Author Archives: Chris Helzer

About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is an ecologist and Eastern Nebraska Program Director for The Nature Conservancy. He supervises the management and restoration of approximately 4,000 acres of land in central and eastern Nebraska - primarily along the central Platte River. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press.

Photo of the Week – March 26, 2015

Despite snide comments from certain friends, I do – now and then – take photos of subjects other than insects and plants… As I write this, the annual sandhill crane migration phenomenon is taking place on Nebraska’s Platte River.  The … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

From the Ashes

Last Friday, I wandered through the small prairie we burned back on March 10.  Even though it is still very early spring, there were already a number of prairie plants popping out of the ground.  I posted photos of this site … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Photo of the Week – March 19, 2015

Proof that I’m a biologist:  While driving along a gravel road near our shop this week, I stopped and backed up to see if I’d seen a small snake or just a piece of debris in the road… I’m glad … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Hubbard Fellowship Blog – The Trouble With Fences

This post is written by Dillon Blankenship, one of our two Hubbard Fellows.   Back in December we kept pretty busy with fence work. The barbed wire fences at a few sites needed to be repaired, and some had to … Continue reading

Posted in Hubbard Fellowship, Prairie Management | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Photo of the Week – March 12, 2015

We conducted our first prescribed burn of the Spring this week.  It was very small – about an acre or so – surrounded by gravel roads.  The first burn after a long winter is always a little rocky; everyone’s a … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Every Little Bit Helps

I’m getting excited about this upcoming field season.  For the first time in several years, we’re going to be attempting to harvest seed from as many prairie plant species as we can.  Between about 1997 and 2005, we spent much of … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Plants, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Photo of the Week – March 6, 2015

Ok, it’s not a world class photo from an artistic standpoint, but it tells a story.  I just wish I knew what the story was… I noticed these two small mounds of snow last month in a restored prairie west … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Hubbard Fellowship Blog – Plains Pocket Mouse

This post is written by Jasmine Cutter, one of our Hubbard Fellows.  She has been studying the way small mammals use our restored and remnant prairies. Remember when I said I was going to highlight some more of our small … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – February 27, 2015

Here are two photos that are completely unrelated to each other. Why?  Because I feel like it. So there. Ok, I guess both photos were taken in a Nebraska prairie.  That’s makes them kind of related, right? 5 points to … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Ice Jam Flooding

As I mentioned last week, recent ice jams on the Platte River caused some flooding in some of our prairies.  I was able to photograph the flooding from a couple perspectives.  On February 5, we got some aerial footage with … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments