Goodbye trees, hello prairies! For the next year I’ll be working as a Hubbard Fellow for The Nature Conservancy in central Nebraska. While here I’ll be assisting prairie restoration and management, but also supporting outreach and communications.
This is my first time working in the Great Plains, and boy has it been interesting. Prairies are ecosystems dominated by grass and speckled with wildflowers. However, they are also one of the most diminished ecosystems in the continent, particularly in the eastern portion of their historical range. The reason? Their flat topography (and fertile soils in the East) made them perfect for farming and grazing. Less than one percent of the original tallgrass prairie remains. But in Nebraska, The Nature Conservancy is working to restore prairies by converting marginal cropland back to high-diversity prairies. These prairie restorations are where I will be doing most of my blogging from for the next year. I will also be writing for a blog maintained by Chris Helzer, a program director for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. Stay tuned for stories of life in the prairie!