Cooperative Extension: A Model Of Science-Practice Integration for Ecosystem Restoration
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Restoration ecology is a science, driven by practical application. Despite the well-recognized disconnect between the science and practice of ecological restoration, there is a lack of practical solutions. In 2014, US agriculture marked the 100th anniversary of the Cooperative Extension Service, providing a timely reminder that the divide between science and practice can be bridged successfully. Major restoration efforts are underway across the globe and integrated science-practice communication is required to avoid project failure and a significant waste of resources. Here, we propose a three-tiered approach, re-emphasizing the integration of science-based practice in restoration utilizing the structure, function, and potential for success of the Cooperative Extension Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a model for connecting science and practice in ecosystem restoration.
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