle habitat in the channel. While beauty is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder, it’s hard to deny that Terry’s Branch is looking gorgeous.


Biohabitats San Francisco Bay Bioregion leader, Allegra Bukojemsky, will be in Las Vegas on January 21 to review and discuss development plans at the NAHB/ASLA Land Planning Workshop at the 2009 International Builders Show.

The Windy City is the place to be on January 22-23, as the Alliance for the Great Lakes hosts the first ever Great Lakes Urban Habitat Restoration Symposium on January 22-23 in Chicago. Be sure to stop by the Biohabitats booth and say hello to Biohabitats president, Keith Bowers, and the leader of our Great Lakes Bioregion office, Ivette Bolender.

Biohabitats Senior Fluvial Geomorphologist Vince Sortman will dazzle the crowd at the Northwest Stream Restoration Conference with his presentation on regenerative stream restoration and legacy sediments. This conference will take place in Stevenson, WA February 2-5.

Environmental Scientist Suzanne Hoehne will depart the Ohio River Bioregional office for St. Louis, Missouri to present “Rethinking Stream Restoration and Stormwater Management” at the USDA-Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) National Water Conference February 8-12.

Biohabitats Southern Rocky Mountain Bioregion Leader, Claudia Browne, will present “Whole System Campus Planning” at the Rocky Mountain Sustainability Summit which will take place February 11-13 and will focus on Forging Solutions at Colleges and Universities.

Biohabitats president Keith Bowers will speak at the 2009 Sustainable Landscaping Symposium at the Denver Botanic Gardens on February 12. Keith will join experts from around the region in sharing information about using water creatively, improving efficiency and incorporating natural habitat in landscape designs.


Our fearless leader, Biohabitats president Keith Bowers, was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the Wildlands Project, an organization that creates large scale, science-based conservation plans that include core wild areas, wildlife linkages and stewardship lands. The plans are used by conservation groups, state and federal agencies, local governments, land trusts, private landowners, and others to inform land use decisions.

The land that connects our wild areas is often in need of restoration,” said Margo McKnight, Executive Director of the Wildlands Project. “Keith brings to our Board not only his passion and personal commitment to the environment, but his savvy as someone who has achieved remarkable success in the business of ecological restoration.”

Congratulations, Keith!

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