Urban Ecology and Restoration Center of Economic Excellence Endowed Chair

Actively Recruiting
SmartState Endowed Chair
in Urban Ecology and Restoration
Clemson University

Clemson University’s Restoration
Institute was established in 2004 to
drive economic growth by creating,
developing and fostering restoration
industries and environmentally
sustainable technologies in South
Carolina. The Restoration Institute is
attracting world-renowned faculty,
students, and staff dedicated to
creating a knowledge-based, export-
oriented industry cluster that will
partner with other institutions and the
private sector to position South
Carolina as the premier home of
restoration knowledge and expertise. More>

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Urban Ecology and Restoration

Center of Economic Excellence

Inception

2006

Award Amount

$2 million

Extramural Research Funding

$4.3 million

University Partner

Clemson University

Private Sector Partner

Multiple Industry Partners

The Urban Ecology and Restoration Center at the Clemson University Restoration Institute supports the growth of the state’s environmental industry and attracts world-renowned faculty in restoration development, businesses and students. This Center is unique for its interdisciplinary, integrative approach to the restoration of historic, ecological, and urban infrastructure resources through the integration of basic science, engineering and urban planning.

Some examples of this Center’s work include using biologically derived materials to filter toxins from polluted soil; developing recycled building materials, designing roads and parking lots using pervious pavement that allows rainwater to seep into the ground, reducing storm water runoff, and creating better ways to propagate, install, and maintain native plant species in urban settings.

  • The Center has initiated four multidisciplinary urban ecology projects in the state:
  • Restoration of a degraded urban stream in Aiken
  • A study project for the City of Aiken regarding urban storm water management
  • A community-based environmental restoration of low-income North Charleston neighborhoods
  • Research of rapid transportation, including light rail, for a congested travel corridor in urban Greenville

More than 75 Clemson faculty members and students in areas such as wetland ecology, hydrology, landscape architecture, computer sciences, electrical and computer engineering, and environmental toxicology are working together on Clemson’s largest interdisciplinary project entitled Intelligent River. The Intelligent River Project focuses on the development of hardware, software, and modeling infrastructure to support real-time management of water resources across the state.

The Center was instrumental in Clemson’s award of a 2008 Center in Watershed Management by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This is the third such designated center in the Southeast and the first center in the nation focused on using remotely sensed monitoring data. The Center, in conjunction with Clemson’s Restoration Institute, sponsored the first annual South Carolina Water Resources Conference in October 2008, which was attended by over 350 participants. Of the 350 attendees, roughly one-third represented commercial or consultant entities.

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