Restoration Ecology

Are you interested in helping recover degraded ecosystems, whether it be for native biodiversity, ecosystem function, or aesthetic value? Restoration ecology is the study of the underlying principles and particular restoration practices that make this possible. Our students have worked on Central valleys grasslands, Sierran forests, Andean paramo, Haitian agroforestry, Great Basin deserts, and mine tailings.


The Restoration AOE is appropriate both for student seeking careers in applied ecological restoration, and those interested in more academic or research careers in restoration ecology.  Restoration research and opportunities include degraded site restoration, responses to climate change (assisted migration), post-fire recovery, rangeland improvement, listed species mitigation, and urban restoration projects. 

Curriculum for Masters and PhD Programs

All EGG AOE students must fulfill the course requirements of the GGE.  The intent of the EGG AOE curriculum is to provide students interested in restoration ecology guidance and additional structure in their coursework.  The EGG AOE recognizes that individual students may have highly diverse interests and needs.  Modifications in the requirements of a student's course program may be made subject to the approval of the EGG AOE Adviser and Chair.

AOE Requirements

  1. One lecture course (ENH 160 if no previous restoration course, or Restoration 290 otherwise)
  2. Field experience beyond Research.  Options include: 
    1. ENH 160L (Restoration ecology lab, lab does fill up- priority given to students enrolled in ENH 160)
    2. Two quarters of PLS 164 (practicum)
    3. One year of restoration experience, including, but not limited to: 
      1. One full year as a steward of the Putah Creek Council
      2. One full season of SLEWS

Suggested Courses

The following are some of the areas of coursework that are useful for a career in ecological restoration (applied or academic). You may already have taken courses in these areas in previous degrees. Note that these are not requirements, but will be a good starting point for potential exam topics and training needs in conversations with your major professor, your guidance committee, and fellow graduate students.

Plant Ecology

Conservation Biology


Weed science


Fire ecology

Plant physiology

Community ecology

Environmental policy

Plant propagation/container soils/irrigation



Truman Young, Chair, Plant Sciences, 530-754-9925

Val Eviner, Advisor, Plant Sciences, 530-752-8538