“Water is Life”

One ecology blog definitely worth following is that of Stephen Glass, a restoration ecologist at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum in Madison, WI. The arboretum is something of a “mecca” for U.S. restoration ecologists and played a foundational role in our discipline (and continues to do so).

Stephen is the President of the Midwestern chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration. I’ve been to all but one of the regional conferences over the last 5 years, and the gatherings are always encouraging.

Anyway, let’s get to his blog. He recently posted a reflection his titled “Water is Life.” The little I’ve interacted with him, he’s proven to be humble and personable, as well as a respected scientist. His words in this post are incisive and frank. They are poignant, value-laden words (as the entire discipline inescapably must be) without resorting to hyperbolic rhetoric beyond what science is pointing us towards.

Sometimes we do need to have our values and practices recalibrated, (literally) brought back down to earth, to the essence and substance of our sustenance. Stephen does that wonderfully in this reflection.

An old bathtub once served as a cattle drinking trough to catch spring-fed water. An earthen dam was constructed and cattle excluded to rebuild this wetland near Moontree Studios. The groundwater still flows.


9 Replies to ““Water is Life””

  1. Cliff Berger

    Much of our future work will be about restoring the damaged areas caused by mankind’s desire to have more ” stuff”. Some areas probably can never be restored due to their sensitive nature such as Sarracenia bogs in the South and also the northern S. purpurea bogs. Thanks for your good work.

    • Adam Thada Post author


      Thanks for commenting!

      It is a sobering reminder. A colleague once told me, “Consultants don’t make fens, ice ages make fens.” They and many other places of natural wonder are priceless.

      May it help redouble our efforts to pass these on to our kids.

  2. Stephen Glass

    Hey Adam, I just discovered your wonderful blog this afternoon. It was a double treat to find that you had linked to my “Water is Life” blog post of a couple of weeks ago. Thank you for the link and for the kind words. As a new subscriber to your blog I look forward to your posts in the New Year. Steve

    • Adam Thada Post author


      Your words and work are an inspiration.

      Don’t lose hope and keep playing the long game.


  3. Sister Edith Schneider

    Thank you, Adam, for these ecological updates – written in understandable language, perhaps repeating things we already know, but nudging us to keep learning and looking to see what more we can do. Thank you for helping us at TCAD to make bold moves when possible.

    • Adam Thada Post author

      It’s my pleasure Sr. Edith.

      We need to continue to move boldly and overcome institutional hurdles. The time is ripe.


  4. S Mary Baird

    I wish the spring were honored more …that it would have a clean up done and a natural
    way to seep/bubble up with area around it as a place where people could gather for prayer.

  5. Pingback: the Marshall County flood, one year later – Ecological Relationships

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