Author Archives: Chris Helzer

About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is the Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. His main role is to evaluate and capture lessons from the Conservancy’s land management and restoration work and then share those lessons with other landowners – both private and public. In addition, Chris works to raise awareness about the importance of prairies and their conservation through his writing, photography, and presentations to various groups. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska with his wife Kim and their children.

2018 Grassland Restoration Network, September 5 and 6 – Register Now!

It’s time again for and annual Grassland Restoration Network – one of my favorites.  If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you’ve read about the workshops and some of the lessons I’ve gleaned from them.   If you’re … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – July 13, 2018

You know how you can look at something for years and still not see every aspect of it?  I was walking through Lincoln Creek Prairie this week, stretching my legs after photographing for my square meter project, when I came … Continue reading

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Field Day in the Platte River Prairies – July 21, 2018

If you’re in the area, please consider joining us at the Platte River Prairies on Saturday July 21 for a special event.  We’re combining our bi-weekly volunteer work day with our annual Field Day, during which participants can join a … Continue reading

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Hubbard Fellowship Blog – Olivia Contemplates Poop

This post is by Olivia Schouten, one of this year’s Hubbard Fellows.  In this post, she writes about the importance of bison and cattle dung in prairie ecosystems – a topic you might not think much about on a daily … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week

Last week, I posted some drone photos of the Niobrara Valley Preserve from the air.  The sun popped out of the clouds just as it was nearing the horizon and provided some great light for those images.  As I was … Continue reading

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Square Meter of Prairie Project – June 2018

Another month has passed, and I’ve managed to carve out some more time staring at the little square meter of prairie I’m photographing this year.  In June, activity really picked up as lead plant (Amorpha canescens) and butterfly milkweed (Asclepias … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – June 29, 2018

We spent a productive week at the Niobrara Valley Preserve this week, collecting a mountain of data.  Five of us spent our days scrambling across the Sandhills, counting flowering plants, quantifying milkweed populations, and estimating habitat cover.  As always, we … Continue reading

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Niobrara Valley Preserve From The Air

We arrived at the Niobrara Valley Preserve yesterday in pouring rain.  The road in from the south was nearly impassable and our data collection plans were scrapped for the day.  As evening neared, though, the rain started to let off, … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – June 22, 2018

This week, I’ve been feeling grateful that I have places close to home where I can chase little creatures around with my camera.  Of course, insects and spiders live just about everywhere, but between my backyard prairie garden and the … Continue reading

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A Closer Look at Prairie Roots

One of the biggest jobs of a prairie steward is to manage the competition between plants, ensuring that no species becomes too dominant and no species is pushed out of the community.  In our prairies, much of our effort is … Continue reading

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