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 – July 2, 2015

Independence Day is this weekend.  Fireworks have been going off in my my neighborhood for days now as people who apparently equate noise with patriotism are enjoying their right to put that feeling into action.  Earlier this week, I was … Continue reading

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Introducing the 2015-2016 Hubbard Fellows

On June 1, we began the third year of our Hubbard Fellowship Program, generously funded by Anne Hubbard through the Claire M. Hubbard Foundation.  We brought in two new Fellows, Evan and Kim, to follow in the footsteps of Anne, … Continue reading

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2015 Grassland Restoration Network Workshop July 21-23, 2015

The 2015 Grassland Restoration Network Workshop is coming up in just a few weeks.  This year’s workshop will be located at Moorhead State University’s Regional Science Center and The Nature Conservancy’s Bluestem Prairie near Hawley, Minnesota.  As with previous workshops, … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – June 25, 2015

It’s black-eyed susan season! How can I not photograph these flowers?  I have more than enough black-eyed susan flowers in my photo files, but they’re just so STRIKING!  After returning from our Texas vacation, I spent much of Monday scouting … Continue reading

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The Prairie Ecologist Goes to the Beach

As I mentioned in my last post, I spent last week on a family vacation near Corpus Christi, Texas.  The kids really liked swimming in the ocean, looking for shells, and playing in the sand.  I enjoyed all of those … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – June 19, 2015

I’ve been on a family vacation to the Corpus Christi, Texas area this week.  It’s been a great week, with pleasant weather and lots of beach exploration.  I’ll have more photos to share next week, but today wanted to share … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – June 12, 2015

While I was doing some vegetation monitoring in a native hay meadow this morning, I found a bobolink nest. If you’re not familiar with grassland nesting birds, the idea of building a nest right on the ground might seem pretty silly … Continue reading

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Next Platte River Prairies Field Day – June 26, 2015

We’ve finalized the agenda for our next Platte River Prairies Field Day, which will be June 26, 2015.  I hope to see many of you there.  This Field Day will include a wide range of topics including: – ecology and … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Plants, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Life on a Weedy Plant

Daisy fleabane (Erigeron strigosus) is considered by many people to be a weed.  It’s a biennial with very pretty, albeit small, daisy-like flowers that flourishes when the dominant plants around it have been weakened.  As a prairie manager, I’ve always … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – June 4, 2015

This week, we began the third year of our Hubbard Fellowship program here in Nebraska.  Evan Barrientos (Wisconsin) and Kim Tri (Minnesota) are both recent college graduates who will be spending the next year with us, learning all we can … Continue reading

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