Take This Class: Environmental Restoration (NATR 322)


Professor Christy Bowles teaches a hands-on Environmental Resoration class at American Riveer College, which is currently doing restoration around the Arcade Creek bridge. (Photo by Patrick Hyun Wilson)

Alexis Warren

Earth day, held annually on April 22, is an event for everyone as a whole to contribute wellness to the environment by participating in various selfless acts to better the planet.

Common activities linked to Earth Day include recycling, picking up trash or reducing the use of electricity, and although those are all acceptable, American River College has its own hands-on class related to this effort, with the sole purpose of restoring our environment.

ARC offers eight-week class for students who have interests and goals in bettering the environment. The two-unit class is called Environmental Restoration (NATR 322), and is taught this semester by professor Christy Bowles on Mondays from 3:15 p.m. to 6:25 p.m.

The three-hour class is focused on getting students to understand environmental restoration, Bowles said.

“We go through why do we restore, what do we restore and how to restore,” professor Bowles said.

Unlike most classes, NATR 322 is very hands-on. Bowles and students are always actively participating in restoration, whether it be on or off campus. One of the hands-on activities currently in progress involves the restoration around the new Arcade Creek bridge.

“Through the construction there are a lot of areas that no longer has great vegetation, so the agreement is that they (Arcade Creek Recreation and Park District) are going to buy us (Natural Resources department) native plants and then we are going to put them in around the bridge area,” Bowles said.

Past activities that students have done while taking this class include restoration of the creek next to campus and adding rocks to improve the water habitat, bedded plants along the streambanks to keep erosion down, cleaned up trash, removed invasive species and replaced them with natives.

NATR 322 will not be taught next semester but according to Bowles, students interested in similar field studies can enroll in NATR 300 which is field studies or NATR 320 which is ecology.