Spring 2022 Newsletter
                       2022 Vice Chancellor's Award: The Prairie Project

At the 2022 Vice Chancellor's Awards in Excellence, Dr. Brad Wilcox, Dr. Ben Wu, Dr. John Walker, Dr. Maria Macik, and Dr. Morgan Treadwell on The Prairie Project team were awarded the Team Collaboration Award! This $10 million U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded project involves collaborators from various universities, agencies, ranchers, and landowners across the nation and aims to foster dialogue among ranchers, provide resources and advance education about prescribed fire. To learn more about The Prairie Project you can navigate to
                                  Outstanding Achievement Award
   Dr. Humberto L. Perotto-Baldivieso
We are pleased to congratulate Dr. Humberto Perotto for earning the Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2022 Society For Range Management annual meeting! Dr. Perotto is leading the Landscape Ecology and drone programs at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute and he has established in 5 years a nationally recognized research and education drone program for rangelands and wildlife habitats. 

He has authored and co-authored 65 peer-reviewed scientific articles, 1 book, 3 book chapters, and over 350 abstracts for posters and oral presentations. Dr. Perotto is also an avid member and promoter of the Prairie Project!
                                  Prairie Project Updates

In 2022, The Prairie Project welcomed a third cohort of educators from institutions across Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. The 15 new educators will commence their Prairie Project journey with an intensive workshop in June. The workshop will include engaging sessions to support the educators in designing their classroom lessons, as well as presentations from leading experts in the areas of prescribed fire, mixed-species grazing, pyric herbivory, and learning theory. The workshop will conclude with tours of collaborating ranches in Texas and Oklahoma.

Educators from cohorts 1 and 2 continue to implement projects in their classrooms to engage students and foster rangeland literacy. This past year, the educators also presented their projects at various professional conferences, including The Annual Meeting of the Society for Range Management, NSTA’s National Conference on Science Teaching, and the Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. 

- Dr. Maria Macik
Students from Dr. William Quinn’s class visit Klemme Research Station in Oklahoma. 
                       Nebraska Ranch Tour
Great things are happening in Nebraska with our Ag educators! On April 30th the Prairie Project hosted an Ag educator workshop in Burwell, NE. During this workshop, Erin Ingram and Dirac Twidwell helped facilitate educators on different methods to defend grasslands against woody plant encroachment and encourage rangeland literacy in students. In addition, educators learned how to use the Rangeland Analysis Platform (RAP) to estimate the cover and density of vegetation found in Burwell, NE. A special thanks to the educators who participated and Dr. Ben Wu, Dr. Maria Macik, and Justin Weid who helped make this possible. 
                         Texas Ranch Tours
Yee-Haw! The West Texas Ranch Tours are in full swing this spring with youth and ranchers working together to learn about prescribed fire, multi-species grazing, and pyric herbivory. The youth learned everything from how to decipher imagery and data collected from the Rangeland Analysis Platform (RAP) to collecting cover data using the line-intercept and closest individual method. In addition, they were able to hear from our ranchers Duff Hallman, Carlon Stapper, Lloyd Whitehead, and Sam Reese on the importance of good land stewardship. 
                             Educator Spotlight
Dr. William Quinn

Dr. William Quinn is a faculty member at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. He encourages students to learn science by doing science, and he was faced with a challenge in 2020 to transfer his field course to an online format.

As part of The Prairie Project, Dr. Quinn introduced his senior-level undergraduate students to the practice of pyric herbivory through a variety of virtual assignments. Students watched engaging videos and built their own quadrat plots. Students also virtually developed point and other sampling techniques and applied image analyses of pictures from OSU’s Klemme Research Station. Dr. Quinn assessed his students through written paper assignments, an oral presentation, and exam questions. Despite the challenges of teaching practical concepts online, Dr. Quinn’s students recognized his innovative teaching methods and appreciated the engaging and diverse learning experiences.

Future plans:
Dr. Quinn plans to present his work with The Prairie Project at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. 

                               Faculty Spotlight

Rangeland Ecologist, Dirac Twidwell, studies woody plant encroachment and is working to conserve the last remaining grasslands in the Great Plains. His lab explores new technologies using geospatial analyses to see the change in vegetation and increase awareness of this problem.

He has mentored over 20 graduate students and post-docs since joining the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2014 and 5 post-docs have accepted faculty or lead government scientist positions in the last 2-3 years.

Future Plans:
Future plans include working closely with private landowners to increase rangeland production and profitability by showing regional successes in halting woody encroachment.

Since the beginning of 2021, he has co-authored over 30 publications on topics including ecological thresholds, grassland birds, habitat selection, and grassland vulnerability.

Click this link to read about reducing woody encroachment in grasslands
                            Upcoming events
- June 13th-18th
Prairie Project Educator Tour in Texas & Oklahoma

- June 16th-17th
 Profitability and Sustainability in Ranching Symposium in San Angelo, Texas. 
You can register for this event at:

- June 21st
Virtual Ranching 101: Whether the Weather: Drought and Rain Management/Controlled Burning
You can register for this event at:

- June 19th-24th
Youth Range Workshop
To learn more you can navigate to:

- July 18th-22nd
 Ranch Brigades at Warren Ranch Santa Anna, TX. 
To learn more you can navigate to:

-  August 4th
Tune in to Jeff Goodwin talking about ten common grazing management misconceptions that can inadvertently impact a rancher's productivity and profitability. Registration ends August 1, 2022.
You can register for this event at:
Copyright © 2022 Prairie Project, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp