What are Student Associations?

Planting a pollinator garden at Eden Project, Student Association, Cornwall, UK. Photo: Mark Nason.

They are a very specific modality for SER membership which enables students to come together and connect with both emerging and seasoned restoration professionals across SER’s global network, participate in SER conferences, and take advantage of resources.

Organized and run by students with the support of a sponsoring faculty advisor, student associations can be formed at any accredited academic institution, and provide a means for those students interested in pursuing a career in some facet of ecological restoration to come together in a like-minded group. They also provide a means for students to organize hands-on activities in their own communities and pursue professional development opportunities. SER is also working to create opportunities for student associations to develop partnerships for long-term restoration monitoring and research with nearby land/water managers who are implementing restoration projects.



What do Student Associations offer?

Clearing scrub from a rare nutrient poor peat bog. Eden Project Student Association, Cornwall, UK. Photo: Mark Nason.

The annual base fee covers the costs of SER membership for 1 faculty advisor and all participating students. Individuals only have to register with SER to receive benefits and be recognized as active members of the SER Student Association.

Universities with relevant ecological or ecosystem restoration degree programs also have the option to enter into a paired agreement with SER to enable graduates of the degree program to receive Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner-in-Training (CERPIT) status with application fees waived. Universities may also request a need-based equity rate.

SER Student Associations in Europe

MSc #GenerationRestoration surveying a heathland restoration site on china clay spoil. Eden Project Student Association, Cornwall, UK, 2021. Photo: Sean Simpson, Imerys. (photo )

As of February 2022, the MSc in Land and Ecological Restoration of Eden Project in the UK is the only university program with a Student Association. Most of the 25 existing SER Student Associations today are based in North America, with some others in Africa and the Caribbean.

While it is still in its first few years, we have connections with restoration projects for practical volunteer experience for students (Cabilla Cornwall and Rewilding Coombeshead) – the practical work is the aim. We’ve gained funding for building a tree nursery on campus, and organized a talk online from practitioners at Rewilding Britain, Ecosulis and Cambrian Wildwood. You can follow us on Instagram. Emma Williams - the Eden Project Learning Student Association

Interested in creating a Student Association? These are the next steps.

To know more on Student Associations, what they offer and how to create them Download the SER Student Association Formation Handbook. If you want to assess with us the feasibility of Student Association at an European academic institution contact us. The process to formalise a Student Association is through SER, as explained in the Handbook.

SER Europe is currently (February 2022) exploring the possibility to organise an outreach webinar to invite Student Associations to present and share their experiences. If you are interested in participating, please let us know.