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Cooperative Extension: A Model of Science–Practice Integration for Ecosystem Restoration
- David, Erica, Dixon, Kingsley W., Menz, Myles H.M.
- Trends in plant science 2016 v.21 no.5 pp. 410-417
- U.S. Cooperative Extension Service, USDA, ecological restoration, extension education, models, wastes, United States
- 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.