Well, I started teaching my class at UNCC again this spring and it’s called “The Business of Ecological Restoration”. It is under the Geography/Earth Sciences Department. This year I have 21 students which is the largest class I have ever had. One of the messages I try to teach is “real world” experiences- as I think many colleges lack that kind of curriculum. This year, many of my students will learn hands-on wetland and stream restoration and make some extra spending money doing it! How you ask, well Mogensen Mitigation, Inc. is not only a full-service environmental consulting firm we also do mitigation banking. We happen to be building several restoration projects this spring and some lucky students are doing the tree planting. They get paid and get to stay in hotels for a few days. We planted 4,000 gallon containerized trees this month at the Tar River Headwaters Wetland Restoration Site in Person County, NC and we will plant another 2,500 trees in March at the Tar River Stream Mitigation Bank. The students love the experience and the comradery as well as the free beer at night. These are college kids after all (and are all 21)! Not only do they plant trees they have learned how to harvest willow live stakes for stream restoration work and how to store them prior to planting. I can lecture until I’m blue in the face but they can’t learn what it means to plant 4,000 trees unless they actually do it. In my class they do!